The great indoors

 

Gymboree, a provider of play and music classes for under-sixes, has found a silver lining to the black clouds of recession.

“We’ve opened four new centres in the past few months because we’ve been able to secure reduced rents in prime locations,” says Susan Gilmore, owner of Gymboree Ireland, the Irish franchise of a worldwide early childhood play centre. The new Gymboree centres are at the Fairyhouse Racecourse, Rathoath, Co Meath, Manor Mills shopping centre, Maynooth, Co Kildare, City West shopping centre, Dublin, and Scotch Hall shopping centre, Drogheda, Co Louth.

The locations in shopping centres and industrial warehouses might not appeal to everyone but the hour-long music, art and physical-activity classes provide parents and their young charges with a welcome respite from wet mornings at home alone. www.playandmusic.ie or 1890-918500. Admission is based on monthly membership of €35 per child. To try out any Gymboree centre for free, just pop along with this article. Sylvia Thompson