Real Mom Review: Jolly Yolly Kids Indoor Playground in Fairfax, VirginiaBy Melissa Goduti, Kimmy Huggins & Jennifer Walters, CertifiKID Subscribers
Posted Jun 26, 2019
Jolly Yolly Kids is a brand new, 8,500-square feet indoor playground in Fairfax, Virginia. Recommended for children ages 0 - 13, this awesome play center has a multilevel play structure for big kids, a tot lots area for children ages 2 to 7, and a baby area for little ones under age 2, as well as birthday party rooms.
We recently sent three of our MOM Squad ambassadors and their families to Jolly Yolly Kids for a special pre-opening preview. They received free admission in exchange for providing an honest review of this new play space.
Jennifer: Jolly Yolly Kids is full of fun activities and climbing structures for kids. There are three areas: the Baby Zone for ages 0 to 2, the Kid Zone for ages 2 to 8, and the Big Kid Zone for ages 3 to 13 (though I think 13 is pushing it). My 8-year-old twin boys and 4-year-old daughter had an equal amount of fun in both the Kid Zone and the Big Kid Zone.
Melissa: We were grateful for the opportunity to visit Jolly Yolly Kids as some of the first kid-testers before it opened for the public. We were welcomed by the store manager, Angela, who kindly checked us in and oriented us to the facility, as well as introduced us to the owner, who was busy working on finishing up the final touches before the space opens.
Kimmy: Jolly Yolly Kids is a fantastic indoor play space that is fun for kids up to 13 years old! There are so many different activities to enjoy inside this location like slides, climbing structures, swings, ball pit, and more! I took my 9, 6 and 2 year old and there was plenty to keep them all busy having fun at all times.
Melissa: My daughters (E, age 4, and C, age 2) started screeching as soon as they saw the facility. E was very pleased with the "squishy sparkly bench" to take off her shoes (this is a socks-required, shoes off kind of place!), and C took her time picking out just the right cubby to place her shoes. Cubby spaces are plentiful!
Kimmy: As soon as we walked in, the giant slides on the left immediately caught my children's eyes, and they couldn't wait to get on them!
Melissa: My girls immediately ran for the giant indoor play structure - by far the largest indoor play structure I have ever visited! The overall under-the-sea theme was fun, colorful and engaging.
The large play structure is designed for ages 3-13, but 2-year old C (who is a bit of a monkey) could handle it needing minimal support. She did want to hold hands with the slides because both the quad-slide and three-level curly slide are *extremely fast*.
Jennifer: The highlight of the structure—at least for me and my kids—is the super fast wave slide with four lanes!
The Big Kid Zone is a huge multi-level climbing structure with ramps, tunnels, vertical mazes, two spiral tube slides, and many other hidden surprises: monkey bar rings, a "zip line" that kids can sit on, obstacles, steering wheels, and lots more.
Melissa: I was impressed by the many features inside the play structure - balance beams, wobbly bridges, hanging balls, obstacles to climb over/through/under, climbing tunnels, trapeze rings, and more. It almost felt like a Ninja Warrior course inside-- in a good way!
Melissa: There was a giant ball pit that had your usual ball-pit balls along with big yoga balls - my little one kept yelling "MORE BALLS!" and racing to the pit.
Jennifer: Other great offerings at Jolly Yolly Kids include a shallow ball pit, a light-up dance floor and three spacious party rooms, tables and chairs, and free Wi-Fi.
Kimmy: This space is huge, very clean and colorful, with a nice snack area which allows for nut-free outside food and drinks.
Melissa: The "tot lot" for ages 2-7 had some of the more unique play features I've ever seen - besides the fast triple slide, soft and "rock" climbing surface.
Jennifer: The Kid Zone is full of pastel-colored inflatable features, including my kids' favorite: a spinning carousel with hanging inflatable spheres that kids can sit and swing on.
