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“A little pricey for what you get”

Be With Me Playseum
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A little pricey for what you get”
Reviewed July 22, 2014 via mobile

The stations (rooms) are not regularly put back in order, so elements of the activity get strewn around into other rooms.
There was no staff around to help handle animals, provide play dough, or dispense treats. Seemed to just be someone with the pay for painting a craft area or ticket person. Was a bit icky. I really wonder how often they wipe down their toys. Parking very limited. Meters are only for an hour out front.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank natashalili
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Cute concept, but underwhelming”
Reviewed July 20, 2014

My son and I found the Playseum underwhelming and disappointing. It's a cute concept, but very poorly executed. Here is why it didn't work for us:
1) The space is poorly maintained. The carpet is stained, the walls desperately need a new coat of paint (and even have holes and gashes in some spots), and everything feels cluttered even when it's apparently in the proper spot. There was a bakery area that had a bunch of rags lying on the floor and just generally looked unsanitary. It doesn't help that the Playseum is in the basement and doesn't get any natural light.
2) Most of the toys are very beat-up. Nothing that should have made noises did. Perhaps this is on purpose to keep the noise level down when there are a lot of children playing at once, but my two-year-old was disappointed time and again by pushing buttons on things and getting no response. Some of the stuffed animals were downright grimy. The grocery store area had actual emptied-and-cleaned food containers in addition to the play food, which is a nice idea, except that the containers were falling apart and had been taped back together. It says a lot about the general mentality of the owners and staff that they can't be bothered to bring in new egg or milk cartons from home every few days and instead just Scotch tape a ripped-up egg carton together and try to pass it off as an acceptable toy.
3) There were a few ride-on and push toys, but no space to actually ride or push them. This place is SMALL. There are nine or ten "rooms" but each one only has space for 2-3 kids to play at once. We were here on a Wednesday morning and had the place practically to ourselves, but I imagine even just 15-20 kids would be too many.
4) There is a room with live pet store animals (bunnies, fish, birds) but you aren't allowed to touch the animals. I understand this, but if the point is just to look at the animals, we can do that at our neighborhood Petsmart for free.
5) The staff wasn't engaging at all. When I first arrived the girl at the front desk greeted us cheerfully, but then neither she nor the other woman working spoke to my child at all the rest of the time we were there. That's fine, but if it were my business I would be encouraging the staff to upsell. They have a few activities that you can opt to do that cost extra (cupcake decorating, painting, etc.). I'm not sure that I would have opted to do one of those activities anyway, but I found it strange that nobody asked me or my son if we wanted to try one, especially since, like I said, we were basically the only people there. And it was unclear how we would have gone about doing one of those activities if we wanted to try one. That's a lost money-making opportunity.

I will also add that I think the appeal of the bottom floor of the Playseum (where were spent our time) is very limited in terms of the age range of children that would enjoy it. There are a lot of dress-up clothes, which my two-year-old isn't interested in yet. Having said that, by the time a child is old enough to engage in imaginary play, I think s/he would also be too old to be entertained by the cramped quarters and limited activities for more than an hour or so.

My two-year-old enjoyed the fire truck and grocery store for a bit but then said "Go home?" after only about half an hour of playing. This is pretty much unheard of for him! I normally have to give him a countdown and then drag him away from activities. I managed to get him to stay for another forty minutes, just so I could feel like I got my money's worth, but the fact that I had to encourage him to stay and play some more says a lot about the place's lack of appeal.

With all of that said, this place is definitely overpriced. I visited with a buy-one-get-one-free deal, and I'm so glad I didn't pay full price. As it was I felt like $7 was a bit of a reach for what you get. If I had paid $14 for the two of us I would have been angry.

Here are some alternate activities that would amuse my child more than the Playseum:
-Going to the thrift store and picking out $7 of used toys that will probably be in better condition than the ones at the Playseum.
-Going to the (FREE) public library to play with the blocks, puzzles, and books
-Hanging out in a friend's basement playroom. Seriously, I have several friends whose playrooms are better appointed than the Playseum. Heck, OUR basement playroom is almost as exciting as the Playseum, and much cleaner.

Oh well. It was worth a try, but I don't think we'll be back.

Visited May 2014
11 Thank HotTamale11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
55 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Good idea, poorly executed and maintained”
Reviewed July 7, 2014 via mobile

The idea behind this kid's museum is on target, but the areas themselves are grungy and sloppily designed. The cost, at $7 a person is quite high given that my son was done playing in about 20 minutes. Also, any activities, such as painting, etc. came at an additional cost. The painting area that was free was gross. I have taken a fee pictures to illustrate.

4 Thank ColoradoTraveler327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bethesda, md.
Level Contributor
747 reviews
153 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“A Great Family Experience for Kids of All Ages”
Reviewed May 13, 2014

Playseum is a wonderful place to take your kids to enjoy helping them learn to use and expand their imaginations. Located downstairs in a building on Wisconsin Avenue... you and your young kids can choose from a myriad if games and activities from decorating cupcakes to making your own toothpaste. Hear a story or learn to play an instrument. The list goes on and on. Good family time well spent.

Visited April 2014
Thank barymad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Potomac, Maryland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Nasty, messy and disgusting!”
Reviewed March 31, 2014

We took our one and half year old there yesterday and we could not wait to get out. This place is plain disgusting. It feels like you were in a dirty small storage area with bunch of junk thrown around. I doubt anyone ever cleans the place. Carpets are NASTY. Toys are old and dirty. We will never ever set foot there again. I think this place should be shut down for uncleanness. I can't believe it is allow to operate where people's children go there to play!

Visited March 2014
4 Thank kchini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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