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Planetary facts are posted throughout a playful obstacle course at KidSpace. Photo courtesy of Ben Siebrase

Westminster’s New Educational Indoor Playground

Combat the summer slide at KidSpace, a new playspace built to teach STEM concepts to kids of all ages.

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At first glance, KidSpace looks like any other modern indoor playground. Brightly colored recreational equipment beckons active kids like my sons, enticing them to run, climb, crawl, and slide through a series of structures and obstacles. My kids were exhausted after an hour inside the main playspace, but they were wiser, too. This 9,650-square-foot activity center was built to teach science, technology, engineering, and math to kinesthetic learners ages zero to 12.

“Imagine if a P.E. teacher and science teacher got together and created a class,” says KidSpace co-owner Meghan Stockman. “That’s STEM at its best—hands-on learning in an active, fun environment.” After visiting oodles of indoor playgrounds with their children, Meghan and her husband—KidSpace co-owner Roger Stockman—noticed a recurring theme. “Indoor play spaces are fun, but there isn’t anything else to them,” Meghan says.

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She and Roger decided to create an educational playground keyed to an outer space theme. Concepts such a gravity, electromagnetism, and friction can be a little dull on a whiteboard, but they came to life when my children were racing down side-by-side slides and dodging hanging punching bag “planets” covered in interesting facts.

KidSpace
Kids climb, crawl, and slide through different structures while exploring scientific concepts. Photo courtesy of Ben Siebrase

There are dozens of interactive “exhibits” scattered throughout the main playground and the adjacent ballistics area, an alcove stocked with air cannons designed to teach children about launch characteristics such as trajectory, velocity, and orbit. Be prepared to drag your kids away from ballistics because they won’t want to leave.

Packed between the main playground and ballistics areas, toddlers have a designated learning zone made for KidSpace’s youngest learners.

Because the Stockmans built their entertainment center with sturdy materials and large components, parents and older siblings can enjoy KidSpace alongside school-age children. If you’d rather spend some time on the sidelines, sip locally roasted Kaladi brand coffee, nosh on Paleo sweets, or try a fresh sandwich from Spruce Confections, all of which can be purchased at the snack bar.

When your kids are worn out, dodge into the planetarium for a quick astronomy show. Keep an eye on KidSpace’s online calendar, because visiting scientists will come in periodically to teach mini-classes and run experiments in a private room that also accommodates birthday parties and special events.

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Check it Out:
6805 W. 88th Ave., Westminster
Need to Know:
 Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cost:
$14 for children ages three to 12, $8 for toddlers six months to two years, free for adults and babies six months and under.
Insider Secret:
 Visit their website for free online lesson plans designed to teach parents and guardians about the STEM topics revealed through play at KidSpace.

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