On a rainy day, the soft play area at your neighborhood mall can look like an oasis. Just leave your credit cards at home if you want to keep this outing frugal!
Here’s a round up of area retail stores with play spaces.
Tacoma Mall-A “Kidgit,” themed play area near the food court
South Hill Mall-Noah’s ark themed soft play area near Old Country Buffet
Super Mall Auburn-Northwest themed soft play area There is also a merry-go-round by the food court. My friend Brenda and I used to come here a lot. We’d let the kids play until Henry tried to bite someone. Then we’d do the merry go round and end with a pretzel (after a little hand sanitizer). While the play area is often Swamped, the mall itself is never crowded and easier to navigate than the biggies.
Federal Way Mall-I’ve actually never been to the play area here, but my old neighbor Joel used to take his beautiful daughter here from time to time, so I asked him for the scoop. Here’s what he had to say
It is a great distraction for a spouse to take their 2-5 year old while their significant other shops at Target or the mall. It is right outside the Target and is a large padded “train or tugboat” I can’t remember exactly… The only thing to look out for is the “older” kids jumping off of the structure and potentially landing on your little one. The “maintenance” guy enforces that the children wear socks and don’t bring or eat food in the play area. It is also nice because there are mirrors allowing you to see your kid on the other side of the play structure. Thanks, Joel!
Southcenter-Recently remodeled play area. Wins kudos from me for being next to the new, family lounge areas. A boon for any parents looking for a place to feed babies…’um…organically.
Ikea-Ball pit for kids to play in while parents shop. Children must be potty trained (thank heaven)!
Fred Meyer-Supervised kids’ play area for use while parents shop. Yes, you must remain in the store, and no, this is not your date night solution. On the other hand, if your shopping list consists of a People magazine and a pumpkin latte, I won’t tell!
Cabelas-No play area but lots to look at. Your kids can feed the fish and stare at all kinds of huge, dead animals. There is also an old-fashioned shooting gallery.
While policies vary, I personally think the soft play areas are best for kids 5 and under. It’s very hard for bigger and larger kids not to knock over the smaller ones, and you really don’t want to be the mom of that kid. Please also watch your kids while they play. When I went to research this post the first thing I found was a bunch of articles from people ranting about pint size bullies roaming wild.
Know a good one I missed? Let me know!