With word that Fun World is closing soon, the arrival of Kids in Motion, 14135 W. Greenfield Ave., in New Berlin, is welcome news.
Located in a strip mall, Kids in Motion's exterior is deceptive. From the outside it looks small and low-key. But inside, there is a maze of climbing tubes and slides and an array of themed rooms that keep kids moving.
And because it's new, Kids in Motion -- which bills itself as a "parent supervised indoor learning and entertainment center" for kids up to age 12 -- looks to be about the cleanest kids play place I've run across.
Around the perimeter of the large, mostly open space are rooms that feature specific activities. There's a music room with maracas and other instruments, a game room with table tennis and air hockey, a laser tag space, a puzzle room, a science lab room, a train room, a play grocery store room, a construction site room ... you get the picture.
In the wide open area in the middle are the climbing tunnels and slides and right next to it -- best of all for parents -- are big, plush comfy chairs offering a good view. Along one wall there are tables for snack/lunch time and there is a menu, including pizza, granola bars, juice boxes and that sort of thing, available.
Outside one of the rooms, a machine rains bubbles down -- much to the delight of kids -- every 20 minutes.
There's no loud music blaring -- there are boisterious kids, of course -- so the vibe is fun without being overbearing.
Admission is $10 for kids on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 to 6; and $6 Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Parents and kids under 12 months get in free.
You can also buy a punch card for 10 visits for $50. There is also free WiFi and I saw at least one mom with a laptop while her kids were off playing.
There is currently a range of promotions celebrating the grand opening -- 1/2 off after 5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and free coffee on Monday mornings, for example.
Wow, that is such a BIG difference than what we experienced the few times we went there, and I have to say if I had your experience I probably would feel iffy to return or not....
...that being said, have you emailed the owners on their site? I would be really interested in learning what they have to say directly...I bet that the owners were not there at the time, which normally I think they always are, mainly because when you said the individual rooms where so messy and no staff to help in various rooms..because its the total opposite of what we have seen...when the owners are there, their husband is usally the one going from room to room cleaning areas up..and I have seen many helpers help in the art and science room and such...and the art room I remember specifically being clean, unlike the supplies all around like you experienced...
I would AT LEAST hope the owners would invite you to come back and experience what it is NORMALLY like, because it seems really highly unlikely tthat the care the owners have been careful to have suddenly doesnt change...usually if an owner of a place like this slips and gets lazier on upkeep/etc, it happens over at least a year or two..lol, not a few weeks ?
Email the owners on their site and give them a chance to make it right, and if you can, post here to let us know how they respond, because, I know, even with my great experiences there, if they dont respond or respond with poor service/responses, it will change my outlook on the place too...
As far as the lunch order thing...are you sure they werent ordering for the customers? I know that they only offer simple snacks there, but when we ordered our lunches, they had to call it in, and when it came in they had to seperate our order from other families orders, maybe that was happening and the workers were so overwhelmed with that, that they couldnt take care of the rooms? I guess there isnt any excuse that makes ignoring a new customer coming in and not cleaning up the rooms...if they were too busy to notice a new customer coming in, could they notice a little one going out the front door without their parents? yikes!
Again, email them your experience and please come back and share with us...
Funny I got this email today, because we were thinking they have a costume thign this weekend and my husband just asked if we wanted to go to their website to go to see when their party is...lol...we might just skip that now? hmm..or at least now take a look at other options too...
please let us know what happens!
I must say, I had a different experience at this place. Upon entering, I waited while customers made their lunch orders, discussed birthday party options,and finally had to ask- could I pay to get my kids in to play??? While the main area was clean, the separate rooms were not. They were completely torn apart and not terribly inviting. For example the art room had supplies covering all tables and floors. I hoped that maybe there would be some specific projects set out... Or maybe even a staff person there to assist. I was very surprised to rarely see any staff around unless they were sorting out lunch deliveries. Safety is an issue with no staff around and playground equipment like scooters. The area for little ones up to age 3 was constantly occupied by older kids who were not always aware that they needed to watch out for the younger kids. Many "near misses" made me nervous to watch! I asked if they were shortstaffed and was told that yes, they were today- and it was the Friday of many school teacher conferences. Therefore the place was more crowded than usual. Seems that they should have increased staff for the likely increase in kids. My kids were glad to be able to run around with others and be really noisy inside. They liked the bubbles. But they'd rather be at a place like monkey joes where there are many more options for activities. Same price, too! I was definitely disappointed and would hesitate to return.
