It’s one month in to the New Year and if you’re like most families in the DMV, your resolution, “to get more exercise” is hanging by a thread. But, seriously, how do you get your toddler to tween to make the switch from digital delirium to exercise enthusiast? Turn resolutions into realities with these four different disciplines at DMV family standouts for all fitness levels and abilities.

Photo: MOCO Movement

Just Move
Imagine children of all abilities skating around the rink, sliding into second, or dunking the ball alongside siblings and peers. Backed by decades of training and experience, MOCO Movement Center owner Andrea Santman, something of a pediatric physical therapy-whisperer, is passionate about integration and getting kids to their happy place. At her Rockville based center, her unique Applied Functional Therapy certified team of physical and occupational therapists, and other professionals, make fun the focus, as kids achieve rehabilitative and performance goals big and small. New this year, MOCO’s sport specific classes offer 15 week sessions of confidence building in nearly every pursuitfrom climbing and ice skating, to basketball and swimming. Partnering with state-of-the-art facilities all over Montgomery, such as a hockey and ice skating club with synthetic ice (think a little less hard, and little less cold), MOCO broadens young athlete’s horizons with what seems like impossibly small class sizes, and dedicated coaches that go above and beyond.

5268A Nicholson Ln. (Kensington, Md)
301-770-5437
Online: mocomc.com

Photo: DSKA


Chop Shop
With consistently high ratings, The DC Self Defense Karate Association is a popular outlet for kids and families looking to add a little kick and chop to their exercise routine. Using lots of praise and positive reinforcement to motivate children as young as three years old, DSKA students return year after year to study with instructors under the tutelage of Grand Master Carol Littleton, whose training ranges from certification in a program called Kid Power, to Krav Maga, the Israeli Defense Forces self-defense system. The Family Turtles program brings together parents and young masters ages five to seven to learn and practice together, and Family Ninjas is designed with the same mission in mind for families with kids ages 8 to 12. The school’s philosophy is that many of the skills learned, like dedication to completing an activity, self defense, and meeting goals over time, carry over into all areas of life.

5123 Georgia Ave., NW
202-328-1203
Online: dcsdka.com

Photo: Goldfish Swim School

Swim Said the Four
Four to one student teacher ratios (just 3 to 1 for ages 2 – 3) in all of Goldfish Swim School‘s classes from tot to age twelve, get even the most shy little fins wiggling in the water, reducing distraction to ensure a successful skill progression. At three locations across Northern Va. as well as one in Columbia, Md., Goldfish is known for a cozy indoor, 90 degree heated pool, and consistent instructors that get everyone up to speed from parent/child classes, to Swim Force, a team level for 7 – 12 year olds allowing for competition between school locations. Enrollment is rolling all year long, and discounts on the monthly fee apply for each additional child . Private and semi private classes are available, and a free water babies class for 3 to 6 month olds is offered. Finally, since there is no better bubble blowing role model than mom or dad (or big brother), regular one hour weekday, and weekend family free swims are also on tap.

21140 Ashburn Crossing Dr. (Ashburn, Va)
703-665-7647

7395 Lee Hwy. (Falls Church, Va)
703-348-3261

12340 Pinecrest Rd. (Reston, Va)
703 348-3261

9315 Snowden River Pkwy. (Columbia, Md)
410-983-3003

Online: goldfishswimschool.com

Photo: Joy of Dance

Dance, Dance, Dance
Joy of Motion dance studio locations in Friendship Heights, Bethesda, and on H Street downtown, may have different vibes, but all are inspired by a universal love of dance. Professionals and students, from children to adults, everyone will find their groove in age appropriate classes, and an impressive array of higher level training and performance opportunities for the most promising of ballerinas or danseurs. Take advantage of summer camp early bird pricing until March 15, many sessions culminating in shows for mom and dad at the conclusion. Classes include Broadway Jazz and just plain Jazz dance, Hip Hop I and II, and tap. Or how about a West African dance class with live drumming for your third through fifth grader? At the end of this semester, most students participate in JOYFEST, an annual Joy of Motion dance festival held in June, that is free and open to the public.

5207 Wisconsin Ave., NW
202-362-3042

7315 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 180E (lower level) (Bethesda, Md)
301-986-0016

1333 H St., NE
202-399-6763

Online: joyofmotion.org

How is your family sticking to their resolutions of getting healthy and active? Share your secrets in the comments. 

—Carolyn Ross

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