ESSEX — Parents of young children can bundle them up and let them rip at the “Winter Play Gym for Kids” at the Whallonsburg Grange in Essex.

“They do have a lot of programs through libraries and things to get kids out of the house, but trying to run around isn't always as easy," Sara Evans, Grange manager, said.


The Play Gym is specifically geared for ages newborn to 6 years old.

Children have to come supervised by a parent or caretaker.

“It's interactive,” Evans said.

“Gregg VanDeusen (early childhood educator at Lakeside School in Essex) supervises it. He has been doing it for the past number of years. He comes in on Friday night. He'll set up our space. He'll put down rugs and carpet and things for the kids to crawl around on. He has some tunnels and bunch of other things.”

In the basement, children can ride scooters.

“Generally, the younger children stay upstairs,” Evans said.

“It's a little chillier in the basement, but when they're using the scooters they definitely warm up.”


Play Gym will be held for six Saturdays, today until March 7, from 9:30 a.m. until noon.

“It's a way for the parents to come out with their younger children and have a recreational play space in a controlled environment that they can socialize with other parents as well as the children can socialize themselves and do things in a space that is comfortable and controlled,” Evans said.

“It's a way to get socialization, interaction and play at the same time."

The event is free, but donations are welcome.

“We are not-for-profit organization,” she said.

“We run on volunteers and donations, but then again we wanted to make this available to anyone that wants to come.”

The Grange is located at 1610, Route 22 in Essex, (corner of Whallons Bay Road).

More information is available at

Phone: 518-963-7777.


Email Robin Caudell:



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