Posts Tagged ‘Indoor Play Spots’
Does this guy look happy or what??
This kind of happy cost us only $12 and a couple of hours at the Build It Workshop in Carlsbad where my son made his own LEGO cars and beat a couple of other kids in a LEGO race.
The last time Gage had this much fun he spent 3 hours inside the “Build & Test” room of Legoland’s Imagination Zone doing exactly the same thing he did at the Build It Workshop. Cost: $70 child’s Legoland ticket.
Build It is more than LEGOS.
I am personally excited to work with the 3d printer or watch my kids participate in one of the daily build projects.
The cost of admission to Build It is $12 per child for 2 hours of build time or $20 per child for an all day pass. Military families receive a discount of $1 per child, and there is no charge for parents or infants.
We loved Build It enough to place it in the “worth the drive” category, but we may not need to drive to Carlsbad for long. Owner Rudy Gonzalez told me he’s already looking in San Diego locations for his second workshop. Woo hoo!
If you have a budding engineer in the family, be sure to visit Build It!
1818 Marron Road, Suite 103
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
Hip Hip Hooray! It’s Gymboree Day!
Full disclosure: Gymboree is an advertiser in the print edition of The Mom’s Guide to San Diego, and my kids attend free classes at the Solana Beach location. That’s just ONE reason that I enjoy driving them from La Mesa to Gymboree in Solana Beach each week. Now here are some reasons you may like to check out that location or one of the other three San Diego Gymboree centers…
1. QUALITY: If you’re confusing “Gymboree Play & Music” with Gymboree, the children’s clothing store, you’re not alone. Both are owned by the Gymboree Corporation. Gymboree = quality and value in both clothing and classes (oh, and they have the BEST bubbles you’ve ever seen, on sale at both the clothing stores and play & music centers!) Enroll in the play program after your trial class and enjoy these Gymboree store special offers:
* 20% off coupons for Gymboree Clothing, Janie & Jack and Crazy 8
* $25 in GymBucks
* FREE Gymboree Shopping Bag
2. MOMMY & ME: Gymboree is an excellent place for mommy and me classes. We enjoyed it when Mallory was just a crawler. You’ll get music, bubbles, parachute play and as much as activity as babies and toddlers are capable of. Gymboree is bright and cheery with lots of cool (and heavily padded) structures to climb and explore. If you are looking to get out of the house with your little one, want to mingle with other moms or want to find a great playgroup weekly activity, Gymboree is a fabulous place to start. Don’t forget to take your free trial class. OR, on this article to be entered to win one free month of classes!
3. OPEN GYM! No matter their age, I don’t think there is anything a Gymboree kid likes more than “open gym,” meaning they can explore and climb to their heart’s content during the free play hour. Sit back and enjoy mom! Open gym is available several times a week and is included with membership.
4. SPORTS SKILLS: My kids are older now, so I wasn’t sure if they’d love Gymboree as much as they did as toddlers. But the Sports skills class is a real winner for kids 3-5 years. I love that my two are able to take the class together. And during the course of our membership, they’ve been introduced to golf, soccer, track and field and tennis. Not only have they had a blast, they truly picked up some skills. Each class began and ended with open play, and they loved to see the different way the gym equipment was set up every week. Ms. Amanda, their teacher, is a mom herself and most excellent with these kids. Added bonus…sports is a drop off class meaning moms get a 1 hour break. Enough time to get a pedicure next door, hit Starbucks or power shop.
5. ART: If you add the art class for ages 3-5 like I do, you get to drop your kids off for another hour and the kids get to express themselves with paint, glitter, glue and more somewhere other than your kitchen table (no clean up for you!). Every week there’s a new theme, and Ms. Rachel in Solana Beach is as sweet as can be. My kids are so proud of the many mini-masterpieces they’ve brought home.
6. SOCIALIZATION: Moms are often concerned about making sure their children are “socialized” especially if they don’t attend preschool. My kids have had a lot of opportunity to share, partner and play with other kids in their Gymboree classes. And now Gymboree even offers a “School Skills” class where they can build key social, emotional and intellectual skills. There’s art, music, science and play…sounds good. Sign us up!
If you’re looking for any of the above, simply leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered into the raffle to offered at the Solana Beach or Clairemont locations. And mark your calendar for their end of summer open house featuring the live music of HULLABALOO! We’ll be there to enjoy parachute time, bubbles, art activities and more!
