In case you haven’t noticed, I love me a good deal. And not just because I get things for a discount, but because they also get me to try new things. Sometimes it turns out to be a waste (albeit a discounted one), but more often it works out in my favor, and I discover new experiences that enhance my — and my family’s — life.
One of these very deals came from LivingSocial’s Family Edition a few weeks ago. It was an offer for a one-month membership to Great Kids Village. Even though I had mentioned the indoor play space here on the blog several times, I had yet to take the kids and wanted to check it out for myself. So, of course, I jumped at the deal and relished the timing — both the cold and winter break would have me looking for more indoor activities to keep the kids entertained. There are two GKV locations, one on Silver Spring, newly located in the former Mayorga Coffee space, and one in Columbia that I hear is much larger.
We finally put our deal to use last week when we headed to the Silver Spring venue for a morning (and early afternoon) of play. From the moment we walked in, it looked promising. It was like gravity pulled the kids straight to the rock climbing apparatus in the middle of the room; they were scrambling up it immediately, no cares that their coats and hats were still on. I took the opportunity to register, which was a quick and easy process, even with the LivingSocial deal — the staff gave me a rundown on what the membership entailed and promised a receipt would be emailed to me within minutes (which it was).
With sign-in stamps on our hands and outerwear finally shed, the kids began to explore more play areas. The whole place is actually one really big room, with various kinds of play in different areas. There is a stage, which holds a dress-up and music area, along with open space where kids can dance. Nearby is a “rollercoaster,” a small plastic car that zips down a ramp for a mini thrill. In another area is a small play structure that kids can climb on, slide down, and pretend to drive. Next to that is a grocery section with mini shopping carts and play food items. Continue on from there, and you’ll come to the art center, where kids can color, do stickers, and other small crafts. Around the corner is a reading nook, a big doll house, and more toys. The train section was also very popular, with a train table, Thomas tent, and other locomotive fun. Both of my kids happily played in every part of the place.
But it’s not all DIY at Great Kids Village. At 11:30, the staff hosted “playgroup” and invited anyone who wanted to participate to an open area by the stage where they had a song and dance session. A bunch of kids joined in, including mine, and the staff led them through a good half-hour of musical fun. They boogied down, danced a couple of loops around the space, then got the crowd amped with some parachute fun. It was definitely a highlight for my little rug-cutters.
We followed the dance session with more play, then wound down our visit with lunch in the cafe. I brought food from home, as I wasn’t sure what they offered, and it turned out to be a good move; they only had drinks and some small snacks, but there are plans to offer more lunch choices soon (the Columbia location already has a regular cafe menu).
I should mention that, along with open play, Great Kids Village also offers all kinds of classes for children of various ages. They also host parties, with several different options available.
Needless to say, we will be going back. Even after the deal expires.
If you want to see for yourself what Great Kids Village is all about, check out this deal from Mamapedia: $12 for One All-Day Child Admission plus $10 Credit at the Café or Toy Store at Great Kids Village ($25 Value). It applies to both locations, though expiration dates are different for each.
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