I have to say, as a Mom to 3 youngs kids, ages 4, 6 and 7 years old, I LOVE THIS PLACE! We visited once, with a plan to come in and check it out for an hour or so and ended up staying for 4.5 hours, ordering a really yummy and GREATLY PRICED pizza from a neighboring/partnering restaurant and had a BLAST! We ended up scheduling the birthday party for our kids on the way out (all 3 kids have summer bdays within a few weeks so we do one big combo party)!
In the past 4 or 5 years we have forgone a party at 'kids places' for a few reasons, first 2 of our kids have Autism and other Special Needs so finding a place that is FRIENDLY not just in activities but in staff is pretty hard to do, also finding a 'kids' place that isn obnoxious in overstimulating music/noise/colors/etc is nearly impossible! Also, its nearly impossible to find a 'kids' place where the adults who are invited can be comfortable too.
Kids in Motion BEATS expectations in so many ways, and for the very first time in any event of my kids history (besides the 1st bday party before they regressed into Autism) we ALL had a GREAT time!
As a mom with kids with special needs AND a party host, its hard to spend ANY time away from watching your special kids from 'escaping' from doing anything harmful to themselves, to monitor and fascilitate interactions between them and other friends/people....but here, I was able to actually ENJOY the party, I was actually able to TALK to party guests and not feel like a 'bad host' and ignore everyone, my kids, even the boys with Autism felt comfortable and more importantly, as a Mom, I felt comfortable seeing them WANT to be so independant, there was only 'one way out' and nearly impossible to escape or get into any trouble...and the only door 'out' of the play area is visable from nearly every angle of the HUGE play area...
So, for Moms of kids with special needs, I HIGHLY reccomend it, it will be a place where your kids will feel safe and comfortable, and YOU will be able to enjoy your kids having fun rather than needlessly following/worrying/hovering as you would normally need to do at a park/other kids places....
For a Mom without kids of special needs, its a GREAT place for kids to run around independantly and something for every interest.
There is something for every interest for every kid, AND so many choices, that kids can easily change to another 'room' with another activity...again GREAT for us parents so that the kids can use THEIR imaginations, instead of saying 'Im bored' or 'can I have more money for tokens' or whatever annoying thing you can think that your kids usually ask for at other places....LOL!
When we were there for our first visit, I overheard the staff up front get a last minute phone call to see if they had room for a small party that same afternoon, and they said YES and ran around and did everything they could to make it work, called in another staff member to help, arranged for everything and in an hour or two the group was there for the party..now THAT is customer service!
At our party, it was smooth, and thankfully they kept our guests comfy while we were actually 10 minutes LATE (tantrums getting ready) to our own party! They have SO MANY great options for parties/gatherings, and their 'normal' party includes...get this....the party host staff member actually TAKES PICTURES DURING YOUR EVENT and you get a disk of the pics at the end of the party! Just ONE more thing a Mom does NOT have to worry about during the party! I think we got around 100 pics or so!
They also offered to do anything that wasnt on their 'menu of services' if we needed them to, just to ask! Another great sign of fantastic service!
I am NOT an employee, a friend, family member, anything related to Kids in Motion, other than a new dedicated customer super happy with their place, their activities and their staff and the excellent, above the top customer service!
We got SO many great comments from our party guests, and for the first time in a long time, my Grandparents, my kids GREAT Grandparents were ABLE to attend, because of the very comfortable lounge area within the play area...they were able to relax on couches and recliners AND be part of the party and watch and enjoy their Great Grandkids...something that other kids places do NOT allow them to do, because of the obnoxious sounds/lights/noise/crowds and no comfortable seating...and THAT ALONE was PRICELESS!
