Wandering Around the World of Wings

We are always looking for new things to do with the kids – *especially* at the end of a very long winter, when yet another trip to the mall is less than exciting, and the playgrounds are still too muddy and cold to go to. By the end of February, we’ve exhausted all of our favorite haunts, and are starting to go a little stir crazy. So when I heard about World of Wings, a family entertainment center less than an hour away in Teaneck, I knew we had to go check it out.

Housed in a converted perfume factory, World of Wings is part birthday party venue, part butterfly garden, part play space, and part arcade. There are a variety of activities geared for toddlers through school aged kids.

When we got there, we were greeted by an enormous metal butterfly – there was no mistaking where we were!

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We had a great day at World of Wings, but the brand new attraction still has a few “bugs” to work out (ba dum bum!).

First, the admission pricing is a bit high, and the options are a little confusing. The most basic admission is $12 for an adult and $6 for kids aged 2 and up. (As comparison, the local play space here charges $14 per child.) The basic admission, however, does not include the butterfly atrium – to get in there is $22 per adult and $11 per child. The atrium was gorgeous, and a notable part of our visit, but it is kind of small – I can’t imagine spending more than 10 minutes in there, especially if you have smaller children with you – so I think the extra $10 charge is excessive. There are also a number of other attractions on premises that are an extra fee: It’s $10 for the indoor bounce room, $5 for “Glitter & Glam” face paint or nail polish, etc. They do offer family passes that include general admission, the atrium, and the attractions – the family pass is $81 for a family of four. I think the high admission will preclude a lot of families with younger children from putting this in their day trip rotation; three year olds are not known for particularly long attention spans.  I love having memberships to family-friendly attractions so I always look into that option, but the membership price for two adults and one child is $350 – compare that to the membership for the same family at the Bronx Zoo (which gets you access not only to all of the Bronz Zoo’s attractions, but also Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and the New York Aquarium – AND includes all of the children in the household) for $189 or to the Family Membership at Stepping Stones (two adults, all of their children, plus two guest passes) for $155.

We spent most of our time in the Soft Play area, which includes several themed alcoves like a ball pit room, a reading nook, and topsy turvy house, and a sand area.

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The light switches in all of the soft play rooms were at a low height, which proved irresistible, not only to Cole, but to a bunch of the other kids we saw.

Even the WALLS were interactive!

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We had a great time in the Soft Play area, but there were a few things that were a bit odd; first, there are a couple of Power Wheels-type cars, but none of their batteries were charged.  We were there early in the day, so it seems that they just don’t charge them at night, which is disappointing.

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Secondly, there are two small theme decorated rooms – a boys one and a girls one. In each, there are small beds with naked plastic-covered mattresses on top of them.  I can understand the issues with cleanliness and hygiene that comforters might cause, but maybe they could get some sort of easily wiped down covers?

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After we spent some time in the Soft Play area, we were a little hungry.  Unfortunately, the Grub Club, World of Wings’ casual cafe, is closed during the week and they don’t allow outside food and drinks.  The only in site option is Embers, which is a more formal sit-down restaurant, and that’s not somewhere I want to take my kids during a mid-week excursion.  We did have some smuggled in snacks at the Grub Club tables, and we were not the only ones, but it would be smart for that to be open during the week, especially given its location right next to the Soft Play area.

After our illegal snacks, we went into the the Atrium to take a closer look at the butterflies. It is truly gorgeous in there and it’s home not only to hundreds of butterflies (watch your step!), but also several small, colorful birds.  The docent in the Atrium gave Cole a magnifying class so he could examine the insects closer.

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He didn’t really understand how to use it correctly, and the docent was really concerned with him getting fingerprints on it, or dropping it and breaking it (it was glass).  I think it might be more practical to have cheaper plastic magnifiers for the younger crowd.

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Immediately outside of the atrium is a room with small reptiles and amphibians.  There are two zoologists on staff who take care of them, and they also lead activities during themed birthday parties.  It would be nice if there were scheduled talks during the course of a regular day so that visitors could learn more about the animals.

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The women’s bathroom was nice and clean, and even had a step stool to help Cole reach the sinks.  Unfortunately, another visitor reported that the men’s room was not so clean and there was no changing table in there.

IMG_5581 We passed several nursing rooms throughout the building – it was such a great detail for a family-friendly facility to provide quiet spots to breastfeed.

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IMG_5460 While the Soft Play area and the butterfly atrium were the highlights of our trip, there were several other small rooms to explore, some of which are included in the general admission.

IMG_5531Illusion Room

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Overall, we enjoyed our visit.  Given the price of admission, though, and the lack of available inexpensive snacks, I don’t think we will be returning too frequently.

If you have a group of 10 or more kids, the World of Wings is hosting a play date on March 26 from 10:30 to 11:30 – $10 will get you admission for one adult and one child, $8 for each additional child. You need a reservation and confirmation to attend.

I received admission and a tour of the facility in order to provide a review, but all of  my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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