play date with some daycare friends got thwarted the other day by the overcrowding at the clown show, another Mommy suggested we pop down the street to the Safari Park. In my prego (air) head I was envisioning trees and live animals and jeeps cruising around indoors somewhere. Of course, my next thought was "Is this mommy crazy?!" Turns out the owners of this fine establishment have done their best to replicate a true safari experience. Ball pits included!
Cade & Eva go?? (If you can't tell by the cute behinds, they are birthday neighbors! Only born 1 day apart!) There are two huge climbing structures that both have fun slides that the kids can go down into big ball pits. It was awesome, this hidden gem/gym isn't too popular (yet!) so there were maybe ten kids playing here the 2 1/2 hours we were there, most of them under 5 years old. So perfect! I didn't have to tell one big rowdy kid to "watch out for the babies!", which earns another gold star for this place.
The "Safari Guide" occasionally comes over the loudspeaker and announces different events going on. I think what took us most off guard was "Now it's time for the animal rides!!" Um, I didn't see any live elephants or horses or whatever when we walked in. We all shrugged and grabbed our toddlers and followed the Guide over to another play area where we found a track and four robotic stuffed animals to ride. The other kids rode the zebra, Cade rode the elephant. (Not sure what that other creature is in the background, the great African buffalo perhaps?)
Another announcement led us to their train, which Cade had ZERO reservations about! Conveniently, we were at Collin Creek Mall earlier today and Cade noticed the train there. This sucked for me, because no other kids were in line to ride it, I did not have the exact $2 in cash it costs to ride, and I did not want to squeeze my 8 month pregs bootie in that train! I had to convince him it was "broken", to which he perseverated for a good 20 minutes including the ride home where he said "Train broke. Daddy fix" to which I totally agreed that "Yes, we will have to come back with Daddy so he can fix the train". Mommy guilt was totally erased when we got to ride this Safari park bad boy a good 3 times!!!
Cade was in HEAVEN, and I was all about getting to sit down and watch him be an independent player all by himself! I could actually enjoy mommy chit chat while he played, awesome!! We didn't discover until close til the end that there were also about 8 play tables of wooden trains, pirate ships, and other wooden toys. The place also has mini-golf and a painting center and toy store, which we didn't even bother with. So, the $9.99 price that originally shocked me was so worth it. Only complaint is that the big "Papa Johns" sign at the "snack bar" didn't come with a free slice of 'za and Coke. (for Mommy, obv I would have wanted some veggie sticks for the kids...) Snack bar was nothing more than a glorified vending machine.
Total play date success!! So excited that we discovered this place the first week of summer so we can partake a couple of more times before summer is over. Perf for rainy days or ozone alert days! So so excited about this discovery!