Workout Help for Parents: 6 Pittsburgh Gyms With Childcare, Plus Great Gym Alternatives

Photo above by Geert Pieters via Unsplash.

We know that exercise makes everything better: it improves our physical and mental health, improves sleep, helps regulate our mood and can even extend our lives. It is also a great example for our little ones that can help them throughout their lives.

But here’s the challenge: In addition to finding the energy and time for weekly workouts, parents have to figure out who will watch their kids and how much childcare will cost while they take a spin class or lift weights. Gyms can be expensive and not always available, and many gyms don’t offer babysitting (although we love discount gyms that offer $10 memberships, even if there’s no babysitting!).

So what is the solution?

We’ve put together a list of fitness centers in the Pittsburgh region that offer childcare. (If you know of some we haven’t included, email us right here or message us on Facebook or Instagram and we’ll add them to this list.) And we’ve collected some great suggestions for training in other ways.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash.


HighPoint Fitness – Bethel Park

HighPoint Fitness offers daycare for children ages 18 months to 11 years. Parents can use the service for up to 1.5 hours at a time. Membership is not required, but with a family membership, childcare is free. Cost is $10 per visit without membership. Reservations are recommended and can be completed on the HighPoint app. Activities on offer include coloring books, building blocks and toys. Nursery hours: Monday to Saturday mornings from 8.30am to 11.30am and Monday to Thursday evenings from 5.15pm to 8.15pm

Baierl YMCA Sewickley, Sampson YMCA Monroeville and Spencer YMCA Bethel Park
The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh offers daycare at multiple locations and welcomes children ages 6 months to 11 years. Parents can use the childcare service for up to 1.5 hours at a time. The staff is also trained in first aid. Membership is not required, although there is no cost for daycare at any facility in the Greater Pittsburgh area with a membership. Without membership, there is a $5 charge for babysitting services. Mornings are the busiest times, but there is usually always room. The childcare area offers various activities such as toys, coloring books, an air hockey table and interactive toys to keep children engaged and entertained. General Childcare Hours: Monday through Friday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon (Note: Child care is not offered at all locations. Please ensure – you should consult your local office for details.)

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Oxford Athletic Club Wexford
Oxford Athletic Club welcomes children from 3 months to 13 years. Children can stay up to 2 hours at a time. A gym membership is required to access the daycare. Mornings are the busiest times and reservations are required. Once there, children can enjoy engaging activities, crafts, blocks and toys for children to enjoy. Plus, kids can bring electronic devices, crafts, or homework to keep them busy. Daycare hours: Monday to Sunday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (all ages); From Monday to Thursday evenings from 4 to 8 p.m. (18 months and 13 years only).

Photo by Yulissa Tagle on Unsplash.

Crunch Fitness North Hills/McKnight (and coming soon to Pleasant Hills)
Crunch offers childcare services for children aged 6 months to 12 years. Babysitting services are allowed for up to 2 hours per visit. Peak Results membership is required for access to free childcare, while lower cost membership packages are charged. The daycare area at the McKnight location includes a “movie theater” for children, as well as toys, play mats, coloring books and building blocks. Nursery hours: from Monday to Friday from 8 to 13 and from 16 to 20 h; Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m

LA Fitness North Hills/McKnight, Bridgeville, Southside Works, Robinson and Monroeville
LA Fitness welcomes children between the ages of 3 months and 12 years, and they can stay in the childcare space for 2 hours at a time. With a subscription, the cost is an additional $10 per month per child. For those making a direct visit, the cost is $10 per child for each visit. The busiest times are in the morning. No prior reservation required. There is a wide variety of activities for children to do, including a climbing area, toys, television, dolls and coloring books. Daycare Hours: Availability varies by location, so call ahead for details.

Burn Boot Camp Bethel Park, McMurray, Wexford, Zelienople, Robinson, Butler and Murrysville

Burn Boot Camp offers childcare for children ages 3 months to 12 years. Due to the intensity of the fitness classes, it is recommended that adults take only one 45-minute class per day, so children usually stay between 45 minutes and an hour. A subscription is required to access the children’s area, where children can play dress-up and use blocks, Legos, games and other toys. General nursery hours: Monday to Friday from 8.30am, 9.30am, 10.30am, 4.30pm and 5.30pm; Saturday at 8:30 and 9:30

*Note: Childcare is offered at all locations, but hours vary. Call your local location for more information.

What if none of these gyms are the right or right place for you? There are still plenty of options for getting in regular workouts without getting swamped by childcare costs.

Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash.


Family Fun: With the weather finally breaking, getting outside can be easier. Depending on the age of your children, you can find ways to incorporate or let them play while you train.

Local playgrounds can be a great place for adults to exercise. While the kids are climbing the jungle gym, jog around the perimeter of the playground keeping an eye on them (also chasing them around the works!). If the kids are older, try a family game of kickball, tennis, or basketball, or learn a new sport together.

Biking is another great family option with older children. You can stick to the quiet streets of your neighborhood or, if you have a car, grab a bike rack and drive to bike-friendly spots like South Park, North Park, or Hartwood Acres.

There are also several outdoor skating rinks around Pittsburgh. (Skating is a great leg-day alternative!) And there are dozens of indoor pools available year-round.

You can also make small changes, such as parking at the far end of a parking lot and walking more than usual, or taking the stairs instead of elevators, and motivate the whole family to make household chores like passing the ‘vacuum cleaner or gardening in opportunities for physical activity. Or try one of my personal favorites: create a great playlist and dance around the house. A one-hour dance party is a great workout!

And if you prefer something gentler, try some cozy cardio while your kids nap or watch TV with you.

Collaboration with other adults:

If you want to make time for exercise, you probably have friends or family members who feel the same way. Ask and make a plan with a friend or small group of friends to take turns watching the kids while others go to the gym. If you’re worried you’ll upset friends by suggesting it, try it; you’ll likely find people are glad you asked.

And if your kids are stroller-age, arrange with another parent to start practicing walking regularly on days with decent weather. While this is something you can always do alone, you’re more likely to stick to a regular schedule of long walks if you’re with someone (accountability partners are a big help). Find even just one time a week that works for everyone and promise to go even if the weather isn’t perfect!

Another option: If you’re raising your kids with a partner and haven’t been able to find time for weekly workouts, let your partner know you’d like to spend a few hours each week. Make a schedule that works, so everyone can have time to exercise.

There is no right or wrong way to move. The key is to find activities that fit your schedule and lifestyle, so you can prioritize your health and fitness goals with or without access to a traditional gym. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle. With a little dedication and creativity, you can keep up with your fitness goals amid the many demands of parenthood.

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