By Micaela Williamson
Christie Talbot, mom of two, worked in a corporate setting for 20 years and decided to make a career change.
“I always wanted to start my own business, so I researched my two passions: physical fitness and children, ” Talbot says. “When I came across the Great Play franchise, I knew without a doubt this was the perfect next step for me.”
Great Play’s mission is to help develop children’s athletic ability so they love to play. Christie claims, “Our Goal is for every child to reach his or her full physical potential and develop a love of physical activity that will lead to an active and healthy life. Whether they choose to pursue competitive athletics or simply play and move for fun, the skills and confidence they gain at Great Play will enhance their desire to participate and help them excel.”
Plus, Great Play sets itself apart from other kids’ programs by its unique Interactive Arena. This is a high-tech, engaging, clean, safe space for kids to have fun, explore their abilities and learn new ones. A network of computers, eight projectors, video sensors and a directional sound system combine to make it a truly unique experience. Energy is built in, not just up to the staff. The setups change throughout the class. Great Play includes a much broader range of games based on philosophy of broader-based development; cross training in skills and later in sports.
Besides awesome physical classes for kids, Great Play offers some really fun, action-packed, customizable birthday parties. For younger children, the parties unfold as stories based on the interests of the birthday child. For example, the projectors transport party guests to an imaginary play area under the sea where they swim like fish or to explore a magic castle with knights and princesses. Great Plays’ beloved animated mascot, Buddy, appears for a running, jumping, skipping and hopping game of hide and seek.
For older children’s parties, players enter the Interactive Arena as though they are entering a stadium as the starting lineup in an all-star game. The lights come down, music comes up, spotlights start to shine, and the camera starts rolling showing each Player’s entrance up on the giant scoreboard. The Players high five each other on their way into the Arena, and then the (animated) crowd goes wild when the MVP of the event finally enters. And that’s just to start things up.
Depending on the interests of the party star, there are a wide variety of activities built into each party, including the amazing interactive walls, where the kids can break virtual bottles, kick field goals with an interactive referee, hit in a home run derby and much more.
Christie Talbot is excited to open this business in the Northern Virginia community. She hopes become an integral part of the community and play a role in helping children develop a foundation for active and healthy lifestyles.
Great Play of Fairfax
11395 Government Center Parkway
Micaela Williamson is a co-author of local travel guide, Kid Trips Northern Virginia, an extraordinary resource that provides descriptions, useful information and insider tips for hundreds of local destinations. Micaela is also an award winning blogger who enjoys supporting area businesses and scouting out family-friendly venues with her two young sons.