Oh man, it’s hot. Much of the country is in an historic heat wave, and what I have to say to you people is…welcome to my world. I am a Florida girl, born & raised so I am accustomed to the subtropical environment – when temps dip below 60, I’m bundled up like your typical beach bunny. In 2004, I moved from South FLA where the beach was always a bike ride away to Central FLA where the closest beach is a 25 minute drive – complete climate shock for me.
See, if you live near a body of water, let’s just use the ocean for our example, it might be ‘temperature’ hot, but there’s always a nice breeze to keep the ‘feels like’ temperatures a bit more comfortable. Here in the middle of the state, there is no sea breeze…which means that summers here are absolutely stifling. Don’t bother taking a shower, because the moment you step outside you will be instantly coated with a thin layer of sweat. The east coast & west coast sea breezes tend to collide over the interior of the state, which is the cause of our daily 3PM thunderstorms this time of year. PS – the rain does NOT cool things off. Rather, it leaves a lovely sort of sauna effect behind-even stickier than before.
Between the heat & the daily storms, Central Florida parents are always looking for fun, interactive things to do with their kids that are indoors – believe it or not, the pool does get old after awhile. If you don’t want to sell a kidney to get the money you’d need to get a family of 3 or 4 into one of Orlando’s major indoor attractions, you’ll be looking for some cheap, air-conditioned fun! I’ve already put the Orlando Science Center to my Toddler Test, you can check that out here.
My next fabulous Central FLA find that’s inexpensive & indoors is Amaya Papaya in Casselberry. An indoor playground for kids ages 0-5 yrs old, AP also allows busy parents to relax, have adult conversation, or work from their free Wi-Fi – and the most you’ll pay is $10, as price varies by your child’s age & there are discounts available. Of course, those with little ones (I’d say 3 & under) can’t really leave their kids unattended, but I look forward to the day that I can blog from the AP tables while BabyCrazy plays his little heart out.
To give you an idea of how much the kids love this place; on our first trip there, BabyCrazy spent 3 hours playing & I had to drag him out of there! Anyone with a 2-3 year old will know that this is HUGE, since most babies that age have the attention span of an ant. That just shows you how much there is to do! There are your standard kid toys, all sectioned off into age-appropriate areas, but there are also trampolines, a “Sensory Sandbox,” a dress-up station (BabyCrazy’s personal favorite is the dragon), a huge train track with magnetic trains, daily art projects…you get the point. A particularly popular set of toys is from Discovery Toys. Sara, the local Discovery rep, is super sweet, has an adorable little guy about my son’s age plus one on the way, so I’d say she knows her toys!
Amaya Papaya is open M-F for “Open Play” and is closed most weekends for private parties. They also host different kid-friendly events throughout the year. The owner, Yolanda, is a sweetheart, and her daughter (appropriately named Amaya) is even sweeter! She is very involved in the day-to-day activities as well as the community at large, and is meticulous in maintaining a clean environment by insisting that everyone (parents included) wear socks in the play area, and offers hand sanitizer and wipes. There is also a fridge where you can bring & store your kiddies’ snacks, and if you happen to forget, the fridge is stocked with healthy drinks & snacks for a nominal charge.
So, there you have it. If you Orlando area moms haven’t discovered Amaya Papaya yet, I strongly suggest you do so – you and your little one will be glad you did!
Note: MommyCrazy was not compensated in any way for writing this post.