Summer is in FULL swing. I put out the word locally and asked if there were any mom-owned businesses that catered to families. One of the first invitations to visit her business was Leah of Saplings in Simi Valley. I hadn’t heard of Saplings, but after a quick perusal of her website, I knew I had to come visit.
Simi Saplings is an indoor play area unlike anything we have in Ventura county. Most of us think of an indoor play place as being focused on gross motor skill play, and while those places are awesome, Saplings is on a different scale.
From the moment you walk in (entrance is on the side of the building!), you are transported into a calm and cool (hello! Escape the Summer heat!) atmosphere. The theme of Saplings is woodsy and outdoorsy! Leah told me that her family loves to be outdoors, to hike, and go camping. Since she knew she would be spending a considerable amount of time indoors at Saplings, she brought the outdoors inside. Calming sky blue walls with painted trees (and a SUPER cool tree Leah constructed!) give the place a sweet and charming woodland vibe.
There are LOADS of imaginative play stations around the room. Your little one can be a Doctor, Vet, Store Keeper, or Hair Stylist. For the little performer there is a band and music area (complete with a drum set, which Captain LOVED) and a Puppet Show stage. Your child can race their cars with a friend, have a camp out next to the felt campfire and roast pretend marshmallows while they sit on a cushiony tree stump. If your little one wants to climb and slide, there is a playground right in the center of the room. It’s just the right size for your preschooler! There is a reading corner, complete with a soft rug, fluffy pillows, and kid-sized lounge furniture next to a window with lots of natural light pouring in, which Mamitas liked especially since there was a book with her hero (Minnie Mouse!) to be read!
The Seedling Meadow is a safe and cozy play area for little ones from 0-2. It has a half-wall protecting it from the rest of the main play areas and from older playmates who may not see little ones underfoot. Peach had such a blast crawling, playing, and sitting on the little riding toys in the enclosed area.
Have a budding artist? The art area is INSANE. Fully stocked with various artistic mediums, easels, tables, and a chalk wall. In fact, Leah goes the extra mile and on Tuesdays and Fridays, at no extra cost but your general admission, there is a special craft lined up for your child to do, and bring their craft home with them! Saplings also occasionally teams up with Color Me Vino for the kid and alcohol-free version of a wine painting party for a Paint N Play party! Your little one can come in, and for $25 they can create a work of art taught by an instructor on a canvas, and then play all day!
Which brings me to my next favorite feature: ALL DAY PLAY. It really means all day. That means ins and outs for the whole day once you pay your admission! You can come first thing, play with your little one, eat your packed lunch in the food area, go home for naps, and come right back after naps until closing without paying any extra. That is SUCH a plus if you have littles who need to get their midday siesta in!
Another great thing is you only pay for your kiddos to play. So while parents are encouraged to play with their little ones (and the space is made to facilitate just that!), adults do not pay admission costs. For those of us with multiple children, Saplings offers a sibling discount! Leah has 3 little ones herself and appreciates that it costs families with multiple children more to do fun things.
They also offer two different party packages for birthday parties. One is semi-private and the other is offered on Sunday’s and it totally private. You can either do all the decorating yourself, or talk to Leah about having her plan your fuss-free party with the various add-on items. Just show up with your party after booking and she’ll do all the shopping and decorating for you.
While I loved how much my 3 kiddos enjoyed playing at Saplings, I also really enjoyed getting to talk with Leah and hear about her life and her passion for bringing parents and children together to play. Her husband has been a huge support to her as she has seen her dream realized since she hung up her teacher hat and went into mom and business owner mode. She made a place where she could bring her children to work with her, and invites you to come and play with yours there, too!
Head over to my Facebook page for a chance to win a day of play!