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Sunday, October 25, 2009

IKEA?

We had had these plans to go to “Boo at the Zoo” for weeks now so when we woke up yesterday to stormy weather with the promise of continuing storms through 4pm in Asheboro you can imagine our disappointment. Well, I called Dawn and she said “why don’t we go to IKEA?” Since she had told me of this IKEA/utopia before I did not hesitate with my “yes!” and we packed up and left.

So what is it with IKEA? I will start from the beginning.

As you arrive into the parking lot what you will notice is that there is “family parking” this is especially for people like you and me who have little ones and is particularly appreciated in the weather we had yesterday. It is right up front and as close as you can get to the building. – Winner

You walk into this huge building and are immediately greeted by the “childcare” which you will find is well above what comes to mind with the phrase “childcare.” This is a place with a ball pit, movie theatre area, arts and crafts and so many other toys that I could not possibly name them all! A kid’s dream! And did I mention that it is free? Yes, for free they will keep your child for an entire hour while you shop.

And they don’t just have furniture. They have lighting, bedding, Swedish groceries, table linens, stuffed animals for kids and oh so much more! I would have never known!

Right above this area is their cafeteria. They have great food, we got cooked salmon, lox, salad and pasta with meatballs to name a few things and on Saturday kids eat free! So for two adults and three children to get much more food and drink than we could consume the bill was $19.63! No joke! They also have a kid’s section in their cafeteria complete with child friendly cutlery, furniture and seating.

On every floor and possibly in every department there is a kid’s play station. This is a place for kids to play while you browse at the cool stuff they have in that department. I mean they thought of everything!

In the restrooms there are signs confirming IKEA’s commitment to being family friendly. They say they have things like bottle warming stations and baby food too! It is about an hour and a half of a drive but you could literally spend the entire day there! We did.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Birthday Party at Funigan's?

Here is what one mom had to say...

My 4 year old son and his friends got to experience his Birthday Party at Funigans. He had a blast of which is the most important aspect for me. Furthermore, I have a positive recommendation for hosting a birthday party there.

Funigan’s is a lively and active place (which fits my son’s personality) so if you expect a quiet more private gathering Funigan’s is not the place for you. Yet, your guests will have a private room in which to share pizza, cake, drinks and presents for one hour. Then your party will move to a table amongst all the activities. The use of this table is for one hour as part of a party package. I found it useful as a place to set belongings for you and your guests in addition to any left over pizza and cake. There are many activities for children of all ages some of which include bowling, rock wall climbing, arcade games, a soft gym play area and well as a gated toddler play area.

As part of a purchase of a party package, the birthday host receives a t-shirt, plenty of tokens for your guests to play games, the help from a party “ranger”, drinks & pizza. We choose to bring the cake and ice cream since our son had a particular request. The party package is for two hours which did go by quickly. At the end of the two hour period, we once again had to move our belongings to another table in the grille area. The shuffling of our belongings every hour was somewhat of an inconvience but certainly not a deal breaker from booking another party there in the future. We were having so much fun we ended up staying quite a bit longer to play.

In our experience, the staff was helpful and courteous. There is plenty for the children to do you won’t be at a loss for entertainment. Fortunately for us, on the day of his party, Funigan’s did not seem too busy so it was not hard to keep up with the kids running around. While having a conversation with another mother who had her son’s party at Funigan’s, she remarked about how crowded it was the day of his party. She spoke of it being very loud and difficult to carry on a conversation with another person. I could see how that could be annoying and especially hard to navigate through the crowd. Once again, I was thankful it was not too busy at that time. In closing, my son’s “fun meter” was revealing off the chart values, so I will not hesitate to book another Birthday Party there if he so wishes.

Cathy Christy
(Mom²)