As Ridgefield continues to expand, city residents will soon have a new option for children’s activities.
This spring, Junebug Play & Learning Space will open its first location in the Ridgefield Crossing development at 110 S. 65th Ave., Suite 106.
The 2,800-square-foot indoor children’s play space will offer a facility to host classes, workshops and other activities, as well as a room for hosting birthday parties. Workshops and classes will include lessons in STEM experiments and experiences, arts and crafts, as well as health and fitness. Planned amenities include a private nursing room, gender neutral bathrooms, an area safe for children with sensory issues and high-speed wi-fi.
Owner Justina Kitteridge said she was inspired to start the business after her family moved to Ridgefield from Utah during the pandemic. She said she noticed limited activities for kids. Exploring local spaces as they were reopening, she felt they were missing some elements for her child to do.
“There [were] very limited things to do out here, especially in the [pandemic] shutdown,” Kitteridge said. “And then, as things opened up again, we started going out to places, exploring because we’re not from here.”
Kitteridge worked for 10 years in advertising and marketing before she started to plan opening her business in February of 2023. She believed her new home in Ridgefield would be a perfect match for her business due to the town’s recent expansion and growing community. She believed she could provide offerings that differed from what other indoor play areas were currently providing.
“There’s so much growth out there, and there’s nothing like that out there,” Kitteridge said. “I was like, this seems like a really great opportunity to get one started out here, and to take all the things that I’ve seen from these other places where I’m like ‘Oh, these are such amazing spaces, we could make this one tweak and it would be even better…’ It just seems like there’s a lot of young families moving out there with little kids, and that just seems like the audience is there, so it seems like everything aligned for this to happen.”
The process has been rewarding for Kitteridge as Junebug’s opening approaches. Kitteridge looks forward to her business adding to the community.
“In some ways it seems like a nice way to incorporate all the things that I love into a workplace, and with the hope that it can become [a] community hub,” Kitteridge said. “Ridgefield has this really great community [and] small-town vibe to it, and the community there is really tight knit. Being able to add to that sounds really awesome and amazing.”
Kitteridge mentioned that there will be updates to her website to prepare parents for scheduling visits ahead of the opening. Kitteridge said that the exact date will be announced as construction and preparations near completion.
“We’ll be hiring soon. We’re about to launch a second iteration of our website in the next month or so where we can actually start scheduling everyone with passes [and for] big events,” Kitteridge said. “Right now, I’m still hoping for [opening] by the end of April or early May, but I’m not tying it to anything yet, just because things change in construction. You just never know, so I haven’t fully settled on a date yet.”
Kitteridge aspires for Junebug to be a positive influence on youth. The website lists eight core values for children, which include being emotive, inclusive, deliberate, explorative, inquisitive, interactive, imaginative and self-confident. Kitteridge said that Junebug’s activities and amenities will be reflective of these values.
“We’re just really hoping to build a community-inclusive space, it’s a pretty big thing for us,” Kitteridge said. “I feel strongly about those [core values], and I want to make sure the space feels that way… I feel like it’s been guiding everything in the process, like who we work with, who we’re going to be hiring … I’m really hoping this becomes an inclusive, fun space for people in the community.”
Single-visit passes are priced at $16 for children over the age of 1, and $10 for children aged between 6 months and 1. Passes for multiple visits will be $60 for four yearly visits or $15 per visit, and $140 for 10 yearly visits, or $14 per visit. Infants under 6 months can visit for free with another paying child, according to the website. Kitteridge will also have a gift shop featuring apparel, books and toys.
For more information about Junebug Play & Learning Space, including future updates for opening day, visit junebug playspace.com.