I know I sound like an advertisement, but I cant help it..I almost didnt post because I wanted this place to just be 'our little secret' so it wouldnt get too busy for us to go...but then I remembered, the first Saturday we were there, was really packed with a lot of families and a party too, and you wouldnt even GUESS there were 40-50 kids and parents there, since its set up so well, that sitting in the lounge area with free wi-fi you wouldnt be overwhelmed with sounds and noises AT ALL....which is SO nice for all of us adults! LOL!
I hope all parents, Special Needs or not try this place, its a GREAT, SAFE, COMFY, and VERY CLEAN place to take your kids...and us dreading the upcoming cold and snow, I am THANKFUL that Kids in Motion is around now, so we can try hard to beat Cabin Fever this year!
Thanks for reading thru my long review...but I wanted to make sure to share all of our highlights...and I really hope, if Kids in Motion is reading this, that they dont change anything they are doing now, but only to add in more great options and services....please dont cut corners or do anything to jeopordize the outstanded customer service you have, or the detailed cleanliness that you guys have now, because that is what happens to most of the 'other' places around...and I really really really know that our kids, this is the first place they have ever ALL felt 100% comfortable and independant...another priceless thing, especially for a Mom with Special Needs kids!
I cant wait to go back!
Mom to 3 Great kids, a Bright little girl and 2 very Smart boys with Autism
3 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published March 7, 2014
Which hotel rooms in Milwaukee are the most expensive? Read on to find out, and to learn why the most expensive rooms are often also the least expensive.
Published March 7, 2014
Yesterday, Buffalo, N.Y. - and much of America - celebrated the 50th anniversary of the invention of Buffalo-style chicken wings. I toasted the wing at Club Garibaldi in Bay View.
Published March 6, 2014
Short of visiting the landmark hotel itself, nothing conveys The Pfister's unique sense of place like "The History, Art & Imagery of The Pfister Hotel," a lavish hardcover volume illustrated with photographs by Jay Filter and written by local author and ad man Thomas Jordan.
Published March 6, 2014
There are hotels that occupy purpose-built structures, like The Pfister. And there are hotels that are created in the shells of buildings erected for other purposes, like the Hampton Inn on West Wisconsin Avenue, which occupies a converted office building. Over the years, I've stayed in both. A few of the latter kind of hotel have remained planted firmly in my memory. Here are some of them.
Published March 5, 2014
Surely, you expect The Abbey - one of just two resorts actually on Lake Geneva - to be doing a booming business in summer. But if you think a couple feet of accumulated snow stops folks flocking to the 50-year-old resort, think again.
Published March 5, 2014
Growing up in the Tanzilo household was perfect practice for being in a working band. We never flew - always drove - when we'd visit family in North Carolina or Milwaukee. And we never stayed in hotels.
Published March 4, 2014
On Monday, Milwaukee Public Schools teachers and school psychologists received a letter from outgoing Superintendent Gregory Thornton notifying them that their March 28 paycheck would include a one percent bonus. But some view the bonus as an end-run around collective bargaining.
Published March 4, 2014
Milwaukee hotel magnate and philanthropist Walter Schroeder has left traces of himself across this city and the state. In some places he's rumored to have left his spirit to roam, too. But that's not the case at the Milwaukee Hilton City Center, 509 W. Wisconsin Ave. Here, instead, he left a more tangible and ornate legacy.
Published March 3, 2014
United by a passion for - OK, a curiosity about - mock chicken leg, MPS' Cooper School on the South Side hosted a Mock Chicken Leg Summit.
Published March 2, 2014
Here's how it works. We asked Milwaukee music veteran Mike Benign (Blue in the Face, Arms & Legs & Feet, Umbrella Man) eight questions about his band The Mike Benign Compulsion's new record, "Here's How It Works."