Take a deep breath and repeat after us: Not all indoor play areas are germ cesspools. Kids love them. They have fun. They will not catch the Black Plague. Still not convinced? Take a look at that picture to the right. See the moms chatting, reading at a table or lounging on the couch. Wouldn’t you like that to be you?! Even for just 20 minutes?
Of course you would!
When we think of San Diego, we think of being outdoors every day of the year and while we’re lucky not to experience snow days that keep us stuck inside, San Diego does get winter rain. When your little ones are going stir crazy — and making you even crazier — head on out to one of San Diego’s cool indoor play centers, where your toddlers, preschooler and older kids can get their daily dose of physical activity. Indoor play centers are also great during the warmer summer months. The Arizona visitors may laugh at us, but there really are hot, humid days, when playing outside isn’t fun. A San Diego indoor play center is the answer.
Helllooo, gourmet coffee… goodbye, bags under the eyes. We’re talking about kids here, but what mom isn’t on board with a play center that serves up a great cup of Joe? The PlayWerx Bar offers lattes, espresso, tea and more. The FoodWerx Cafe offers healthy food, snacks and drinks for both kids and adults. Of course, you bring the kids to PlayWerx to play, so let’s talk about the giant play structure that the kids love. And if you’re a kid at heart, it’s certainly large enough for adults, too. A separate area for kids under 2 years old means you won’t have to worry about your toddler being trampled by crazy preschoolers. After running through three stories of fun for hours, your kids will sleep soundly tonight.
6060 Avenida Encinas
Your kids’ imaginations will run wild in Kid Ventures, a boutique style indoor play facility that was designed to stretch your little ones’ minds as well as their legs. The clean and organized themed rooms spark imaginative play. Or, perhaps you need a little Edutainment. No, we didn’t forget how to spell. Kid Ventures offers fun entertainment/lesson combos for the entire family. The coffee bar and free Wi-Fi are awesome features for mom, too.
Kid Ventures – Eastlake
851 Showroom Place
Chula Vista, Ca
Kid Ventures – Pacific Beach
5066 Santa Fe Street
San Diego, Ca
Take your kids to a mini-city that’s just their size at KidsVille Playtown. City features include the clinic, beauty parlor, theater with dress up costumes, jail (teach ’em what happens when they don’t stay on the straight and narrow while they’re still young!), fire station, castle, climbing wall, ride on cars and more. Whew. That was a list. Worried your baby might not be big enough for the fun? No way. Kidsville has a Babysville for the smallest of explorers. No indoor play center is complete without a a little somethin’ for Mom and Dad. Kidsville offers a snack bar and comfy couches where you can relax while you supervise your tiniest citizens.
2525 El Camino Real, Suite 200
Any business with “java” in the name grabs our attention. Java Mama Cafe is your corner coffee shop — all hopped up on caffeine. Why? Because it has a play center. That’s right — we’re talking a coffee shop with a play center inside, not the other way around. Sign us up. Kids 5 years old and under can explore an area filled with toys while you sip your latte and chat with your bestie. This isn’t your typical megasized indoor play center, but it is a wonderful alternative for mamas who need a little downtime. There’s also an outside area to enjoy on nice San Diego days.
9880 Hibert Street, Suite E3
San Diego, Ca
A fantastically designed indoor play center, WayBeyond is, well, way beyond. Winner of Red Tricycle’s Totally Awesome Awards for Best Indoor Play space in 2001, this open and bright environment will keep your kids engaged. For the germ-paranoid mamas among us (raise your hands — we won’t judge), WayBeyond has a reputation for being clean with a capital C. The play area will keep your kids physically active while improving their motor skills and giving them a great opportunity to socialize. Come prepared to be active, parents. WayBeyond expects 100 percent supervision for open play. WayBeyond also offers fitness classes for kids, divided into age groups, so check the schedule online.
4313 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite K-1
San Diego, Ca
— Laura Willard
Photo credit: PlayWerks