What do you do with two rambunctious toddlers, during the day, in the Florida heat (helloooooo Florida, it’s officially fall, I’m going to need you to get the memo!) to keep yourself from going stir-crazy in the house? Take them out to play, of course! But outside play is still face-meltingly painful, amiright?? That’s where Play-Dates steps up to the plate. This new indoor playground in Valrico brings it all. It boasts an expansive play room with everything from a decked out train table, to dress up, to a play house-complete with grill set up, and a full kitchen and laundry station.
My first impression, upon visiting Play-Dates, was that it is open, airy, bright and clean. There are no smelly feet or stale diaper pale smells here. The owner, Laura, greeted me with a smile and welcome, went over the easy paperwork ,and admitted my chomping-at-the-bit boys right in to play. She then gave me a quick run-down of the space. I promptly took advantage of the free coffee and wifi (that’s right, moms, FREE COFFEE. Take that, Starbucks!) and plopped myself into one of the several comfy lounge chairs. The room is big enough to allow lots of kiddos to explore and play together with ease, but not so big that you feel like you’re constantly losing sight of your littles. The sight lines are clear and easy, with one smaller area designated for really little ones that keeps them out of the direct path of any toddler-hulks who might be visiting for the day. Laura also mindfully included a small snack area complete with toddler sized picnic tables, so that your always hungry munchkin (please tell me my kids aren’t the only ones who need to eat every 5 minutes??) can sit and enjoy a snack or drink that you bring with you, without worrying about them spreading cracker crumbs all around the play area.
Recently, Play-Dates was kind enough to host a private playdate for Everyday Moms that was loaded with fun and goodies, complete with a visit from Eddie Bull the mascot of Eddie Bull’s Cookie Dough, treats from The Sweet Tooth Cakery, Sugar Sun Sweets, and a goodie bag filled with treats and discounts from other local businesses. We had a great time getting together with friends old and new from this amazing group of moms.
Each weekday at Play-Dates is designated for different daily enrichment classes held at 10:30am that are free with paid admission. Laura directs the kiddos in fun activities that are easy and geared to their ages. There’s Movement Mondays, Story Tales Tuesdays, Arts/Crafts Wednesdays, Story Tales Thursdays and Fine Motor Skills Friday. More info on each day’s activity here. Our first visit was on a Friday morning and my boys – aged 3.5 years and 1.5 years both enjoyed the fun activity Laura guided them through of using their hands, or tweezers of different sizes, to sort different sized and colored pom-poms into mounted pvc pipes with corresponding colors above the pipes. I was amazed to see my 1.5 year old take interest in the activity and spend quite a bit of time playing with it.
Laura is attentive and helpful without being overbearing. She breezes around the playroom periodically picking up and putting away toys that the playful tots have discarded and cleaning off any that made their way into mouths. She manages to keep the space tidy and organized with an appearance of ease that I would love to be able to adapt in my own home, as my clean up “routine” usually involves a fair amount of yelling and gnashing of teeth (mostly my own). She also has a fun incentive for sharing photos of your little ones enjoying the space. She draws winners for a free day of play, each Friday from anyone who has posted pictures on social media and tagged Play-Dates in them. We actually won a free day of play after our first visit, SCORE!
Play-Dates also has events and offers party packages. Who doesn’t dream of a birthday party where everyone gets to play, have fun and you don’t have to clean up the mess afterward? All the info and pricing for their parties can be found here. Play-Dates is hosting a fun “Spooktacular Event” on October 14th from 5-7pm with food, music, games, crafts, trick-or-treating and a costume parade. More info and ticket information here.
Daily admission Play-Dates pricing for one-day play is as follows:
Ages 1-5 years old are $10
Ages 0-11 months are $6.25
Ages 0-5 months are FREE with a paid sibling.
First 2 adults are FREE. Additional adults are $3.25
They also offer packages including monthly and annual memberships. I know what I’m asking grandma and grandpa to get my guys for Christmas!
So, as Laura says on her website, “be sure to stop by and play for a bit. And don’t worry, we’ll clean up the mess.”