Triangle Town Center will open its new indoor playground, designed for babies to preschoolers, to the public on Saturday with a special grand opening event.
The 900-square-foot playground replaces the mall's original playground, which opened 12 years ago. The new playground sits in the same spot - on the first floor next to Sears and The Children's Place.
"It had been well loved," said Jennifer Jones, the north Raleigh mall's marketing director, of the original playground. "The children played on it non-stop. Everything is clean and pretty and shiny."
The original playground had a North Carolina theme and the new one is similar with play pieces that take kids from the mountains to the beach. Here, kids can slide down a waterfall or climb through a log in the mountains, then take a convertible to the beach where they can drive a boat and climb through a wave. The new playground includes eight soft play pieces, several play panels on the wall and benches for parents around the edge.
The popular playground closed in July for the work. And kids have missed it, judging from the sad faces of the little ones looking into the roped off playground on Thursday when a crew was working on the final pieces.
The playground's rules remain the same. It's designed for kids under 42 inches. That's generally babies to preschoolers. Parents must stay with their children in the play area. And don't forget to take off your shoes. Cubbies are provided inside the playground.
A grand opening celebration is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, at the mall. The day includes pizza from California Pizza Kitchen from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and nuggets from Chick-fil-A from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Chick-fil-A cow, Mookie the Monkey from Create a Critter and a mascot from the Hallmark store will be on hand.
There also will be games, a balloon artist, face painting, door prizes and giveaways. Check out the image gallery and watch the video for a closer look at the new playground.
In other Triangle Town Center news, the mall welcomed a new Vans store near Saks Fifth Avenue about a week ago.
Cary Towne Center opened its new indoor playground last month. I know from mall management and moms on our Facebook page that the new playground has been very popular.
But let's all take a moment to remember that these mall playgrounds are designed for young kids under 42 inches tall and that these aren't places to drop off your kids.