Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monkey Joe's

A while ago back in the beginning of July we along with Josh, Tammy, and Gideon went to a place called Monkey Joe's.  Monkey Joe's could best be described as an indoor playground.  What makes this place different from a playground at a mall is that at Joe's all the stuff you play on is blow up stuff.  Blow up stuff are things like bounce houses from when I was a kid but now it includes slides and obstacle courses.

The first thing that happens when you walk in the door is that you get a wristband for yourself and for your kid.  They won't let you out of the place without checking to make sure the numbers on the wristbands match.  There is so much chaos in this place that security measures like this really let you feel at ease.  On a few occasions I lost sight of Alyce for bit and I didn't really freak out.  Having Josh and Tammy there also helps.  Eight eyes catch a lot more action than four.

The first thing the kids played on was a little kids bounce house, slide, and obstacle course.  This area is probably perfectly sized for an 18 month old.  Alyce and Gideon were able to manage everything with ease and Luke had a bit of trouble.  That being said everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

After a bit Josh and I walked Alyce and Gideon around the place to see if they would bite on any of the larger attractions.  Alyce has always been kind of shy with new people and new places so I wasn't sure if she would embrace the place.  The first big kid thing they saw was this big slide.  I'd say it is probably 1 1/2 - 2 stories tall.  You go up the balloon stairs in the middle and have the choice of two identical slides.  Both Alyce and Gideon seeing this slide made a mad dash for it (so much for my fears).  They both waited their turn on the slide and eventually their time came up.  I thought for sure Alyce would have misgivings once she saw how far the drop was.  I was preparing myself to coax her down.  I was completely wasting my time.  Alyce in one swift motion walked up to the slide, sat down, and pushed herself off.  As she got off the slide she was squealing with delight and racing to get back in line.  Gideon on his first run didn't have any trouble starting his slide but there was a bit of trouble at the end.  As he was coming in for a landing he turned sideways and the momentum flipped him head over heels.  It looked pretty brutal at the time (see the video below) but he didn't miss a beat and got back in line behind Alyce.  On a side note Alyce was a very considerate little girl.  She patiently waited in line for her turn even though a lot of other kids tried to butt in line.

Meanwhile Luke was hanging out in one of two kids bounce houses.  He did his best to keep his footing in such a bouncy environment but the best he could manage would be about 5 steps if he couldn't hold onto something.  He did end up going down the little kids slide but since he was too far away for adult help he ended up going down the slide head first on his stomach.  Aside from the occasional roll he did very well.  Later on he just leaned against a balloon pole and looked exhausted.  By the time we left 3:30 - 4:00 Luke was well past his nap time but was a trooper and didn't fuss much at all.

After Josh, Tammy, and Gideon left Alyce did one last thing, the obstacle course.  This obstacle is about 50 feet long and has walls to climb up and over, slides to go down, and areas to squeeze through.  I thought these seemed kind of technical and didn't even think Alyce would want to try.  For the third time that day I was wrong.  I was holding Luke and Mom grabs my attention to show me Alyce tearing her way through the course.  At the end of it she seemed very proud of herself and I was very proud of her as well.  Check out the video below of one of her runs.  Looking at her climb up that wall she looked like a little girl, kid, or whatever and gone was my little toddler who needed me to hold her so she wouldn't fall off a jungle gym.

By the time we left I think everyone was tired.  The kids were exhausted and Mom and I had enough of the constant droning of the fans.  I will say we will go back.  Monkey Joe's is a perfect place to take kids if it is either too hot, too cold, or too wet outside for kids to blow off energy at a park.  They do birthdays too so I figure we'll have one there at some point.

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