Now children can go to the grocery store, the city park, and doctors office – all while their parents are getting a workout in.
The Salem Family YMCA will debut a new interactive fun center January 1 called “Y-Town”, a city-themed experience in which kids can get the whole feel of a small town. The Y put this area in a large room near the entrance of the building that used to serve as a teen center until an expansion in late 2012 moved it to the section that used to the be the wellness area. Youth & Family Director Felicia Branham wanted the tangibles emphasized, as kids turn more toward technology for knowledge and fun.
“In the age of tablets and Netflix, we don’t want to see kids in our community lose their sense of wonder and imagination. In a time when answers to the world’s questions are a web-search away, the Y wants our kids to experience a little creativity and unleash their mind,” said Branham.
Children can access Y-Town in a number of different ways. The Y offers open play, where the room is available to parents and children. They will also offer a drop off option, in which a child has the chance to explore the room on his or her own as long as they are over three years of age. Finally, rental packages will be available for birthdays, banquets, or any other event.
The YMCA will offer different packages for the parties, starting with a basic all the way up to a premiere with different themes including art, science, and super hero. Branham believes this will be the perfect concept to children who continue to adapt to a fast paced world at a quicker pace.
“Children are growing up too fast…we are busy. Sometimes it’s hard to be creative and do something new. That’s what we want to do.”
Patsy Leffler was responsible for the artwork in the center, and Tom Bowers helped make the project possible with his financial contributions.
Below are photos of the new interactive center, as well as hours and different party options.
Open Play (Please remember house can vary based on holidays and YMCA events)
Mondays – 4-7 pm
Tuesdays – 9 – 11 am
Wednesday – Rentals only
Thursdays – 4-7 pm
Friday – Rentals only
Saturdays – 10 am – 1 pm
Sundays – 2-4 pm
Drop Off (Please remember this option is for ages three and above and is not offered on weekends)
Mondays – 9-11 am
Tuesdays – 4-7 pm
Wednesdays – Rentals Only
Thursdays – 9-11 am
Friday – Rentals Only
For more information on different party packages, the YMCA can be reached at (540) 387-9622.