Babies have a ball at My Gym.

Babies have a ball at My Gym.

As a working dad, I often feel like I need to shoehorn fun baby activities into my schedule. This week, my wife, son, and I discovered a fun new option: the wide world of baby fitness.

When I first heard about the idea of a gym for babies and toddlers, I thought it sounded like a Saturday Night Live sketch. I pictured tiny, muscular babies lifting barbells and doing squats. But at My Gym in Huntington Station, a fitness chain that specializes in baby workouts, my 10-month-old son and I were able to spend time together and break a (minimal) sweat in a fun environment.

The gym, a membership-based service, is a great place to let a baby go wild — it’s full of toys, ramps, slides, and swings, all of which they can use with a parent’s guidance. It attracts a decidedly mixed group — couples with kids, dads with kids, moms with kids — and has instructors to provide some sense of structure. But the best thing about baby fitness is that it’s a chance to get out of the house with the little ones and let them go berserk in a fun, new setting. And you get to spend time with them and meet other parents.

Most, if not all, of my preconceptions about tot fitness were wrong. Baby gyms aren’t the kind of thing you join if you’re dead set on your kid becoming an Olympian (unless the Olympic committee adds an event for climbing up ramps and flopping into ball pits, in which case my son is headed for a gold medal). The gyms are there to provide families with a change of pace and let babies (and moms and dads) cut loose for a bit.

My Gym has three locations on Long Island — in Huntington Station, West Babylon, and Stony Brook — and one in Fresh Meadows, Queens. More information about the company is available at