If there’s ever a time to encourage kids to climb up the walls, it’s during a Parkour class at The Playground Gym. For the past seven years, this brightly-colored gym on NE Grand has been keeping Portland kids happy and active with their outstanding and innovative classes. Now they’ve just opened up a second location in North PDX. Read on to find out why we’re doing backflips about this new play spot and why you will, too!

The Playground Gym interior

Photo by The Playground Gym

The Gym
“Have More Fun!” is common lingo at The Playground Gym, and when you step inside, you quickly understand why. Aside from creating Portland’s very first Parkour program, The Playground Gym offers martial arts, spring break and summer camps, birthday parties, open play times, Parents’ Night Out events and an assortment of wildly fun gym classes for your tumbling tots. Now, Portland families can double their fun with the grand opening of The Playground Gym’s much-anticipated second location on North Lombard.

At just over 3,600 square feet, the new gym location is almost double the size of the original spot, with tons of room for energetic kids to run, jump and roll in two separate areas. The dedicated Parkour room in the new Lombard gym offers plenty of specially designed scaffolding and obstacles so that kids can literally climb the walls while perfecting their skills. The second area offers a roomy padded gym for Jiu Jitsu, Open Play sessions and engaging classes for smaller children, such as the popular Rockers and Explorers classes. Parents can enjoy watching classes from the open lobby, or can take a seat at one of the high counters to use wifi and catch up on some work. Upbeat soundtracks play during classes, and coaches are skilled and enthusiastic about the classes they teach. The Playground Gym’s space on Lombard has dedicated parking as well as additional on-street parking in the neighborhood. The addition of an adjacent outdoor space will be put to use for camps and outdoor birthday parties, and the new gym also offers Saturday classes to get your weekends moving.

The Playground Gym parkour room

Photo by The Playground Gym

How it Works
With a free trial class for all new members, there’s no reason for your little tumblers to miss out on The Playground Gym’s inspiring menu of offerings! Kids can learn skills and build confidence in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class or let out some energy while developing coordination in the playful Rockers class. Your junior clowns and acrobats can even showcase their skills in the creative and theatrical Circus Arts classes. If the thought of defying gravity is more appealing, the wall runs, spins and vaults in any of the popular Parkour classes will keep kids happily moving while simultaneously learning to navigate obstacles efficiently and express their own style. (Teen and adult classes are in the works, too!)

Totally loved the free trial class and ready to sign up? Fees are $59/month for one class per week, or $79/month for two classes per week. Additional family members receive a 20% discount on their monthly fees. Space permitting, classes can also be taken on a drop-in basis. Membership includes one free monthly Open Play, and can be cancelled with a 20-day notice.

Open Plays are the perfect time to explore the gym’s mats and equipment, build an obstacle course or make some new friends while having fun. The drop-in fee is $8 for the first child, $12 for two children, and $3 for each additional child. (Parents must stay on premises, and joining in the play is encouraged!) Play time is open to 1-12 year olds and is capped at 25 children to keep the play space safe and enjoyable. Open Plays happen frequently throughout the week, but change seasonally, so check the website for the latest schedule.

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photo: The Playground Gym

Summer Camps Galore
This summer, the kids can have an unforgettable experience in any of The Playground Gym’s sought-after summer camps. Besides week-long Jiu Jitsu, Parkour and Circus camps, kids can explore the city of Portland during the field trip-based PDX Adventure camp. Want to try a little bit of everything? Dream Camp combines the best of The Playground Gym’s curriculum into one dynamic week full of fun.

Camps are for kids ages 5-13 and sell out extremely quickly, so register early to get in on the action. Along with skill building, open play time and group games, camps also include arts and crafts, field trips and breaks for snacks and lunch. Full weeks of camp are $135 for a half-day option, and $215 for full day. Individual days cost $40 for a half-day and $60 for full. Camp sessions run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for full days. Half day time options are 9 a.m.- noon or 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aftercare is available for $20/day. To check camp schedules and register, visit The Playground Gym’s website.

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photo: The Playground Gym

Kids Play, Parents Relax!
Don’t have a sitter for date night? You’ll love the Parents’ Night Out evenings at The Playground Gym. Kids 5-12 will have a rockin’ evening playing games, enjoying open gym time, eating pizza and watching a movie. Parents can relax and catch dinner or a flick knowing that the kids are safe and having a blast. The cost is just $20/child and $15 for each additional child for kids enrolled in classes at The Playground Gym. For non-members, the price is $26/child and $18 for each additional child. Kids can be dropped off at 6:30 p.m. and picked up any time before 10 p.m.

Parents’ Night Out happens the second Friday of every month at the North Lombard location, and the last Friday of every month at the Northeast location. Pre-registration is required. After the kids go once, they’ll be begging you to go on more date nights, so start booking those dinner reservations.

Let’s Celebrate!
Everyone loves a party! If you’re looking for a birthday that your child won’t stop talking about, The Playground Gym has you covered with a party package that everyone will flip for. Private birthday parties last for 1 hour and 45 minutes and include up to 12 kids. (Additional children can be added for $3.50/child, up to 30 children). Parties include an hour and 25 minutes of fun coach-led activities on the mats, as well as 20 minutes for food and gifts. Tables, chairs, tablecloths and cleanup are included in the party price, which starts at $190. As if that’s not tempting enough, you can sweeten your party even more with one of The Playground Gym’s delicious cupcake packages from Hungry Heart Cupcakes.

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The Playground Gym North
5215 N. Lombard St., Stes. 3 & 4
503-894-8503

The Playground Gym Northeast
505 NE Grand Ave.
503-235-7529

Online: theplaygroundgym.com

Have you been to The Playground Gym’s new location? What was your favorite camp or class? Let us know in the comments below!

—Anna Doogan