Playtime Goes Big Time

For its fifth birthday, Rochester Play! is doing it up this month with a brand-new building filled with interactive games, challenge paths – heck, even bear rides.

“We’re keeping with the same outdoor theme,” says co-owner Jeff Schamanek, noting that these “bears” are the fake, friendly kind that are fun for kids to climb on. “The space is about three times bigger than what we were before.”

Slated to reopen Sept. 12, this popular indoor play area boasts lots of new additions. Its signature forest-flavored play structure has grown, with sliding rail trolleys, bouncy rodeo riders and curved canvas beams to tackle. Movement is key to its new gaming area, too, which offers some fun for parents and older siblings.

“Kids anywhere from 1 to 14 are gonna have something to do here,” says Schamanek. He and wife Kate founded Rochester Play!; their daughters are now 14, 12 and 6. There’s still a soft-play area for toddlers. And, while they’ve phased out child care, you’ll also find lots of programs centered on play, dance, yoga and more – plus beefed-up healthy menu options, an outdoor deck and direct access to the Paint Creek Trail for an extra dose of active fun.

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