Toddler (and preschooler) time

We checked out the new At Play Café (next to Ledo’s Pizza) in Hunters Woods Plaza Shopping Center in Reston, but I unfortunately forgot my camera, so no pics, sorry!

It’s a pay-for-play deal here: You pay $8 for the first child, $6 for siblings, infants under 18 months are free. You can get an $80 punchcard for 12 visits that saves you the price of two visits, or a $120 season’s pass good for unlimited visits for three months.

While they cater to children 6 years and under, my rambunctious 6-year-old boy would tear through that space and probably get us all kicked out–and you do sign a waiver with all kinds of warnings, from having Child Protective Services called if you split and leave your child there for longer than 10 minutes to being asked to leave if your child is being overly unruly and/or harming other kids.

But the 4-year-old had a great time climbing in the treehouse/slide structure in the gated play area, a long, somewhat narrow space that hugs the right wall. I, meanwhile, could enjoy a healthy lunch or read a magazine or listen to the other moms chatting to each other, all while keeping an eye on my daughter.

Because no classes were scheduled for the gym studio, the kids could were allowed to play in the room, which contained sit-on bounce balls and other toys. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours in which I could get some quiet time and she could get some exercise and playtime with new friends. The food was limited, though, to sandwiches (from Whole Foods), garden salad or baked goods (muffins, croissants, scones, etc.).

Activities include a Music & Movement class on Friday mornings, an art class on Wednesday mornings, Barefoot Books Storytelling Workshops, and scheduled events at 10 a.m. every weekday. Go to www.atplaycafe.com for more details.

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