You know what’s cooler than a bunch of magnet tiles? Genius Gems, a STEAM playspace with thousands of magnet tiles for eager builders and makers.
Now open in Millburn, Genius Gems has a variety of programs to encourage creativity and fun in an open and inviting environment. The heart of the Genius Gems experience is their collection of more than 24,000 magnet tiles, which can be snapped together in endless ways, especially with the metal frames, magnetic tables, and colorful light wall that allow builders to think big. And the friendly staff knows their STEAM stuff, offering helpful hints on structural stability as kids’ creations start expanding beyond anything they’ve built in their living rooms.
During our initial two-hour visit, my son spent nearly half the time helping himself to armloads of tiles and constructing a colorful wall along a large frame with multiple sections. Once he got some advice on bracing the centers of the walls, he was blissfully lost in the joy of getting big results from the small tiles.
But while magnet tiles are a main attraction, Genius Gems has plenty more going on in its bright, carpeted space. Ranging from simple wooden tracks and open-ended arts & crafts to sophisticated robotics and large-scale challenges, kids from toddlers to pre-teens can find something fun to do. And because there are opportunities for both solo creation and collaborative play, everyone can take Genius Gems at his or her own pace.
The space also takes parents into consideration: Off to the side of the main playspace is a cafe area with complimentary Wi-fi. And there’s coffee and tea available for purchase, along with a range of healthy snacks for all ages.
Genius Gems offers both free-play options and structured classes. There are timed tickets for use of the playspace and all of the equipment; monthly memberships; a calendar of classes for different age ranges; week-long day camp options; special events like Teen Night and drop-off Date Night; and of course, birthday parties.
Genius Gems’ founder, Jennifer Romanoff, who lives in West Orange, made it abundantly clear to everyone who walked in that her No. 1 priority was everyone having fun. And the fact that all that fun is creative and educational? That’s the genius part.
Genius Gems is located at 215 Millburn Ave., Millburn; visit www.geniusgems.com for info and reservations.