Chinquapin Rec Center
I had heard of this place from all my friends who lived in Alexandria. Apparently, it is a dream come true for toddlers to tumble, climb, fall, slide, bounce and generally, have a ball (no pun intended). My adventurous nature has expanded to now include playgrounds, parks, children's museums, and this infamous soft play room at the Chinquapin Recreational Center in Alexandria. On a fine fall morning, like we have been experiencing lately, my friend, Marcia and her cute bundle of joy - Aurora, met me at this place for an hour of fun.
Gracie was a bit skeptical at first, pushing around a ball or two, touching some of the toys laid out there, but it did not take her long to figure out she could not get hurt in this place, and off she went. I lost track of how many times she climbed the soft stairs and came down the slide, screaming for joy and clapping her hands.
My beautiful friend, Marcia. Adorable Aurora with a winning smile :)
Although I had lived in Alexandria for the better part of 3 years, and had taken swimming lessons (I made it to one lesson, and then was slammed with work and couldn't make it, so I still can't swim but that is another story for another day) at the Rec Center, I had never been to the Soft Play Room - not even to peek in the door. So, this was a new experience for all of us. Marcia and I had a blast watching our babies run around, roll around in the ball pit, and slide to their hearts' content. Besides the slide, the ball pit was Gracie's favorite thing to play in.
I think it was Marcia's and my favorite, too! We jumped right in there with them, took some pictures, helped them stand up and pass the balls to each other, and roll around in the pit. It was priceless to see the expressions on their faces, and watch them discover a whole new world of sensory activities.
Marcia and I were feeling pretty great about ourselves - what wonderful, awesome moms we were! Until, the playroom attendant came in and told us to not sit on anything or get in the ball pit since it was all only for the children. We were about to protest when she pointed out a sign - in bold, big letters, posted right by the ball pit that no adults were allowed. Yikes! With sheepish grins and apologizing profusely, we began to gather up our things and our children. To make matters worse, I guess we had only paid for half hour play time but were in there for almost an hour. Oh, well. Lesson learned for next time. We feigned ignorance and first timer mistakes. Despite that little hiccup, we all enjoyed ourselves in there. Just look at their faces!
Aurora was watching Gracie climb up and wanted in on this slide thing. It sure looked like fun. At least, Grace made it seem that way. When she finally got up there, she had to do a little victory dance. What cuties, these two!
A belly shirt and saggy bottom did not stop Grace and Aurora from having a wonderful time with each other.
If you are ever in the neighborhood, and have little ones who need some energy expended, swing by this place. It is $5 for every 30 minutes. And, YOU MUST WEAR SOCKS ONLY - both parent and child. They are pretty strict about that rule. I made it all the way there ( you know how long it takes to get a child ready to go somewhere), and could not get in because I did not have socks.
The kiddos enjoyed themselves, and we went outside to find some amazing weather, so we played in the park some more before we went home for nap time. Marcia is amazing and fun and I loved spending time with her, getting to know her, and experiencing this awesome soft play room. I'm glad that we have fun places such as this to visit and explore!