Have you ever heard of Play Matters in West Columbia, SC? If you’re looking for a safe, clean, indoor playspace with a HUGE variety of toys and endless open play options, you’ve got to give this newly opened business a try!
PlayMatters SC has only been open for a few weeks, but local mom and Kidding Around Columbia writer, Kayla, recently had the chance to visit them and is here to give you all the details!
The New Hot Spot in the Midlands: PlayMatters SC
Play Matters is filling the gap for families with young tots to have a safe, clean, developmentally encouraging indoor space to play. Here you will find several Montessori-inspired playrooms, educational toys, open-ended play stations, materials to develop imagination, climbing structures and so much more.
As a parent or caregiver, I know we often worry about helping our children achieve all the developmental milestones. Let me be the first to tell you that at Play Matters your children will be able to work on so many developmental areas all in one space – gross motor, fine motor, and social skills, just to name a few.
How Much Does Play Matters Cost?
Play Matters charges $15/child and this also includes 2 adults. Your admission is good for a full day of play so you can stay as long or as little as you’d like. I would recommend setting aside no less than 2 hours to be able to fully explore the playspaces, but honestly, you could spend SEVERAL hours here playing the whole day away.
Important Things to Know
- EVERYONE is required to wear socks at all times. This includes adults. If you forget to bring socks, Play Matters has them on sale for $2/pair.
- Outside food and drinks are allowed, however, can only be consumed within the 2 designated snack rooms.
- They have a variety of snacks and drinks for sale for very reasonable prices:
- $2 bag of chips
- $1 snack bars
- $1 small water
- $1 juice box
- $3 coffee
What to Expect at Play Matters
Upon entering Play Matters you will be greeted with a lobby area full of wall hooks, seating, and cubes to leave your belongings in. If it is your first time you will be asked to fill out a waiver and then be given a tour of the facility.
A few things that stood out to me were how clean the entire play space was and the huge variety of play equipment and unique toys. All of the toys are high-quality, sturdy, and things you wouldn’t normally have to play with at home.
Private Nursing Room
Within Play Matters, you will find a quiet, cozy nursing room complete with a comfortable chair, Boppy pillows, a small table, and a locking door. I thought this was such a sweet and thoughtful feature and the perfect place for any nursing momma looking for a bit more privacy.
Tiny Tot Play Rooms
There are two designated playrooms for the tiniest tots, ages 0 – 18 months. In these rooms, you will find soft mats, age-appropriate and simple toys, small climbing blocks, a tunnel, a Pikler Triangle, and more.
As mentioned above, there are two snacking areas at Play Matters. All food and drinks are asked to stay within these rooms. These two rooms are complete with picnic tables, plenty of seating, a high chair, and a Bumbo style seat.
Variety of Themed Play Rooms
The whole facility is somewhat shaped like a “U” with small rooms all along the outer wall. Each room has a different theme and toy options:
- Gross Motor Room – 2 indoor play structures with slides, monkey bars, a balance beam, etc.
- Imagination Play Room – dress-up costumes, wooden kitchen, and food market, baby dolls, pretend strollers, doll houses, Nugget play couch, and more
- Transportation Room – train table, workbench, tools, large cars, and trucks
- Bumble Bee Room – couch, picnic table, wooden blocks, storage cube full of Montessori-styled wooden toys
- Wildlife Camping Room – play tent, stuffed animals, bookshelf, pretend campfire, variety of animal figures
- Outer Space Room – rocketship tent, small sensory room, insect specimen blocks, telescope, blocks, etc.
Play Matters: Local Mom Review
When I moved to Columbia almost 3 years ago I searched high and low for a place exactly like Play Matters, but had no luck. I was ecstatic when I found out that this space was opening and to say it is much needed for our area is an understatement.
More than just a clean, fun place to take my kids for some play time, Play Matters also gives moms and caregivers a place to meet other adults, chit-chat with friends while sipping on coffee, and have peace of mind that kids are safe while doing so.
I recently took my two kids to Play Matters and we stayed for about 3 hours. My son, 4.5 years old, loved the Outer Space-themed playroom the best. He also enjoyed riding around on the cool push cars and met several other children that he enjoyed playing pretend with. My almost 2-year-old daughter had a blast climbing and sliding on the playscapes. She also had fun putting together puzzles and playing with the baby dolls.
We met up with a friend and her daughter while there and they had an equally good experience. Along with being able to talk with her and other adults, I also loved being able to sit down on a clean floor with my children and play alongside them with new toys.
As we played, the owners were sure to make sure we had everything we needed, were constantly making sure the playrooms and toys were cleaned and tidy, and took the time to strike up conversations with each family.
More to Come
Play Matters has only been open for a few weeks, but they have tons of great ideas in the works. They will soon be allowing Birthday Party packages, small group workshops, and more. Be sure to follow Play Matters online for updates and announcements.
3685 Leaphart Road, Suite A, West Columbia
Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm
Have you been to Play Matters yet? What was your child’s favorite room?
Looking for more things to do indoors?
We have a huge Indoor Guide to Columbia, SC.
Check it out!