Kelly Wells will open Millie Moos, an activity center for parents and their children, next month
WEST ORANGE For years, Kelly Wells never felt comfortable taking her special-needs son anywhere in public. She worried about him and how he would handle strange places with many people around. The only place she felt comfortable taking him was Target because the trip would always end at Starbucks to get his favorite treat.
The stress of her situation forced her to turn to social media, asking other moms if they felt the same, and she discovered that they did.
“I was trying to find the solution I needed, and I realized a lot of other people were in the same boat,” said Wells, who lives in Windermere.
To solve the problem, Wells decided to open her own version of an indoor playground for moms looking for a safe place to go with their children.
“It’s not really a playground,” she said. “It’s more of an indoor activity center.”
The facility, at 4085 LB McLeod Road in Orlando, is currently under construction, and Wells said she hopes to open the activity center in early October.
“I wanted to create a place for someone who is stressing out, and they can come take a break and be understood,” Wells said. “They can come find someone to connect with and not feel alone in this crazy game called mom-hood. It’ll be a catch-all for moms with under school-aged kids.”
Although the activity center will be full of a variety of toys for children, Wells said she is also creating a schedule of classes for both moms and the kids. She plans on offering nutrition classes, fitness classes, dance classes, crafting classes and cake-decorating classes. Some classes will be for moms only and others will include both the parent and child, she said.
Wells said she also hopes to create dad-centric groups and classes as well.
“It’s about supporting everybody,” she said. “It’s not just about the kids. It’s not just about the moms.”
She choose the location on LB McLeod Road because she wanted the activity center to be accessible to moms in all parts of the greater Orlando area, not just in West Orange.
“This location is not too far for any one person to get to,” she said.
Although they hit a couple snags in the construction process, play structures are materializing in the space and murals have been painted on the walls. A snack counter will offer healthy snacks and baked goods from a local bakery.
When it came time to name the center, Wells again turned to social media.
She had decided to name the center after one of her children, but couldn’t decide which name to use. After polling her fellow moms on Facebook, the decision was almost unanimous - the center should be called Millie Moos after Wells’ daughter Amelia, whom everyone calls Millie.
Even though Millie Moos isn’t open yet, Wells said the support from the community and fellow moms has been positive, and everyone is excited for the soon-to-be-announced grand opening.
“It just made sense to have something like this,” Wells said.
Contact Brittany Gaines at [email protected].