Tired of leaving your go-to indoor play place, well, tired? SkillZone, Capitol Hill’s newest kid and grown-up hangout, may be your solution to bucking “post-playdate parent exhaustion” (oh, you didn’t know, it’s a thing?). Located just two blocks from Eastern Market, the open play area, classes, parties, and drop-off services are just as much about the parent experience as they are about the kid takeaway. Check it out!
It makes a lot of sensory.
The main goal at this play place is to spark kids’ (ages 0-6) creativity and play-inspired learning without the over-excitement and stimulation that’s often found at other indoor playgrounds. The creators, who are also parents, achieve their goal with super=curated stations–think: an indoor wooden play structure, an indoor water table, and toys that require interaction and imagination. All activities and classes (i.e. sign language, baby hip hop, friendship workshop) are designed to boost development and social skills. But, kids aren’t the only ones who will learn something during their visit. The owners have sprinkled article print-outs throughout the space that detail the importance of play for parents to read while sipping their gratis java and watching the littles.
Ambiance for the win.
You know that rejuvenated feeling you get after leaving a spa? You just might get the same feeling after an afternoon spent at this play place…really! That’s because the bright, clean space plays chill music and comes with plenty of comfortable seating (with even more to come!). And for your peace of mind, there are open sight lines so that you can stay close to your younger kiddo while still keeping an eye on your older one in the next room.
Where the party people at?
Planning a birthday bash? Here you can reserve the entire space for an hour and a half (Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. or 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m.) for the birthday kid and up to 25 of their friends. Each party ($495/non-members; $395/members) is completely customize-able. Bring any food, drinks, decorations you’d like. Play your little one’s favorite music and display whatever you’d like on the big TV in the Focus Zone. Best part? The SkillZone staff does all of the setup and cleanup for you.
Parent perks for days!
Stay tuned: According to insiders, there is a parent social club in the works for SkillZone. The gist? Parents meet at SkillZone to take a cool course or meet and mingle, while the kiddos are supervised by the fun staff. Currently, SkillZone offers Date Night drop-offs every Friday where parents leave their littles to play and learn for a few hours while they explore the vibrant neighborhood.
Cost: $20 (drop-in); $89/month (1 child family membership); $109/month (2+ child family membership)
709 8th St., SE (Capitol Hill)
Open: weekdays (except Tuesdays), 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; weekends, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Have you checked out this play place? Tell us about your visit in the comments section.