While walking in Zamalek one day, a small colorful theater behind a window caught my eye. At first I thought it was a nursery, but then realized it was 9PM. So, I decided to stop and investigate the place I discovered is called “MOM’s”. As soon as the door opened, I found faces of Disney’s characters scattered all over the walls.
“It is an indoor playground and amusement center, opening seven days a week from 10 am till 10 pm," the owner Dina Salem explained to me.
She described the establishment as an outing for children that provides both types of educational and entertaining indoor activities as well as a special corner for parents to meet up with their friends.
MOM’s also provides baby-sitting services for a three-hour maximum period and online webcams in the kid's area so parents can check on their children while they are away.
“Parents always face the problem of where can they leave their children in a safe place for a short period not only in the morning but in the evening too," Salem said. "So, I think that 3 hours is enough duration for parents to watch a movie or have lunch or go shopping."
MOM's has a schedule for daily classes where children can gain new experiences every time they come.
During Sunday's pottery classes, children are taught how to make new shapes and create their own work. For girls, fabric craft classes teach the first steps of sewing various patterns such as creating faces with buttons and beads. Science classes–where children conduct simple experiments–are on Tuesday, while on Wednesday children plant trees.
Cooking is another beneficial skill acquired in MOM’s. “They prepare sushi, pizza and pasta whereas younger children learn how to prepare their sandwiches,” Salem said.
One of the favorite activities for kids, according to Salem, is karaoke singing and theater instruction.
“We are preparing a play for children to perform the upcoming days,” she said.
MOM's also focuses on instilling decorum in the children. “We are keen on directing children to appropriate manners and values through kids behavior classes, specifically for young age, because this is when the child’s character is formed,” said Salem.
In order to address physical fitness in the children, there are dancing classes–for ballet, hip hop and jazz–led by professional instructors. There is also a mini kids gym for boys to get some exercise.
MOM's is aware that as children grow older, their interests start to change. Accordingly, “we came up with the idea of a spa room for girls where they can put on a skin care mask or nail polish. While there is another room for boys to play their favorite games such as Wii and Playstation.” Salem said.
“Through our activities, we aim to make children utilize their leisure time in learning new skills, building on creative talents and developing their mental abilities,” she emphasized.
One of the mothers who uses MOM’s services explained that her child is still so young and she is not comfortable with leaving him alone in a nursery. “So, MOM’s is perfect to me, I am sure of his safety here because it is indoor and I can hang out with my friends,” she said.
Another mother, Dalia Abdel Shafy, project manager of Azza Fahmy, said that although the playground at MOM's is indoor, it is not gloomy at all due to its wide curtain-less windows that allow sunlight access from all directions. And the rooms are separated by glass walls. “This place is transparent which enables me to see my little girl from any direction while sitting in the café," said Abdel Shafy.
“We have achieved considerable success during a short period, since the inauguration took place last April,” Salem said, who added that MOM’s is also open in Marina’s beaches like la Femme and Yashmak during the summer.
“The idea is greatly welcomed by people, so we are thinking of setting up another branch in Maadi soon.”
Address: 4 Ismail Mohammed St., Zamalek
Telephone no.: (02) 27382632