I've always tried to be healthy. It's just fun for me. I've always been involved in exercise. I was a cheerleader from junior high all the way through my college years at Wayne State. I was a longtime Powerhouse gym member and even became a personal trainer. I even met my husband at the gym. After I married, my husband and I built a gym in our basement. When our children came along, we try to instill a sense of fitness in them through exercise and a proper diet. Since working out in a basement can be boring for children, I started looking at local clubs to see what could provide the most "bang for my buck" when it came to exercise for the whole family.
I didn't know a great deal about the various YMCA locations around Metro Detroit before I looked into North Oakland Family YMCA. I guess I always pictured a YMCA to be a dingy facility with dated equipment. I was wrong! The YMCA North Oakland branch is a modern, clean, and complete workout facility!
(Here's a video of the North Oakland YMCA facility to show everything it has to offer. You will see my kids in there running around. They love the "Y" and as you will see, they even enjoyed themselves while I was trying to take the video):
Indoor Track The North Oakland YMCA indoor track is on the 2nd level of the Y that's 1/8 of a mile long and gives you a nice view of the workout facility and the basketball courts from above.
Basketball The North Oakland YMCA basketball courts are impeccably clean and feature 6 seperate basketball goals. The hoops can each be raised or lowered so it's perfect for kids. I've been to the Y at all hours and have never had any problems getting staff to help to lower the hoops so my son can practice. While the basketball courts are often being used, I've never had a problem being crowded out. There is enough space for everyone! The courts are modern, brightly lit and I really like that they are highly visible because of the glass walls that surround them and the indoor track which runs along the top of the courts.
Fitness The upper level North Oakland YMCA fitness area is a fully functional gym. It includes more than enough treadmills (you'll never have to wait for one), eliptical stair machines, and numerous stationary bikes. Even during peak hours, I've never had any problems finding an open treadmill. Numerous Cybex machines can provide a full-body workout via circuit training. There are free weights and exercise machines at the Y as well, in the upper level. There are always nationally certified trainers on hand to help and there is also a FitLinxx Computerized Wellness Tracking System computer where you can log your exercise and rate your progress as you move through your own customized fitness program.
All of the North Oakland YMCA equipment is very modern and cleanliness is a priority. Each treadmill and stair machine comes equipped with it's own i-pod dock and it's own television monitor. Each TV monitor is equipped with basic cable so you can flip through over 35 channels while you melt away calories! There are TVs at the front of the gym area as well including one that has the children's area under survellience so you check on your child's well-being without leaving your machine.
Pool The North Oakland YMCA indoor pool is 10,000 square feet and features swimming lanes, shallow play area and an indoor water slide. The shallow play area has fun sprayers and large buckets of water that fill up and splash wading youngsters. I like the fact that the water temperature is always in the low-eighties. My kids always had a problem with swimming lessons at the local high school because the water was SO cold!
Safety is paramount at the North Oakland YMCA. Many lifeguards are staffed at all times and rotate shifts every few minutes. One lifeguard sits within very close proximity to the kids play area and one lifeguard monitors the swim lanes on foot never more than two feet from the water. Children aren't allowed to use the the waterslide until the lifeguards can determine they can use it safely. Before using the waterslide, each child must be able to jump into the 7 ft deep end, tread for one full minute and complete one swim lap without stopping.
Programs There are numerous North Oakland YMCA programs that are offered year-round and seasonally at the Y and the cost of the programs are discounted for members.
The three North Oakland YMCA exercise studios host a variety of programs/classes including: Zumba, kickboxing, step-aerobics, crosstraining, lo-impact aerobics, yoga, silversneakers, karate (and more).
The North Oakland YMCA gym has: adult hoops leagues, youth hoops leagues, pick up basketball, pickleball, batting cages, volleyball, various skills classes, cheerleading and tumbling classes and more.
The aquatic center at North Oakland YMCA features: Life guard training, swim lessons for 3-5 year olds, youth swim lessons, teen swim lessons, adult swim lessons, private swim, adult therapeutic water fitness, aqua boot camp, special needs swim lessons, competitive swimming and diving,
The North Oakland YMCA also has many creative groups like Wii-Fit fitness or video game groups. The YMCA also has guitar lessons and various other camps are offered seasonally. Once a month the YMCA also has a Parents Evening Out program which includes activities and movies for children under 12 while parents can enjoy a night out.
Childwatch (Families with Facility Memberships Only) Monday-Friday 8a-1p Monday, Wednesday, Friday 4:30p-8p Tue, Thursday 4:30p-8:45p Saturday 8a-1 The purpose of Child Watch is to provide parents with the opportuntiy to use the Y and know their children are being well cared for. It is designed for 6 week olds through kindergarten age. Think of it as a nursery school. It is clean and very well-staffed! There are numerous games, arts and physical things to do to keep your child occupied. You can even monitor the area via television screens in the workout facility! The staff that monitor Child Watch are much more than guardians, they participate with children and their activities. I've seen the staff in action at Child Watch, they are all very friendly and the kids adore them! I've been to other clubs which offer a children's play area and staff at those establishments are little more than zoo keepers. The staff at YMCA Oakland take great pride in caring for and entertaining children.
North Oakland YMCA Kids Club (Families with Facility Memberships Only) Mon, Wed, Fri 4:30p-8p Tue, Thurs 4:30p-8:45p Kids Club is designed for 6-10 year olds. Activities include basketball, arts and crafts. This area is also staffed under the adult supervision. Kids are encouraged to do their homework at Kids Club and staff will even help them if they need it!
Lockers Locker rooms at the North Oakland YMCA are clean and well-kept. Members must provide their own lock and lockers are provided for daily use only. The YMCA also has a family locker room for parents and their younger children. The family locker room lockers are spacious to accomodate a family's clothing. The family locker room is equipped with seperate closed door changing areas and bathrooms. These lockers are also equipped to handle the needs of any person with special needs.
Lobby The front lobby at the North Oakland YMCA doubles as a lounge. I really like the layout. It has a small cafe that features smoothies and snacks. Most clubs have this amenity but I was pleasently surprised at how well-priced their smoothies and snacks were. Coffee is free and there are some cafe tables and chairs to relax at after your workout. The lounge near the entrance of the lobby has a large-screened TV and comfortable couches.
Staff I am beyond impressed with the staff at North Oakland YMCA. They all interact well with themselves and with members and truly seem to enjoy their jobs! There are numberous staff members, trainers and lifeguards throughout the facility. You never have to search for something. They are friendly from the moment you walk through the door and are eager to help you in any phase of your visit. I've belonged to numerous clubs and I've never seen a staff so dedicated to making fitness and learning a fun, family event.
Birthday Parties North Oakland YMCA parties are two hours long. One hour for North Oakland Family YMCA pool time or gym time and one hour in the kitchen for food, cake, gifts, etc. We've tried both the pool party and the gym party. Click here for a full review of both party options as well as a photo gallery.
North Oakland YMCA Hours of Operation Monday-Friday 5:30a-10p Saturday 7a-6p Sunday 9a-6p 3378 E. Walton Blvd. Auburn Hills, 48326 248-370-9622 website
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