ZigZagZoo, in Vaudreuil, Qc (20 minutes west of Montreal) is an amazing combination of jungle-gym, slides, ride-on games, indoor mini soccer field and even a kid-sized climbing wall. The feedback from friends had always been positive so we decided to finally experience it this weekend.
Aimed at kids 12 years and younger, I would say the ideal age is about 5-8 years old but my toddler son (17 months) was squealing with excitement and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Whatever your child’s age, I can promise this: he/she will be exhausted! Oh, and if you get on your hands and knees and crawl through the gym with your kid, I think the whole family will be afternoon napping.
Needless to say, I was impressed. My husband lamented that nothing like this existed when we were growing up! It’s an overwhelming structure at first (especially for a younger child) but it’s hard not to join in on the excitement. The entire gym is echoing with the sounds of laughter and happiness; there is movement at every corner of the room and yet, through the chaos of excited kids, everyone is polite and patiently awaits their turn.
For parents of younger children, get ready to crawl through an entire maze of padded suspended bridges and winding plastic tubes. I loved that I could interact with my child by being inside the structure with him and sharing his excitement as we discovered new paths and found “secret” compartments (secret only because there was a few moments without other kids in the area). ZigZagZoo also has a section devoted to toddlers ages 3 and under. For those with older kids, you have the luxury of a few minutes of free time as your child explores the gym with friends or with friendly strangers. My husband and I took turns (trust me, it’s hard to crawl!) guiding our son through the jungle gym and all parents–even those who watched casually from a distance–seemed to supervise their children’s behavior.
The gym is equipped with quite a few parent-friendly additions. They have a decently priced snack bar that serves pretty good food (at least they are trying to be healthy while still appealing to kids), new moms have the privacy of a nursing room, the bathrooms are very diaper-change friendly and for those who choose to brown-bag their lunch, they have a picnic area. The whole area is carpeted so boots/shoes must be removed and they have lockers to keep purses safe. It’s also a peanut-free facility for those with allergy concerns–a nice touch.
Lastly, but importantly, the place was very clean! Everything was in excellent condition–I never feared that my life was at risk because of poorly installed or rusty equipment–and the carpet was spotless. The jungle gym looked very sturdy and the mats/pads weren’t stained and fraying.
They offer birthday packages and my husband and I are already contemplating purchasing the year-long membership for $135 (for one child and one adult)–especially for the winter months when outdoor activities are restricted. They cater to large groups (a whole classroom, for example), so make sure to check their calendar if you plan a weekday trip. Don’t you just wish your grade school had organized a trip to a place like this?!
Overall? I highly recommend ZigZagZoo!
Location: Place St-Charles, 980 St-Charles Ave, local 120, (Exit 35 Nord on Highway 40), Vaudreuil-Dorion, J7V 8P5
For hours and rates: http://www.zigzagzoo.ca/en/hours_rates.shtml