Lakeside Shopping Center’s new “Kids’ Castle” play space sponsored by Children’s Hospital, The Parenting Center, and the Family Birthing Center at Touro will offer some help for busy parents shopping in the mall.
Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie announced the play space, which features a modern take on a fairy tale theme with whimsical play elements made of sculpted foam. The elements include dragons, a prince frog, Jack and the Bean Stalk, a castle kids can climb through, and a Louisiana.
In addition to the play elements, The “Kids’ Castle” features amenities atypical of a mall play space, including parent dining counters with charging stations, a hand washing station, baby changing counters, a family restroom, and three nursing rooms.
The castle play tower boasts two slides and three levels of interactive elements. Baby dragons and acoustical ceiling tiles in the shape of clouds are suspended from an exposed ceiling. The ground level play elements are surrounded by safety flooring and are also interactive—the sleeping dragon snores, the bears and alligator growl, and the frog prince “ribbits.” The bridge and the cave light up when crawled into. Two of the columns in the space were outfitted with the fairy tale images of Jack climbing down a bean stalk and Rapunzel in a tower.
The entry and parent counter portals visually connect the “Kids' Castle” to the food court area. Once inside the “Kids' Castle,” the immersive environment features murals designed by local digital artist Zoe Robison. These murals carry the fairy tale theme throughout the space and feature animated characters amidst rolling hills, mermaids, and water scenes. The aquatic section was designed to entice children to use the handwashing station.
The design of the play area is a collaborative effort between Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects, Sims Patrick Studio, Playtime, and Lakeside customers. The space is being constructed by Hillside Builders, and will open on April 19.
“One of the great things about this project is that a few New Orleans moms came together, created a space to meet the needs of young families, and gained the support of the mall’s ownership and a partner to make our vision a reality. Lakeside Shopping Center’s partnership with LCMC Health and its member hospitals was a natural fit due to our shared focus on providing first class experiences to the community. So, whether you’re a new mom venturing out of the house for the first time with your little one, or a caregiver looking for something to do with the kids, we look forward to sharing this one-of-a-kind amenity with you,” said Tricia Phillpott, general manager and leasing manager of Lakeside Shopping Center.
“We are thrilled to partner with Lakeside in providing a place for families to take a break from grown-up activities and let young children get the wiggles out,” said Barbara LeBlanc, director of The Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital. “The inviting child (and parent) friendly space is sure to be a popular destination.”
The public will be able to register to attend monthly classes and workshops held at he “Kids’ Castle” on pregnancy, newborn and child development, nutrition, and more. Classes will be provided by The Parenting Center and The Family Birthing Center at Touro.
The “Kids’ Castle” play space is located at the food court entrance and will be open to adult-supervised children, Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. For more information on The Kids’ Castle, visit http://www.lakesideshopping.com/kids-castle/ .