Melissa: They had three motorized structures that are hard to put into words - one was like a large carousel of upside-down lollipops, and you'd jump onto a lollipop as it swung around and take a surprisingly fast-moving ride. Hard to describe, but a huge hit.
Jennifer: There's also a spinning hamster wheel, a peanut swing and a two-story climbing structure with a gently sloped climbing wall and three small slides in the middle. The structure includes two small "rooms" with fans that will eventually blow balloons around.
Melissa: My girls had a lot of fun on what they called the "swinging caterpillars" - two large caterpillar-like shapes to ride on like a horse, and would gently swing back and forth. They also enjoyed what we called the hamster racing wheel, but my girls were a little intimidated by it.
Jennifer: A nook underneath the structure has a giant flashing Lite Brite board and pegs that my kids really enjoyed.
Melissa: The baby zone (ages 0-2) had a dome climbing structure, a rainbow bridge, a train tunnel, and some wall-play stations.
My girls had a blast exploring the entire space, and have asked to return the next time we are in the area. After 2.5 hours of play, the little one fell asleep before we were out of the parking lot, so I'd consider it a very successful outing.
This was such a bright, open facility - huge windows let in wonderful sunshine, and the multi-level play structure was big enough that you could take dozens of routes through it, with new things to find in every nook and cranny. My typically cautious four-year-old was challenged in ways that let her build confidence - she usually hates slides, so I was shocked to see her take on all the VERY fast, tall slides again and again.
Jennifer: My kids split their time pretty evenly between the Kid Zone and the Big Kid Zone, moving back and forth between the two areas. In the Big Kid Zone, they often played with the other kids who got to attend the sneak peek, and I just loved how the structure sparked their imaginations. They played hide and seek and tag, they "raced" down the wave slide, they pretended to be spies ... SO much interaction and creativity!
Jennifer: What I most enjoyed was seeing all three kids having fun and playing so nicely together! I also appreciated how clean everything was and that there were several hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the place. And, the staff is wonderful!
Kimmy: I loved how this venue had different areas for each age group, which are clearly labeled. It's also great that they cater to infants/toddlers and kids up to 13. It's very hard to find play places that all 3 of my kids can enjoy!
Getting There and Getting In
Melissa: Coming from Centreville, VA, this was an easy 20-minute drive. The location was easy to find - for those long-time Northern Virginia residents, Jolly Yolly is in the old Best building in Kamp Washington - just off the 50/29 intersection. It's in the same building as Aldi and Planet Fitness. From the parking lot, the entrance is to the right of Planet Fitness, and you'll take an elevator up to the second floor.
The parking lot is suitably large and free, but be aware that it is sharing a lot with Planet Fitness, and it appears that many of the gym-goers can be a bit aggressive/speedy in the parking lot - make sure your kids are sticking close!
It was quick and easy to get in. We had filled out the waiver online before coming, so we were very easily checked in. If we had not pre-filled in the waiver, they had two tablets mounted at a table for guests to fill it out electronically.
Jennifer: It took us 20 minutes to get there from our home in Burke. It was an easy trip! The location off Lee Highway was easy to find, but it was hard to figure out where to go once we walked in the front door. Jolly Yolly Kids shares an entrance with Planet Fitness, and they are both on the second floor. But there were no signs hanging to indicate that, so we just had to guess.
Once in the elevator, we had the option to push the button for floor 2 or 2R. We pushed 2 and the back elevator door opened to Planet Fitness. So we tried again and pushed 2R, and this time the front door opened into a hallway. Jolly Yolly Kids is just to the left, but they should hang a sign up outside the elevator to indicate that to make it easier to find.
The parking lot in front of the entrance was pretty full due to the Planet Fitness, but it's part of a larger shopping center, so there's plenty of parking available a little beyond the entrance.
Kimmy: It took us about half an hour to get there from Ashburn. The location was easy to find using Google maps and there is a free parking lot that surrounds the building, where plenty of spots were available.
