I no longer have any reason to lament the loss of the mom and pop coffee shop. For I have come to truly appreciate McDonald’s Playland. What a beautiful example of our evolution as a species. Here you have a play area that is..
- Big enough for all-out play, but entirely shielded from the elements,
- Structured so that it is virtually impossible for any child to get hurt – the worst thing that will happen to your child here is that he will absorb the odor of French fries,
- Complete with open access to child-sized potties and sinks,
- Conducive to developing kid-sized friendships – fast and furious and then quickly forgotten (I think the size and enclosed nature contributes to this),
- Flanked by tables that are just perfect for supporting an 89 cent cup of tea and a good book,
- Sometimes a place where kind McDonald’s employees will bring you free food (I kid you not; after helping a woman with 6 kids into the area, a McDonald’s manager returned with free sample-sized cookies for all the kids at Playland),
- Also strangely conducive to striking up conversations with other parents – Again, I think it’s the enclosed space and size that brings people together more than your average playground.
Needless to say, we’ve become regulars. It’s nice to have my children clamoring for an activity other than our much-loved children’s museum, which we’ve probably visited about 897,000 times in the last 3 years. Of course, we never buy the food. But the tea there is as good as what you’ll get at any Starbucks. i’m lovin’ it. (Okay, that was too much).