Just when I pack away all our summer clothes, summer comes back. Packing away our summer clothes is probably why summer came back.
I made good use of the cold rainy week we had though. I finally headed up to Schwabing to try out Kleine Sportgeister. Kleine Sportgeister is an indoor play area, a kind of rumpus room complete with soft spongy climbing structures, a trampoline area, a cafe a smaller room with books and toys and a couple more nooks and crannies with toys and fun playthings for kids.
I heard about this Turncafe awhile back, but since it’s not around the corner from my house I hadn’t checked it out. It’s also been a surprisingly dry summer for Munich so we spent most of it outside enjoying all that Minga has to offer kids when the sun is shining.
So one cold rainy afternoon, I picked my toddler up from our Tagesmutter and we toddled over to the U2 and rode it until the Hohenzollernplatz U-Bahn stop. From there it was about a five minute walk to the cafe.
There was a garage in the back to park your stroller – so far so good. We entered and went downstairs. The space is hochparterre and on the medium-small size for an indoor spielplatz but it’s well utilized and big enough for a good amount of small kids.
For a rainy day it wasn’t too packed. My daughter immediately dug it. She took off and started climbing around and sliding down the soft cushy slides. I appreciated that the main room has well cushioned floors.
Running the length of the space is a built in bench good for chatting with other parents while the kids are playing. There are high chairs and tables for smaller kids and snacking.
I ordered a Latte Machiatto and a piece of Marmorkuchen at the cafe counter. Both were pretty decent. Considering that it’s full of kids going nuts, I found it pretty relaxing. Since the area is contained, soft, and squishy I knew nothing too bad could happen if my kiddo happened to be out of my sight for a minute or two.
I still had to follow her around, though. You have to accompany your child on the trampoline, and of course there is always the likelihood of my kid terrorizing another kid or vice versa.
We got there around 2:30 in the afternoon. As time went on it got increasingly full. There were tons of kids there, which was great, if not a little humid (they could’ve opened another window if you asked me).
The man who worked there kept walking around and taking a people count. I guessed that there must be some kind of limit to how many adults and children are allowed to be in the space at one time.
My guess was accurate. At one point I realized my diaper paraphernalia was in the basket of the stroller so we had to go back upstairs and out to the kinderwagen parking garage to fetch it.
When I went back to the door to go back in, toddler on one arm, diaper bag in the other, I found, to my great annoyance, that it was locked. There was a sign on the door that basically said that it was too full and to come back later, sorry.
I had my handy, but that didn’t help; when I called I just got voicemail. Luckily a woman was leaving with her kid and we could go back in.
I understand that the Kleine Sportgeister management needs to limit the amount of people that are allowed in at one time, but if you’re going to lock the door from the outside have a bell or something, or at least answer the damn phone. What if it was raining?
When we did leave there were about five moms with kids in tow standing at the door wondering what the hell was going on. I think a few were not German speakers and didn’t understand the sign. I explained the situation and also ran back down to let the guy running things know that a line had formed outside.
“Can’t they read the sign, don’t they get that we’re full?!?” he said, somewhat exasperated. Maybe, but it also sucks to schlep all over town with your kid only to find that the place you want to go isn’t letting anyone in.
Side rant: I find a lot of these types of kids places are not using tools like social media to provide up to the minute status information: Have a twitter feed that announces you’re full, or a class is canceled or use a Facebook business page for these types of announcements. It’s not that hard. </endrant>
Aforementioned criticisms aside, I’m sure we’ll be going back to Kleine Sportgeister, but only if I can get there by 14:30, and I’ll try to have a back up plan.
They’ll soon have some competition with spaces like Räuberhöhle, the giant indoor playground right near Isartor, that’s planned to open this fall. The (free!) Winterspielplatz also gets going in November.
No worries for Kleine Sportgeister though, there’s probably enough demand for at least three more indoor kid spaces within Munich!