PLAY ON!

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ONE.

Whole families join the imaginative excitement at Pogo Play (pictured above), boasting more than 160 different games and experiences. A toddler room entertains the youngest visitors, a dramatic play zone exercises creativity, and a basketball court, the mind and body. Meanwhile the custom designed LEGO room keeps builders busy with more than 20,000 LEGO pieces. Susan Mattick, President and Owner of Pogo Play adds that the plasma cars are “by far a kid favorite. These awesome cars allow the kids to zip around the 20,000 square foot facility.” Even parents sometimes take a spin.

Pogo Play’s most popular feature, though, is its interactive floor. “Our interactive floor is ‘the bomb’ — we have darkened the area so the graphics really pop! You can play music, stomp bugs and case planets to name a few things.”
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Pogo Play
10870 Kenwood Road
513-432-5593 | gopogoplay.com

 

Blue Cocoon

TWO.

Blue Cocoon’s play area will cater especially to these new parents and infants. Owner Ashley Brown-Combs says, “A lot of places have a baby section, but the infants get run over by the toddlers.” With its grand opening April 10 – 12, this space “really is for babies, newborns, pre-crawlers and crawlers.”

The one-of-a-kind play structure, designed by a specialist in children’s museums, was created with input from Brown-Combs to blend well with the soothing nature of Blue Cocoon’s boutique for “nursing mothers and all things breastfeeding.” The structure’s cottage design features crawling spaces, slides, a baby-rock wall and sensory areas.

The new play area compliments Blue Cocoon’s mission, says Brown-Combs. “We help each mom, as she grows, from pregnancy, through mothering a newborn, and through each milestone.” The boutique will continue to provide education, instruction, and helpful parenting products, but will also allow moms and dads to “get out of the house, have a safe place for Baby to be happy, and have a cup of coffee and a light lunch.”

One of the aims of adding the play space is to continue to build community for new parents. “Our society, with all its technology, separates us from the support people once had, and Blue Cocoon is providing that personal approach again, educating moms, and listening,” says Brown-Combs. “Moms come in looking exhausted, worried and stressed, and leave relaxed and confident.”
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Blue Cocoon
9361 Montgomery Road
513-791-1089 | bluecocoonbaby.com
OZO Play

THREE.

OZO Play Café entertains with a back-to-basics philosophy. “We don’t have a single battery-operated toy,” says owner Jodi George. “When toys are simpler, it pushes the mind to imagine the endless possibilities a toy could be. Is it a tumbling mat, is it the wall to a fort, or something else entirely?”

Along with imagination, toys at OZO develop fine motor skills, problem-solving, and crucial social skills. “Kids that play at OZO gain experience with interacting with other children and sharing. In the technological age that we are in — where people get lost in their own worlds on their iPhones, Facebook, and video games — it’s important for kids to learn to interact with other kids.”

Parents get a chance to interact too, and not only with their children. “From what we hear, parents love it because it’s a safe, clean play space where their kids can play while they meet up with old friends or make new friends. And they can see their kids from anywhere in the space!”

The age range for children at OZO includes infants as young “as a few days old,” says George, to about kindergarten age. “New parents can meet other new parents with kids their age, share stories, drink coffee — all while their little ones learn to crawl or do tummy time.”
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Ozo Play Café
10004 Montgomery Road
513-834-9459 | ozoplaycafe.com

Barbara David, mother of five and an award-winning columnist for Cincinnati Family Magazine, enjoys travel, writing, and restoring her century-old, west-side home.

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