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“So Much to Discover for the Wee Ones”

Be With Me Playseum
Reviewed December 3, 2015

Im always looking for places to take my Grandson and I stumbled upon a Groupon on LivingSocial deal and was pleasantly surprised at this hidden gem located down the steps in the basement of a building. Parking isn't fun but you can park across the street behind the restaurants and walk the block over. Parking is metered during the week and free on the weekends. We walked around and visited each room to plan our afternoon and then we purchased $20 worth of Playseum bucks that he used to make me some lip balm and he made him self bubble bath, he painted a bird house and made his own smoothie and a milk shake for me and we had money to spare for our next visit. I felt like the place was a little under staffed for all the activities and parties that were going on but I think they did a great job considering. Some of the items were dated but I think that is part of the appeal of the old world library/book store motif they have going on. In short we enjoyed it and will again.

Date of experience: October 2015
1  Thank Sharon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 18, 2015

It kills me that my daughter (3.5) loves this place so much. It's no surprise that she does - it's a messy free-for-all with lots of stuff to get into. But I agree with many other commentators about the place being a bit run down, feeling dirty. Boxes in the grocery store area are falling apart and taped back together rather than replaced, staff is unattentive, toys are dirty and many for the smaller kids are broken (I have a 16 month old too).

My daughter loved painting a craft, looking at the animals (even though you can't touch them), eating cupcakes - or just generally running around with a friend. But it is not worth the $7/person admission fee (for a family of 4, that's $28 - plus any thing else you add on); cupcakes are $3 each - and they're like little homemade cupcakes. NOT Georgetown cupcakes... A visit here can add up quickly and for an expensive outing, I would expect cleaner digs.

Date of experience: February 2015
3  Thank MonkeyGirlBean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2014

This is such a cute idea. It's obvious the place is operating on a tight budget but if you take that into consideration this is a great place to spend a couple hours. My six year old daughter loved it. Grandma's attic had antiques to peruse complete with an old typewriter and an a electric organ which could be played with. We spent $21 to get in and bought $25 bee hive bucks for $20. Each book room has a different theme and the entire room is interactive. Costumes...ride on tpys...a very complete Safeway grocery store and domino's pizza place. My daughter held a lizard...made her own lip balm and scented lotion and spent time trying on different wigs in the salon. She loved it. If you are overly germ conscious it may not be the place for you as it is obviously well used regularly by children who are free to PLAY. All in all it was great.

Date of experience: July 2014
1  Thank dkelblaine1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Date of experience: July 2014
3  Thank natashalili
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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.

Date of experience: May 2014
14  Thank HotTamale11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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