Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yet Another Idea I Missed Out On

Do you have or know a little girl? There's a brand new line of dolls out there, and I'm giving one away with my Hot Locks giveaway!


We're on spring break up by me. And the wee ones are finally at an age where the other parents are arranging massive playdates at local hangouts to get together. There were two scheduled for today.

Today, when I have a six hour doctor's appointment for Mister Man to finish up his developmental testing. Both started at 10am, which was one hour into our appointment. I left a message with one person that I'd give her a call as we left just in case they were still there.

Just before 3:30, I gave her a call. It was really hard to hear her with all the background noise, but I did catch the - Yes, we're really still here! And so we decided to go.

It was at an indoor playground that I'd seen open a few months ago and been curious about. I had first heard about an indoor playground from a friend of mine who had a friend investigating the concept. I somewhat pooh-pooh'ed it. Then I saw this one being built next to a store I frequent. It didn't look like much, but it promised healthy food and wi-fi for parents.

Then I went to ask them for a donation for our fundraiser, and I saw what they had. One wall was a two story jungle gym, with all sorts of different equipment to interest any child, including a separate area for babies. Parents could see their children from any spot in the playground, and there were plenty of tables and couches. I was intrigued.

I was even more intrigued when I heard that my friends were still there over five hours into their playdate. I asked Mister Man, and he was game, so we headed to join them.

When we walked in the door, Mister Man very excitedly told me where he was going to be sure that I saw him. He waited for me, but quite politely asked the worker where his coat and shoes went to ensure they were properly taken care of. (Really, is this my socially adept son? Cool!)

And then he went to play. I was hoping to stick around for close to two hours to get my money's worth. I wasn't sure if he'd last more than an hour before I started having to beg him to try it just a little longer.

And that's so not how it went. He went and played. He was all over the playground. He came back sweaty and looking for water. He went off to play again. He played with first graders from his school. He made new friends. He had three girls chasing him around.

Granted, he did come to me a few times with issues - once after running into the corner of a table with his hip (ouch!) and a couple times with small run-ins with other children. But he kept going back. He didn't let the little things ruin his day as he frequently does. It was simply too much fun.

And he was negotiating playing a Star Wars game of some sort when I told him it was truly time to leave. At almost 7pm, three plus hours after we arrived. He could have stayed longer, but he very politely put on his coat and shoes and waited near the exit. (Seriously, who took my child, and what did they do with him?)

The whole ride home, all he could do was talk about the really cool playground and how he wanted to go back again. And how he wanted to take Little Miss with him to show her. And the games he played.

Me? I rather enjoyed talking to my mom friends. One had brought her laptop and was enjoying the wi-fi. Having stayed over lunch, they all checked out the menu and agreed that the food was pretty decent. There were breakfast sandwiches for under $3. Quesadillas, pu-pu platters (kid friendly), real macaroni and cheese, and more. And knowing how allergic so many children are, it's absolutely a nut free zone. Did I mention the free refills on the drinks?

It was well worth the $10 admission for me. And I'm really kicking myself. We live in Chicago. Our weather is ... unpredictable. We long for healthy things to do with our children. Why on earth didn't I come up with this idea first?

Or at least I could have invented the Ped Egg. Or something!


Melisa with one S March 25, 2010 at 10:41 PM  

Don't you hate when you think of a great idea after it's already out there? Haha

Unknown Mami March 25, 2010 at 10:43 PM  

I sounds pretty awesome.

I'm sooo glad you did not invent the Ped Egg or I would have to think of gross skin flakes every time I thought of you. Yuck.

Dan March 26, 2010 at 12:00 AM  

Hind sight always trumps the forward facing kind. That is what constitutes genius - looking forward and seeing what can be.

Sounds like a fun place to spend a cozy afternoon with the snow swirling around outside.

Sherry March 26, 2010 at 8:34 AM  

How cool! We've been to a Pump It Up several times but the one you are talking about sounds different. Definitely great for inclement weather! :D

Tara R. March 26, 2010 at 8:41 AM  

That facility sounds awesome. A year-round playground, not much cooler than that for families with young kids... and free wifi for the parents? Win/win!

WeaselMomma March 26, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

This place sounds great. Maybe you could email me the info before my my kids spring break.

MaBunny March 26, 2010 at 5:06 PM  

wow, sounds like Mister Man had a great time! That is sooo good to hear. Its great you had some mom time to visit too. Hope the rest of your spring break was great.

Michelle March 26, 2010 at 9:06 PM  

Melisa - Yes. AND I have another great invention, but I'm not sharing it with anyone. It's my million dollar idea if I can get it into production!

Unknown Mami - Ok, that's a good point. Maybe I should pick a different example ;) I wouldn't want you to associate me with foot droppings.

Dan - Doesn't it though? And hey - quit mentioning that "s" word. We don't use it here anymore! Although it was 30 degrees at 11am this morning....

Sherry - Yep, this isn't Pump It Up. That one we've been to lots of times, but this wasn't blow up at all. It was more climbing and playing equipment - a new chain I think.

Tara - I know. It's brilliant - and apparently there was a waiting list to get in for awhile yesterday. Can you imagine?

WeaselMomma - Sending it to you now. It's out my way - perhaps we could meet you with Little Miss one afternoon.

Marcy - He did. Spring break was ... busy and not always fun, but it was productive and the wee ones had fun - most of the time - so it's all good!

Anonymous March 28, 2010 at 7:00 PM  

Didn't you ever go to Tunnels of Fun or Discovery Zone as a kid? Or was that after your time? ~choir bud

Anonymous March 28, 2010 at 7:01 PM  

Didn't you ever go to Tunnels of Fun or Discovery Zone as a kid? Or was that after your time? ~choir bud

septembermom March 29, 2010 at 6:48 AM  

I need one of those playgrounds around here. What a great idea! It's fun to know that you're kids are having a good time and so are you :)

Michelle April 7, 2010 at 10:49 PM  

J - I've actually never heard of Discovery Zone or Tunnels of Fun. And I think I'm afraid to ask :P Keep in mind that I didn't GROW UP here really.

Kelly - It's way cool. Apparently there are only a few in the country, but it was way fun. EVERY time we drive by it, Little Miss asks when she gets to go.

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