Eric Evenson has been there.
You need someone trusted to watch the kids so you can go out for a dinner and a movie.
Maybe there’s an hour or two when mom and dad’s work shifts overlap and Johnnie needs a safe place to stay.
Or maybe the kids just like the camaraderie of playing at kidnplayinc.comKid N Play on Baker Boulevard near Southcenter Mall. Of course, there’s the obvious one: It’s a lot more fun for everyone when the kids aren’t along on a shopping trip.
“They just have a blast,” said Evenson of the kids who come to his facility.
Evenson and co-owner Will Davis opened the drop-in center in October that caters to parents. They fill out a registration form once, then they’re all set. Kids are picked up only with proper ID, so identification is required at registration time.
Evenson and Davis have backgrounds in teaching, coaching and camp counseling. They also have kids of their own. Besides them, there are two other employees. They’ve undergone background checks.
Kid N Play is open Monday through Saturday, with Sunday reserved for birthday parties, which have become popular, Evenson said.
The center charges by the hour ($8.50) and there’s no limit how long a child can stay. But, it’s not a day-care center, Evenson said. Snacks are available, but no meals are served.
Staffing depends on the time of day, but typically there are two employees at the center. The center can have up to 35 kids ages 3 to 12 at a time. So far, the number is typically five or six during the day, perhaps 10. The stay averages 2 1/2 hours. The center won’t accept anyone still in diapers.
The center has about 2,600 square feet of space.
“We wanted to make it spacious so the kids have ample room to move around and enjoy the center,” Evenson said. “We are an open-play environment.”
There are play stations, including ones with Legos and Barbie, and arts and crafts. There’s a building station and a kitchen and restaurant section, with registers and fake food.
Disney movies (but no TV) show on a large-screen TV in the back where kids can relax with large stuffed animals and blankets. There’s a tent city with three pop-up tents. On the wall is a mural of a bear hanging out in the trees.
There’s a rope climb and a slide and a tucked-out-of-the way reading area.
Evenson said there’s no other such drop-in center in the Southcenter area. So far, clients are looking for that place to leave their kids while they shop or go out for dinner, he said.
“There are so many parents who don’t have a social life of their own and that reflects back on their family life,” he said.
Kid N Play
WHERE: 406 Baker Blvd. Suite 160, Tukwila
HOURS: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Sunday is for birthday parties.
INFORMATION: A full explanation of the center and its rules is available at its Web site.