Groups of kids jostling other kids or playing rough are smoothly broken and with impartiality. The kids snack in between and could have stayed for longer. But there are places to go. Home, for instance
Jokai Playscape (Indoors), Andheri
The more I visit indoor play spaces—and there are so many—I keep thinking one will blend into another and the only way to identify them would the suburbs they are attached to. And every time I am proved wrong. The play spaces aren’t uniform. They seem to have some USP in design and thought, in context to the target age of the audience they are catering to.
I’m in Jokai Playscape in DN Nagar with my daughter Vani who has come for the company and my two favourite little people, nine-year-old Dhruv and five-year-old Arya. Jokai opens into a cafeteria and a mommy-relaxation space. The demarcation in the space is clear: the toddler zone and the high-activity zone for older kids. There are the predictable options like the ball pool and trampoline park.
But there is plenty of space dedicated to role play; there is the ropewalk path that can be a lesson in balance and muscle coordination, offering a small shot of adrenalin. On the side are slot machine games that test your hand-eye coordination (foosball and a gravity ball game). The virtual reality game stimulates their senses and both Dhruv and Arya want to have another go at it. There is plenty of scope for cognitive play.
The kids have raced across. Dhruv is jumping on the trampolines, while throwing balls on the interactive wall. Arya is exploring the multi-level play areas, climbing in and out of crawl spaces and balancing on a ropewalk. Both try their hand at the slot machines and return for the VR game. There are group play activities that can be done where kids can sit on nifty, child-sized furniture and build, create or play-act. Role play is big here, with costume change to boot. Arya keeps returning to run her café, feeding me and the staff with assorted food she has conjured in her make-belief world.
Yet, the best part about Jokai is not the range of play on offer but their staff. In the role play space (one can run a cafeteria, iron clothes and keep home, or become any character they choose to be from a baker to Superman or a dinosaur to Cinderella) the staff really go all the way to gently help the kids to wear their clothes or play with them. Groups of kids jostling other kids or playing rough are smoothly broken and with impartiality. The kids snack in between and could have stayed for longer. But there are places to go. Home, for instance.
Where: Jokai Playscape, first floor, Gurumauli, opposite Versova Police Staion, DN Nagar, Andheri West.
Best for: Boys and girls, three years to 10 years.
How to reach: We travelled by road but take the train instead; after alighting at Vile Parle West or Andheri West railway station, hail an auto and use Versova police station as the landmark.
Timings: All week, 11 am to 8.30 pm.
Budget: Rs 500 per child.
Food: Cute cafeteria with food options.
Rest Room facilities: Yes.
Where else to go: Funky Monkey, Skipperty Hopperty, Play Around as alternate indoor playing options.
Parent Poll: I’d give a double thumbs up just for staff attitude and skills. Child-friendly.
Kids' Poll: Loved the interactive trampoline park and VR game
What's Good: Range of diverse activities; lots of space, efficient staff
What's Not So Good: Some costumes were slightly bedraggled; the sandplay zone was not functional
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