Archives for the month of: June, 2012

Review: Chibis Indoor Playground

Today, I had the great privilege of checking out Chibis Indoor Playground with my six-year-old son. Right off the bat — if they had this place years ago when my now 6- and 7-year old were younger I would have lived there! It was fantastic. I was skeptical at first because we have seen the concept of an indoor playground attempted before in the Northern Virginia market with just so-so results (think the now-closed At Play Cafe in Reston). Additionally, with so many playgrounds offered by places like Burger King and Chick-fil-a, how different could it be? Needless to say — those place don’t compare. I was more than pleasantly surprised by Chibis’ space, the attention to details, and the quality of the equipment and toys.

Chibis Indoor Playground, located in Ashburn, off Loudoun County parkway near Ashburn favorites Sport Bounce of Loudoun and Jumping Jack Sports, is an interactive indoor playground for children 4-months through age 6. Open 7-days a week, they offer 90-minute play sessions. Not only do they boast a multi-level play structure, they also have a dedicated toddler area (ages 3 and under), and 2 additional “toy” areas with a kiddie-kitchen set-up and train tables. It seems that it would appeal to the most energized children who want to run and climb to kids who just like to sit back and play.

Upon entry, after you fill out one-time paperwork, you can request a numbered bin to store your belongings. They stow it for you for safekeeping.  If you don’t want a bin though, cubbies and coat hooks are abundant. Everyone is required to take their shoes off in the play areas, including adults, and socks are required for everyone. If you forget — don’t worry — they sell pairs for a dollar!

In addition to all the fun trains, puzzles, and sensory toys, they also have plenty of balls to play with, cars to ride on, and mini-structures to climb. While there, the management was busy picking up toys and washing them. I was super impressed with the attention to cleanliness — especially with the younger children and their desire to mouth anything! In fact, the whole establishment was bright, cheery, clean and spacious. They also have an area to sit, rest and grab a drink or snack. They offered a large selection of snacks for $0.25 and $0.50 each including mini-muffins, animal crackers, fruit snacks, fruit squeeze packs and more. For the mommas think coffee, water and soda. (Kudos to the management on the cute min-trays!)

Parents are encouraged to keep a steady eye on their children — but this is made easy with all the comfy couches and chairs throughout the facility. I saw lots of moms connecting and making new friends. I could easily see this as a hangout for a playgroup or moms club!

Overall, I HIGHLY recommend. Although, as glad as I am to have school-aged children, I am a touch jealous we’ll be aging out of this great option in 9 months and 21 days (but who’s counting). Perhaps we can convince the owners a Kid’s Night Out program for the big ones is in order (hint, hint Chibis!) .

Chibis Indoor Playground is located at 44675 Cape Ct., Ste. 175, Ashburn, VA 20147 and can be reached at (571) 918-0310. They don’t appear to have prominent signage yet, but they are in a red brick building directly next door to Great Falls Interior Design, Suite 171. You can learn more about Chibis Indoor Playground on the Web here. Also, find them on Facebook to become privy to deals, specials and updates.

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Written by DullesMoms.com a proud partner of Kid-Friendly VA (NOVA, PWC, LOCO). DullesMoms.com is your resource to children’s and family-friendly events and activities in the Greater Dulles area! Find DullesMoms.com on Facebook and Twitter!

Families in the Northern Virginia market are so lucky to have such a wealth of arts-related programs, shows and events available to our children! One of my favorites is the Puppet Company in Glen Echo, Maryland. The Puppet Company produces “critically acclaimed and award-winning puppet shows that incorporate hand puppets, rod puppets, marionettes (string puppets), masks, costume figures, and every trick in the book to entertain and amaze family audiences.”

Located in the heart of Glen Echo Park, just 20-ish minutes from the Greater Dulles area, they offer shows 5-days a week in an intimate theater that encourages children to sit up close to see the details and feel like part of the show! In fact, bench-style seats that surround the perimeter are intended for adults only — so kids have plenty of wiggle room on the floor and have the chance to sit only feet from the main stage. This set-up really lends itself to the kids feeling engaged and excited about the performance literally in front of them!

The Puppet Company features approximately 500 live performances every year, with programs for toddlers, school-aged children, teens, and adults. Currently showing is: Goldilocks On Trial! “There are two sides to every story, Goldilocks is being un-bear-able, and her housebreaking and dine-and-dashing could result in “grizzly” consequences. This tongue-in-cheek retelling of the old tale, tells the Bear Family’s side of the story, as well as Goldilocks’s, then lets the audience judge where the truth lies.”

With approximately 8 opportunities each week to see this show, DullesMoms.com highly recommends it! While my children, aged 6 and 8, sat captivated throughout the entire show — there were many toddlers and preschool aged children that enjoyed it too! The 40-minute show was perfectly timed and wonderfully produced. I was impressed thoroughly by the show quality and, once again, how engaged the children felt.

After the show, the puppeteers took pictures with the children and showed them how the rod puppets worked. My children were in awe of the mechanics of the puppets — something they actually had never seen before. I am really looking forward to seeing the combination of puppetry they use in the upcoming performance: Snow White and the 7 Dwarves which begins July 21st!

In addition to Goldilocks On Trial! on their Main Stage, the Puppet Company also offers a popular series called Tiny Tots with shows at 10 am on select Wednesday, Saturdays and Sundays. Designed just children ages 0 to 4 years old), Tiny Tots “offers a viewing atmosphere especially suited to small fry, their parents, and caregivers including shorter shows (about 30 minutes), no dark room, no loud noises and the theater doors stay open”. Tickets are also only $5 each!

You can certainly make a great day of visiting the Puppet Company. Located in the heart of Glen Echo Park, they are just steps away from a playground and picnic area, the Dentzel Carousel and a small cafe with family-friendly choices. There are also weekend nature programs at Living Classrooms Children’s Museum. Additionally, the
National Park Service offers “Just for Kids” Programs and Junior Ranger Programs through out the summer.

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Goldilocks On Trial! will run until July 15th. You can can see the full schedule and purchase tickets here. Located at 7300 MacArthur Blvd. in Glen Echo, MD, the Puppet Company is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, but offers many opportunities, including weekends throughout the rest of the week. You can find them on the Web, Facebook and Twitter.

This review was written by DullesMoms.com — your resource to children’s and family-friendly events and activities in the Greater Dulles area! You can find DullesMoms.com on the Web, Facebook and Twitter. you can also learn more about their partner site Kid-Friendly VA here.

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