Take off your shoes and join the world of re-imagined play—the kind where creativity flourishes and hands-on learning through exploration blossoms into new art forms. After four years of dreaming up an open play space for all ages, Twirl founder Sabrina Cazarez made her dreams a reality in Alameda last year. If you haven’t been to Twirl you’ll want to stop in ASAP.
Instead of throwing a bunch of toys in different rooms (or even corners of the room), Twirl takes a much cleaner and inventive approach to playtime for kids under 10 in the play gallery. There’s a super fun main play structure in the center of the room with creative learning spaces surrounding it on each wall and little wall nooks offer a variety of play spaces in the open floor plan. One corner of the room is home to a bookshelf and seating area with some toddler floor toys, while other nooks are painted their own unique color and have a different imagination activity within them — Like a giant piano, LEGO build wall, astronaut ship and costume, hanging chair, restaurant, or shop. The play exhibits (as Twirl calls them) rotate out each quarter so the kiddos will never get bored. Drop-in is just $12 per kiddo (adults are free) and you can stay as long as you’d like during that time seven days a week!
The paint studio offers kids of all ages different art activities at each table, as well as a reusable materials and art supply center for kids to try their hand at anything they comes up with! The fun is fairly limitless at Twirl.
Ongoing Activities for Kids and Parents
During a normal day of Open Play, Twirl leaders periodically come out to lead Twirl Time, where they sing and dance as a group! Twirl also offers 6-week long after-school art classes for kids in grades TK-Second Grade where Twirl staff help with homework then lead an afternoon art project and offer snacks. Looking for a little time alone? Twirl has some amazing Kids Night Out happenings on Fridays with themes like Earth Day and Space. For just $35 you get to drop the kiddo off at Twirl from 5:30-8 p.m. to create, snack and play — Not bad! Twirl even has you covered from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. over Spring Break and Summer Vacation! Sabrina says they typically have about one counselor to six kids (more depending on the age of the children), and they keep the groups relatively small (awesome!). There are even drop-off weekday Zumba classes available for ages 3-8 and Baby Workshops where Twirl will help you get a fabulous baby handprint or footprint.
Sabrina lives in Alameda with her family, so she made sure that Twirl is a hub for community, not just another business. She features local artists throughout the studio, sells local goods in the Twirl shop, offers adult crafting classes, and is also open to collaborating on events like parent meetups . Kids will adore having the back party room all to themselves then letting loose on the play floor and art gallery area for their birthday, too. Twirl offers a variety of birthday party packages and add-ons. Be sure to check out the Twirl calendar for all of the upcoming community events.
1424 Park St.
Drop-In Hours: Sunday-Monday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (but check their website for early closures due to private parties)
Have you been to Twirl yet? What’s the first thing you’d do when you go?
–Shari Wargo Stamps