Time Recommended to Enjoy Experience
Melissa: We were there for 2.5 hours, and my kids were starting to get exhausted at that point, even though they did NOT want to leave.
Jennifer: We were there for 2 hours and my kids didn't want to leave! I think around 3 hours would be a good amount of time to visit.
Kimmy: We were there for about an hour and a half which included a short snack break. I thought this was a good amount of time to let them run around and play, although they definitely would have had fun staying longer!
Recommended Age Range
Melissa: My daughters are 2 and 4 years old. I think from walking-aged children through 10 years old would have the best experience here, but ages 11-13 would still have fun when accompanying a younger sibling. There is enough space in the play structure that I could easily envision older kids playing a bit of hide and seek in it.
Jennifer: My twin boys are 8 and my daughter is 4, and they all had a ton of fun. Though the location says it is geared for ages 0-13, I think kids older than 10 would be too big.
Kimmy: My kids are 9, 6 and 2. This place was perfect for all of them. There are fun activities for each of them to enjoy so I would definitely recommend it for kids up to 13 years old.
Tips for Families
Melissa: Socks are required, and shoes are not permitted. There are ample cubbies to leave your shoes/bags at the front. The bathrooms are down the hall, but both the men's and women's restrooms have changing tables, and stools for the kids to use at the sink.
At this point, outside food and beverages are allowed in designated areas, but the facility plans to remain nut-free, so leave the peanut butter sandwiches at home! Food and drink are not currently sold here, but they are considering it for the future - whether it ends up being more like packaged snacks or more like a cafe remains to be seen.
Just out the window, tantalizingly close across Rt. 50, is a Dunkin Donuts and a Zoe's Kitchen - there is a crosswalk, so you could walk there for a caffeine fix and lunch. There is an ALDI on the other side of the same building. Also nearby are a Starbucks, Chipotle, Cava, Panera, Ritas, Duck Donuts, and many other counter-service and fast-service restaurants. There is a cute little neighborhood playground - Westmore Park - about 3/10 of a mile into the neighborhood. Fair Oaks Mall (home of the Children's Science Center Lab) is about 2.5 miles away.
Jennifer: My tip for parents is to fill out an online waiver for each child before you go to save time when you arrive. Everyone (including adults) is required to wear socks, so don't forget yours!
Also note that you need to exit Jolly Yolly Kids, then go around the corner and down a very long hallway, to get to the bathroom. So, you may want to visit the bathroom before you enter to minimize trips (and the amount of time you'll have to take shoes off and on)!
The location offers free Wi-Fi and a seating area with tables and chairs, so parents can get work done while the kids play. There are also counters with stools along the Baby and Kid zones for parents who want to be closer to their little ones.
The manager, Angela, told me there will be snacks (such as goldfish), juice boxes, and water for sale. She also plans to provide complimentary coffee. Guests can also bring their own food, but it must be nut-free!
Kimmy: As most indoor play places require this, don't forget to bring socks! Since the location allows outside food, I highly recommend bringing some snacks and beverages for the kids. The snack area has a good amount of tables and is very clean.
This location is right in the middle of Fairfax, there are PLENTY of family-friendly restaurants nearby to enjoy before or after your visit. The mall is also just a few miles away!
Would Your Family Visit Again?
Melissa: We will definitely be back - we are always looking for ways for my girls to have fun and be active with their 8 and 10-year-old cousins when we visit, and this play space has something for everyone. I look forward to seeing how it all comes together when it's ready for business!
Jennifer: We will DEFINITELY be back very soon! There are not many indoor play places that accommodate both younger and older kids, so it was awesome that all three of my children had an equally great time here! I work from home, so I'll definitely bring my laptop this summer and get some work done.
Kimmy: We will definitely be back to visit this fun venue. The management and owner were so friendly and welcoming. I'm happy to have found a play place that is fun and safe for all my kids!
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