Monday, April 03, 2006

Upstairs, Downstairs

toddler train tower
Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
As you might have guessed, Annabel has recovered from her cold and was able to spend an exciting weekend hobnobbing with her peers (which means I got a chance to hobnob with their moms).

Since Annabel was born, I've wondered whatever happened to those indoor playgrounds for toddlers that seemed to spring up in every shopping mall across the country? They all seemed to disappear once my water broke.

Well one has popped up in GLENS FALLS, and let me tell you it's FANTASTIC.

What Explore! doesn't have is the plastic feel of mass-marketed mayhem. When you are asked to take your shoes off in certain areas, you realize it's a little more like home. However this home - in addition to colorful, wainscoated walls - has a castle complete with wardrobe and dressing room; a grocery store with a better produce section than a mega store; and a restuarant-syle play kitchen that would rival any TV celeb chef's galley.

Before you say: "What's wrong with you!!! Get out in the fresh air, it's free!"

Let me tell you: Any place that offers parents an option of massage or a yoga class as well as a complementary cup of coffee while they wait for their kids to go tunneling through a two-story human gerbil habitat before careening down a twisty-turny mega slide is well worth the seemingly exorbinate cost -- $8 for tots and $4 for their respective big people. On a rainy day especially or as a once-in-a-while splurge, I'd say this place is a bargain at twice the price.

The only downside of Explore! was that my friend and I didn't have enough time to hobnob during the more than four-hour playdate. We were having too much fun going down the two-story slide with our ittybits.

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