Gymnastics classes for kids provide a great introduction to physical fitness. Often called the "mother of all sports" for its conditioning qualities and focus on strength, balance, and flexibility, gymnastics gives kids an early athletic foundation.
Read on for 15 gymnastics classes in NYC for kids—whether you just want somewhere for little ones to get their wiggles out, or they're eyeing a future Olympic appearance. Take note: Fall is the prime time for registration. For more great classes for kids, including everything from tennis classes to karate classes and more, check out our NYC Classes for Kids Guide and Classes Directory.
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Ages 12 months to 16 years
This community institution caters to gymnasts of all ages, from tiny tumblers to competitive team members and all those in between.
Ages 3 and up
This massive sports complex offers myriad gymnastics class options. Currently, gymnastics classes start at age 3 and extend all the way up to advanced teen-level and adult classes. In addition to providing a solid foundation in gymnastics skills, Aviator also offers parkour classes under its gymnastics umbrella.
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Little kids ease into the sport with Elliott's Classes.
Ages babies and up
If you just can't wait to get your kid involved in gymnastics classes, Elliott's is the spot for you, with a FREE introductory class for newborns to 6 month olds and their parents. From there, babies (and their adults) graduate to classes designed to stimulate the muscles crawlers and early walkers use, and eventually, real gymnastics starts to happen. Classes are broken down into small age ranges to concentrate on developmentally appropriate skills. Kids then move on to the intermediate/advanced tumbling class for ages 5 and up that teaches USA Gymnastics "compulsory skills."
Chelsea Piers – Chelsea and Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Ages 2 to 16 years
Chelsea Piers' gymnastics program begins at an early age, with its Little Athletes classes introducing the basics to wee city kids. The focus here is on artistic gymnastics, and older kids can graduate to a competitive team. The equipment in this gym is ample, but the class sizes are kept small to ensure personalized attention for each budding gymnast. The gym's newest location in Prospect Heights features a huge gymnastics and parkour center with lots of class options for all ages and levels.
Ages 3 to 15 years
This area of Brooklyn is Eastern European territory, and rhythmic gymnastics is taken very seriously. The coaches here are certified masters of sport and stress that this is a "professional school," though there are separate recreational and competitive tracks and a summer camp.
Ages 9 months to 12 years
Jodi's Gym offers classes for tumblers up to students ready for team experiences in a non-competitive environment. In addition to traditional gymnastics, Jodi's offers ninja challenge classes for ages 4 to 9, which tests traditional gymnastics skills on an obstacle course.
Ages 6 months to 6 years
Kidville offers a variety of classes to test even the smallest muscles with its Big Muscles for Little Babies classes—and with multiple locations, this is often one of the more convenient options. Older kids can partake in the Big Muscle Builders classes that teach gymnastics skills through obstacle courses and tumbling tracks. Kid-sized gymnastics apparatuses provide a perfect introduction to the nuances of the sport.
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MatchPoint NYC helps kids prepare for competitive gymnastics meets.
Ages 1 and up
This tennis and fitness center also offers recreational rhythmic gymnastics classes for children as young as age 1, along with a recreational program and a more demanding competitive team that's level-based rather than age-based. At least two meets are scheduled a month, and many are out of state, requiring travel and accommodation costs.
Ages 18 months to 12 years
This facility is housed in a 2,500-square-foot gym and welcomes kids ages 10 months and older into the space to learn fundamental gymnastics skills to set them up for success in other sports down the line. Tiny Tots classes require parent participation and offer kids an opportunity to learn how to use the bars, beams, rings, and tumbling mats. Kids graduate to independent gymnastics classes at age 3.
NYC Elite – Multiple Manhattan Locations
Ages 9 months and up
With three locations in Manhattan, NYC Elite caters to gymnasts of every level. Classes for toddlers to age 5 are co-ed. Beyond that, girls and boys attend separately to hone advanced skills. Students have access to a tumble track and all the artistic Olympic apparatuses to practice.
Ages 3 months and up
Classes at Industry Gymnastics are taught by USA Gymnastics-certified coaches in a welcoming environment where all bodies are welcome. Its mission—whether you enroll in its Baby Bobcat classes, which start at 3 months, or are in its advanced classes for ages 6+—is building well-rounded, confident gymnasts. Special needs classes and sessions for gender-expansive children are also offered.
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The Wendy Hilliard Foundation trains kids from babies on up for specialized gymnastics like rhythmic and trampoline.
Ages 3 to 17 years
Founded by and named for the first African-American to represent the US in rhythmic gymnastics in international competition, the organization offers classes for kids ages 3 to 17, as well as sessions for children with special needs. Scholarships are available for those who qualify. As children progress, there are opportunities to move on to the competitive team, which competes in artistic, rhythmic, tumbling, and trampoline events. Bonus: All classes are open to girls and boys, a rarity.
YMCA – Citywide
Ages 3 to 12
Many local YMCA locations offer a variety of affordable gymnastics classes to get kids started in their knowledge of the sport and skills and build the foundation for training down the line. Check what's available this season at your local Y.
Ages 3 to 12 years
This national chain offers an early introduction to the sport with Pre-K Gymnastics starting at age 3. Kids progress into Grade School Gymnastics classes from there. Both classes build the foundation for more advanced training elsewhere.
Ages 2 1/2 months to 6 1/2 years
The NY Kids Club curriculum slowly builds budding gymnasts from novice to advanced levels following a USA Gymnastics-approved curriculum. Kids begin learning body awareness and enjoy obstacle-course-like exercises, then progress to strength- and skill-building exercises, and learn routines on the uneven bars, floor, and balance beam.
Originally published in 2014. Photos courtesy of the respective venues