The Eastside is rockin’ this summer, especially since the opening of a new kids gym in Bellevue. We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym provides a space for kids of all ability levels to play and grow together through “safe sensory experiences,” and is the only kid’s gym in our area that offers this all-inclusive philosophy. If this sounds like something your kids would flip for (literally!), read on for the rockin’ details.
The 411 on This New 425 Spot
Located off Northup Way in Bellevue, the We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym franchise location was opened by parents Shirley and Martin, whose 6-year-old twin boys were diagnosed with autism at the age of two. As parents, the duo found that finding appropriate play spaces for their boys was difficult. We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym (aka We Rock) offers an all-inclusive philosophy: all children can benefit from uniquely designed sensory equipment that is specifically designed to aid children with sensory processing disorders. After speaking with other parents, the couple knew there was a real need in our community to help special needs children who could benefit from an environment like this. And for this reason and many more, they opened We Rock in Bellevue.
Types of Equipment
Located inside a large warehouse-type room, We Rock features ten specialized pieces of sensory equipment including suspended equipment with a variety of swings (carpet, hammock, swivel), crash mats and crash pillows for motor skill and strength development, a zip line with a “crash pit” filled with foam, a giant screened-in trampoline, an indoor play structure for climbing and increasing playground skills, a variety of sensory-based toys and a separate area for crafts and quiet rooms.
But best of all, the gym’s philosophy: “Finally a place where you never have to say I’m sorry™” is at the heart of this nurturing, open environment. Talking with parents at the gym, one mom reiterated how she struggled taking her daughter to “traditional” play areas and constantly felt the need to apologize. Now she has We Rock—a much-needed, safe, welcoming environment for all to play.
The Spec(trum)tacular Details
Drop-in play times, parties, camps and one-on-one care – it’s all available at We Rock for ages 2 and up. Drop-in open play rates (with adult) are $12/hour and $10 for additional siblings, with discounted passes available (see below). The gym also offers two levels of “We Rock Care” services: Respite & Break Time Care and One-to-One Attendant Care. Respite (exactly what it sounds like) is designed to provide a break for families with children with special needs, as the folks at We Rock understand how difficult it is to balance the needs of siblings, spouses and yourself. (Bonus: children without a special needs diagnosis may also use this service.) And for kiddos who require constant care or may have behavioral or safety concerns, there’s a more intensive level of support with the One-to-One Attendant Care.
With a gym full of occupational equipment, We Rock invites occupational therapists, ABA therapy, feeding specialists and other care givers to use the gym for appointments and therapy (standard rates apply for kids; adults are always free). Psst… We Rock is also earth-friendly and cleaned at the end of each day with only green products, keeping little ones healthy and safe.
Rock the Kasbah, err, Party
Planning a bash? Let We Rock’s staff help with junior’s themed party of up to 20 kids (additional kids $10/each), which includes face painting, arts and crafts, cupcake decorating and more. You can reserve the private back room for just a $100 deposit and parties range in price from $150-$250/hour (2-hour minimum) depending on the party package. Additional extras are available like balloons, popcorn and photo booth rentals, and the ability to bring in any food or beverages (minus alcohol) that you prefer. Melissa & Doug party favors are also available for purchase.
Beyond kids’ birthday parties and camps, We Rock is also available for scheduled preschool events and field trips, private play dates and character-themed parties. Or better yet, Parent’s Night Out events. Drop the kids off from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and let them enjoy play time with other kids, while you enjoy some much-needed adult time.
A Summer Program
In addition to open play, the School’s Out program is available this summer, and easy-peasy to sign up and attend. Multiple days are not required – simply pay per session. While one-on-one care is available, there’s a 4 to 1 ratio of kids/staff at most. Two time sessions are currently available throughout most of the summer: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. for $39/session – and for kids ages 2 and up. Camp activities include arts and crafts, games and free time.
Owner Shirley also hopes to add additional classes, including yoga and music experiences. Psst! If you’re a teacher and interested, let her know!
It Rocks to Give Back
Beyond providing a safe space for all kids, the gym supports the non-profit foundation My Brother Rocks the Spectrum, which helps families receive support and funding they need to attend the gym and participate in skills, classes and private therapies.
The Rock Shop
With a large retail section in the front of the gym, parents and therapists have the ability to purchase a variety of sensory-based toys at The Rock Shop. Dress up, Melissa & Doug items and assorted learning placements and tools fill the shelves and are meant to continue a child’s growth and improvement of their skills at home.
Rock Bottom Prices
Daily Open Play: $12/per child; $10/siblings
All Day Pass: $20/one day or $75 for 5 visits (all day in and out privileges)
Open Play Membership Cards (aka Punchcards):
Mini Rock – $30 for 3 visits; Rock Basic – $50 for 5 visits; Rock Gold – $100 for 12 visits
Monthly Open Play Membership Cards – Rock Platinum for $175/family (3 children maximum)
Note: During open play time, a parent or guardian must be on the premises at all times.
Save Some Green
Visit soon and take advantage of their grand opening special which consists of six visits for $50. Plus, cut down on the wait time when you arrive by registering online.
We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym
1910 132nd Ave. N.E., Suite #7
Bellevue, Wa 98005
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving & Christmas.
Have you visited We Rock? Planning to this summer? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
— Jennifer B. Davis (all photos courtesy of the writer)