Grab your passport, pack your bags and set off on a transcontinental adventure. Except, you’re not heading to the airport. Your heading to the newest indoor haven for kids called Scramble. Pick your destination. Perhaps you want to uncover (literally) tombs in ancient Egypt or rocket yourself to the moon. My personal favorite is trying to catch leprechauns in fields of shamrocks. Indeed, parents can partake in the fun and frankly…it’s too irresistible not to!
In case you haven’t figured it out, Scramble is not your typical indoor play area. Scramble is the brain child of Laurence Smallman, a father who saw a need for a different kind of play for his children and other children in the community.
There are structures that involve fine and gross motor skills such as crawling, walking, reaching, building, climbing, swinging, kicking and sliding. There are secret passages and doors to decipher, cargo nets to maneuver through and a set of massive slides representing the good ol’ USA. London calling! Follow the tube Underground and stop off at Big Ben. Australia is represented by The Great Barrier Reef with the most adorable pink polka-dotted octopus. Eat your way through France with giant swinging foam baguettes. Ski the Swiss Alps on one of two ziplines. Did you know that sticky rice was used to build the Great Wall of China?
In addition to the two-level World of Play structure, there are specifically designed areas for infants craving tummy time. Little fingers can touch a duck, play peek-a-boo in a mirror and discover the vibrant colors around them. Toddlers can engage with rocking animals and a tiger striped slide. Preschoolers and other youngsters will enjoy role playing in a cafe, garage, vet or construction area. The café is equipped with oversized sweet treats and very familiar coffee cups. At the back of the building is a sports court where older children can enjoy a friendly game of soccer or dodge ball.
There’s a nifty reading nook set up with beanbags. Borrow or buy one of Scramble’s extensive selection of Usborne books and spend some down time in the reading and relaxation area. Parents can put their feet up on one of several leather chairs and enjoy free WiFi. In addition to standard restrooms, there are also ones designated for family use. There are plenty of cubbies for storage. Party rooms have packages starting at $200.
While the facility is new (it opened in November), it is in top notch condition. The staff are plentiful and continually monitor each play area. My daughter encountered an aggressive peer in Egypt and the child kicked her in the back. An employee brought her an ice pack, apologized and told me that he would let the child’s parents know of his negative behavior. I was impressed with this employee’s concern for my child’s well-being. I also had another employee say “hi mom” to me and other mamas while we enjoyed watching our children. The staff really go the extra mile.
My daughter and I spent 2 hours on a busy, wintry afternoon. She can’t wait to return. The only sad part is that she’ll be turning 11 soon and Scramble maxes out at age 10 (although, older children can play if there are younger siblings or friends as part of a group. Older children just need to play as adults taking care around the younger ones). Luckily, there are a few more school breaks to scramble over to Scramble!
- Scramble is open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Pricing is as follows: 1 and under – $10 weekends & federal holidays, $5 weekdays; 2 and over – $20 weekends & federal holidays, $10 weekdays. One adult receives complimentary admission per child; additional adults are $5. Some people may scoff at the high weekend cost, but I will gladly play for a clean, safe, monitored, learning experience for my child. Plus, you can leave and come back the same day if you keep your wristband on. Win win!
- Discounts are offered to organized Mom’s groups/parent groups/similar who want to meet regularly. Perks include free room, coffee, reduced entrance fees, depending upon frequency and group size.
- Fill out the online waiver and bring it when you visit or complete one in person. Both children and adults must each fill out a waiver form. No outside food or drink allowed, but there is a café on site that serves pizza, chicken nuggets, healthy snacks, baked goods and drinks along with water fountains. Socks are required.
Photos courtesy of Kathleen Molloy.