From the minute I showed pictures of the anticipated Smiley Indoor Ocean Playground to the kids, their excitement has been building! Mason would reference it randomly at dinner, in the car, over the monitor WAY past his bedtime. They were ready to get in there. Yesterday, we made our first visit!
Note: This is not a sponsored post. Just my honest take on a fun new indoor playground in the Indianapolis area!
When we got inside, I needed to fill out waivers for the kids and pay admission. They were about to explode, and luckily just looking at the GIANT ball pit in all its shiny, new glory through the glass wall held them over for a few minutes.
Smiley offers locker rental for a small fee, and we made use of that. I did notice plenty of parents keeping a small purse or backpack on them as they played or even just stowing a diaper bag and shoes along the wall. As first timers, we needed to purchase socks as well. We could not get in there fast enough. They allow a 10 minutes grace period before your official hour starts, which allowed time for socks and potty break without the kids panicking that we were losing precious time.
Mason made a beeline straight to the trampoline room, complete with a basket ball goal. His Heaven. This has a mini-Skyzone feel, and was a good introduction for kids who haven’t done a trampoline park before.
There’s a dedicated toddler area right next to the basketball room, and Georgia checked that out next. For families with a younger sibling, this is really nice to have. It had several small playground structures, bouncy ride-on toys, and a few little vehicle rides. She also loved the foam blocks she could stack and knock over. Ahh, the things toddlers love.
As we headed back into the main ball pit area, Mason was loving it. Georgia however, was a little intimidated. I definitely needed to help her learn how to wade through the balls. If your kiddo is totally not okay with the being submerged, there is a obstacle course feature that gets them up above it. She loved this! In no time, however, she was a pro and making ball pit snow angels.
Some of Mason’s favorites were the HUGE slide and rock climbing wall/sponge pit area. As a new fan of American Ninja Warrior, he was in his element. I will say the slide and sponge pit were teetering on too much for sweet little Georgia, but perfect for an energized, physical 4 years old. Georgia went down the slide once by herself but had a look of sheer panic the whole time… she was happy to go again and again on Mommy’s lap. The foam pit was hard for her to navigate and she lost a sock immediately upon entering. After a full blown, 5-minute sock rescue mission, I chose to hold her for the remainder of our sponge pit adventure.
If you’ve read this far, you might be wondering how Mommy was fairing in this environment. Well, let me just tell you, I WAS SWEATING. It was a blast and I honestly loved being in there with the kids. But it’s physical, and I’m a little sore today from helping two kids through this giant place! With kids a bit older, I would definitely sit back and watch (or maybe enjoy the snack area!). But for this age and my own comfort level, in I went.
Once we were good and tired, we went to check out the virtual reality side of the building. I was already impressed with our experience, but this really kicked it up a notch for me. We visited a the giant Lego room which is great for little visitors and mamas taking a break from the ball pit. We then found the “snow room” which featured artificial snow for the kids to play in. Mason was in love with this. Next up, we headed to the game room where different games are being projected on the wall and floor. Kids can throw balls from small ball pits to play Fruit Ninja, for example. Georgia loved the floor game, which had the kids running to squashing bugs (gross). But still, she LOVED it.
Finally, we check out the virtual reality area, which looked awesome for big kids and even adults. There is a small VR room just for little ones, and both kids jumped in.
This. Place. Was. Awesome.
Smiley Indoor Ocean Playground
5729 E. 86th St. Indianapolis, IN