Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kid Friendly, Mama Approved

Some people just get it...maybe they have young kids of their own or maybe did once upon a time...whatever the motivation, some people really know how to make a kid friendly experience. Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite places that know how to keep kids happy:

Spring Beads: Sorry to say, unless you live in Houston and you are into making jewelry, you probably won't get to experience this shop, but the things they do to keep kids entertained could easily be done in any small shop or boutique. As you can imagine, watching mom pick through bins of beads and findings isn't a kid's idea of fun. The clever owners solved this problem in two ways...they put together a box of large holed plastic beads and pipe cleaners so preschool aged kids could make their own creations while mom shops...and for the younger kids, they put out a huge bin of Duplo blocks. My little ones get to have fun and I get an extra 15 minutes or so to drool all over the Swarovski section and spend entirely too much money.

Kroger: I mention Kroger because it's where I shop, but you could easily insert the name of a number of grocery store chains around the country that have...the kiddie shopping cart. Now that I think of it, even Petco was smart enough to offer these in their stores. Anyhow...what kid doesn't enjoy pushing around their very own cart? SweetPea loves it because she can be my "big helper" with the shopping. Lil Buddy likes it because he occasionally gets to ride in it. I know, I'm a bad mom for letting him sit in it, but if it keeps them both giggling and happy to be grocery shopping, then I'll live with the guilt. These are so popular in our store that sometimes all of the carts are taken and we have to hunt around the cart return space in the parking lot to find one.

Snip Its: I'll be the first to admit...Snip Its kid's hair salons are not cheap. To be honest, we stopped going because it was so expensive...but the nice thing about taking our kids there when they were younger was it made getting a haircut a fun and positive experience and not a scary one. At Snip Its, everything is set up especially for kids...pint sized barber chairs, video screens at every station where they watch silly (and to be honest, somewhat annoying) videos, and once the cut is done, they get a plastic card to take up to the register to redeem for a toy. The stylists are trained to work with small kids and every one that we ever saw not only gave a good cut but did it quickly.

Splash Pads: The thing I love most about our neighborhood is the splash pad at our community center pool. How better to make a kid friendly community than to put in a cool water attraction for small kids? It's like having our very own water park, only no lines and no hefty admissions to pay. OK, yeah, I'm paying for it in homeowners dues, but at least it's within walking distance and when it hits lunch time I don't have to fork over $20 for a soda and a hot dog. The only downside...SweetPea knows it's there and asks to go to the "splashy pool" just about every day.

Those are just a few of my favorites. I'd love to hear about the kid friendly places you love the most.


  1. I'm ready to move. We got nuthin like that here. The best I can do is a Chinese restaurant nearby that gives out Bendaroos (wax covered string, like pipe cleaners)instead of crayons. And that is something I heard of -- so it could be a suburban myth.

  2. There's a place just up the road from us called Out of This World Pizza and they have these HUGE indoor play structures, inflatable bounce slides, rock wall and small toy playing area for younger kids. During the summer, they have $4 Mondays so both of my kids can have unlimited play for $8 and I can just sit back and take a break. :o)

  3. Whenever we go out to eat, with the kids in tow, we eat at Logan's Steakhouse, because they have peanuts and you are supposed to just brush your shells on the floor. Seriously, that idea was GENIUS, though I feel bad for the people who have to sweet up.

    My girls usually spend about 45 minutes straight, just peeling peanuts and tossing the shells on the floor, and me and Will can actually have a conversation that isn't interrupted by bored, hungry kids.

  4. I love Logan's Roadhouse, though in Houston they are called Texas Roadhouse. My BIL used to work at one and when we'd eat at the one he worked at I'd make sure to push extra shells on the ground :) Imagine if you have a peanut allergy...you could not come within 10 feet of that place!!

  5. Our grocery store up here, Giant Eagle, has a kid center in it that parents can leave there kids in, with a certified worker to watch them, while the parents go grocery shopping. Its alot like a nursery but its chalked full of toys for younger kids and video games for older kids and I can get my shopping done without having 2 kids put a bunch of random junk food in the cart :)


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