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Playtime Palace provides indoor fun for youngsters

Activity center encourages creative play for toddlers and preschoolers.

Teagan Tiessen, 3, left, and Blake Miner, 3, play grocery store
Teagan Tiessen, 3, left, and Blake Miner, 3, play grocery store at Playtime Palace on Tower Avenue in Superior on Thursday morning, Jan. 20, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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A world of imagination lies in wait for toddlers at a new indoor play space in Superior.

Playtime Palace opened Jan. 8 in the former knitting store building at 1320 Tower Ave. Children ages 8 months to 6 years old can explore activity centers, create music and make friends while parents look on.

A collaborative effort by the community, the center is housed in a former church.

The wind chill sent temperatures well below zero Thursday, Jan. 20, but 3-year-olds Teagan Tiessen and Blake Miner spent the morning capturing insects around a tree house, sending a car careening down a roller coaster track and opening up a bakery in the space.

“Blake doesn’t go to day care and she’s not old enough for school, so this is great to get the social element part of it,” said her mother, Taylor Miner.

Blake Miner, 3, left, catches bugs in her net as Teagan Tiessen, 3, spots the photographer in the giant tree at Playtime Palace
Blake Miner, 3, left, catches bugs in her net as Teagan Tiessen, 3, spots the photographer in the giant tree at Playtime Palace on Tower Avenue in Superior on Thursday morning, Jan. 20, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

On days when it’s too cold or too humid for young children to spend time outdoors, the indoor play space offers another option to get children out of the house.

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“Especially stay-at-home parents know that sometimes you just want to get out and do something. It’s nice having something like that now,” said Playtime Palace owner Natosha Tiessen.

A mother of three young children, Tiessen was inspired to open the business after watching videos with her son of YouTube personality Blippi, who films educational segments at indoor play spaces. Another factor in the decision to open Playtime Palace was the fact that Tiessen took her children, ages 3, 1 and 9 months, to the Great Lakes Aquarium eight times last year.

Natosha Tiessen holds her son Eli, 1, as she talks about her new business, Playtime Palace
Natosha Tiessen holds her son Eli, 1, as she talks about her new business, Playtime Palace, an indoor child play area, on Tower Avenue in Superior on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

“It’s just more so looking for something to do, because not a lot of things are geared toward toddlers, which makes it kind of hard to go do stuff. So I figured I would try and give it a whirl and see if it’s something that other people like,” said Tiessen, who lives in the town of Superior.

Admission is $8 per child plus tax. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no admission for parents or babies who will not be crawling around or participating in the play. Families can rent the space for birthday parties, and Tiessen is testing the popularity of group activities like a pajama pizza party that involves food, play time and a craft.

Hazel Tiessen, 9 months, crawls around at Playtime Palace
Hazel Tiessen, 9 months, explores the space as she crawls around Playtime Palace on Tower Avenue in Superior on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Snacks are available for purchase, and there’s a rack of clothing for sale that adults can look through. Superior Waffles delivers to the center, if families want to sample some local cuisine while they play. Tiessen envisions outdoor events in the parking lot to the side of the building in the summer.

The entrepreneur said she could have sought a site in Duluth, but wanted to stick to Superior because of a lack of indoor play spaces in the city. She’s been preparing the site since Dec. 20.

Blake Miner, 3, plays in the ball pit at Playtime Palace
Blake Miner, 3, plays in the ball pit at Playtime Palace on Tower Avenue in Superior on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Blake has visited Playtime Palace a few times. She likes setting up foam blocks along the roller coaster tracks and using the play kitchen.

“She likes making us coffee and little muffins. A lot of creative play,” her mother said, and she never wants to leave.

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Tiessen actively seeks input from visitors, online or through a suggestion box on site. Community feedback has already led to a change in hours to better accommodate parents.

Visit the Playtime Palace Facebook page or call or text 715-319-0093 for more information on the business.

Taylor Miner, left, plays with Hazel Tiessen, 9 months, and Eli Tiessen, 1, at Playtime Palace
Taylor Miner, left, plays with Hazel Tiessen, 9 months, and Eli Tiessen, 1, at Playtime Palace in Superior on Thursday morning, Jan. 20, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Playtime Palace, an indoor play area for young children
Playtime Palace, an indoor play area for young children, is located at 1320 Tower Avenue in Superior, a former knitting supply shop.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Related Topics: SUPERIORSMALL BUSINESS
Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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