To crib Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged … that a large part of parenthood is figuring out the best ways to tire your kids out. The St. James—the new, massive indoor sports complex in Springfield—has got a super, awesome and amazing option to do just that. Late last year, family-friendly The St. James opened the accurately titled Super, Awesome & Amazing play space. The 30,000-square-foot center was designed for kids and lives up to its name. A Nerf Battle Zone, a massive trampoline court, climbing and ropes courses, a virtual reality center and even an American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course were built to impress the kiddie audience—and give parents a chance to relax.
Designing an interactive space that’s appealing to children where parents can also work out, go to the spa or sit on the sidelines while their kids burn some energy was very much intentional, says Craig Dixon, co-founder of The St. James and a parent of three children himself.
“I know parents are pulled in all different directions,” says Dixon. “One kid has gymnastics here, one has soccer there. As a parent, you may want to be active, but you’re taking a backseat. We just knew there was a need in the market that wasn’t being filled—and we knew we could fill it because we’re the customer.”
With that perspective, Dixon opened The St. James last summer—and Super, Awesome & Amazing shortly thereafter. Little ones will want to get the wiggles out on the trampoline (children under 9 must be supervised by an adult), while older kids are free to run, jump and climb the various courses housed in the expansive, multi-story space. Seven party rooms also make it an instant go-to for active birthday parties.
But even though it takes some inspiration from American Ninja Warrior, kids don’t need to conquer the courses to have a good time. “You don’t need to be particularly good at sports (to have fun),” explains Dixon. “It’s an active entertainment experience.”
One, he hopes, both kids and parents will want to visit over and over again.
“When you wake up on a Saturday morning and your kids ask, ‘What are we doing today?’” says Dixon. “We wanted the only answer to be St. James.”
Plus, sleeping kids before you’ve even pulled out of the parking lot is guaranteed. // The St. James: 6805 Industrial Road, Springfield; superawesomeandamazing.com; prices vary based on day/time and membership status, rates starting at $15 per hour
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