Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting my Augusta Area Adventures Series, featuring businesses and outside spaces that are great for parents and kids! If there is a place you love to take your kids, leave a comment and you might see it featured in a weekly post!
One of the best places for kids that Zoey and I have checked out so far is The Sensory Gym! Featuring a variety of equipment for kids from ages 0-8, The Sensory Gym is a fantastic environment for kids to explore their senses in a safe, clean, friendly environment.
Zoey and I visited The Sensory Gym on a super hot afternoon when we just wanted to hang out someplace with air conditioning. We were lucky enough to have the space to ourselves for the first part of our visit. Zoey was shy at first, but soon she was crawling around the entire play space exploring and checking out all the cool ways to play!
I was especially impressed by the level of accessibility offered by The Sensory Gym. Before I was a stay at home mom, I worked in special education. There are not a lot of public play spaces designed with features for kids with special needs in mind. The little touches offered by The Sensory Gym are what make it stand out from other play spaces in the area. Timers are provided for parents or caretakers to provide transitions. Stations are separated by half walls that allow kids to play without being overwhelmed by noise or visual stimulation. One highlight of the space is a sensory room featuring places for kids to hang out and watch different lights. This is very relaxing for kids and adults!
Tyler Hunt, COTA/L, started The Sensory Gym after seeing the need for a fun accessible play space in the community. He “had worked for two outpatient pediatric OT clinics before opening the gym. The gym was inspired by the therapy I provided in that setting. There are many play spaces in the world, but not too many that focus on a sensory friendly environment for kids.”
Tyler and his staff have gone above and beyond to create a space that kids don’t want to leave. The environment is incredibly engaging for kids in a range of ages. Zoey is one, and she played independently (for the most part) for the full hour we were there. During our visit there were other children probably ranging in age from 3-6 who were also having a blast.
The Sensory Gym is a fantastic place to go on a rainy day, or when your kids just need a change of scenery. With everything from a sand table, to a trampoline, bounce house, and mini raceway, there is no way your kids are going to be bored. One of the best aspects of The Sensory Gym is that it’s a great deal! Adults always get in for free, and an hour of play starts at $8. They also have monthly memberships starting at $35, and punch cards for five visits starting at $32. They have an After School Movement Program for students through grade 2 that features staff led activities and movement based play. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 3 PM the gym is reserved for children and young adults (under 17) with behavioral or cognitive deficits.
They also are a FANTASTIC spot for birthday parties, offering two hours of private play time, paper goods, and clean up for $150 for up to 20 kids and up to 50 adults.
The Sensory Gym is one of the absolute best places in the Augusta area to take kids. I know that we’ll be frequent visitors, and I’m already planning to book the gym for Zoey’s birthday next year.
Zoey and I love to play and explore our corner of Maine. We especially love The Sensory Gym and plan to stop by as often as we can. I hope to see you there!