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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 3 years ago

A new indoor playground for Ocoee

A new indoor playground, Princesses and Princes, is coming to Ocoee
by: Brittany Gaines Reporter

OCOEE With four kids of his own, Grant Miller got tired of driving up to 45 minutes to find a quality indoor playground for his children. So he decided to launch one of his own.

Princesses and Princes, 1637 E. Silver Star Road in Ocoee, is expected to celebrate its grand opening on Oct. 7.

“It’s an underserved community,” Grant said. “It was frustrating for me to drive 40 to 45 minutes to find a fun, safe place for the kids to go.”

The inspiration for the indoor playground came in the form of Miller’s children. It was their love of princesses and princes that gave him the idea to model the playground after what they loved. He even had them painted in a mural on the front of the building.

The space used to be a learning center, and has since been undergoing the transformation into a playground. The walls have been painted blue and green. The floors have been layered with a kid-friendly flooring. Playground equipment is expected to arrive in the next few weeks.

A giant castle will stand in the center of the space. In one corner will be an interactive kitchen. In another corner will be a jungle gym. And various types of toys will be scattered throughout the room.

“It’s toys with a purpose,” Grant said. “So kids get something out of it, and they’re learning while they’re playing.”

Cubbies in the entrance will allow children to store their belongings, specifically their shoes because the playground is a shoe-free zone.

The space was also designed with parents in mind, Grant said. A separate room will have benches and high-top tables for parents, but they will be able to see into the playroom from nearly any location.

“A parent can be in here and can still see their kids on the playground,” Grant said.

In addition to the playground and toys, Grant has also been developing a play-based learning app for the children. Parents will be able to download the app onto their own devices, but the children also will have access to it at the iPad station in the playground.

Once the playground is in full swing, Grant said the business will begin offering a variety of classes, including music classes, Spanish classes and cake decorating classes.

All classes will be held in the multi-purpose room, which will also be available for parties. When it’s not in use, it will be set up with an interactive floor for children to enjoy.

The entire facility will also be equipped with security cameras - something that was of high importance to Grant.

“Safety was one of the biggest things for me,” he said. “I want people to feel safe and comfortable to come here and build community.”

The playground launched its Facebook page last month, and the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive, Grant said.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “The Ocoee community has been great. I think that once people come out and see it, they’ll like it.”

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