If you’re looking for a spot for your little one to play, where they can be imaginative and creative and learn at the same time, then you’ll definitely want to check out Woodland Indoor Playground in Cedar Grove. Founded by two Montclair moms who were looking for a place for their own children and their friends to play, Woodland offers drop-in play seven days a week for children ages five months to five years, with some comfort for caregivers, too!
While some play centers are full of plastic, flashing lights, and foam, Woodland seeks to avoid such things. Each high-quality toy is specially selected with a goal of open-ended sensory play in mind. Make believe comes alive in the chicken coop, at the farmer’s market food truck, or with the many other toys available. Kids love spending time in the sensory bean box whether they’re pushing small trucks around, digging, or doing anything else their imaginations can dream up.
Owners Julija Stoliarova and Marina Miller looked to their native Europe for design inspiration for the space. European cafes often have play spaces, allowing adults to relax and drink coffee as children play in clean areas that aren’t overly full of stimulating toys. Overhead music is calming, free of loud popular kids music, creating a low-key environment that doesn’t have caregivers leaving with a headache.
In addition to open play, there are a variety of events scheduled for families to enjoy. In collaboration with other local businesses, Woodland Indoor Playground intends to host many more pop-up events in the months to come. Here’s a sampling of what to expect:
- Friday, May 10, 2019; 9:30 AM: MaestroTales Pop-Up, where children will be introduced to classical music and orchestral instruments. Join the class then play after. ($16 per child; only 3 tickets left)
- Sunday, May 12, 2019; 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Mother’s Day Bubble Play is a way to celebrate mom with some playtime and fun. There will be a bubble show, craft, time for open play, and free treats for mom. ($35 per child)
- Sunday, May 19, 2019; 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Feel-A-Firetruck Day, featuring story time, a craft, a visit with a fireman and the chance to go inside a real fire truck. (This event is already sold out!)
In addition to children’s events, stay tuned to Woodland’s website and social media for adult events and workshops geared toward caregiver’s concerns like feeding kids, helping children sleep, and more.
The facility is also available for birthday parties, offering several packages and options. Pricing and details are available on the website.
Woodland Play offers a Pre-school Readiness Camp for children ages two to four years old. This program will be facilitated by an award-winning New Jersey certified teacher to introduce children to the preschool environment. Each child will participate in a community meeting, independent and group project time, and free play. They’ll also receive a healthy organic snack. Parents will be invited to observe their child or to gently guide them towards the independence of pre-school. The program is inspired by Montessori and Emilia Reggio principles to help children prepare themselves for the transition to a pre-school setting.
There are two programs to choose from with the Readiness Camp. A 5 days/week program will run Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM for four weeks, with the option to choose any number of weeks. A 1 day/week program will run on Tuesdays from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM for 5 weeks. The themes will include Flora & Fauna, 100 Languages of Color, Farm to Table, and Tinkers and Tales. For more details including pricing, visit the website.
For the caregivers, Woodland artisanal coffee, organic snacks, and free Wi-Fi. Fresh-baked goodies from a local bakery.
Community is an important part of Woodland Indoor Playground. Proceeds from every admission are given to the Community Food Bank of NJ to provide meals for children in New Jersey.
Woodland Indoor Playground is located at 450 Pompton Avenue, Suite 130, Cedar Grove. They are open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Friday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM; and Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Admission fee is based on age and there are discounts for siblings. In addition, gift cards and memberships are available.