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U-Me [Permanently Closed]

3355 Edison Way
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Notice: After 6 years of running, U-Me is now permanently closed as of May 2016. If your kids aren't already going to a care facility or play space, U-Me is a good option to have when you want kids to have a freedom-enhancing mixture of open play time and scheduled activities. It's also freeing to know that different ages have their own areas. There's a crawler space for the mobile babies, sports and crafts and a trampoline for the older kids, and a cafeteria with healthy snack options for everyone. The day pass admission price also means that you can bring the kids, go out for lunch, and come back to finish out the day with more fun and activities. Parents love the fact that additional features get introduced from year to year, such as the slide and the foam pit, and new toys and classes so that kids and parents stay intrigued. The outdoor playspace was introduced within the last few years, with these great features: dollhouse with a doorbell, sand tables, water table, theatre stage, outdoor camping area. Many parents have also commented on the cleanliness of the facility, the fact that drop-in times can include all day, and that adults are allowed in for free. None of these three conveniences are common features at most kids' gyms. Also, although at least one parent or caretaker needs to stay with the kids, there's free WiFi. Bring your iPhone or laptop to the adult seating areas, and multitasking can happen. While membership does save money, there's no need to become a member to enjoy the classes and activities: flag-painting, kids' Olympics, puppet stories, creative dance, worldwide culture appreciation, martial arts, etc. Parents can become a member just to get some breathing space during the week, or drop by on weekends. Even the highest membership level barely costs more per month than the average adult gym in Palo Alto, somewhere between the YMCA on Mill Road and Form Fitness.

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