Update 3/2017: Customer service at the mall says Zoomers closed down. Sad face.
Update from SFM-Reader Jennifer left a comment that as of 5/22, these fun, ride-on animals are back at the South Hill Mall in Puyallup. They were definitely gone for a while, and their fb page hasn’t been updated since 2014, so I don’t know if they’ve returned to other locations, or if this is a different group, or…….We’ll try to find out more for you. If you get there before we do, and you have a chance to get some scoop, let us know! 5/25/2016
We give one of Henry’s pals a ride to school twice a week. A lot of the time they get into these hilarious, “Top this,” style conversations. So, when she started telling us about how she had been Riding a Stuffed Animal around the mall, I sort of thought maybe she was making it up.
Naturally, Henry was All About riding an animal around the mall, so even though I was a teensy bit skeptical, Saturday we headed off to check it out. And then, this happened….
They’re called ZOOmers , and they’re electric, plush rideables. We rode the rhino, though the stable also includes a kangaroo, a tiger, and several others. They go slowly enough that you can walk along side of one and keep up. They do really move, though, and you get to press the button to go, and move their head to steer. Henry was absolutely cracking up the entire time. He loved every minute of it.
Zoomers are the brainchild of local dad, Derek, and his business partner, who thought there ought to be a better way to handle a mall visit with kids. He tells me they’ve been an immediate hit, and I can totally vouch for that. Derek sent along some pics of some other happy riders, too. Seriously-Could these be any cuter?
Right now, they’re in the South Hill Mall, but they’re coming to one near you!
- South Hill Mall-open Now Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during mall hours.
- Kitsap Mall-opening May 15th and open Wednesdays-Sundays during mall hours
- Capitol Mall Olympia-opening two weeks after Kitsap, Wednesday-Sunday during mall hours
- Commons Federal Way-opening two weeks after Olympia, also Wednesday-Sunday during mall hours
They do hope to add the weekday openings at South Hill in June or July.
A Few Other Things to know before you go-
- Animals are rented out of mall kiosks. The one at South Hill is right before the play area.
- These have been a hit, so be prepared to have to wait. They will put you on a list and call when your animal is ready. Derek says the longest you’ll wait is 30 minutes.
- Zoomers won’t be rented out to anyone under 18, and all renters need to have a credit card and photo id. They really prefer not to rent them to teens (I’ve worked with teenagers a lot, so yeah-I get that).
- Kids need to be 5 or 6 to ride on their own, but younger kids can ride with their siblings or with you (the weight limit is 220 lbs). I rode with Henry most of the time.
- Kids do have to be able to steer and follow basic, “Road rules.” They’re not allowed in stores or the food court, and obviously, you don’t want to bump into anyone or anything.
- Animals are 10.00 for a half an hour ride or 20.00 for a full hour. If you pay with cash, there is no extra tax. If you use your plastic, they have to add in a buck or so in fees. I thought this was quite reasonable for how much fun it was for Henry, but if you have multiple kids you could get into ka ching territory pretty quickly (my oldest was waaaaay too cool for this one). Feel free to negotiate all this with your kiddos ahead of time.
- You can also rent animals out for private parties. Yeah, I’m thinking about it for my next birthday……..Who’s in?