By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — A regional indoor playground and children’s birthday party company opened a location in Dearborn Dec. 29.
Detroit Kid City opened at 22950 Michigan Ave. with an indoor playground inspired by the city of Detroit. Included at the mini-city is an automotive factory, arts and crafts center, a bank, barber shop, firehouse, football field, a Hitsville recording studio, grocery store, pizzeria, school house, garden, mailboxes to deliver mail along with costumes and props at each.
While the children play, adults can enjoy the cafe which features fresh roasted coffee, lattes, freshly made smoothies, local snacks with gluten-free and vegan options.
Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday with Sundays closed for private parties. Field trips can also be booked.
Daily admission to the indoor playground geared toward 1- to 9-year-olds is $10, but adults with infants under 12 months are free with a purchase of a drink.
Dearborn franchise co-founder Amal Bakri said the feedback has been “great” from visitors and that the only negative comments are about the franchise-set hours. She said there is consideration to adjust the location’s hours at the request of the community.
“We wanted to get children away from technology and getting them to use their imagination,” Bakri said. “We’re glad the indoor playground can provide a place for children to play because that was a need missing in the city.”
The idea to open a Dearborn location started in the fall of 2017 when Amal’s brother-in-law and Dearborn franchise co-founder Fouad Bazzi visited another Detroit Kid City location.
“He told me to check out the place and when I did we loved the indoor playground idea,” Bakri said. “We emailed the business to see if they were franchising out, but didn’t hear back so we started making plans on our own. During the researching process we saw that Detroit Kid City was looking for new franchisees, and that felt like fate to us.”
Bakri and Bazzi signed the franchise agreement in December 2017, then began the planning and construction process.
“We picked the location in west Dearborn because we wanted to be close to home and because of development happening with Ford Motor Co. in the area,” Bakri said.
About two years ago, Bakri took a leave from teaching elementary students after 12 years in Dearborn Public Schools due to the stress of testing.
“I wanted a job were I could still work with kids, but under less stress,” she said. “Each day around 11 or 11:30 a.m. I conduct an interactive story time with the children, depending on the crowd, so they are engaged and active. It’s a fun time for everyone.”
In addition to the children who visit Detroit Kid City Dearborn, Bakri said her own three children, ages 9, 5 and 3 enjoy spending time at the cafe and playground where they help out or play around.
Along with the Dearborn location, there are also two other Detroit Kid City locations in Southfield and Clinton Township with plans for expansion to other areas.
For more information about the new Dearborn location and to book an event or field trip go to www.detroitkidcity.com.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])