If you get as excited as we do over new indoor playspaces, then get ready to do your happy dance. Discovery Playtown in Maple Valley is the newest place to spend those too-wet-to-go-out, too-cold-to-play-ball afternoons with your sidekick. It’s the talk of the town and we’ve got everything you need to know to make the most of a day there.

Discovery Playtown wide shot from FB

photo: Discovery Playtown Facebook page

Two-Sided Playspace
The 3,800-square-foot playspace, designed and owned by local parents (of three!), Ted and Beth Peterson, is naturally divided in two. On one side is the lookout tree fort, complete with a twisty slide and aerial bridge that leads to Lilliput Manor, the two-story playhouse that’s equipped with everything your little dreamer needs to keep house. There’s a gourmet kitchen, a comfy sitting room where little loafers can sit and read and even some play brushes and brooms so the tot lot can clean up too. (Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Practice makes perfect!). Outside the house there’s plenty of room to roam, for now. In the future, plan to play with build-ables and dig in the sandbox on this side of the play area. This is also where baby sibs and just-walkers can climb around in the crawler corner, a soft play area. It’s located just out of the way enough, so the big kids don’t overwhelm the Littles busy practicing steps, building with blocks and smiling at themselves in the butterfly mirrors.

Discovery playtown house and slide from FB

photo: Discovery Playtown Facebook page

Toddler Town 
On the other side is the adorable toddler town. It looks like Bedford Falls jumped off the screen and into Maple Valley and is reminiscent of the colorful storefronts at the Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett. Here, little explorers can grill up some burgers and fries at the 50’s style diner; care for sick and injured animals a the vet clinic; send mail at the local post office; play checker or shopper at the local grocery store; get dolled up at the beauty parlor; or put out fires at the Cedar Mountain Fire Station. It’s a well-thought out space that’s busy enough to keep your sidekick totally engaged for hours on end, but not so busy she’ll feel overwhelmed.

discovery playtown better post office

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Cool Toys You Won’t Find Anywhere Else
The attention to little details, like colorful flowers in window planter boxes, a working CB and blinking lights (but thankfully no siren!) on the fire truck in the center of town and realistic lights and sounds on the grocery checkout scanners add a sweet authenticity that kids and parents will both love. And the toys? Owner Beth put in lots of hours researching quality toys your sidekick probably won’t have at home, but wishes he did. You’ll find Hapa beauty boxes at Beth’s Beauty Salon and Melissa and Doug grocery items along with Lakeshore Learning cash registers at Gaffney’s Grocery and quality dress up gear that will stand up to the hours of wear they’re expected to get. Add it up all and you get a totally engaging playscape!

discovery playtown beatuy parlorphoto: Allison Sutcliffe 

When to Go
Being the newest (and only) kid on this block means everybody wants to check out Discovery Playtown. It’s busiest on the weekdays around 10 a.m., so we suggest making the trek a little later in the day, around noon or 1 p.m. when it’s quieter (thanks, lunch and nap time!). And if you really want to be in the know, follow them on Facebook to get updates on capacity and find out about upcoming events.

discovery playtown fire truck

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

How to Save
If you get the feeling you’ll be spending lots of time at this indoor wonderland, consider purchasing a 5-admission ($45) or 10-admission ($80) punch card to save some green. Or get extra privileges with a family membership, like early access on Saturday mornings and discounts on party packages and special events. Families can commit to three, six or twelve months of membership and pay a one-time $15 fee.

Discovery Playtown house

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Book a Bash
It’s no surprise that dates are filling up fast for birthday parties at Discovery Playtown. Their packages make throwing a memorable bash super simple. They provide a party room (for the whole party time!), a coordinator, PDF invites, balloons and color-coordinated paper products, which means one less thing you have to remember. What more could a busy parent ask for? Plus, three different party packages makes finding one that fits your budget and vision a cinch!

discovery playtown diner

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

The Open Play Package ($179-$199) starts with 12 kiddos and 90 minutes of playtime while Discovery Playtown is open to the public. And additional partiers can be added for $8 each, up to 20 guests. If you want the space to yourself, try the Semi-Private Party ($289), available on the weekends. It includes 16 guests, with room to scooch that number up to 20 for an extra $10 per kiddo and two hours in one of the two party rooms. Or consider booking a totally Private Party ($399) on the weekend, so 20 besties can take over the whole space for two hours. Our favorite part of any party package you choose is that the birthday star takes on the role of Playtown’s Mayor, complete with a ticker tape parade to celebrate. Party on!

Playtown animal hospital

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

What to Bring
1. Unlike lots of indoor playspaces, this is a shoes-on kind of place. There are some wooden surfaces to climb on, so think rubber soles when you’re choosing just the right footwear for your sidekick.

2. Outside food and drink is fine at Discovery Playtown. In fact, they’ve got a few tables, chairs and highchairs for families to use when little players need a snack break. And if you didn’t pack quite enough (playing here is a serious calorie burner!), there’s a small selection of snacks and drinks for purchase. We also spotted MOD Pizza and a froyo place close by in case something a little more substantial is needed or your sweet tooth kicks in.

3. Everyone needs a waiver to play. You can fill it out online before you get there or take a few quick minutes to jot down important deets in person once you arrive. Our recommendation? Do it online if you can, since it’ll be hard to hold your mini me back once he or she sees this awesome space. And once it’s done, it’s done; Discovery Playtown keeps it on file.

Discovery Playtown
26545 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Rd. S.E., Suite K-150
Maple Valley, Wa 98038
425-437-0001
Online: discoveryplaytown.com or on Facebook

Cost: $10/first child; $8/additional sibling; 12 months & under and adults Free
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. for ages 8 & under, 2 p.m.-6 p.m. for ages 10 & under; Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for members 8 & under, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. for 8 & under.

Do you plan to visit Discovery Playtown? Have you already been? Tell us about your experience in the Comments below.

— Allison Sutcliffe