The days are hot and the kids are climbing the walls. Now is the perfect time to pack up the pint-sized people and head on over to Billy Beez for some giant-sized fun! Billy Beez is the new 19,800-square-foot play place at Westfield Oakridge in San Jose. With something for everyone, the kids (and grown-ups, too) will have a fun-filled day of play, play, play at Billy Beez!
Get Your Slide On!
The first thing you will notice about Billy Beez is that it is huge! There are twisty slides, bumpy slides, wide slides and even a 6-across rainbow slide that will get your kids climbing and sliding. The main climbing structure is great for kids of all sizes. Toddlers can easily make their way up the padded staircases to some of the wide slides where they can slide down next to a parent. Bigger kids will enjoy climbing through the many tubes to get to the higher twisty slides.
Billions of Balls
The ball room is clearly a crowd favorite at Billy Beez. This two-story area is full of soft balls that you can stuff into tubes on the ground floor and then watch them get sucked up to the second floor. Upstairs are ball shooters where you can grab those balls that you sent up the tube and use the air guns to aim them at targets across the room. In the middle of the ball room is a ball “volcano” where kids can dump balls into the bottom and watch them get sucked up and spit out the top. So fun! Just outside of this section is tons of seating for parents looking to take a quick break from all the fun.
Fun For Toddlers Too!
The Mini Beez Area is a separate area designed for the smaller set. It has a lower climbing structure and slide, perfect for the 3 and under crew. Other favorites from this section were the bubble that you could jump on and the zipline swing. There was even a padded rolling tunnel that was slow enough to be safe for small kids but fun enough to keep them entertained for a long time.
Pretend the Day Away
Not only does Billy Beez offer a giant room full of active play equipment but it also has a great area called Honeycomb Village which is entirely devoted to pretend play. A hospital (with x-rays and doctor equipment), pizza parlor and grocery store are some of the favorites. Kids can use the mini shopping carts to buy their groceries at the store and take them to the playhouse to serve dinner. Plasma cars and road signs are set up on the road down the middle of the space. This area is great for kids 8 and under and also offers lots of seating for parents when they are not being required to play the role of patient at Honeycomb Hospital.
For those looking to celebrate their special day at Billy Beez, there are four party rooms and various packages available. You even get to have Billy himself join in the festivities! One of the packages includes pizza which is also served at the on-site Honey Café.
Billy Beez does not allow outside food into the facility but there are many options offered at the café (even some gluten-free and Kosher selections).
A great option offered by Billy Beez is their drop-off program. For $29.95 you can drop off your child aged 6 or older at Billy Beez for two hours of supervised fun! Each child is assigned to one of the play attendants (up to 5 kids per attendant) who is responsible for ensuring safe (and fun!) play while the parents are away. This program is available on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (date night!) and some weekday hours as well (contact the facility for more details).
What’s the Cost?
Some things you should note before considering the cost is that Billy Beez is open the same hours as the mall itself, so pretty much all day. In addition, your admission price gets you in-and-out privileges so that you can play for a couple of hours, go grab some food at the food court or California Pizza Kitchen and then return to Billy Beez for some afternoon fun (or even come back in the evening after toddler nap time).
Kids ages 5-17 are $19.95 and little ones through age 4 are $9.95 each. In addition, since Billy Beez tries to foster an environment where the parents will want to play too, there is also a $6.95 charge for adults ($9.95 for the second adult on the weekends). Seniors are free when they accompany a toddler or child.
The way you can save a ton is by buying one of the 10 pack passes. These passes cost $75 for a toddler and $150 for a kid over 4 and are good for 10 visits. The real deal is that they include the admission of one adult. That comes down to $7.50 plus tax per visit for a toddler and accompanying adult. That’s definitely something to consider if you plan on heading to Billy Beez frequently.
Security is a top concern at Billy Beez and they have some great safeguards in place to protect visitors. When you arrive, you and your kids are photographed together to ensure that the adult is leaving with the same kids that she arrived with. Everyone wears wristbands which are scanned along with your reusable Billy Beez card upon entering and leaving (your photo pops up on a screen so that the attendant can visually confirm your group before opening the gates to let you in or out). Nobody over age 14 is allowed into the facility without an accompanying child.
Good to Know
Socks are required for all visitors (you can purchase some when you arrive if you’ve forgotten yours). Bring your own lock to use one of the free lockers in the back by the restrooms. Shoe cubbies and stroller parking are to the left when you enter. You also might want to bring your own hand sanitizer until they get some stations set up in the facility.
Westfield Oakridge (entrance near Sears)
925 Blossom Hill Rd.
San Jose, Ca
Hours: Mon.–Thurs. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Have you visited Billy Beez? What’s your favorite feature? Let us know in the comments below!
All photos by the author.