Gymboree Solana Beach
End of Summer PaRtY
971C Lomas Santa Fe Drive
Sunday, August 28; 3:00-6:00pm
FREE for currently enrolled members.
$5 per family for those not enrolled.
Children under 5 only please.
Indoor Play – the Good, Bad & Sad
Last week I read that Kid Ventures is now charging parents $5 to accompany their kiddos to the indoor play land. The mommy forums are blowing up with complaints, and many are vowing to give their business to the competition; FUNbelievable, Playtown, Playwerx and Gymboree.
What was Kid Ventures’ motivation for adding a charge for parents? We asked owner Darren Solomon who shared the following:
“We believe strongly that a day at Kid Ventures is a great value. In needing to do a price increase, which we have not done in years, while all of our costs have increased every year (rent, labor, utilities, supplies etc) we felt that adding a nominal adult fee would be a good way to keep up with the rising costs while minimizing the impact on our loyal customers for the following reasons:
**since military and seniors do not pay the adult fee, they still get to benefit from the same affordable pricing where as if we raised the child fee or went to an hourly pricing model like many places, it would be a lot more costly to everyone
**we did a lot of research in the market around Southern California and did see that it was very common for places to charge an adult admission so we felt that adding a small fee for adults was in line with this.
**we have great alternatives for families who want to come to Kid Ventures and save including our membership and multi-visit punch card, which include adults at no extra fee. We don’t ask for any long term commitment (membership is month to month and the multi-visit card never expires which is a unique benefit when you compare with many other places).
**lastly, our day admission is for the entire day for kids and adults and we offer enrichment activities every half hour, in and out privileges at no extra charge and also a great, safe, clean and healthy environment that is designed with both children and adults in mind. We feel that Kid Ventures offers a lot more than just fun…we offer learning, enrichment, structured and unstructured activities and social connection. We hope that our KV families agree and of course we are always open to suggestions and feedback as ultimately we are hear for the customer and want to be around to serve families in San Diego for a very long time.
Since starting the Mom’s Guide we’ve seen numerous indoor play spots close down including two Java Mama coffee shops, two My Kids’ Clubhouse locations, two Kidville gyms, several JW Tumbles, the Royal Fairytale, Pump it Up Mira Mesa, Bears, Buddies & Toys, the Chula Vista Gymboree, My Gym and a few others that didn’t stay open long enough for us to remember their names. All of these places were reasonably priced and fun, but ever-increasing rents and the down economy undoubtedly made it hard for those small businesses to stay afloat.
So what’s the best way to enjoy some indoor fun without breaking the bank? Here are our tips . . .
1. When it’s a place you and your child love, purchase the membership. Memberships make multiple visits very affordable. Plus, if you have to leave due to crankiness, nap time or some other reason, you never feel like you didn’t get your money’s worth!
3. Get your friends together and enjoy a group rate. If you don’t see a group rate listed on the company’s website, simply call and ask for one. You’ll be surprised how often you can snag a good deal!
4. Literally, “check out” a circulating family membership from your local library to some of San Diego’s best indoor play spaces including The New Children’s Museum, the RH Fleet Science Center (Kid City is perfect for the under 5 set) and the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum. The libraries of the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego and the City of Escondido each participate.
Perhaps most importantly, be sure to give your business to the companies you would like to see stay open. Many of them are owned by parents like us who appreciate your patronage.
It’s a Gym! It’s a Playground! It’s a Spa! It’s a…
However, step inside San Diego’s most unique mommy & me play space, and you’ll quickly discover that Jungle Gym & Cafe offers as many goodies for you as it does for your kiddos.
During the hour-long instruction, I had the chance to answer emails using the Jungle Gym’s complimentary WiFi while savoring a wonderful lemon sorbet served in the biggest lemon I’d ever seen.
This afternoon the kids will enjoy a 25-minute yoga class while I kick back and catch up on my reading.
Then they will play with their classmates under the supervision of the Jungle Gym staff while my friend and I take an hour-long yoga class of our own. Adult fitness classes are offered before the Jungle Gym & Cafe’s indoor play space is open and after it closes, so the only children inside belong to the moms taking the classes.
Next week I will take advantage of their free childcare again when I get a pumpkin peel in the newly opened med-spa facilities. There’s also acupuncture and they’ll soon offer massage.
I know it sounds like I go to The Jungle Gym & Cafe to get a break from my kids and to take advantage of some mommy pampering and stress relief. That is true!
But I also have a lot of fun with my babies while we’re there playing badminton and air hockey together.
