This past weekend, Sloan and I found ourselves on the other side of a YouTube video. After several months of obsessively watching children’s YouTube star, Blippi, visit brightly hued playhouses in the western United States, we visited one of our own. It was a bit surreal.
Sloan’s best friend, Jacqueline, invited us to play at Windmill Playhouse on Saturday morning. I had not heard about the place until that moment and immediately thought playground instead of a playhouse. Even though it was inside, I still expected more of a jungle gym type setup than a rainbow paradise.
I typed in the address in my Navigation and it took me to the X Gym warehouse located off of George Bishop Parkway. A building with multiple businesses, Windmill Playhouse is located on the side of the building. I parked the car and we walked through the doors and into a world of imagination.
Like I mentioned, I wasn’t expecting a fancy play area you see in internet videos. But, much to my surprise, that is exactly what we walked into. In front of us was a play oasis complete with slides, tunnels, bridges, a ball pit, and the trendier equipment you see on YouTube.
We were so busy looking straight ahead that we almost didn’t notice the woman standing to our left at the cash register. She finally caught our attention and I paid the admission price. For Sloan it was $15, a bit pricey if you ask me. But don’t get too turned off – parents are free! Yes, moms and dads are invited to play with their kids at no charge. That definitely makes things a lot more reasonable.
I texted Susannah, Jacqueline’s mom and friend of ours, that we had arrived and that we would wait for them before entering the play area. Talk about wishful thinking! Sloan couldn’t resist the vibrant scene in front of her and ran straight for it. Her daddy had no choice but to follow.
Sloan had enough time to wade in the yellow, green, white, and brown balls for a few minutes before Susannah and Jacqueline arrived. Once they did, we went back to the register to greet them. The two toddlers then led the way back to the play area where they would go hard for 90 minutes.
The slides are a focal point of the playhouse. There is a smaller slide for two passengers and a larger slide for three passengers. Sloan rode them both but sat on my lap for the bigger one. The smaller slide was flat and ejected you into the ball pit with greater force than the larger, grooved one. The whole time we were there, Sloan kept saying “Slide! Slide! Slide!”
Multicolored padding allowed for kids (and adults) to crawl up the structure. You also had plenty of netting and regular platforms that also enabled “players” to reach the slides. A balance beam is also placed within the structure to test coordination.
Some surprises in the main play area await. Ball guns and a ball levitator give you the sense that you are at a sophisticated play place. Although we couldn’t exactly figure out how to make them work properly (could have been operator error) they were cool to look at and Sloan still liked to shift the ball gun around in different directions.
Those in the ball pit are encouraged to throw balls at a giant TV screen affixed to the wall. When a ball makes contact with the screen, which seems to display video game content of some sort, a digital flame reaction occurs. Also in the ball pit are inflatables for toddlers to jump on and roll around inside.
You can’t forget the trampoline in the main structure nor the swings on the ground level either. Kids can jump in play cars and cruise around in the area under the structure, they just have to be mindful of the other children on the swings.
Aside from the main structure, there are a couple of other attractions as well. There is a roundup type piece of equipment that children can climb inside and be pushed around in circles. Or, they can sit down on the bicycle type seats on the rim and manually move it themselves. There is also a merry-go-round type ride with colorful mats for kids to sit on. There are plenty of other “extras” as well that you will just have to explore and see for yourself.
After an hour and a half, Sloan and Jacqueline were still going strong but the adults were ready to wrap things up. Although definitely no Blippi, I think I held my own on the equipment. When we arrived at 10:30 a.m. we had a lot of the facility to ourselves but by noon it was starting to get crowded. Windmill Playhouse is a hidden gem in Myrtle Beach and I encourage all my friends with young kids to check it out. Don’t Blink.