One evening each month, Hope and Ian Cole grab their kids and head over to the Macomb Family YMCA. They settle Gemma and Griffin with friends for pizza, games and crafts, then enjoy a date night on the town.
This is Parents Night Out, an event that the whole family looks forward to — and it’s a huge perk of the Coles’ YMCA family membership. “We like to describe Parents Night Out as four hours of babysitting between our two kids that more than covers the cost of our membership,” says Hope. “Our kids love it. They have friends at the Y and it’s something they are always excited to do — and it gives us a night out once a month.”
For $89 a month — less than $3 a day — the Coles enjoy the benefits of their YMCA family membership. Here, they share the top four reasons they invest in YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit.
1. Child Watch. The Y’s popular Child Watch program is supervised workout child care available to family members at no cost. “This is one of the things that really attracted us to the YMCA because it allows us to work out and bring our kids,” Hope says. “It’s a safe environment where the kids have ownership, their own place to go at the Y. It’s not just going to the nursery while we work out. They have their own thing.”
2. Value. “Joining was an easy decision financially,” says Ian, who also serves on the board at Macomb Family YMCA. “We compared prices of other workout facilities and it doesn’t even compare. A karate or swim school has fees that are more than our Y membership alone.” The Coles also love member pricing for summer camp, youth programming and swim lessons, which makes a less-than-$3-a-day membership even more valuable.
3. Fun for the kids. Physically and socially, the Cole kids have fun while building healthy lifestyles. “There’s tremendous value in the kids programming and so many opportunities to keep our kids moving, interested and engaged,” says Hope. At summer camp, 5-year-old Griffin learned sports and sportsmanship. Three-year-old Gemma learned to make friends, say hello and participate in activities with other children. “There are always new kids coming to the Y and our kids have learned to make friends with everyone,” Ian says.
4. Building community and supporting a treasured resource. “The Y needs people to come engage and participate. It’s a tremendous resource that we can’t take for granted. It’s not just a gym membership, but a community center — and it’s important to keep the YMCA going for another 171 years,” says Ian. “We want people to be part of this community so that it will be sustainable forever.”
Hope wants young families to recognize how much the Y offers — from expert camp counselors to the warm welcome she always receives when she arrives at the Y. “I want to see the Y’s reputation updated for modern times. It’s a great place for families.”
Is your family missing out? As the cost of living rises, YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit remains committed to helping families live healthy lives at a reasonable price. Think you can’t afford a family membership? The “Y for All” program helps families with a combined annual household income of less than $49,000 belong to the Y for just $40 monthly.
“In our community, we see a lot of young parents and kids and we always tell them about the YMCA,” says Ian. “We advocate for the Y because it’s the obvious place for young families to find fitness and wellness and great value. Why not join?”
Become a family member at YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit. Visit ymcadetroit.org/ymca-membership.