Playgrounds, Outside & Inside

I’m quite proud of myself because after barely managing to scrape together that playground list, I’ve written myself directions for the future. . . now I can update it in 13 easy-to-follow steps!  Yay, me.   And 13 is my lucky number.  So I’m just feeling good all over.  I’ve also made it easier to find this little gem any time.  I’ve put the Playground List & the Playground Survey on the Big Ol’ List of Links, and it’s also over on the left-hand side, there, along with the link to my Facebook page.   Ahhhh.  I have to tell you, this is very satisfying.   M and I were doing a new 96-piece fairy puzzle this morning, and the puzzle and the playground list were similar processes for me.  First, seemed simple enough, and a lovely idea.  Then, despair when I thought I’d never get the dang thing done, and finally, a thing of beauty made all the more beautiful because just 20 minutes ago I was tearing my hair out.  Hooray.

Okay, enough self-congratulation.

Yesterday we went to Tree Paad in Malta.

The kids had a great time.  We organized with friends and negotiated a group rate, so if you can manage that, oh–you should.  The big attraction was Fort Ballocity.

Fort Ballocity

The kids ran around like maniacs.  They had a wonderful time.  Some of my mom friends also ran around like maniacs and had a wonderful time.  There were also toddlers enjoying themselves, with their moms trailing them and trying their best to shield them from the overzealous “big kids”.  I felt a little bit bad, because usually these moms probably have the place to themselves, so I’m sure that they were not loving our group, which was definitely preschool to elementary.  They do have a separate toddler area–nothing fancy, but safe.

The kids also played a game of Lazer Tag.  It’s not as dark as other places, and they had a few teensy vests.  My children don’t have a great deal of experience shooting guns, so this was new for them.  J enjoyed it, and M was frustrated because she didn’t really understand how it worked, except that she could tell that she was sucking up, big time.  And, yeah–she was.

J also did the Spider Web, because I was being Wimp Mom.

Spider Web

Originally J didn’t want to do Lazer Tag and opted for the Spider Web instead.  Then, of course, when all of her friends ran for the tag, she had a change of heart, and I just didn’t have it in me yesterday to tell her no.  This is partly because the Spider Web just wasn’t terribly exciting.  I’d say it was fun, generally, but paying $3.50 to climb up three levels and slide down a few times seemed a little bit ridiculous.  The Tree Paad folks were very conscientious about safety, which is good, but. . . I just thought that if I were J, I’d have been bummed by my choice, too.

Here’s the thing:  I’m a fan of the all-inclusive resort.  I hate having to pay for separate things.  I just spent the whole visit thinking, cha-ching, cha-ching.  There were also the many token games that you could redeem for fabulous prizes like a Tootsie Roll or a Pixie Stick in a plastic wrapper that would only open if you tore at it with your teeth.  Oy.  I also hate the over-stimulation.  I swear, if I’m in a shopping mall for more than 2 hours I start worrying that I’m going to get hives.  So by the time lunch rolled around, I decided that I had to escape and spread my money to other sectors of the community.  We skipped the food (standard stuff that would make Jamie Oliver squirm–pizza, fries, etc.) and evacuated.

I can see that on a normal weekday, it would be a nice, mellow place to take a toddler who was too little to ask for tokens and Lazer Tag. It’s also a fab-u-lous place if you want to ensure a nap for your kids later in the day.  They were completely exhausted into submission.  I overheard moms talking about how it was the Best Birthday Party Destination Ever.  And my friends who really do enjoy Lazer Tag and chasing their kids around Ft. Ballocity love it.  This is one of those situations where I’ll have to admit that, in spite of the blog, I’m not always the most fun Mommy ever.  It’s not my cup of tea.   My  kids would love to go again, and it’s worth a once-in-a-while trip.  I’ll just make Daddy take them next time.

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