Alba opens indoor playground

Alba opens indoor playground

Town Council President Suzy Alba said Rhode Island and Smithfield were extremely helpful in securing licenses needed to start her first business, Play Time, an indoor playing facility for children. Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, left, said she is proud of Alba for starting a business as a Latina woman. (Breeze photo by Jacquelyn Moorehead)

SMITHFIELD – A new indoor play facility called Play Time is a dream come true for Smithfield Town Council President Suzy Alba, who was joined by town administrators and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea for its grand opening last Friday, Sept. 3.

Alba said she enjoyed taking her son, Sawyer, to similar play spots around the state, and felt northern Rhode Island was lacking such a place. Especially in the winter months where parents are desperate to get young children out of the house and play productively, a business such as Play Time is a place of respite, she said.

Play Time, at 151 Douglas Pike, features a variety of toys, including a kinetic sandbox, a loaded play kitchen area, fun children’s costumes, a train set, and an indoor slide.

“We really had fun at other spots, and thought Smithfield needed something like this, too. I thought, why not me?” Alba said.

She said children are asked to wash their hands before playing with the equipment, and toys are cleaned daily. She said the mission here is to provide a clean and safe party place for children age 6 months to 6 years.

Every toy was carefully considered for the facility to prioritize cleanliness, said Alba. It is a shoe-free space to keep it sanitary for crawling children.

Alba said Play Time was created “through fearlessness, determination, courage (during a pandemic), personal resources, about 1,000 boxes from Amazon and Wayfair, and the desire to bring something to our local community that is safe, clean and just good old-fashioned fun for children.”

She added that her vision would not be a reality if not for the help of the community. Alba said her idea was born just before COVID-19, but put on the back burner for months until three months ago when she found the new location.

“I am just so grateful for so many that worked hard to help see my vision through, supporting a first-time business owner and believing in this space,” she said.

Play Time will host parties for birthdays and other events, as well as hold scheduled hours for open play.

Play Time, located in the Wedgewood Plaza next door to Douglas Lumber, is open Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and is closed on Saturdays for private parties unless otherwise noted.

Entry is $14 per child including up to two adults, with a $5 fee for additional adults. Non-walking children with paying siblings are free.

Monthly memberships are available for $30 per month, and include unlimited access for two children and a free snack and beverage at each visit.

Masks are required for now, except for optional mask use during private parties.

For more information, visit www.playtimeri.com .