Join me at The Jungle Gym & Cafe (and spa!) this month. Any two classes are free, and I’ll cover your childcare for up to two kids. Just check out the fitness schedule and tell me which classes you’d most like to take. 5 winners will be selected this week!
San Diego is certainly known for its awesome climate, but when you’re planning your little one’s birthday, our summer weather may preclude an outdoor party. Fortunately, there are great indoor playgrounds all across the county ready to host a fantastic party for your family.
FUNbelievable Play, winner of several awards, including Red Tricycle’s best indoor playground, is a place where toddlers and pre-teens alike can have a great time AND they are offering a terrific discount on parties right now!
We’ve celebrated many birthdays in FUNbelievable’s 6,000 square foot air-conditioned play space. There is plenty of seating for adults to comfortably watch the kids run, climb, swing and slide through the mega play structure.
FUNbelievable supports our local military and first responders through “Hero Monday” with $5 entry per child for those with military, police and fire fighter I.D. They are also a valued Mom’s Guide partner, offering a terrific BOGO coupon in this year’s resource book. For more information about one of San Diego’s finest local businesses, visit funbelievableplay.com or call 619.456.2474.
See it for FREE! The New Children’s Museum
The kids and I had an excellent time at The New Children’s Museum recently and, visiting it for free, made the outing especially wonderful to me.
How did I get the three of us into the museum at no cost? I checked out a Circulating Membership through our La Mesa library, a branch of the County of San Diego library system.
New Children’s Museum circulating memberships are also available through branches of the City of San Diego library system. You check them out just as you would a book. Ask the librarian to locate one for you, and for two weeks your family will enjoy the benefits of regular museum membership including $5 parking.
FEAST is the current museum exhibition, and it’s my favorite one yet. It begins with scratch-and-sniff ripe bananas as you pass over the rainbow bridge into the museum, and continues with incredible displays and hands-on activities…
There are quite a few ways to enjoy The New Children’s Museum on a budget. The current Mom’s Guide has a buy-one-get-one admission coupon, Target sponsors the “free second Sunday” program, and there is currently a $5 happy hour admission promotion running. But, by far, the circulating membership program from county and city libraries is the best deal in town to get a “taste” of FEAST at The New Children’s Museum.
The Happiest Place in San Diego?
Gymboree Play & Music may just be the happiest place for little ones in San Diego!
With 4 convenient locations across town (out of 550 worldwide!!), many San Diego toddlers and their families experience some of the best times to be had at Gymboree. Classes are offered for children ages 0-5, and thrive on parent involvement, which is my favorite part about this program!
I took my son, Oliver, to our first free trial class when he was 4 months old. We were both hooked right away. It was the first time I had ever heard him really “belly laugh.” With a newborn at home, it is hard to know how to interact with your child, but Gymboree proves that with a few simple tools and songs, you can connect with your baby on a whole new level and see immediate results in their development. Over the following year, we moved from level 1, 2, 3 and now 4. Each one better and more engaging than the last. To this day, I still sing the Gymbo the Clown song to distract him during diaper changes!
Gymboree structures their classes in 6-month increments to closely follow and support the developmental milestones of your child.
As a member, you and your little one can attend a weekly class, and have unlimited access to the family open gym times. My favorite part…if you can’t make your class, your “make ups” never expire, and you can use them for music and/or art classes too! We always make an effort to attend our regular weekly class time since we’ve made so many great friends along the way who we enjoy seeing.
Starting at age 3, Gymboree even offers Sports Classes, which “Encourage healthy habits and a positive attitude toward physical exercise through fun and physical sports play.”
Another member (and non-member!) benefit is the option to have your child’s birthday party at one of their locations! Choose your child’s favorite theme and let Gymboree take care of the rest. Here we are at the Gymboree in Poway celebrating our friend Caleigh’s first birthday party!
Thinking about giving it a shot? You’ve got nothing but fun to loose by doing a free trial class. After that, you won’t need anyone to tell you what a great experience it is and I’m positive you’ll be hooked like we were.
And, there’s no better time than now, because there are only TWO DAYS LEFT to take advantage of this irresistible fall promotion: $359 for 6 months of play, which, if you don’t want to take out your calculator, is less than $60 per month. What a deal! Not ready to commit to a full 6 months, they’ve got a deal for that too!
The Gymboree Tip of the Week:
Is your young child struggling with separation anxiety?
Here are Gymboree’s two favorite books on the topic:
Make sure you “like” our Facebook page for additional tips from our friends at Gymboree!