I honestly have no idea how I have never heard about Safari Sam’s before! I stumbled upon the website last week and immediately showed it to Skyler to ask if he had ever been there. He said he also had never heard of it, but thought it looked really cool and we’d better go check it out. 🙂
We packed up the car on his day off on Wednesday and headed north to Sherwood. From our house, it was about a 45 minute drive, which isn’t too bad for a place where you can easily spend a few hours!
Safari Sam’s is a giant indoor play ground, but so much more. There’s an arcade, glow in the dark mini golf, a bounce house room and a sports gym. The jungle gym is for kids of all ages. Unfortunately, the bounce house was restricted to ages 3+ and Zeek was incredibly disappointed that he couldn’t go into the “Finding Nemo” house. He will be glad for the day that he is allowed in there. 🙂
Shoes off, socks on are the requirements for kids on the jungle gym (which I like!) but adults are allowed to keep their shoes on. Adults are allowed (and encouraged!) to climb around the giant jungle gym with their kids. In our case, one of us needed to go with Ezekiel to assist him. Even at just barely two years old, he was easily able to climb around, up and down through the holes, over some of the obstacle course objects and just horse around. He needed help getting up some of the blocks and reassurance while climbing up the rope ladders, but overall he was pretty capable of climb around and we let him choose the course for our adventure. 🙂
Take a look at some of our fun:
As you can see, we all had a great time climbing around! This was so much fun really playing with Zeek and letting our inner kid’s out. Not to mention – what a great work out! I had a hard time getting a photo of the entire play structure, but here’s a general idea:
Right in the center of the play structure was a smaller area made for young toddlers. It was a fantastic set up, because it was right in the middle so while your young baby played, you could also keep a pretty good eye on any of your kids playing above you in the structure. There were two entry doors to this play area but both were closed off by a bench so your young tot can’t run off without you being aware. They are confined to this smaller play area – which any mom’s of fast runners like Ezekiel always was can really appreciate that feature. 🙂
Here’s Ezekiel and Skyler playing in the “baby” area:
After we wore Zeek out on the jungle gym, we played a round of mini-golf! (And I experimented with taking photo’s in a glow in the dark space… ;))
One thing we noticed is that whoever designed Safari Sam’s, payed excellent attention to details. Like this painted box in the mini golf area:
We loved that the boxes said they were shipped from Madagascar and Africa to Sherwood, OR. The green box had a lion roaring sound coming out of it and if you put your hand on the box, it vibrated when the lion roared. Zeek actually thought there was a lion in there and after that hole, he couldn’t focus on golf very well, as he kept thinking about the lion in the box. We reassured him that he was safe and mommy and daddy would protect him from the lion. 😉
We didn’t play any of the arcade games and as I mentioned, we didn’t get to go into the bounce houses because Zeek wasn’t old enough. With all the playing, we spent a little over two hours there and easily could’ve spent more time there if it wasn’t waaaay past Zeek’s nap time! The little guy conked out about 3 minutes into the car ride home. Energy spending success. 🙂
Now let me break it down…
Name: Safari Sam’s (Sherwood, OR)
Cost: Admission $7/per kid over age 2. Adults get in free! On Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s & Thursday’s, you get the option of 20 free game tokens, a free bounce house bracelet (unlimited bouncing), or a free mini golf bracelet (unlimited mini golf). We obviously chose the mini golf. 🙂 So, for over two hours of play (but you can stay as long as you want!) for the three of us, the total cost was only $7! There are more price package options which you can see here.
Cleanliness: As semi-germ freaks, we are REALLY picky about where our kids play. This place was incredibly clean! The floor was vacuumed, the jungle gym was really clean and wasn’t all worn out and grungy, the mini golf was built well. The tables were cleaned off and tended to. Bathrooms were clean. We really appreciated how clean this facility was!
Safety: The jungle gym itself was extremely sturdy and there wasn’t any part of it that I felt was shoddy or worn out or unsafe for myself or my two year old. I also felt really great about the safety of Zeek in regards to him escaping the building or being taken out by another adult. There was only one entry/one exit for the place and they had the exit/entry roped off and watched by an employee at all times. Each child and their guardian were given a bracelet and glow in the dark numbered stamp which were verified upon exiting to make sure you were leaving with who you came with. Loved this system and it worked well.
Employees: I’m always shocked at the number of places designed for kids that have really rude employees or who have the attitude that kids are annoying. Safari Sam’s was a beautiful exception. Every single employee that I encountered was not only helpful and friendly but really seemed to enjoy their job and enjoy the kids that surrounded them. Shortly before we were leaving, a bus pulled up and about 30-40 kids streamed off the bus and into Safari Sam’s for the childcare program. (YES, they do a before and after school childcare program! HOW FUN! If we lived closer, I know Zeek would’ve loved something like that.) One of the ladies who I was near and I assumed was some sort of director or manager, greeted the kids with a smile and called them by name. She asked questions about their day like she really knew who each kid was. It impressed me that they knew so much about the kids in the program and it was clear that they really have a love for kids.
Other: We stopped at McMenamin’s for lunch before we headed to Safari Sam’s but next time we won’t! Next time we’ll just eat right at Safari Sam’s! For some reason, I had it in my mind that it was just a pizza place. It’s so much more. 🙂 Check out their menu. Really reasonable prices too! They also have some fun options for birthday parties.
Cons: We really are picky about where we take our kids, but we were blown away by everything about Safari Sam’s. The only “con” that we could come up with for this place was that I wouldn’t be able to take Zeek by myself with also having a newborn. I wouldn’t be able to climb around in the jungle gym with Zeek while wearing Asher in the front pack. So, we’ll only be able to go when two adults can go – one to play and one to hold the baby and the camera. 😉 BUT, since adults are free of cost, this is just a very very small con. We’ll just have to make sure we go here on family play days. 🙂
Seriously, if you’re semi-local, go check out this place! You’ll have fun, your toddler will have fun, you’ll both get great exercise and everyone will leave happy and smiling. 🙂 I cannot wait to go back again. I haven’t felt like that much of a kid again in a long, looong time. This was the perfect rainy day family fun adventure!