We don’t know about you, but we are crying “Uncle!” on all this snow and bitter cold. Couple the weather conditions with COVID restrictions and it can be quite tricky to get kids exercising. We scoured the city in search of fitness programs for kids in locations that have implemented strict COVID cleaning and safety protocols. While we await the big thaw, browse through our list of exercise classes that range from Crossfit for kids to sports programs that come to you. And, hang in there! We’re rounding the corner to spring!
This place will make your wall-climbing kids straight-up giddy. They offer several indoor rock climbing terrains for your quests to conquer and knowledgeable instructors are there every step on their way up, up, up. Due to COVID, they have added additional staff, increased cleaning and instituted Community Health Standards to keep climbers safe.
100 S. Morgan St., West Loop; Online: brooklynboulders.com/chicago
Inspired by the TV show American Ninja Warrior, Ultimate Ninjas allows kids to get their energy out on obstacle and agility courses. Built with all ages and skill levels in mind, you'll find swinging ropes, monkey bars, climbing walls and more.
Three locations in Naperville, Libertyville and Irving Park; Online: ultimateninjas.com
Windy City Ninjas
The obstacles at Windy City Ninjas challenge wanna-be American Ninja Warriors looking to tap their fierce inner Ninja. They're currently operating at 25% capacity and parents are not allowed in the building.
Two locations in North Center and Elmhurst; Online: windycityninjas.com
After training with an instructor, your little birds will enter a vertical wind tunnel and experience the freedom of flight.
3 Chicago locations in Naperville, Rosemont and Lincoln Park; Online: iflyworld.com
Hi-Five's Housecalls allows you to gather a group of 3-10 kids for personalized 1- to 2-hour programming at a location you select. You can schedule once a week, multiple times a week or day or a one-off playdate—like a birthday party! Whatever works best for your group, Hi-Five will accommodate. Best of all, they bring all the equipment needed for a full sports experience. Top priority for Hi-Five is that your kids have fun!
At a location of your choosing; Online: hifivesportsclubs.com
The Actor's Gymnasium
The Actor's Gymnasium is letting you in on a secret—the circus is more than elephants and clowns. It's physical and mental fitness and learning to trust yourself. Their classes, which focus on juggling, stilts, ariel arts and more, help instill confidence and a sense of pride that comes along with skill mastery.
927 Noyes St., Evanston; Online: actorsgymnasium.org
In a city where “cooler by the lake” is part of the daily forecast, getting the littlest citizens swimming is a must. Get your guppies going with classes catered to them—even babies barely sitting on their own can join in on the fun. These swim schools focus on everything from playful instruction to competitive training, all properly tailored to a child’s development.
Sign the kids up for boxing and fitness classes to increase strength, stamina and build their leadership skills. They'll learn the fundamentals of a variety of martial arts, plus traditional boxing training. For kids ages 4-7, the Pee Wees program is focused on developing gross motor skills and teaching kids how to follow instructions with classes like Superhero Training, Ninja Warrior, Tumbling, Agility and more.
310 S. Racine, West Loop; Online: powgymchicago.com
Through Apr. 3, Bubbles Academy will host indoor glasses in Bubbles Garage, down the street from their normal location. There are a wide range of classes available, including Creative Movement, Bubble Ballet, Family Music & Movement and more. The garage location allows doors to remain open for airflow and space heaters will be on, but be sure to dress for chilly temps. You can also participate in virtual classes that will keep you moving at home.
2331 N. Elston, Lincoln. Park; Online: bubblesacademy.com
Windy City Strength & Conditioning
Windy City's youth programs are designed to educate kids on the importance of exercise as well as prepare their bodies and minds for optimal growth and development. Their program uses Crossfit principles and focuses on developing correct functional movement patterns that lead to enhanced sports performance and fewer injuries.
4043 N. Ravenswood, Lakeview; Online: windycitysc.com
— Maria Chambers
Featured photo: Brooklyn Boulders