Monday, 6 January 2014

Blue Monday - The Indoor Playground Review

I don't think anyone who lives anywhere in the vicinity of South Western Ontario is going to protest when I say that this winter has been brutal so far.  Two major ice storms, cold weather advisories and a constant state of skating rink walking and driving conditions has made the past three weeks seem like Ground Hog Day in the worst possible way.  Today is also Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year.  We've been barely able to get the kids outside because it's been so nasty, so this weekend we decided it was time to try something new to keep the kids active and entertained.

Behold the winterized version of my playground review series, The Indoor Playground Review!  

My park review disclaimer: If you don't live in the area I hope you enjoy the pics and can use some of the ideas to inspire and explore in your own city. If you have any recommendations for great playgrounds ideally some in Toronto proper (indoor or out or new criteria I haven't thought of) please post a comment on this post or email me:

Playground Name:

3615 Laird Rd #15, Mississauga, ON (you need a car to get there, or to live close enough to walk)

There is a decent amount of parking in the lot.  The other businesses in the complex don't seem very busy on the weekend, but this could change during the week. 

Theme of Park:
Balls...of.....Fun.  Ball themed indoor playground.

$10 per child for kids 1-8 years old, kids under 1 are free when with a sibling.  (We used a coupon from the Toronto Entertainment Book that got us buy one get one free entrance).  Parents/Guardians/ Sitters (over 16) are free.  

Variety of Equipment for different ages:
This playground is open to kids aged six months to eight years old.  There is a toddler room for kids aged zero to three and the larger gym with ball pit, climbing tunnels and bigger slides geared towards older kids. The really large slides were for kids aged four and over.

Best Part(s) of the Park:
The toddler room and other equipment in the area for older kids have mini padded steps to help small ones climb.  There are bean bag chairs in the big gym (where the older kids play) for parents to supervise at a distance and unwind as well as tables with a food and drink area for nut-free snacking.  It's also a six minute drive away from Once Upon a Child Oakville if you need to stock up on any items for your little ones. 

Some of the older kids aged six to eight were bored and rough housing, throwing balls in the ball pit and racing around smaller kids in the climbing structures.  I understand that parents are there for a break, but it's not hard to see that your eight year old is whipping balls at other kids and stop them, just saying.  Another downfall would be that it would be difficult for one parent to supervise kids between the toddler and big kid gym.  

Overall Rating:
I rate this playground a 3.5/5 based on value of money and time. Molly was ready to go home after close to an hour, while Jack had a major meltdown because he didn't want to leave yet.  Maybe a section with some books or some crayons and colouring books could have kept us longer. That being said, Jack wore off a lot of energy and was able to get out and be active, which was exactly what we were all looking for.

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