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FARMINGTON — Play Day — an indoor children’s playground complete with bouncy houses, swings and slides — opened today, offering kids from 6 months to 13 years old a safe, indoor place to play seven days a week.

The 9,000-square-foot playground, located at 1601 N. Dustin next to the Oasis Church, sports a 22-foot-high inflatable double-slide, bouncy castle and pirate ship, an obstacle course, mini-zip line, swings, and also offers play equipment tailored to toddlers, such as ride-on toys and a mini bouncy house. A seating area with tables and free Wi-Fi gives parents a place to work or read while their children play, and a party room can be rented separately for birthdays and special occasions.

Admission is $9 for a full-day pass.

Play Day’s owner, Danie Lambson, said that it’s always been her dream to own a kid’s play place, so when the owners of the former indoor play place Big Bounce retired last April, she decided to make her dream come true by purchasing the huge, inflatable play equipment.

“I really felt like kids in this area needed a place to play, especially in winter. It’s also good exercise for them,” said Lambson, who, until she became a business owner, was a stay-at-home mother to three young boys. “As I traveled around and visited other play places in other states, I wrote down ideas. I took what they and the owners of Big Bounce had, and added to it to make it different.”

The business employs five part-time attendants certified in first aid and CPR to help watch the kids, though parents are required to be present while their children are playing.

Tanieko Collins, one of the part-time employees, said she likes her work because she enjoys watching the kids have a good time.

“It’s great to see the kids laughing and having fun. There’s no other place around here where kids can just roam like this and go crazy,” she said.

Danielle Garcia and her almost three-year-old daughter were enjoying the toddler equipment on Tuesday.

“I think this is great,” said Garcia. “She really liked Big Bounce and was bummed out when it closed. This will give her something to do in the winter, and it helps with climbing and fine motor skills.”

Garcia’s brother, Ramalldo Garcia, also brought his two-year-old daughter to play on Tuesday. Garcia agreed that it’s often hard to find activities to keep kids busy in this area.

“I think the location is really good, because you can also go play at (Brookside) Park, and since Dairy Queen is nearby, you can have a picnic too,” he said. “I also do a lot of school work, so the Wi-Fi will be good.”

Lambson said every third Thursday of the month she will offer a special evening for kids with autism to come play. Sarah Shelby with the New Mexico Autism Society approached Lambson with this idea.

"It can be very harsh for autistic kids to be in areas with a lot of people, a lot of noise, screaming and yelling. It can be really over-stimulating, and parents of autistic kids sometimes get criticism from other parents for how their child is behaving," said Shelby. "Having something specifically for autistic kids and their families to relax and have a good time, and having a place where families who understand each other can come together without being ridiculed will be good."

Lambson credits San Juan College’s Small Business Development Center with helping her get started in the business world.

“It’s really great for people starting a business – they offer free counseling, and help you with the steps you need to go through,” she said.

Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621. 

If You Go

Play Day indoor play area

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays

Cost: $9 for a full-day pass

Information: Visit the Play Day Facebook site 

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