I am excited to feature "Meet our Neighbor" series. Each month, I will spotlight one of our fabulous North Shore business neighbors. This month, we play around with Kiddie City USA.
The biggest compliment Kiddie City USA has received was, not from a parent, but from a child who asked if they could "move in and live at Kiddie City USA." Talk about a happy customer testimonial-it doesn't get much better than that!Kiddie City USA doesn't kid around when it comes to pleasing children-not to mention parents. The Glen Head-based party place offers a kid-friendly lineup of exciting classes, hosts the coolest birthday parties, offers everyday Open Play and, is even a drop-off (three hour max) center.
The popular play place is actually the brainchild of a bunch of parents who felt the need for a facility in Glen Head. They were tired of travelling to Great Neck, Plainview, Syosset and Melville to entertain their children. They felt the need was strong enough in Glen Head to serve the North Shore area and found their space at 262 Glen Head Road in Glen Head after the former Russian Community Center vacated their space in May. The partners are from all different backgrounds and all hail from the North Shore. They include an investment manager, an educator, an event producer and business owners. They all bring a special element to the table.
The inspiration for Kiddie City USA began in a basement. Grandparents of one of the owners transformed their basement into a huge playroom for their grandchildren. Kiddie City USA came to life in that basement. The Glen Head facility is set up to reflect a mini-Manhattan. There are five out coves: a gourmet market/restaurant, a construction zone filled with cars, trains, work tables and benches; a brownstone built to reflect a home with a slide that drops you off in the school (equipped with a chalk board and chalk spinner); and a boutique filled with tons of dress-up items. There is a stage set with a TV and camera to broadcast the children much like the Megatron in Times Square, and a park type-setting in the middle of the room. You'll also find a lunchroom for snacks and food with a vending machine, an arcade and a retail store.
Kiddie City USA also offers a babysitting/drop-off service. They simply ask that parents call ahead of time to make a reservation (516-399-2525). The babysitters are actually part of their staff and are a local group of girls who come highly recommended. There is a maximum of 3 hours for this type of service; still plenty of time to run some errands, enjoy a meal and movie, or just relax! It beats a trip to the grocery store with meltdowns for sure.
Open Play time is a Godsend for parents who have active kids! "Come play in our city where it's safe to cross the street!" is their motto. They host children from six months to five years-old during school hours and have after school hours for kids up to 10 years old. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm. These hours are subject to change so they ask that you check the website daily for hours.
Kiddie City USA has hosted milestone parties for kids celebrating their first birthday up to the big 13. They have quite a number of different themes, including arts and crafts parties, dance parties and, for the girls, spa and dress-up parties, and fairy and princess parties. The boys love pirate and Superhero-themed parties, and Angry Birds and Legos are also a big hit! The zaniest birthday party request was for a sleepover party.
Kiddie City USA is also a cool place to shop for kid's gifts. They have a great retail store filled with toys and clothes, jewelry and hair accessories and much more. Featured brands include Melissa and Doug, Zadeh Toy Imports, Bling it on Baby, Fish Face, Fiore Collections, Jamm Couture and Melina's Bowtique. They are constantly looking for fun, new items. The biggest seller? Piggy banks that are shaped like cars, cupcakes, and other fun designs. The retail store offers Open Play Passes (10 Open Plays plus one free for $100 as opposed to the $12 visit price) and gift certificates of any denomination.
Kiddie City USA is always on the hunt for new, exciting shop items and is also constantly adding new classes, hours and party themes. They are currently accepting enrollments for Spring 2013 classes (check the website for details.) They are open to ideas and new options that parents would like to help make their lives easier and welcome ideas, suggestions and criticism.
Kiddie City is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm (open on Sundays only for private parties and events.) Kiddie City USA is located at 262 Glen Head Road; 516-399-2525, www.kiddiecityusa.com.
* Prices subject to change