A few blocks away from where we live is an indoor playground for toddlers. It's one of those places where you pay admission for your children to play with a large assortment of toys contaminated with boogers, poop, and piss. And as a special bonus, your children will get sick a few days later.
Or at least that's what my initial impression was of these kinds of playgrounds. I decided to take Emma and Andrew to this place one weekday because I wanted to see if this would be elderly-friendly for Crazy and Lazy Ichikawa. I must say that my preconceived notions were for the most part wrong.
This indoor playground had a wide variety of activities for the kids: moon bounce, ball pool, plastic gym/slide, rock climbing wall, at least two dozen vehicles, tunnels, a pretend kitchen, and a gigantic keg of beer -- although I think that was for the parents. Emma and Andrew were overwhelmed by the sheer number of things to play with since the only things they have at home to play with are old Cool Whip tubs, hair rollers, and a gigantic keg of beer -- although that's actually for me.
The place was very clean, friendly, and had a lot of wide open space. You sign your kids in and then you take your shoes off before you enter the playroom which is fine by a Japanese who even takes off his shoes before he enters a 7-11. I think I was the only father around, although I did hear some women mentioning how they thought I was an adorable Chinese woman.
We were there a little over an hour, and that was enough time for the kids to play with everything they wanted and to be exhausted for a nice long nap. I was also glad to report to Crazy Grandma Ichikawa that I saw an employee cleaning all of the toys before I left. I don't know if that was something they do every hour or if it was because I was about to take our kids home. If it was the latter, I swear that I didn't know Andrew peed in the moon bounce.
But the one toy that the kids loved playing with was this mini-roller coaster. It was a plastic car that you rode on and it travels over two bunny hills. At first I thought they might've been a little afraid of the jumpy nature of the ride, but when I saw how much they loved it, I realized that they were smiling the exact same way when Lisa drives them around town.
Here's a short video of the kids on the mini-roller coaster!