Indoor play centers are always a great way to burn off toddler energy during the winter months, and even the rainy fall and spring days. There is something about toddlers needing to climb, bounce, jump, and run all the time. When you’re stuck in the house, that’s the last thing you want them doing (my poor couch has no springs left)! So, we love indoor play centers in this house! And while they seem to be everywhere these days, one of my favorites in the area is located in Simsbury, Connecticut: the PlayStrong PlayGround .
The PlayStrong Playground runs seasonally during the school year (usually during the colder months). They offer a two hour open play on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The PlayGround is part of the PlayStrong Group, which also includes a gymnastics center, Acrofitness. They offer a number of classes throughout the year for children ages 2 and up. PlayStrong is located on Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, and can be found on the upper level of the the International Skating Center of Connecticut.
(from Google Maps)
The skating center is located down a small drive off Hopmeadow. You can’t really miss the building, it’s pretty huge! There is a ton of parking located right in the front. We visited on a pretty dreary day, as you can tell from those puddles! We got a pretty close parking spot, which was good since it was not just raining but also hailing!
Entering from the main doors, you’ll be in a lobby that leads to the skating rink.
Instead of going straight to the ice, you’ll want to take a slight right and look for the big sign for PlayStrong directly in front of the elevator. As I mentioned, PlayStrong is on the second floor, but there is an elevator, so it’s easy to get to.
Once upstairs, they have plenty of signs that lead you towards the PlayStrong PlayGround. You won’t miss it!
There are a set of double doors that continue to the hallway where the PlayGround is located, with more signs in case you did get lost.
Once you make it through those doors, you’ll see even more signs that make sure you find the actual PlayGround. The PlayGround is located on your left. You’ll want to make sure you enter through the open doors, with the big signs hanging in front of it (there are other doors before the actual entrance that do go to the PlayGround, but they are not the entrance).
When you first enter the PlayGround, you’ll find a lobby with a counter where you’ll pay for your admission. The cost for the PlayGround is just $5 per child! Parents are free. They accept cash and credit cards. They also have you sign in at the front desk. Also in the lobby, there are benches and tables for you to drop your belongings including your shoes. Strollers can be parked here as well. The space is small so if you do not need it, it would be better to leave the stroller in the car.
From the lobby, you can look through the window and see the PlayGround! Isn’t it awesome? I love this play space because, for one thing, it’s not overwhelming. There is a lot to do but it’s manageable and fun for a toddler. It’s also easy to keep your eyes on your child. It can get crowded in here; it is a popular place! However, the ages for this PlayGround are for crawlers to age 4, so you don’t have to worry about your younger children being overrun by the big kids.
The door that leads from the lobby to the play area has signs reminding you that no shoes are allowed (socks only) and that no food or drink is allowed in the play area!
There are a lot of things to do in this PlayGround. Bounce houses are always popular with the little ones! My boy is just starting to get more comfortable with them, after a few visits to the bounce houses in the area has made him less afraid!
There is plenty of gymnastic equipment including tumbling mats and ramps to climb up.
There are plenty of ball pits! They were very popular! And my boy was especially into them! Every time he ran off from our current activity, I knew where to find him!
He was hiding from me apparently! Sorry buddy, I still can see you!
Pure joy in this child’s face!
There was plenty of climbing equipment. For these, they ask that your children not wear any socks (so to avoid slipping!). This was little more advanced for my boy, but some of the older kids were having fun climbing and swinging from the ropes!
In the back corner they have ride on toys and a few other play areas for the kids.
He really enjoyed the building blocks!
And the swing!! How cool is this swing??
The highlight of his time here had to be the roller coaster. This is a great activity that all the kids seem to love. They have a staff member at this station to assist with pushing the kids down the coaster and ensuring everyone is getting their fair turn!
In fact, my child was so excited about this roller coaster that he actually sat and waited for his turn. That’s a huge deal for us.
Because he waited so nicely, he got to go on it TWICE! Look at that happy face!
This is a great place to take the kids for a couple hours to burn off some energy! I love that you can stay for up to two hours. Usually we stay for a little over an hour (since that is really all the time he needs right now to burn off his energy) but pretty soon we will need those full two hours! Even for one hour of play, the price is great; for two hours, it’s a steal! I wish I lived closer because I’d probably be going every time it was open. It is a bummer that it’s only open seasonally but as they say in their newsletter and online, the weather is too wonderful to not be outdoors and active. Until then, I shall wait for our next visit in the fall!
If you can get over to the PlayGround before it closes for the season, you will be happy you did. Otherwise, make sure to add this to your to-do list in the Fall!
This about sums it up…
1375 Hopmeadow Street- Simsbury, Connecticut
Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Seasonally during the colder months- check their website for status.
For ages 0 to 4 years old: $5
Parents are free.
- Full parent supervision required
- Padded floors
- No shoes allowed – remember socks! Some equipment requires bare feet (no socks).
- Cash or credit card
- Free parking
- Bathrooms available
- Food and drinks are not allowed inside the play area
- Strollers can be parked in the lobby of the PlayGround
- Birthday party rentals available