The bright and colorful interiors of PLAY. Photo by author
Kids enter the multi-level Janguru playground. Photo by author
Little Town features a school, a grocery, and a bank for kids. Photo by author
Okada Manila VP for hotel operations Ivaylo Ivanov and his daughters welcome you to PLAY. Photo by author
MANILA -- Okada Manila is set to open on Saturday its new facility dedicated to kids.
At first glance, PLAY looks like a place where parents hitting the casino can leave their kids in peace but it’s much more than that.
“PLAY stands for ‘Purposeful Learning and Activities for the Young.’ It is Okada Manila’s family-friendly indoor fun facility where child’s play is elevated to an engaging and enriching experience,” explained Ivaylo Ivanov, Okada's vice president for hotel operations at a media preview.
PLAY is large colorful space divided into eight zones where kids from ages 1-16 can enjoy programmed classes and pocket activities.
There are activities targeted for every age range. Toddlers can move around the cushioned play space of Mini Steps & Mini Me. Preschool kids can find out what it means to be shopkeeper, a banker, or a teacher in Little Town.
Active kids can romp around in Little Park with its slides, climbing wall, zip line, barrel roll, giant tic-tac-toe, among other obstacles.
Grade school kids can check out Sports Zone, where a mini soccer field and basketball court has been set up; Janguru, a multilevel playground of tubes, nets, slides, and ladders; and Wizard’s Den, a large video game attraction where players use their hands to dispel medieval monsters.
PLAY also has a stage where kids can perform and channel their inner superstar.
And lastly, there's a party place for events like birthday parties and private get-togethers.
Behind the scenes, PLAY is really mindful of its young guests with security of utmost importance. For example, signing in is a three-tier process that while a little tedious, guarantees the safety of kids coming in to PLAY. Thirty-four CCTV cameras are scattered around PLAY to keep a watchful eye over everything.
PLAY is staffed by occupational therapists, SPED teachers, and even, former principals to support its educational aims. These staff members serve as coaches who lead programmed classes and pocket activities held during the facility’s opening hours.
Programmed classes run a whole gamut of topics including arts, crafts, communication, music, dance, life skills, and more, while pocket activities are ad-hoc sessions conducted in an area when it gets too crowded. For instance, in a case where kids are crowding over a particular slide, or swing, or area, coaches come in and lead group dynamics to maintain order.
The people behind PLAY take pride in paying attention to kids with special needs. Besides hiring coaches who have been SPED qualified, PLAY has ramps all over so that kids can access as many areas as possible. Furthermore, the staff are first aid- and CPR-qualified and Okada’s own emergency response team are on standby a short distance away from PLAY.
Parents can buy five-hour passes to PLAY with an option for one-year and half-year passes. There are plans to offer preferred prices and packages for Okada Manila’s Reward Circle Members and hotel guests in the near future.
PLAY is is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday to Thursday and from 10a.m. to 12 midnight, Friday and Saturday.