Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Soft play, or what to do when the weather's bad

Scattered about the city are indoor playgrounds, called "soft play" by English speakers. Some of them are connected to shopping centers, some free-standing. You sign in your child and for a small fee the staff supervises their play while you run errands. After her initial rush of intoxication at the bright colors, Eleanor has decided she is not so fond of them unless she has a friend with her. If she's with a friend, though, she loves soft play.

Do they have these in the US too? I know about IKEA's play area drop-off, but that's it. I think it's a European thing (which explains why IKEA, which originated in Sweden, has them), but maybe I'm just clueless and they're all over the US too. Kind of a nice option for when little ones are exasperated with errands.


Ginny Wright said...

They have them around - had one at Windward Mall Kaneohe. I call them "She-She Palaces" - don't know if you remember the term "she-she".(lol)

Nathan said...

In Oregon, we are used to having rainy weather, and usually we just go to the outdoor playground in spite of the rain. It makes you stronger. However, there are a few similar "soft play" areas around. Certainly there is the typical McDonald's Playland, but we also have "The NW Kids Club" which is set up like you said. Our favorite is a place in a big warehouse that has giant slides, blow-air slides scooters, couches and lots of tables and chairs. It doubles as a pizza restaurant (and they actually have ok pizza). Rowan loves it so much she calls it "MY pizza place" (as in, "can we go to MY pizza place for lunch?")

Laura said...

We do have something like that in the Dallas area though I'd never heard of/noticed it until they started giving us passes as a library summer reading club incentive. Something about the idea is really strange to me, but I wonder if I'm just not used to it.