Up, Up & Play â€“ an indoor playground and learning center â€“ quietly opened to the public yesterday at 2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., above the Down & Over Pub.
"I wanted to work out the kinks this week," says owner and Bay View resident, Shannon Knapp.
The space, which is not connected to the bar and music venue downstairs, is massive. So far, it contains a climbing / swinging structure and a play space for toys and floor puzzles, but the best part is the large amount of space that is, well, just space.
Half of the wood floor contains nothing, making it ideal for anything. There are also wooden carts on wheels that kids can roll around in and soon, Knapp plans to tape down hopscotch and four square games.
The absence of excess and lack of toys that require batteries is exactly why Melanie Roepke plans to spend a lot of time in the facility with her 3-year-old and 7-year-old â€“ especially on rainy or wintry days.
"Theyâ€™re running around and climbing instead of sitting around, playing with toys," says Roepke. "And there are no Barbies."
Roepke says as much as she enjoys taking her children to the library, itâ€™s nice to have an alternative to the library.
Also, itâ€™s close to her home.
"There are other places to play, but theyâ€™re so far away. Coming here means no one will fall asleep in the car on the way home. Because you really canâ€™t have them fall asleep in the car on the way home or forget the nap," says Roepke.
Up, Up & Play is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Knapp is considering opening earlier some days to accommodate play time before school. Itâ€™s a rigorous schedule for Knapp, who also has five children including an infant.
"I have three teenagers to help me out, luckily," she says.
The cost is $5 per person per day. Guests can stay as long as they want. Knapp will also barter for day passes or memberships.
"One mom is doing a web site for me right now in exchange for a membership for her daughter," she says.
A rummage sale is currently in progress in the space and will go on all this week. The proceeds go toward buying more supplies for the facility.
The space is ideal for children 5 and under. In the near future, Knapp plans to have classes and activities for older kids, too, including sign language, sewing and art.
"My goal is that everyone who comes here has a really great time," says Knapp. "I want everyone, regardless of age, to engage."
Watch the Up, Up & Play Facebook page for more information and spontaneous deals on admission.
No Talkbacks for 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 Molly Snyder
Published May 25, 2016
Today on FOX's "Studio A," OnMilwaukee's Molly Snyder reads host Bryan Kramp's tarot cards. Tune in to find out if he got the Devil card or not. In the meantime, read about the local tarot scene from Jen CintrÃ³n and Theresa Reed, aka The Tarot Lady.
Published May 23, 2016
Reinventing ourselves takes a lot of guts, something all five of these women - who switched careers at the age of 40 or older - have plenty of. Some left the corporate world, some joined it, but all of them share one thing in common: they are now closer to their True Norths.
Published May 20, 2016
Paul Hepp will launch his new brewery-and history-tours-by-bus business that's simply called Fun Beer Tours on Friday, May 20. Hepp says Fun Beer Tours is a mix of his two passions: craft beer and local brewery history.
Published May 19, 2016
It was a rollicking soft opening tonight at Urban Bay View, 2301 S. Logan St., the second business venture of Paul Jonas, who also owns Tonic Tavern, and is managed by longtime Tonic bartender and bellweather of the service industry, Paul "PK" Kennedy.
Published May 18, 2016
Harley-Davidson launched a new concept in Milwaukee, Portland and Los Angeles today: a pop-up bike share that gives riders the chance to test out the new Dark Custom Harley-Davidson Roadster. In Milwaukee, the pop-up popped up in the Third Ward on Broadway.
Published May 18, 2016
Josh Silberman, who grew up on Milwaukee's North Shore, knew at a young age that he wanted to have a career in film and television in Los Angeles. He was partially inspired by his cousin, the great Gene Wilder, and partly by his own love of adventure and travel.
Published May 17, 2016
In late May, Sprecher Brewing Company will introduce three new "hard sodas": Hard Cherry Cola, Hard Orange Cream and Hard Cola. The local brewery already offers Hard Root Beer, Hard Ginger Ale and Hard Apple Pie.
Published May 16, 2016
New Orleans jazz musician Trombone Shorty created an inspiring children's picture book based on his own life that documents his musical journey and his determination to make his dreams come true as a musician.
Published May 15, 2016
Some very talented and influential people have graduated from Shorewood High School (writes the author of this blog who also graduated from Shorewood High School), and in their honor the district will confer on a few former Greyhounds a Tradition of Excellence Award.
Published May 14, 2016
After a year of hard work, Paul Jonas is ready to share his new bar, Urban Bay View, 2301 S. Logan Ave., with the public.