PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2015 and while it should still give you a good overview of the experience, it is also possible that it may contain some outdated information. Please check their website for the most current information, especially about things like schedules and pricing. If you notice something in this post that needs to be updated, please feel free to leave a comment with the updated information, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to make the updates. Hey, it takes a village, right? 🙂
Thank you to PlayStrong for providing me with complimentary access to the open play program. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
Hello everyone! I’m finally back from my two week blogging break (yay!) and ready to share my latest outing with you.
I know you are cold — wait, correction — I know you are absolutely FREEZING and ready to find a great indoor spot where the kids can play. Well don’t fret, I’ve got your next outing planned.
The destination I’m sharing today is an indoor playground located in Simsbury, Connecticut called PlayStrong. This fitness studio mainly offers classes including: acrofitness, hip hop, zumba, and tumbling, but about a year ago they started offering an open playtime a few days a week for kids ages 5 and under. The studio itself is located inside the huge International Skating Center of Connecticut building in Simsbury and offers the open play session three times a week on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:00 am – noon. During that time kids — ages crawling to 5 years old — can have a chance to climb, bounce, and explore to their heart’s content and the best news is that this outing is reasonably priced at just $5 per child.
But before I get to all the details, I wanted to put in a quick plug for one of our social media channels, our Facebook page. For those that follow us on Facebook, you most likely already know about PlayStrong and perhaps have even had an opportunity to visit. That is because I actually visited this venue back in early December and knew that I wouldn’t be doing a post about it until after the holiday break. But instead of holding onto this exciting indoor play information, I shared a lot of pictures and the basic details on our Facebook page right after my visit. So if you want to be “in the know” about new places we discover, make sure you are following us on Facebook. Actually, why don’t you take a minute now, jump over to our Facebook page, “like” the page, and then come back here to finish reading my awesome post (of course!).
Sweetheart and I planned our visit for a Friday morning in early December. It would actually be my second time visiting as my first was with all three kids in tow for a Saturday morning session. Since it is pretty much impossible for me to take pictures AND keep an eye on everyone, a return visit was definitely in order.
So here it is, The International Skating Center of Connecticut located right off of Hopmeadow Road in Simsbury.
As I mentioned previously, PlayStrong is located on the second floor of this building so we took the elevator (located across from the check-in desk) up one floor.
When we got off the elevator, we turned left, went through a set of double doors and then made our way down the hall towards the PlayStrong sign.
Along the way, we passed the restrooms (located off of the same main hallway) and, of course, Sweetheart wanted to make a quick pit stop.
Next step was to get our shoes and outerwear off and find a spot for them in the lobby area. These days Sweetheart is a pro with this step and before I knew it her shoes and jacket were off and she was heading inside the studio.
Sweetheart made a bee-line to the bounce house while I snapped a few pictures of the studio area. The space was great. It was filled with activities for a variety of ages and it was a confined space with only one main entrance so you could easily keep an eye on your little one while maybe even getting a chance to have a nice chat with one of the other moms in the room.
One of the cool things about this space was that one entire side was covered in windows which overlooked the skating rink. That in itself was great entertainment for the kids.
But that was definitely not all this space had to offer. There was a whole section filled with climbing and swinging equipment (note that this is a no sock zone).
And there were tons of other things to keep all of the little ones entertained.
Isn’t she the cutest?
How do you like her latest hairdo? I saw this and just kept saying “Don’t come near me Sweetheart”. I mean, I didn’t want her shocking me (insert Mother of the Year Award).
Both mornings we visited PlayStrong the kids were happy to stay for the full two hours and play but they really only needed about an hour to get out all of their pent up energy. For my outing with Sweetheart we arrived right at 10:00 am and actually left around 11:30. I wanted to scoot out a little early so that we could grab lunch at one of the nearby restaurants before heading home. Our restaurant of choice that day was Harvest Cafe and Bakery, located right across Hopmeadow Street.
So we had an hour and a half of playing, jumping, and climbing followed by a yummy lunch. It was a busy morning for my little two year old and she was happy to fall asleep in the car on our way home.
So all in all I would highly recommend PlayStrong’s open play session for the next time you need an indoor spot for the younger crew. Why not plan a meetup there this weekend?
Located on the second floor of The International Skating Center of Connecticut
UPDATE: As of April 11, 2015 the open play at Playstrong is closed for the season. They will start the program again when the chilly weather returns.
Playstrong is currently open for the open play session from:
- 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday
They also offer a variety of other acrofitness classes and other programming throughout the week.
- $5 per child
- Babies and adults are free
- Stroller Friendly: YES. There is a stroller parking area located right inside the studio door.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: YES. Coffee with a lid can be enjoyed in the play area.
- Restroom: YES. It is located in the main hallway.
- Baby Changing Station: I did not see one.
- Parking: YES. Free parking right outside the building in a parking lot.
- Food for Sale: There were vending machines and a snack bar located on the main floor of the ice skating rink. The snack bar typically opens at noon, but it isn’t open on a consistent schedule.
- Outside Food Allowed: Yes. Kids can enjoy snacks in the lobby area. Drinks with a lid can be enjoyed in the play area.
- Cash Required: NO. Credit cards are accepted but there is a minimum purchase requirement. The minimum is $10. If you have one child participating and need to use a card, they will just charge your card $10 and give you $5 back in cash.
- Dress Code: Shoes are not allowed in the play area and socks must be removed to use some of the equipment.
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES.
- Discounts: YES. You can purchase a punch card which will give you 6 visits for $25.
- The open play session is for crawlers up to age 5 years old
- This destination offers great birthday packages.
- Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – The state’s only free-standing hospital that offers comprehensive, world-class health care to children. Based in Hartford, Connecticut Children’s also provides services at several locations throughout the state.
- Family Dental Practice of Bloomfield – Located in Bloomfield, this dental practice offers Family Dental Care, Invisalign, Cosmetic Dentistry, and IV Sedation. Visit their calm, convenient location with a friendly staff and state of the art technology. Kids are welcome!
- The Independent Day School – Located on a rural campus in Middlefield, CT this private pre-school, elementary and middle school serves families from over 20 communities.
- Mandell JCC – The Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT, welcomes and serves families and individuals of all ages, stages, backgrounds and faiths. Our fitness, wellness and recreation, arts and culture, camp, early childhood education programs, classes, clubs and services are open to all. You Belong Here!
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