When Wiggleworks indoor playground opened up at Crossroads Mall in November, 2012, I was eager to check it out, because you can never have too many places to play inside when the weather gets chilly.
Wiggleworks offers a safe place for the 48″ and under crowd to cavort indoors. Every surface is soft, and there’s not a sharp edge to be found in the main play area. There’s even a special section for crawlers.
To look at its tiny storefront in the mall, you wouldn’t think that Wiggleworks would be worth the cover charge. Two hours of crazy play with a 20-month-old and a five-year-old proved me wrong.
The space mostly consists of an entry area with cubbies to put your stuff and the place space. There’s also a party space in the back and a couple of family-style restrooms.
Alongside the play area, there’s a high counter with a row of bar stools. Parents can hang out here and watch their kids, or take a more hands-on approach in the play area. When we were there, it looked like the adults were evenly split among the two options. I stayed in the play area most of the time to keep an eye on my little one, but I think most kids over two would do fine on their own as long as they are watched.
There’s no mistaking where the fun happens. The entire play area is colored like a basket of Easter eggs. There are about eight different sections, which amazed me, because it’s a small space. Somehow it didn’t feel cramped.
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Many of the toys have some sort of movement, from machine-propelled spirals and a pillowy merry-go-round-type contraption, to a soft trampoline filled with some sort of gel that makes it look like your kid is walking on water. There are also building toys, a big, soft slide and a soft, perpetual motion mechanical teeter-totter that seemed very popular.
The balloon cage was worth the price of admission though. It’s so simple: fill a padded area with balloons, add moving air, watch kids scream in joy. I was laughing so hard when I watched my girls play in this area that my jaw ached afterwards. It was encouraging to see how careful the staff was about ensuring that the balloons stayed in the cage area (which is surrounded in a soft net, so we’re not talking bird cage) and they kept watch for broken balloons.
I thought the staff presence was excellent overall. While the parents are held responsible for their children, it was reassuring to see how many people were working the area, making sure everything was safe and clean. It made me wonder how much spray cleaner they’ve been going through every day.
We went on a weekday morning, fairly close to opening time. It definitely gets crazier as the morning progresses. Some of the parents there that day told me that occasionally it can get busy enough for there to be a waitlist to get in, and that weekends can be crazy. I’d suggest calling ahead of time to gauge how the crowd will be the day you want to visit.
15600 NE 8th Street
Bellevue, WA 98008