If they can crawl, they can enjoy the mall

A play date attracts the little ones at Destiny USA in Syracuse.

A play date attracts the little ones at Destiny USA in Syracuse.

A weekday morning walk through the fairly empty corridors of Syracuse’s mega shopping, dining and entertainment complex Destiny USA on Tuesday revealed one bustling hallway.

Strollers were parked around the outside of the square. Some parents kneeled on a carpet in the center; others talked to each other while standing on alert in the outer ring.

And children milled about. Those old enough to toddle toddled. Those still relying on the crawl as the primary means of locomotion crawled. There were coloring books and small games sprinkled about, if they wished to partake.

I stopped and watched for a moment.

An organized play date at the mall, or merely a group of parents who decided this is a good spot to let the little ones do their thing?

The former, I discovered, as a woman in control told them all that they’d meet again next week, same spot, same time.

I asked a man behind a stroller what was up.

The store Pottery Barn for Kids had started the event, he told me. But this was the last week of their sponsorship, he said. Yet the woman in charge, Erica, had decided to continue the play group on her own.

Wow, I thought as I continued my walk.

Life sure has come a long way from the days when it was every little kid for her or himself.

Have you ever brought your child to an organized play date? Would you like your mall to have events like this?

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11 thoughts on “If they can crawl, they can enjoy the mall

  1. Answers to your questions: (1) Yes. (2) I’m not sure. What is “my mall” anyway? I don’t own a mall, Mark. If I did, I think I’d be even more anxious, with less time to blog and read other people’s excellent blogs, like yours. So, thank goodness for that and for this post, too.

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    • I guess I do tend to take figurative ownership of places I frequent, sort of like my sports teams, Ann. My Dunkin’ Donuts. My diner. My mall. That would make me anxious, running all of these places at once.

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  2. 1. No, unless you count the two years I had to chaperone on his dates.

    2. I like the idea of this, especially at the mall when it is cold outside, but these groups are not my cup of tea. Good for those who do like these though!

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  3. when my daughters were small, most interactions and play experiences were unplanned and informal. the kids i teach seem to be all about organized activities. my grand babies go to mall spaces, libraries and other places where there are areas for them to play, where they can have fun and move and interact without fear of bothering others with their energy. not a bad idea, i think.

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  4. Pingback: 381: Different Ways | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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