A Grand Adventure at Woodland Hills
Callister and I got to preview the mall's new Play Area before its Grand Opening on June 1!
When my friends and I were raising children thirty years ago, we often met at Woodland Hills Mall when the weather kept us from going to the park or the zoo. We would push our toddlers in strollers, eat at the food court and then stop at a step-down area that had benches where we could sit and talk while our kids burned off energy. There were no toys, no play equipment, but at least they could be free to play inside for a little while. I’m happy to fast forward, grandson in hand, to the new, state-of-the-art play area at Woodland Hills Mall! No longer relegated to a bad-weather-alternative destination, this play area is a family friendly destination all on its own!
I lost count of how many times Callister climbed through this tunnel. The floor lights up as you crawl through.
Located on the first floor, close to Dillard’s, the play area will be open whenever the mall is open, but it is limited to children under 42 inches tall, and adult supervision is required. The area is not enclosed, so if your child is a runner, you’ll need to keep a close eye on any attempted escapes. But why would they want to leave this fun area? It’s got everything a child would want. My grandson is almost two years old and during our preview of the space, he was happy to explore and play for a solid hour. There are tunnels to climb through, mounds to step on, ramps to walk up, a slide in the shape of a leaf, and a structure that looks like an igloo to climb either in or on top. All of this is on top of what’s called “pour and play,” a substance that is somewhat forgiving, so if a child falls, chances are pretty good the injury won’t be significant. For the higher-tech crowd, there is a Quantum space monitor that has a motion sensor, transforming images into colorful art. It’s also touch sensitive, so it’s an interactive experience for the children, encouraging experimentation and discovery.
This play area is worlds beyond the average mall experience. It will be a welcome relief for shopping families to let kids stop and play and expend their energy. As a grandmother who spends a lot of time with my grandchild, I was happy to see nicely cushioned, comfortable benches placed around the play area. I can sit and take a break while he explores within my sight area. I can predict we’ll be frequent visitors to Woodland Hills new play area!
I’m calling this an igloo but I think I could be wrong. What I know for sure is Callister thought it was lots of fun!
The public is invited to the Grand Opening this Saturday, June 1, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. To celebrate the new play area there will be live music by Spaghetti Eddie, refreshments, balloon artists, face painters, a ribbon cutting, and a balloon drop. There will also be performers from Cirque Italia and Clown Rafinha performing tricks and juggling. The first 250 kids to check in will receive a swag bag provided by the mall. It’s sure to be a fun time for everyone!