Hey, kids: Valley West opens play center
Dragons, castles and bridges await patrons on lower level near Younkers
By PATT JOHNSON
REGISTER BUSINESS WRITER
June 22, 2007
Valley West Mall is rolling out the red, blue and green carpet for its youngest visitors.
The 30-year-old shopping center at 1551 Valley West Drive in West Des Moines has joined the growing number of malls offering play areas.
The mall will debut the 2,000-square-foot play center Saturday. The MetaBank Play Center sits at the south end of the shopping center on the lower level near Younkers. The fairy tale castle-themed area includes soft-sculpted play equipment in the shape of dragons, castles and bridges and other pieces.
Note, please ignore the flamewar comments at the bottom of that article.
Totally missing from the article, is that the Royal Court of the Des Moines Renaissance Faire, plus Robin Hood, the Rainbow Fairy, Tib, and Captain J.P.Boyd were also present. The Court danced, mingled with the kids, promenaded, and held knighting and Lady in Waiting ceremonies, and gave a weapons talk (I got to show of my lovely dagger!). Lots of fun, but a lot of work. We had a great response from everyone we met.
The play area is beautiful. It made me wish I were little again! They even have a book shelf full of books for the kids to read, and plenty of room for the parents to sit and watch the little ones. Everything is cushiony, from the floor to the different things the kids can climb on.
We got to the mall at around 8:45 am, went straight to the mall office, and I threw on my garb as quickly as possible. The ceremony was at 9:30, and we played with the kids a bit in the play area before it started. We finished all of our shows at around 11:15 or so, then spent another 15 minutes talking with people, before going back to the mall office to get changed.
It was a long morning, but a lot of fun. We also discovered two things: 1.) being in an air-conditioned mall is much warmer than being out in the open in garb (no wind!), and 2.) Escalators and farthingales are scary. 'Nuff said. ;)
Nap time, now. I am exhausted. Then, it's off to Hobby Lobby to find a velvet foot for my sewing machine, and then to the store to get cash and quarters for the laundry. Then, I have a bunch of laundry to do so my son can pack for camp.
Yet another busy day...