Seattle’s got it all, especially for families. Amazing museums, family-friendly foodie spots, coffee shops (and bars!) complete with play areas, the iconic Space Needle. Even a waterfront Ferris wheel. And now it’s getting better (is that even possible?). Welcome, PlayDate SEA! We’re so glad you’re here! With a 3,000 square foot, 3-story play structure, a full on restaurant (espresso bar plus a beer and wine list? Yes, please!), and three party rooms, the only question left is who’s going to love it more—you or your kiddos? Looks like it’s time to start planning your next mom (or dad) date!
PlayDate’s Atlantis theme playfully ties in with our maritime city (“sea” how they did that?) and makes a great backdrop for mini runners, jumpers, climbers and sliders. Your little explorers will love the twists, turns and surprises found around every corner of the colorful structure. King Triton greets little players on the first floor where they’ll find a slide, stalactite obstacles, and an air cannon range (fear not, mamas, the balls are soft and the area is under supervision to make sure play stays safe and fun). And don’t miss the EyeClick floor in the back. It’s one of two interactive gaming floors in the space, fancy features for 21st century kiddos. On the middle level, the wee ones will dig a yoga ball room and the LightSpace interactive floor. It reacts to movement by lighting up à la Saturday Night Fever (Travolta-esque white suit optional) for a truly awesome dance party. A climb through the submarine tube will take tiny mariners to the top level, where they can weave and wend their way through obstacles in search of the triple side-by-side slide. A quick slide back down and they can start all over again!
The main structure works best for kids four and over, although brave and fearless three-year olds can give it a whirl, if they’re game. Fear not, young ones, you haven’t been forgotten. PlayDate has a place for you as well! Attached to the main play structure, divided by netting, you’ll find the toddler play area. And like its big kid counterpart, it too has plenty to keep the little ones busy while big bro or sis play. Small slides, a climbing tube, wall games and soft foam figures as big as your little are all part the appeal of this pint-sized play space. And parents, you’ll love the café seating that lines this area. It’s the perfect perch to keep an eye on your littlest treasure while enjoying a leisurely latte. Remember, parents are welcome to play in the space with their tots, so plan on wearing your yoga pants, moms! And you can skip the gym after this one. You’ll get your sweat on climbing over, under and through this gigantic maze.
There’s lots to love about PlayDate’s play space, but super cool parent perks are also part of the package. Most of the space serves as a seating area for parents, and the open warehouse effect makes keeping an eye on your little monkeys a piece of cake, no matter where you’re sitting. So take a load off, order up a Stumptown espresso drink (or a glass of wine!) and catch up with your gal pal. That’s what this space is all about! Or log on to the free Wi-Fi to catch up on a few emails while the kiddos romp and play. Unlike at home, we’re pretty sure the siren call of mom being busy will fall on deaf ears here. You’ll also find flat screen TV’s surrounding the seating area, a definite don’t-miss dad bonus perfect for game day. Rekindle the bromance with your buds over a beer and the Big Game while your little ones embark on an undersea adventure just a few feet away.
PlayDate offers a full café menu, breakfast through dinner. The owners (two Portland area physicians and parents themselves) set out to create a menu that was tasty and healthy, and worthy of two thumbs-up from the little lot and their parents. Fresh salads, Panini and flatbread sandwiches are delish parent options, while kids can enjoy favorites like grilled cheese, or hummus with pita and veggies. If you’re feeding a crowd, order up a pizza. Choose from specialty pies or create your own family favorite. And the prices won’t break the bank either. Almost everything’s under $10. Remember that no outside food or drink is allowed, but they do have a water station with cups for little players. Don’t forget the sippy cup!
PlayDateSEA has 3 party rooms available for celebrations. It’s a one-stop shop for a fab (and painless) bash, since almost all of the details are handled in-house. Events are booked for 1 hour and 45 minutes, but guests can stay to play once the party ends. Each room is decorated with a hand painted, underwater-themed mural and can accommodate about 25 guests comfortably. If you’ve got a larger party in mind, two of the party rooms can easily be combined so that as many as 75 guests can help you celebrate. Food and drink is ordered straight from the café menu. All you bring is the cake! The $18 per kiddo price (with a 10 kid minimum) includes a party host, admission and clean up. It’s the perfect place to host your little one’s birthday bash, a game day party (did we mention the big screen TV’s in each room?), or maybe even a parent’s night out. Oh, the possibilities!
Good to Know
There are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your PlayDate:
1) Make sure the little ones wear their socks (or put them in the diaper bag) because they can’t play without ‘em. But don’t worry, if you forget socks at home, they can be purchased for $2.50 a pair on-site.
2) Punch cards are available for frequent players, and they offer a significant discount over weekend pricing. The 10-visit pass is just $44 for toddlers and $88 for big kids. The Royal Pass (25 visits) is $94 for toddlers and $188 for kids over 4.
3) Same day re-entry is okay. All you need is a hand-stamp or your receipt to pick up where you left off.
A Grand Celebration
Set aside some time on June 1st to explore this fabulous new play space. PlayDateSEA is celebrating their grand opening with free admission all day! The doors open at 9:00 am.
1275 Mercer Street (entrance on Yale)
Seattle, Wa 98109
Hours: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm, daily
Cost: Toddlers (3 & under) $5; Children (4 & up) $10; add $2 on weekends
Planning on checking out PlayDateSEA? Share your adventures with us in the comments section below.
–Allison Sutcliffe, words and pictures