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Indoor play areas in Visakhapatnam are a hit in summer

Happypola and Hopz are two new indoor play areas where kids can think, play and be physically engaged

The weather is unpredictable. Severe hot, summer days interspersed with cyclonic windy mornings! The kids are on vacation and moms are going stir crazy! If you’re like me then, here is a new concept that should gladden your heart — indoor play areas.

M Ushashree is happy that she doesn’t have to take her four-year-old daughter Saanvi to the “overcrowded beach” every other day. She prefers to drive down to Happypola at Maddilapalem or Hopz at VIP Road — the two new indoor play areas that opened in the city recently. “These places have been thoughtfully designed with activities to engage them and keep them occupied for long hours. Not only does my daughter get to meet kids her age here, I too get a chance to socialise with other parents,” she says.

Indoor play areas in Visakhapatnam are a hit in summer

The notable thing is that these earmarked play zones are sans any technology or gadgets, so they encourage children to move around, try wall climbing or crossing tunnels and play in their make-believe worlds.

Happypola

And there is something for every age. Started about four months ago, Happypola has activity zones with varying difficulty levels.

There are slides and ball pools, obstacle courses, tunnels, trampoline, wall climbers and Lego blocks designed for kids from four to 10 years old. Keeping the safety and interests of toddlers in mind, they have a separate zone marked for that age group which has cubes with numbers, pretend play sets and smaller ride-ons. The idea to create this interactive, fun space for kids came to Sai Kiran Potnuru when he was looking for places to keep his nephew entertained and engaged creatively.

“I realised that the city needs a place to wean children away from the digital screens and involve them in some physical activity,” says Sai, who along with his friend Lokesh Raja set up the play zone.

Happypola comes with child-friendly safety features such as EVA foam mat flooring and a trained staff to monitor the kids.

“We shortly plan to introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) activities, clay-based activities and also have a fish catching pond,” he promises.

Hopz

At Hopz there will also be story reading sessions besides other fun things. “This way, we can provide an ideal combination of physical as well as mental activities,” explains S Madhavi, CEO of Hopz. The play area has one of the biggest “Ferrari ball pool zone” with a soft gym. It has a soft play zone featuring nearly 1,500 sft of trampoline, obstacle climb, Ninja games, netted climbs, punching and big boxing bags. The place also has a dedicated STEM zone.

The play centres work on a pay-per-hour basis where parents can bring their their kids for short entertaining sessions. Keeping hygiene factor in mind, wearing socks before entering the play areas is mandatory.

Timings: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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