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By Jill Mollard & Jessica Tedder, CertifiKID Subscribers
Posted Apr 16, 2019
Posted Apr 16, 2019
Bubala Indoor Playground is an indoor play space in Pikesville, Maryland filled with slides, bounce houses, ball pits and more for kids ages 7 and under. They also offer a separate padded play space for the younger ages, a movie-viewing room and a snack bar.
We sent two of our MOM Squad ambassadors and their families to Bubala Indoor Playground. They received free admission in exchange for providing an honest review of their experience.
Jessica: Bubala Indoor Playground is an indoor play space for kids crawling-age to 4-years old. When we arrived at Bubala around 2:30 p.m. there were around 20 kids there from ages 1-6.
Jill: We do not live close to any indoor playgrounds, so we like to explore the area around where we live to find places for the kids to go and have fun, especially during the winter or bad weather. Bubala has one large room where all of the play equipment is located. It is all very colorful and interactive for the children.
There is a great feature where the kids can climb and pick one of four slides to go down into a fun ball pit to play in. My son really enjoyed going down quite a few times.
Around the playground, there are also several smaller features including a small light up slide, several ride on toys and a caterpillar that the kids can crawl through and climb on.
Jessica: Our children had a great time on slides, small climbers, merry go round, trampoline and slides. They spent over an hour bouncing, jumping, climbing and playing.
Jill: There are large pillows the kids can recline on and also benches and chairs for them to sit while enjoying a break from playing and a movie. My daughter really enjoyed reclining on one of the big pillows after playing.
Next to the slides is a small merry-go-round. I thought this was really fun and I have not seen anything like it anywhere else we have gone. The kids can sit on the seats while the merry-go-round spins. It does not go fast at all, so the kids can safely enter and exit the ride independently.
Jessica: We liked the merry-go-round swing best.
Jill: The other large structure in the playground included a trampoline and a climbing structure up to another slide that was made to look like a dragon. Once my son was able to figure how to climb up inside, he really enjoyed it and spent most of his time going back and forth from the trampoline to the slide.
Getting There and Getting In
Jessica: It took us 30 minutes driving from Laurel, Maryland. If you are coming from the North on Reisterstown Pike be sure to turn down McHenry Road to access the shopping center on the right, since you cannot turn left at the shopping center, and would need to make a U-turn otherwise. Parking was easy at the shopping center. We went around 2:30 and were able to enter quickly as there was no line.
Jill: We live just over the Maryland state line in Pennsylvania. It took us about an hour to travel to the indoor playground, which is located in a small shopping center. The entrance we were directed to is behind the building, so we did have to drive around to the front in order to locate the business. Once we drove around, we could clearly see the sign for the indoor playground.
When we arrived at Bubala, there were already several families playing and enjoying the space. There was some confusion about entrance fees due to miscommunication between the staff at the location, but my kids were excited to discover this new indoor playground, so we did not want to upset them by leaving. Since we got there just after opening time, it was a bit crowded. We did not have to wait long and while we waited, they allowed the children to go in and play.
Time Recommended to Enjoy Experience
Jessica: I would recommend staying for more than 1 hour. Our kids weren't ready to leave when they closed at 4 p.m.
Jill: For smaller children, I believe an hour is adequate for them to enjoy the space. We went early in the day to allow enough time to play before going to have lunch. After about an hour, my son was getting tired.
Recommended Age Range
Jessica: My daughter is 6 and has special needs. The children that went with us were 5 and 4.
Jill: My daughter is 6 and my son is 2. I would recommend this indoor playground for children 5 and below. My daughter enjoyed the space but had enough after about 20-30 minutes. I think if we let him, my son would have stayed all day.
Tips for Families
Jessica: Make sure you check their Facebook page before you go. The open play hours change every weekend. Also, your child will need socks (but they sell them there if you forget). The noise level was a bit loud. But of course, a lot of kids in a small space can be very loud.
There is a small cooler with drinks and snacks for purchase. In the same shopping plaza, there was a pizza place and a bagel shop. In the area, there was a Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, AMF Bowling, and the Last Act Theater which was playing How To Train Your Dragon 3.
Jill: Socks are required in the playground. We also brought drinks and snacks with us. They did appear to have snacks and drinks available at the front counter. There were also a few tables and a counter to sit while eating/drinking.
Also, while they do have regular business hours listed on their website, it is best to check their Facebook page to make sure they are actually open for open play when you want to go.
Since the indoor playground shares space with several other businesses in the shopping center, the parking lot was fairly busy.
Would Your Family Visit Again?
Jessica: I think our kids were at the end of the age range for this location. Our kids had a great time but I would suggest this for families with kids crawlers-age 4.
Jill: We do not plan to visit again as it was a bit of a drive for us and, while our kids enjoyed discovering a new place to play, my husband and I both felt that the level of service did not warrant another visit to the location. We were displeased not only with the greeting we received upon arriving, and the attendant on duty required to make sure all children have a signed release before playing did not address the issue with me, even though I asked.
Also, several times throughout the visit, we felt the attendant was not attentive to the families on the premises. We frequently observed her occupied on her cell phone or just not around at all during the time were there. We did not trust that if an emergency occurred while we were there that the attendant would be able to address it in a safe and orderly manner.
Upon leaving, my husband observed that the attendant had left the premises. While it is understood that going to an indoor playground the visit is pretty independent; you pay to play. We felt that families that choose to patron such an establishment should be able to trust in the employees that manage it and emergencies that could arise while our small children and other families are enjoying the space. Employees represent the brand and Bubala was not represented well on the day we went.
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