Earlier this year, D spent four months on the east coast at the Army JAG school. For reasons that are irrelevant to this post, the kids and I weren’t able to go with him. However, before you think the kids and I just spent all that time at home, I will tell you that he isn’t the only one who had all the fun. We spent two of those months in the Seattle, Washington area, where my parents live. The reasons we went were numerous but they boiled down to two main things: being in Seattle meant my parents could help me with the kids and we could escape the cruel Chicago winter. A great time was had by all- the kids loved being near their grandparents for so long and it was the perfect mix of getting out and exploring and staying in and playing together. We did many fun things while in Seattle but one of Ladybug’s favorite activities was going to the Giggle Jungle in Redmond.
Located in Redmond Town Center, the Giggle Jungle is an indoor playground for kids 48 inches and shorter. I discovered this small play place, housed in what looks like a former retail store, while searching the internet for activity ideas for a “countdown until Daddy comes home” calendar I was making for Ladybug to help pass the time while D was away. We went once and she was hooked. For the remainder of our stay, we probably frequented the Giggle Jungle about once a week.
The Giggle Jungle is great for those cold, rainy days when you can’t take the kids outside. They can run around and wear themselves out for a nap or bed- at least Ladybug did. Frequently she would fall asleep in the car on the way home. And kids love it. A few times while we were there, I would hear a parent say to their child, “Now remember, when it’s time to go, if you throw a fit, we won’t come back.” I have also said these words exactly to Ladybug. So, that’s saying something. The Giggle Jungle appeals most to the toddler crowd- around 2-3 years of age. I imagine kids older than that would get bored after a few minutes. But it was perfect for Ladybug who could spend all day there and never get tired of it.
What makes Giggle Jungle so great, you ask? I will tell you five reasons why we love the Giggle Jungle.
The price is right
Admission to the Giggle Jungle is $10 per child; with any siblings getting in for $8 each. This price is good for all day, which means that you can bring your children in the morning, pay the admission, leave for lunch and a nap and then bring them back later if you’re still looking for some time to kill and energy to expel. Or you could just stay all day if you wanted to. Adults and children under one get in free. You can also purchase a punch card for five visits or ten visits at a discounted rate. After paying the fee, you will receive two wristbands with your phone number. One wristband is for your child to wear, the other is for you. As you leave, the worker is supposed to check your wristbands to make sure the numbers match before the child is allowed to leave.
The equipment is padded
I love that the equipment is covered in padding to help prevent serious injuries. As a mom, I am constantly trying to find a balance between allowing my children to explore and mitigating the risk of injury. At the Giggle Jungle, I don’t have to worry as much about that. Ladybug learned how to climb a tall spinning tower during her many times at the Giggle Jungle. The first time we went, she couldn’t do it at all and even needed help getting off. By the final time we went, however, she could climb all the way to the top and back down again without falling or getting stuck. And if she did fall- because she did a few times- she didn’t get hurt because of the padding. (Keep in mind that it is possible for children to still get hurt at the Giggle Jungle so I encourage you to supervise your children at all times.)
Did I mention there is a height requirement?
One of my pet peeves about taking my kids to playgrounds is when the bigger kids play on the toys meant for the younger kids and babies. I love when I can bring my kids somewhere to play and not have to worry about the big kids hogging the play toys and rough housing around the younger kids. I do think 48 inches is actually still a little too tall- I would have set the heigh limit a few inches shorter, but it’s better than nothing.
Kids can run around and expel some energy
All of the equipment at the Giggle Jungle is great for running, climbing, sliding, and twirling. Kids can run around and tire themselves out. There are times when Ladybug is so shy that she doesn’t want to run around with the other kids. At the Giggle Jungle, she will run off and have fun, even going into the kids only balloon/slide area that is off limits to adults. Sometimes she has so much fun that once she’s in that area, it takes some serious bribing to get her to come out.
You can bring outside food
I am always grateful when places allow you to bring your own food. The Giggle Jungle even has a few table and chairs for you to sit down and eat. There is also a bar-like counter and chairs surrounding the play area where parents of non-toddlers can sit and watch their kids as they play instead of being right by them. Every time we went, we brought a picnic lunch and ate there. Ladybug enjoyed that because it allowed her to get some last minute play time after she finished eating before we went home for quiet time.
As great as the Giggle Jungle is, there were a few things that I don’t like. There was a pile of lego blocks in one area of the gym. These lego blocks were not padded, like everything else in the gym. Instead, they were made of plastic. I wasn’t happy when Ladybug was playing in that area with some of the blocks and another kid was throwing blocks in her direction- which happened multiple times when we went. Thankfully, the parents were responsible and put a stop to it from the start. But I wish that they would find blocks that were softer so that at least they wouldn’t hurt if they hit someone. Also, as I mentioned before, I wish the height requirement was set lower. Some of the kids looked really big compared to my then two year old.
Overall, however, it was a great place to bring Ladybug. She loved it. I loved that she gained more confidence in her physical abilities, and the Giggle Jungle allowed her the freedom to run, jump and explore on her own while I could watch from a short distance. I definitely recommend the Giggle Jungle in Redmond, especially to fellow toddler parents.
7330 164th Ave NE, Ste E165
Redmond WA 98052
What places do you enjoy bringing your kids to in your neighborhood?
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