An indoor play center was built in North Las Vegas with the intention of creating a space for children 4 or younger.
Henderson resident Jennifer Martin created The Giggle Box, 2760 Deer Springs Way, Suite 104, after she couldn’t find an ideal place to take her son.
“I have a 4-year-old, and when he was younger, I couldn’t find a place to take him,” Martin said. “I wanted a place that felt at home, where parents could relax and not worry about their children’s safety.”
Martin opened The Giggle Box in August and designed it with structures for first-time climbers and with toys appropriate for toddlers.
Despite not having a business background, the single mother said her experience as a children’s aquatics and lifeguard instructor and managing a kids club in the summer helped her make the transition to opening her own center.
Martin built the center for children between 1 and 4 years. Her son, Oliver Munson-Martin, came up with the name The Giggle Box.
“It fit perfectly because this is a place where kids can laugh and play all day,” Martin said.
She said although she has been open less than six months, business has been thriving. She credits her success to word-of-mouth referrals.
“Parents love this place,” Martin said. “Kids can learn social and mobile skills here. They’ve also learned to become independent, which prepares them for preschool and kindergarten.”
In order to enter the play center, parents and children must take off their shoes and wear socks.
Scott Fellows brings his 2-year-old twins to the center because he said he can let them run around and not worry about their safety.
“They can socialize here, and the place is small enough so that I can keep my eyes on both of them,” Fellows said. “It can be hard going out with two little girls.”
The indoor play space offers free Wi-Fi for working mothers and fathers, magazines and sells coffee and other beverages.
The center provides children with handcrafted cedar wood dollhouses, housing blocks, books and kitchen sets.
“Boys like toys that they can stack and be creative with, while girls like to nurture,” Martin said. “I try to provide kids with high-end toys that they wouldn’t necessarily have at home.”
Martin said mostly mothers and grandparents come to the center, but there are also a handful of fathers and nannies who visit from different neighborhoods.
There are 15 to 20 children at the center at a time, Martin said, adding that approximately 70 percent of her clients are military families from Nellis Air Force Base.
Becky Anthony heard about the center through her North Las Vegas mommy meetup group.
“It’s a perfect place to relax and sit and talk with other moms,” Anthony said. “I don’t worry about my daughter here because big kids can’t trample her.”
Gina Chappen said her 2-year-old son has become more independent since she started taking him to the center. She uses the space to meet with other mothers and for work.
“This place has taught my son the valuable lesson of sharing,” Chappen said. “He’s the only child, so this place is good for his age group.”
Every last Friday of the month, Martin hosts Friday night movies for $5 a family where children can have an hour of playtime and then watch a recently released movie with popcorn and snacks.
Martin added a parent’s night out event on the third Friday of every month, where parents can drop off children 6 or younger from 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is $30 for the first child with additional siblings at $10.
Arts and crafts sessions are also held at various times throughout the day in which children can work on holiday-related projects, fingerprinting and cupcake decoration for $3 to $6 depending on the class.
The building includes a restroom with a miniature toilet for toddlers and a changing room.
Future plans for the entrepreneur include starting a music class taught by her mother to teach children motor skills and singing. The class is planned every Thursday morning starting in April.
A one-time visit is $12 for one child and $10 for siblings.
“I love making kids happy and feel carefree,” Martin said. “This is a place where kids can be kids.”
The Giggle Box is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and for scheduled parties Sundays. For more information, call 702-672-9103 or visit thegigglebox.co.