Written by: Cheryl Loggins
Being a mom of two special needs boys, it has always been a struggle to find a place where they can go play in a safe, judgment-free environment. I think most special needs parents know the feeling of other parents and children glaring and whispering about how your child is acting. They just don’t know how over stimulating it can be for our kids, and that they aren’t misbehaving; they are just reacting and trying to cope.
This is why I am excited about the new indoor play area in Westfield called Carter’s Play Place. I took my eight-year-old autistic son, and from the moment he walked in, he was amazed. I think the word “awesome” was used a few times. As soon as you walk in you see several swings, hammocks, and a SpringFree trampoline. He ran past all of these activities and went straight to the forty-foot zip-line. The staff was very helpful setting up the zip-line so he could coast into the crash pad, for what seemed like a dozen times. He tested out all of the swings, spent several minutes on the trampoline, and enjoyed rolling down the padded roller slide. He played with Wabba and Bubber at the sensory table. We also explored and found the quiet sensory room, although luckily he didn’t need it today.
What I noticed was how spacious the facility was, and no loud music that over stimulates the kids (and annoys the adults). Because of the many windows the facility was full of natural light. The “Parent Recess Area” has two big comfy couches, and is great place to hang out while the kids are having fun. To top it off, they offer free popcorn, and hot coffee for the parents. I perused Carter’s Gear, which is a small shop where you can purchase sensory toys. We also took a look at the private birthday party room.
The cost is reasonable for a single visit, with discounts for siblings and multi-visit packs. They also have a monthly membership that provides unlimited access to the facility as well as additional discounts on any products and services. Carter’s place has several different kids birthday packages that help to provide a memorable experience.
Carter’s Play Place is located at 17219 Foundation Parkway, Suite 100, Westfield, IN 46074. The phone number is 317-763-1568 or check out their website at www.cartersplayplace.com.
To find even more Indianapolis area kids indoor playgrounds, check out Indywithkids.com
Katy Mann contributed to this story in an interview with Adam Meents, co-founder of Carter’s Play Place.
“I always wanted there to be an inclusive kid-gym in Indy, I never thought I’d be the one that ran it,” that’s what Adam Meents, co-owner of Carter’s Play Place told me.
Like many of us who dream of resources for our children and families, Adam finally made the decision to leave his career at Roche and pour his heart into building this sensory friendly space for children in the community. “We want to provide a lot of space for the community; quiet rooms, therapy rooms, parent lounges. You’ll find a therapy room for music, recreational, physical therapy and social skill classes.”
Every six months or so, new equipment will be introduced to keep it fresh. In fact, Adam is very excited about bringing his work with Indy AMBUCS AmTryke therapeutic tricycle program to the gym. Children will be able to be fitted for and try out therapeutic tricycles.
Kids will love;
– suspended equipment with swings for balance and vestibular input
– crash mats and crash pillows for fun, motor planning and strength
– trampoline for building strength and sensory input
– indoor play structure for climbing and increasing playground skills
– motor play toys and equipment
– fine motor and arts and crafts area
– birthday parties and private play dates
Adam shares his heart behind opening Carter’s, “We want to truly be a place where you can remove stigma — you don’t have to explain yourself or your child to everyone around.”
Carter’s Play Place provides children with a fun and motivational environment to help them in the areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication, positive behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills.
17219 Foundation Parkway