Washington Family Magazine : August 2014
58 August 2014 washingtonFAMILY.com 58 August 2014 washingtonFAMILY.com MOM Reviews HELP YOU BEAT SUMMER HEAT The dog days of August in the metro area can be a parenting challenge. It’s too hot and humid for many outdoor activities, kids are home from camp and bored with the pool, and parents are looking for something to do to fill the day. How to beat the summer heat and keep the kids entertained? Our Local Mom Reviewers have some answers. Check out these reviews of My Gym for some indoor exercise for the little ones, ShadowLand for the older ones and some crafts and games for stay-at-home fun. Our reviewers give you the inside scoop on these places and products, and you can go to our Local Mom Review section at washingtonFAMILY.com for the full reviews plus the skinny on toys, shops, gear, food and more! MY GYM www.mygym.com Recently, my three children and I previewed two of the many different classes My Gym offers at their Potomac, MD, location. When selecting classes I appreciated the wide variety and times available. I wanted one for my 3- year-old who hasn’t done any type of preschool or class before and one where we could all attend, and I was pleased to find that there were classes just right for those requirements. I liked that the class included whole group instruction and activity, times when the kids could choose what they wanted to do in the room full of fun equipment, and small group instruction where one teacher was working with five or six students. My 3- year-old loved the activities, especially standing on a low trapeze and swinging. When the children had free play I noticed that the ball pit was a popular area, as was the trampoline. I loved watching my daughter ’s face as she raced around and played. I would definitely recommend My Gym to friends, and would consider signing my own children up for more classes in the future. SHADOWLAND www.shadowlandadventures.com We recently tried out the Springfield, VA, ShadowLand and my kids had an awesome outing. We embarked on our first adventure in the laser tag room. We headed to the “Briefing Hall” and our party sponsor went over the rules of play and instruction and then guided us to the next room to get the kids fitted with laser gear and equipment. I didn’t play tag but it was nice that they gave me and the other parents the option of viewing near the front of the arena. With that said, I wouldn’t recommend this activity for children under the age of 6. It is very dark and can be a little too much sensory overload for some. Also keep in mind that if you are not part of a party and bringing your children during public games, kids, teens and adults may be playing against each other. There is a no cursing and horseplay policy, which is strictly enforced by the arena monitors, but this point is still worth noting. The arcade and laser maze activities can last until your child either gives up trying to beat all of the games, runs out of tokens or ShadowLand closes. We spent way more of our lives in ShadowLand than I expected, five hours to be exact, but it’s a testament to the level of fun to be had here. Overall, I’d say the kids had a blast at ShadowLand Family Entertainment Center in Springfield, VA. I’d definitely recommend the facility for those seeking entertainment for kids ages 6 and up.