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Old 31.08.2009, 11:01
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Is Gymboree any good?

Hi. I found plenty of references to this child-play-place when I did a forum search, but didn't see any reviews or critical feedback...

So my question is, is it any good? Would anyone recommend any courses in particular?

Our kid would really benefit from some stimulation and interaction with other kids etc., but it's quite expensive so I'd like to know if it's worth it.

thanks!
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Old 31.08.2009, 11:06
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

They had a free trial class when they were in Zug - so go along and decide for yourself.
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Old 31.08.2009, 11:31
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

They do allow you a free session so thats worth doing. Personally too expensive for me to consider!! You would be as well setting up playdates and playgroups for your child. Most people I talk to do a block and don't return. Go for free session and if your child really loves it and you can get over expense then it's worth doing.
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Old 31.08.2009, 11:47
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

It is expensive, but we do use the one in Basel and the kids love it. It's a global franchise, but the prices in Switzerland are apparently many multiples of the charges for Gymboree in the UK or USA. But then, that's Switzerland for you.

Bizarrely UBS produced a report recently that demonstrated that Switzerland was one of the cheapest places in the world to live, based on average salaries... but that probably belongs in another thread.
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Old 31.08.2009, 12:13
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

I used to take my 2 girls to Gymboree in Geneva on Saturday mornings when they were small (off and on between 6 months and 3 years).

Some good things:
- The kids get some exercise, do some socialising and have some fun
- You do the activities together with your kids - a good chance to bond after not seeing them much during the work week
- It's all in English
- You can make friends with the other parents, who are typically ex-pats with small kids, just like you

Some not so good things:
- Very expensive
- A bit gee-whiz American for my (British) taste

I get the impression that Gymboree is popular with first-time parents who don't really know what to do with their children and don't know many other parents (which was certainly the case with us). When you get a bit more experienced and you get to know other parents, you naturally transition into other (cheaper) activities like playdates etc.
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Old 31.08.2009, 14:11
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

I took my daughter to a couple of Gymboree classes when she was a toddler. At that time she did not go to a daycare so that was the only opportunity we found for her to interact with other children.

I think that the classes are very well organised and the staff were very committed -- it was much better than a French-speaking music playgroup which we tried last year. I do not remember it being too expensive, everything that has to do with children here is expensive anyway.

It is all very lively and colourful and children absolutely love it, and as a bonus, it is a good place to meet other English-speaking parents.

So I think that I actually have good memories from my (admittedly quite short) experience with Gymboree. Try the free class and decide for yourself.
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Old 31.08.2009, 16:10
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

A friend went to Gymboree and I did BabyGym (Vich) and we agreed that both places were overpriced for what they offered. I actually really liked the BabyGym since my child got a first French immersion situation (we took exerices and art classes), she loved the exercises but did not really bond with children, kinda did not notice them since she was only barely 2. My friend appreciated the company of other folks and English spoken, but both of us had to say it is a bit monotone. Always the same program, it varied only a tiny bit. Same songs, same scenario. Some kids appreciate it, but ours got bored with it, I think. It was a little slow, especially when the whole routine is always the same. Not much happening considering the price. So, we just do playdates now instead, cook together, play together, paint together. I was, though, really proud of being able to enroll my child, despite my crappy French, people were so patient with me and her, eventhough we don't really speak it much. So I think I benefited more than my kid, I think, arranging it, the logistics, driving there, talking to peeps in French, etc. So, I think it is also a thing to consider for the parents, a way to get more comfortable with the services offered here, more you do, more at ease you are. Even if it is "only" in English, it is a good step.
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Old 04.09.2009, 09:28
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

BTW a couple of other places worth checking out which our kids find stimulating and fun are Open Door in Gundeli and Little Blessings at Dreispitz. Both are English-speaking. There is also a playgroup up near Margarethen which we liked, but wasn't too convenient. Some gyms locally have creches, for example the Migros gym/spa at Hauwaage and Fitorama near Aeschenplatz. I haven't tried the Fitorama gym but the Migros one is just about OK but you do need to book sharply for it.
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Old 04.09.2009, 11:49
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

I thought I’d add the links to some of the info in the previous post.

Basically, I’m all for folk doing their own searches, but it seems a bit stupid that everyone who wants to check these places out has to look for the sites before they can see details. In addition, those who don’t speak German may well open up the Site for the Youth Centre in Gundeldingen first and have to try again for the children’s group.
Open Door Basel

The Little Blessings group is part of the Crossroads International Church of Basel.

This might well be the Margarethen Spielgruppe Outrage mentioned, but I’m not quite sure.

This site about Raising a Family in the Basel area I found by mistake and I think it has been mentioned on the Forum before, but as there are so many useful links, I’m putting it in here too.

If any of these links are wrong, perhaps someone could let me know and I'll have another shot at them.
Have a good weekend searching!
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Old 04.09.2009, 12:04
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

Is your kid old enough to go to MuKi turnen? (+3 yrs)

Find out from your local Turnverein what the deal is - this costs about 70chf the season (about 6 months)

It will also help with your integration with the locals.
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Old 06.02.2011, 07:38
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

Who has experience with Gymboree in Zumikon or Kilchberg? Is it worth the money?

I'm currently evaluating all the options for playgroups, German/English preferred.

Thanks
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Old 20.02.2011, 12:53
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

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Who has experience with Gymboree in Zumikon or Kilchberg? Is it worth the money?

I'm currently evaluating all the options for playgroups, German/English preferred.

Thanks
I hear mixed reports about Gymboree. They offer free trial lessons and probably best to try it out as some love it and some other people I know don't like it for various reasons. It is so subjective it is difficult to say.

I know an option for German/English playgroup and trial lessons are available in March, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I will PM you the website and if interested, you can include in your options.

Good luck in finding the right thing.

Last edited by isascott; 20.02.2011 at 13:33. Reason: corrections
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Old 20.02.2011, 12:58
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

Hello

Thanks a lot for the information.

Yes, please - I'm interested in the other playgroup you mentioned.
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Old 20.02.2011, 14:55
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

Hi
Could you pass on the info to me as well?
My 3 year old and I would appreciate it very much
Thanks
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:00
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

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I know an option for German/English playgroup and trial lessons are available in March, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I will PM you the website and if interested, you can include in your options.
I am also interested, please send me the info as well.
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:16
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

www.apple-tree.ch
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Old 20.02.2011, 16:04
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Re: Is Gymboree any good?

Thanks Armandair, I was just about to respond to this and you beat me to it : )
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