Some say finding a work/life balance is a myth. But you know better. Because with a little ingenuity, you’ve figured out how to bang out month-end reports or reduce your inbox to zero, while your kids romp a few feet away, at our city’s playful spots that cater to kids and parents alike. If you’re ready to pull a little work/play double duty, scroll down for eight Seattle-area spots where you can get ‘er done!
Make a date with your little monkey to get all the wiggles out at WiggleWorks Kids in Bellevue or Puyallup. This soft indoor play spot, complete with moving parts, is a toddler’s dream. And the great bar stool seating along the counter makes is a no-brainer when it comes to combining work and play for families. Each perch has a bird’s eye view of the play area, so parents can move seamlessly between their work/parent duties without too much trouble. The $10 admission for the first kiddo ($8/child after that) in Bellevue includes a wristband, so that you can grab food in the mall and then come back for more climbing, jumping and rolling around on the whimsical structures. General weekend admission is $12 for all-day play and $10 for siblings. Or buy a value pack and save 15-20% off play time. Admission to the Puyallup location is just $7.50 for all kids to come and go on the weekdays and $10 on weekends; $8 for siblings on the weekends. Give it a try; it’s a hoot!
15600 N.E. 8th St., Suite F15
Bellevue, Wa 98008
South Hill Mall
3500 S. Meridian, Suite 215
Puyallup, Wa 98373
We couldn’t think of a better name for a neighborhood sip and gab than Kaffeeclatsch, which combines the German words for “coffee” and “gossip” in celebration of traditional housewife gatherings. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a stay-at-home-parent to take advantage of the cute play area, delectable pastries and fresh-brewed coffee at this Lake City shop. Hook into their WiFi and open up your Power Point at a table near the play space to keep a close eye on the kids, as they read books, play in the kitchen and imagine prehistoric times with the many toy dinosaurs. Then, take a snack break and nibble on some difficult-to-pronounce, yet super-tasty apfeltaschen (think: apple pie wrapped in a pastry), being sure to keep an eye on the open kitchen, so you don't miss the busy bakers working with the dough. There’s plenty to keep everyone happy for a few hours here!
12513 Lake City Way N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98125
If casual work is on your to-do list, PlayHappy Café is the place to go with toddlers in tow. This mom-owned business (known in its previous life as Playdate Café) is still making play a priority at their clean, expertly organized space in Lynnwood. The eating-area counter is a great spot to set up shop and still keep a close eye on your charges, so you can send a few emails or balance your checkbook, while the wee ones explore the firehouse, ball pit or bouncy house. No outside food or drink is allowed, but they have plenty of healthy options on the menu here, including Caffe Ladro coffee, so you can keep up with your wigglers. It’s just $12 for unlimited, all-day play; $9 for siblings or crawlers; and discounted multi-visit play passes are available. Plus, there’s never a charge for adults or babes in arms. We couldn’t think of a better place to set up for a short work spurt!
4114 198th St. S.W., #3
Lynwood, Wa 98036
Nestled in the western corner of Redmond Town Center, Giggle Jungle is one of many family-friendly spots in the mall’s “kid corner” (along with Gymboree Play & Music and the mall’s outdoor sensory garden). Offering the ever-popular pink, green, blue and white motorized toys for kids under 48 inches, this hot spot also includes the dolphin carousel and climbing pyramid. Of course, there’s also the bubble pen, bouncy house area (with a slide), a small toddler area and building blocks for stacking and crashing. The Giggle Jungle allows outside food and offers free WiFi access and counters with stools, so you can drop by with kids and snacks in tow and leave with tired tots and a few items checked off your work to-do list. A win-win in our book!
Redmond Town Center
7330 164th Ave. N.E., Ste. E165
Redmond, Wa 98052
Online: gigglejungle.com or on Facebook
Hours: ., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.- 8 p.m; Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: $12/Child; $10/Sibling; Adults & Infants (under 1) Free; Punch cards: $45/five visits; $80/ten visits; group discounts available.
This kid-fave in Tacoma may not be the quietest place to work on a busy weekend. But early on a weekday, families can strike the right balance between work and play, so everyone gets things done. Release the tot lot on the jungle gym soft park, where they can climb, jump, ride and slide around the dizzying maze of activities offered here. We love that the play area is enclosed, so parents can take a seat right near the door and comfortably let their Little roam while they get down to business. And if you or your mini-me works up an appetite, order typical arcade-fare and take a break at one of the many tables just outside the play space. All this for just $7.95 per kid on a weekday ($1 more on the weekends) and less than $2 for kids two and under is pretty hard to beat. Especially when you’ve got work to do!
Insider Tip: Order your food about 15 minutes before you need it.
2310 W. Mildred St., Suite #110
Tacoma, Wa 98466
Third Place Commons
Just outside of Third Place Books’ Lake Forest Park location is the Third Place Commons, a ginormous gathering space for community members to eat, drink, watch shows and maybe even challenge one another to a game of giant chess. Parents looking to get a bit of work done will love the WiFi and munchables from local fave, Honey Bear Bakery, while toddlers will giggle with glee at the enclosed play space where they can safely play, with mom or dad perched around the half-wall, easily keeping an eye on them.
Consider breaking up the day with story time at the Lake Forest Park library (just below the bookstore) where kids can participate in toddler story time on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. or hear stories for preschoolers on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Still got some work to do? Plan to play first with the kiddos at the weekly Kaleidoscope Play and Learn (for tykes ages birth to 5) on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m.-noon before finishing up that monthly report over lunch.
Town Center at Lake Forest Park
17171 Bothell Way N.E.
Lake Forest Park, Wa 98155
Take a seat in the upstairs party room that overlooks the main play space at JuzPlay Kids in Issaquah when work calls. While you bang out emails or prepare for a presentation, your sidekick can work out her wiggles on the three-story jungle gym play area designed for kids up to 55 inches tall. After she’s climbed, slid and jumped her way around this a-mazing space, she can spend time swinging and climbing around the adjacent soft, moving play pieces that are all the rage with kids these days. But what we really love about this play space is that it’s designed for kids of all ages. Enter the JuzTots spot where the tiniest tots can crawl and climb around a giant mushroom and other soft play pieces. Plus, the two-hour play window means parents can just say “no” to work when play time’s over for the kiddos. A win-win for everyone!
1430 N.W. Mall St., Suite B
Issaquah, Wa 98027
Three floors of enclosed play structures. Tables and chairs as far as the eye can see. This downtown, indoor play space has all the makings of a great work/play spot for modern families. Be sure to bring socks (kids can’t play without them) and order food and drink early (the service takes a while), then settle in because your kids won’t want to leave this 8,000 square-foot play space. We love the 2-top tables right outside the 3 & under play area for quiet, focused work. Or find a table in the main space for more leisurely pursuits. Take advantage of the free puppet shows on Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. as extra play incentive for your littlest co-workers. Admission for an all-day play pass is $12 for kids four and up, and $8 for kids three and under on weekdays. Don't forget to check the alternate pricing on the weekends and holidays. Let’s make a date!
Insider Tip: Take advantage of free admission Mondays, after 5 p.m.
1275 Mercer St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Where do you take the kids when you’ve got a bit of work to get through? Tell others where you get it done in the comments below.