NoVA PlayLabs is an indoor play and learn center geared towards children 12 months to 14 years of age. We decided to take a peek at their open play program for preschoolers.
Located in Chantilly, Virginia, NoVA PlayLabs is a bit difficult to locate. The GPS will take you to the actual building site, but NoVA PlayLabs does not have a name listed on the business directory sign nor is there a sign displayed on their unit. When you pull into the parking lot, look for a pendant banner and Unit 10. This will get you to your destination more quickly.
NoVA PlayLabs offers a large amount of opportunities for children to grow and learn. If you are just looking to take your preschool aged child on an indoor play space adventure, then you will find a playzone, broken up into three main areas.
The play area is a two-story climbing structure that allows children to use their imagination all the while developing their gross motor skills. Socks are a must in this area. Be careful if you have a small child playing, as the area can occasionally become crowded and busy. There are a bunch of magnet boards attached to the wall that offer loads of hands-on opportunities as well. Dress up clothes and a small kitchen are also set up as props for imaginative play.
Across from the play area, there is a game room set up with puzzles, game boards, coloring activities, and other small toys. On the day we were there, many of the puzzles and game boards were missing pieces or unorganized on the shelving unit. This made for a very frustrating play experience for my 6 year old who was eager to play many of the games but could not because of the missing pieces.
Close by you will find a garage, complete with ride-on toys, a basketball hoop and balls. My children really enjoyed this room because of the variety of ride-on toys, especially the plasma cars. Be aware that helmets are not available. If you are concerned about your child running into the concrete walls, then I would suggest bringing a helmet.
NoVA PlayLabs also offers a variety of bonus activities such as playdough, messy art, LEGO play, and sing-a-longs but make sure to check their schedule so you know which activity will be available to you on your particular day. While we were there, we participated in the playdough play. My girls really enjoyed using the unique playdough placemats and tools!
In the front of the building, you will find a bunch of tables and chairs. When I spoke to the owner she mentioned that many working parents will let their children play while they stay up front to get some work accomplished.