Monday, May 13, 2013

Gladstone Center for Children and Families

This is about 3 miles from my house.

I learned about this place from another Oregon City family.  Evidently it used to be a grocery store.  It was converted into a head start and kindergarten.  They have a playgroup that is open to the public every Thursday afternoon.  I am always looking for something to entertain my toddlers in the afternoon, and events aren't that easy to find.  Most events geared toward toddlers are in the morning.  That does NOT work in my household.

So, we went to check it out last week.  You don't have to be a Gladstone resident to participate.

This place is awesome.  I felt like we'd crossed over to some alternate universe.

In addition to the play area in front of the school that you see in the photo, there is another play area behind the school that is where the free playgroup is held.  There is an indoor play area and an outdoor play area with lots of toys, music, sandboxes, scooters, etc.  And it's all fully enclosed so it's actually safer than my own yard.  Play is for one hour and my kids did not want to leave.  Libby was literally the last one out, practically kicking and screaming as they were locking the door.

Following play time, the kids go to the cafeteria area where they are served snack.  It was apple juice and goldfish crackers the day we were there.  After that Libby played with a dollhouse while Mae went and picked up a story book from a basket.  There is a story time after snack time, where books are read aloud to the kids.  I knew my kids would not sit still or even play QUIETLY while the story was read, so we prepared to leave.  As we were leaving, a volunteer came over and reminded us to "please take a book, every child gets a free book" from the basket.  The books had been donated by Powell's.  I'm under the impression they don't do that every week.  But I was astounded by how nice (and free) everything was.

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