Tot Town in South OKC Offers Play Time for Toddlers and Young KidsJan 22, 2018
When Krista Hernandez first moved to the south side of Oklahoma City from Dallas four years ago, one of her big awakenings was not being able to find places for toddlers to go play. So, in August of last year, she and her husband took matters into their own hands and opened Tot Town Children’s Boutique & Play Space at 841 SW 119th St. in south Oklahoma City.
What started as a safe, fun place for kids to play evolved to include monthly events and exercise classes, all centered on family. The first quarter of the store is dedicated to their boutique, with items for infants to larger toddlers. They carry clothes, bows, toys, blankets, bottles and other items. But the back part of the store is dedicated to soft play time for infants and imaginative play for the toddlers.
“Our ages range from zero to six years old,” Hernandez said. “Moms can come and get out of the house, meet other people and have a safe place for their babies to play without having to worry about being trampled on by bigger kids. The toddlers can also use their imaginations to play. We have building blocks, trains, a kitchen set…we wanted to have a safe space for the younger kids to play.”
The cost to attend for one child is $10 and the second child is $8. If your child is younger than one year old, it’s $5. They also offer memberships. For a single child, it’s $50 per month and multi-children is $75. The membership allows you to come as much as you want and attend all of their events.
“We have one Friday a month when we do a family fun night,” Hernandez said. “From 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., we let the kids play, we have an activity for them and we show a movie on the wall. They can also order a pizza where they get to make their own pizza and watch it cook and then they get to eat it!”
Hernandez explained that it’s not just for the kids.
“It’s a parent’s day to play, too!” said Hernandez. “We get a lot of grandparents who come, babysitters and nannies, as well as stay at home moms.”
And there are also work out opportunities for moms!
“We have Mommy and Me Workouts every morning at 10:00,” Hernandez said. “It’s a 30-minute, low impact workout. We can use the kids as weights or they can run and play!”
On Saturdays, they have a Mommy and Me Yoga class.
“We have an instructor who is certified in pre and post-natal yoga,” Hernandez said. “The kids can join in and try it, but if they run off, it’s no big deal. If a baby cries, no big deal. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere.”
If you bring a child, the classes are free with your child’s entry fee. If you come by yourself, the classes are just $5.
And the adults often come just to get out of the house and relax or even work.
“We have coffee and hot chocolate, which are complementary,” Hernandez said. “You can sit on the couch and relax. Or visit our boutique and shop. We also have free wi-fi, so some parents who work at home will bring their children to play while they pull out their lap tops and work.”
Hernandez has a background in teaching, which makes this an optimal career for her.
“I taught junior high for six years in Dallas and ran an in-home daycare here for three years,” Hernandez said. “I decided I want to stay with the little kids. They are just so innocent and perfect and imaginative.”
Hernandez said there are a lot of benefits to the kids as well, in addition to the play time.
“If you stay home with kids, a lot of times they don’t get to interact with other kids,” Hernandez explained. “This gives them a chance to interact with kids their same age and learn how to share.”
The play area has soft tiles for kids learning to crawl and walk. There are also musical instruments and an area to read books or do puzzles. And the other side is for the bigger kids, where there is a train station, a playhouse, paw patrol toys, baby dolls, animals and cars. There is a loft upstairs that has a fire station and a playhouse.
They also offer birthday parties.
“We do birthday parties sometimes on Saturday afternoons,” Hernandez said. We set up the back table with balloons, plates, cups, napkins and a banner. We do private parties as well as open play parties.”
Private birthday parties are $225 for an hour and a half. They can also do themed parties like horses, superheroes, or Paw Patrol for an additional $25.Tot Town is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. You can check out their website at tottownokc.com or go to their Facebook page for the scheduled events or to find out if they will be closed for a private birthday party.