Last weekend, I took my 12-month old daughter to Kids Kingdom in Kanata (66 Hearst Way, Kanata). My first impression of the location was good. It was HUGE, very clean and had lots of natural light.
Admission for Kids Kingdom, it was $5 for 23 months and under, $15 for kids aged 2-12 and $3 per adult. Your admission include access to:
- Infant play centre
- Inflatable bounce area
- Kids Kingdom castle play structure
- Inflatable obstacle course
- Parents lounge*
Once we paid, we had to put away our shoes (socks only!), bags and coats. No outside food or drink permitted.
We only stayed at the Kingdom for about an hour. My daughter can’t walk by herself yet, so we just kind of cruised against all the netted walls, went down some slides and played with foam blocks. I think she had a great time. She fell asleep right away when we left.
As great of a time that we had, I was a little disappointed about a few things:
- The price to spend an afternoon at Kids Kingdom is expensive. I find $15/per child (luckily we only had to pay $8 for the two of us) expensive. Maybe by the time my daughter is 2, they will have a bit more. Not only do you have to pay admission, but you also have to pay to play any of the arcade games and if you want any food or drink.
- No outlet covers on the plugs. I noticed near the arcade area that some outlet plug covers were missing. No biggie, just gentling reminding Kids Kingdom that baby proofing at a kids playground might be a good idea.
- No bags allowed. I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t allowed to bring my bag in. I realize that it’s to avoid bringing in food and drink, but I like the idea of having my diaper bag close by with wipes and diapers if I needed to change her. Since it was our first visit, I didn’t ask questions and just gave them my bag to put away.
Overall, I think the visit was a success, but I don’t think I would go back again anytime soon. I’d probably wait until she’s invited to a kids birthday party to go back. IMO, I feel like I could spend less than $5 on a Happy Meal at McDonalds and let her run wild at one of the McDonald’s Playplace for a lot cheaper (however, I realize that I may feel differently in a few years).
On one of the Facebook groups that I’m a part of, a lot of people had some things to say about the Kingdom. Here are a few quotes:
- “We spent 5 hours there last week with kids aged ranged from 5-8 years old.”
- “You could easily do 3 hours.”
- “… it’s very different from Cosmic. My son actually preferred this [Kids Kingdom].”
- “It’s great there and the food is good.”
- “We went last week, it’s more of a gym tale, monkey around our that play time 4 kids that used to be on merivale road….I found it pricey for what’s there, personally it doesn’t compare at all to cosmic adventures but it is a cute little place to go for a few hours when you don’t want to drive out to the east end. If it is any indication, two five year olds enjoyed playing with the giant balls in the kiddy area and watching the cartoons that are on the tv in the eating area than they did playing on the structure…and their blow up slide thing wasn’t up and working.”
Most people seemed very happy with their visit and a few nah-sayers seemed to be with me about the price thing. HOWEVER, it was brought to my attention that you can purchase a $100/year membership. So maybe that will be easier to swallow if you plan to visit it frequently.
Have you been to Kids Kingdom? What did you think? How would you compare it to Cosmic, Ikea or FunHaven**?
Update (August 30, 2014): I went to Kids Kingdom again (Don’t get me wrong, I do think it’s fun there), I was still disappointed to see that no outlet covers were on the plugs. I went with my mom and she spoke to someone there and was told that the reason that there were no outlet covers, is because the parents keep removing them to plug in their cellphones (!!!). That’s kind of shitty of parents to do that and not put them back on, however, there were also no outlet covers in the arcade area either… So I’m not sure what to believe.
On a better note, I was able to bring my diaper bag into the play area with me. Last time I went, I couldn’t. It was really handy to have my wallet on hand to be able to purchase 2 coffees (almost $4 for 2 small coffees!).
* I’m not sure what the “parents lounge” is? Maybe just where you sit down in the cafeteria section?
** I have never taken my daughter to any of these places, however, I’m really interested to hear about what you have to say.