3 Reasons to Avoid Indoor Playspaces

indoor playspace problemsOne of the biggest fears of parents of active toddlers is the bad weather weekend or holiday break. If you can't run that kid around outdoors, he's going to start bouncing off the walls -- and fast. Which is why I'm a big fan of the indoor play space. Especially since there are two super cute ones very close to my house.

My kids love them, I can (sometimes) sit down for a minute, enjoy a cup of coffee, and if the gods are smiling down on me -- even plug in my laptop and get some work done. Even though I've had some hugely awesome experiences with the indoor play space, having spent more time than usual at them recently, I'm realizing there's a dark side to these houses of fun.


1. The Cost

When it dawned on me that I was shelling out close to $20 for an hour or two of entertainment, I realized I could have gone to the mall for free. Or for the cost of Pinkberry, perhaps. But when I called up a few play spaces to see how much it would cost for a birthday party and discovered my options started around $600 for a very small amount of kids and went up to $2,000, I realized what a racket this whole indoor play space situation really is. I mean, two grand for a kid party? What are they (organically) smoking?

2. The Germs

It doesn't matter if the wall decals are amazing and you want to emulate the woodland creature theme in your own home, they're still covered with germs. Every virus, cold, flu, polio microbe that exists in your town will find its way to the play space -- and into your child's sinus cavities.

3. It's just not as cool as you think it is

The main differences between a terrifying trip to Chuck E. Cheese's and a brand spanking new indoor play space comes down to design and quality of snacks. Sure these things may be important aesthetically, for your health and environmentally; but at the end of the day, you're in a closed in space breathing recycled air where grubby hands have tainted every surface that exists. Why not spend less at Chuck E. and have a cheap toy prize to show for it?

Do you spend a lot of time, and money, at indoor play spaces?


Image via D'Arcy Norman/Flickr

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