Inside Playtime in Taipei

The summers in Taipei are brutal. High temps plus high humidity make it very uncomfortable to be outside (especially when pregnant!). But we can’t stay inside all the time either – apartment living with a toddler isn’t easy! Thankfully Taipei has an abundance of indoor play spaces – many of which are right in our neighborhood or a short MRT ride away. Here’s where we’ve been playing:

Playspace

We love this place!

IMG_6988It’s a montessori-based playroom, only two stops away on the MRT.

IMG_6991Nothing is off-limits, your child can just roam free exploring what he or she wants. It’s super low-key, clean, and just has a really nice atmosphere. The cost is also very reasonable. I bought a 10-hour pass for $1000NT, so every hour only costs us $100NT, or just over $3USD! Great value.

IMG_6990Outside they have an enclosed sandpit with a slide and bubble wands!

IMG_5315This is by far our favorite place to go – either by ourselves or on a play date.

Xinyi Sports Center 

Taipei has a bunch of community sports centers scattered throughout the city. Each one has a free indoor playroom. The Xinyi one happens to be a 5 minute walk from our apartment. So we go here a lot.

IMG_7046The room has a small jungle gym, it isn’t huge but Jude loves it and we can happily fill an hour here. A bonus is that there is also a 7-11 right next door so we can grab a snack after.

IMG_6425Daan Sports Center 

Daan has a bigger and better playroom than Xinyi. It’s a short 10 minute drive away but worth it for a change of scenery. Plus, the jungle gym at Daan is way more suited to Jude’s playground ability. At Xinyi, the structure is a bit taller and has some areas Jude could fall off if not careful, but at Daan it’s closer to the ground and more enclosed so he can pretty much navigate it without my help.

IMG_7006

IMG_7016Ho!d Juice Bar

There is awesome juice bar in the same building as the Daan Sports Center called Ho!d Juice Bar. It is designed to bring kids there. Half the cafe is filled with toys, books, a pretend kitchen, workbench, and kids’ tables. 

IMG_7021The perfect place to stop after a good session on the jungle gym for a juice and a snack. They have a very reasonable minimum spend of $80NT per person (approx. $2.70 USD).

Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Xinyi (A8)

This is a chain of department stores around Taipei. In Xinyi, where we live, there is a huge one and it has various buildings full of lots and lots of shopping. In A8, there are two floors of things to buy for babies and children. On both floors, there are play areas. On the 4th floor, there is an outdoor playground and train! Inside, there is a family-friendly restaurant called, ‘Gailey’ which has a great little childrens’ play area. The catch is that if you come here to play, you have to spend at least $250 NT (approx. $8.30USD) on food or drink.

IMG_4717On the 5th floor, there is a play center, which costs $220NT  (approx. $7.30USD) for the whole day. It crams a lot into a small space.

IMG_4941

IMG_4923The 5th floor also has a lot of free options. Most of the stores around the floor have little areas set up where kids can trial the toys for sale.

IMG_4711There are also little random spaces near the customer service desk for playing.

IMG_4713And near the elevators there is a cool interactive egg cartoon mural which  kids can place soft balls into.

IMG_6532Jude loves this spot!

Taipei Fine Arts Museum (Cosi O Cosi)

In the basement of the Taipei Fine Art Museum is an Italian restaurant with an awesome playroom for kids. It’s about a 20 minute ride on the MRT from our house but totally worth it for a good coffee, gelato, and playtime.

IMG_5078

IMG_5079McDonald’s

Our local McDonalds has a very small but sufficient playroom.

IMG_3380Plus, Jude LOVES their hotcakes.

IMG_5271IKEA

Ikea’s interactive shopping experience is great. Jude gets pretty antsy in the shopping cart so it’s great to let him stretch his legs and play in their play area.

IMG_6791Our closest Ikea is about a 10-15 minute drive. It certainly makes shopping for home goods a lot of fun.

IMG_6792Other Play spaces

There are a few other play spaces close by we have yet to try – Leo’s Play land and Kidsburgh. Leo’s is only one street over from us – it’s hard to believe we haven’t been but the cost is around the $400 NT mark, the same goes for Kidsburgh. I’ve been inside and scoped out both and they do look pretty amazing. Both have big ball pits as well a place you can eat. So maybe for a special treat we’ll check them out.

15 Months Old

Jude is 15 months old now and the changes keep coming.

IMG_6504This boy doesn’t ever slow down.

IMG_6503He’s so busy, all the time, just busy, busy, busy.

IMG_6431He loves wandering off and exploring whatever catches his fancy.

IMG_6429He is totally happy going out and playing in different environments,

IMG_6384And especially with different kids.

IMG_6420He still has yet to exhibit any shyness.

IMG_6493Despite his independence, there are still times when he just wants Mom or Dad. I love how he can happily play away for an hour, come over to me for a big cuddle, then return to playing.

IMG_6418This month has been all about words. He is talking like crazy and his baby babble is now making a lot of sense. He can say a lot of new words (‘come’, ‘cheese’, ‘trees’, ‘bubbles’) to name a few, but he understands so much more. I can give him much more complicated instructions now and he understands. He also has been mastering his body parts – eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, tongue, nose, head, hair, hands, and feet! It’s great fun playing the ‘point to the body part’ game with him.

IMG_6489He is also very eager to help me out with everything I do. I actively encourage it and have him right next to me and involve him as I do dishes, laundry, make the bed, and even helping dress or undress himself. I explain, explain, explain everything. Fingers crossed by the time baby brother comes along he will be able to go grab a diaper to help out with a nappy change.

IMG_6358Speaking of baby, we have been talking a lot about the baby in my belly, but I am pretty certain it’s all still over his head. In two months time he is going to get the surprise of his life when we bring a newborn home. And before long Jude will have a bath time buddy!

IMG_6449A highlight of the month was of course our trip to the US, but also our return back to Taiwan and Dada.

IMG_6323These two have had a lot of fun over the past week.

IMG_6481We’re in the thick of summer so keeping cool has been a priority. I take Jude to the Taipei 101 splash fountains but he always gets mobbed with tourists from the Mainland wanting to take his photo. Apparently his blond hair and blue eyes make him a great tourist attraction.

IMG_6326Jude is still a little foodie. He just loves to eat. Thankfully I have no problem getting enough veggies in him.

IMG_6405We are always careful to balance out all the veggies with lots of ice cream.

IMG_6477More teeth are exploding through his mouth. This time his top canines are appearing making for a whopping 14 teeth!

IMG_6468Sleepwise things have been going really great since back from the States. In the States he gave us some trouble going down at night every now and then but now back in his own bed he is sleeping like a champ – 7pm-7am, with a 2-hour midday nap. This schedule seems to work perfectly for him.

IMG_6490Being the busy boy that he is I have found that there are time throughout the day when I need to make him sit down and have some chill out time. I have him play games on the iPad or watch a few Youtube videos and this has worked out really well. It also gives me a break!

IMG_6367It’s been an absolute joy to have such an effervescent child, he requires a lot of energy from us but we are happy that he has such a thirst for life! We love you, Jude!

IMG_6381