Gymboree Play & Music Celebrates 40 Years of Transforming Lives Through Play

Families with children birth to 5 years are invited to join the fun

This month Gymboree Play & Music celebrates 40 years as the leader in parent and child programs around the world as well as 33 years in Northern Virginia. From May 22-June 30th attending families will be dazzled and delighted with 40 days of fun with special events and giveaways at their local Gymboree Play & Music center. In true Gymboree style, the brand is showing the world that they throw the best celebrations for families with young children. What began as a small group of moms at the forefront of the play movement, continues today as one of the most trusted resources available to help all parents understand and witness firsthand the vital impact play, music and art have on the development of the whole child during the critical first five years. Today, Gymboree Play & Music has grown into a beloved early childhood play center and program with more than 700 centers in 40 countries around the world, 8 of which are open in the Washington Metro Area with 2 more on the way.

Here’s just some of the free activities instore:

National Day of Play: on June 25th we’ll be opening our doors for all to join in the play event of the year. All Families with children from birth to 5 are welcome to drop-in for spectacular play activities, flying parachutes, blasts of bubbles, art, music, refreshments and more! Alexandria: 3:30-7:30pm; Burke: 2:30 -7:00 pm; Chantilly: 3:30-7:30pm.

Meet-Ups: These social events give parents, as well as other adult caregivers the chance to relax, laugh and connect while enjoying play with their special little one.

40th Open Gyms: a time to freely explore play at our centers, will be dialed–up with a 40th Anniversary playlist and fanfare sure to get feet moving. Join a play parade and receive a 40 bubble salute!

Raffle Giveaway: Jump in and enter to win this $150 gift basket, filled to the brim with bubbles and play products, a $40 retail gift card and a copy of the book Play It Forward by Gymboree Founder, Joan Barnes. This book is an inspiring memoir of how play & reinvention are pathways to success for women.

For more information visit us at or call 703-836-2277.

The Gymboree Play & Music History

Through its history, this pioneering brand has kept true to the core principles, first envisioned by Joan Barnes in 1976 when she sought to create what she felt was missing in her own life – a place for new moms to connect while supporting their child’s development.

In the past 40 years, the core principles have not changed. Play is even more important today than when Gymboree Play & Music started. Gymboree Play has grown from gross motor classes on weekday mornings in church basements for stay at home moms to today’s uniquely designed centers that offer inspiring spaces to explore the intellectual, physical and social development of the “whole child”. Classes now are offered 7 days a week, and some evenings and include music, art, school skills and sports. The busiest days are on weekends, as moms of young children increasingly have stayed in the workforce after giving birth. The Play Village is now a diverse co-mingling of moms, doting grandparents, and Dads. Today, Gymboree Play & Music continues to offer parents the opportunity to be a part of their child’s development in a local circle of support. For many families it’s the one time of the week they connect with each other and make memories. It’s still a “play as you are” environment, free of the judgments and expectations parents and children encounter in so many other places.

The Importance of Play Endures

In a time of increased isolation for busy parents, the ability to gather and play is not a luxury. Play research through the decades has shown that play in the first five years primes children for critical learning periods that follow. On any given day at Gymboree Play & Music classes around the world, thousands of families can be found sitting atop a parachute, talking intimately about the joys and struggles of modern parenting while helping their child learn to clap, crawl and socialize. Life-long friendships are made and sealed with a symbolic Gymboree stamp and everyone leaves a bit different then when they arrived – a bit lighter, sillier, and less alone due to the irreplaceable bonds only playing together can forge.

Why Choose Gymboree Play & Music Classes?

Play & Learn classes encourage development through play and learning with programs for children birth-through 5, each designed to support a child’s growth at each age and stage of development. We bring the best of sensory exploration to infant classes and playful problem-solving to our toddler classes. Emerging preschoolers find games, storytelling and peer-based play to stretch the body and mind. For every age and stage, it all happens at Gymboree Play & Music. Parent participation is an integral part of all classes offered. This intimate setting allows parents to meet and share information with other parents and introduce their children to new concepts, skills and playmates. New parents particularly appreciate the support that Gymboree Play & Music provides as they help their child explore.

In addition to the extensive program of classes, Gymboree Play & Music centers provide a great option for hosting birthday parties and other seasonally themed events and celebrations. A trained Gymboree Play & Music teacher leads the activities as the children and parents play, laugh and sing together.

For more information about Gymboree Play & Music, please visit or call 800.520.PLAY.

About Gymboree Play & Music – Gymboree Play & Music is the founding member of the Gymboree family of brands. Since its creation by founder Joan Barnes in 1976, Gymboree Play & Music has celebrated and encouraged the joy of childhood by creating developmentally appropriate play, music and art classes that offer kids and parents the opportunity to learn, grow and share time together.

Based on a blend of early childhood development theories complemented by 40 years of hands-on experience, Gymboree Play & Music offers a variety of programming for kids ages newborn to five, including Play & Learn classes, which encourage development from sensory exploration to playful-problem solving, music classes that enhance child development through song, dance and instruments, and art classes that inspire imagination and self-expression.

Family togetherness and parent participation is an integral part in all Gymboree Play & Music classes. Our intimate setting allows parents to meet and share information with other parents, all while introducing their kids to new experiences and skills. Classes are now available through more than 700 franchised and company-operated centers in the US and more than 40 countries around the world. Parents can find a location near them by visiting

About WF Staff

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