Location: 10770 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, KS 66109
Cost: Free, but you can always buy a sandwich
The brand-spanking-new Chick-fil-A by the Kansas Speedway features a Toddler Play Area. The floor is well padded; the stairs up to the tunnels and slide are wide and webbed-in, making falls unlikely; and it’s so new that everything is in fantastic shape. Even though the store was packed when we were there, the play area was fairly quiet–I think this is partially because it’s limited to children 3 years old and younger, and to children who are 54″ tall and shorter: the bigger, rowdier kids aren’t allowed to play here. This worked out really well for my toddler, as he was able to play relatively unmolested.
There are lots of noisy toys along the back wall, including a flippy-toy like the one at Oak Park Mall, although this one lets you make different creatures rather than being a big match game.
One of the toys has a bunch of beads in it, kind of like an hour-glass, that makes a neat sound when you flip it. Although blind and vision-impaired kids might not be able to play with these as the designers intended, they should enjoy the noises and the tactile elements of these easily-manipulated games.
The space is small with a well-sealed door–it’s not easy for a toddler to escape like it is at Oak Park and other similar play areas. There are two benches with storage for kids’ shoes and seating for parents. The staff is keeping a good eye on the play area, at least at the moment–they came through periodically to make sure everything was clean and well kept.
Chick-fil-A’s pricing is about standard for fast food here in the Metro; I’d say the kid’s meal was about $3.99. As an added bonus, they tend to give away books as the prizes in the kid’s meals–Peanut got a copy of Eric Carle’s At the Zoo with his chicken nuggets.