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New kids play areas opening in Clark County

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: February 22, 2024, 6:08am
8 Photos
Keana Zoradi of Vancouver, left, joins her daughter, Eden, 3, while creating a Valentine's Day sculpture at Drip Drop Art Studio on Jan. 31. It’s one of several recently opened businesses geared toward Clark County’s youngest residents.
Keana Zoradi of Vancouver, left, joins her daughter, Eden, 3, while creating a Valentine's Day sculpture at Drip Drop Art Studio on Jan. 31. It’s one of several recently opened businesses geared toward Clark County’s youngest residents. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

As the local population continues to grow, the number of businesses geared toward Clark County’s youngest residents is on the rise.

Kids play areas have long been popular in the area with the strong presence of families here. Some, like JJ Jump, have come and gone. Laser Blasters at Vancouver Mall has announced it’s closing this spring. Meanwhile, new kids play spaces are opening.

Katie Wright, a mom who opened her Drip Drop Art Studio for kids last year, said she thinks families are tired of driving into Portland for fun.

“People are seeing that there’s a demand,” she said.

Wright got her degree in arts education before her career took her into graphic design. As her firstborn son got older, she found herself wanting to do more and more arts activities. She stumbled upon children’s art studios on social media and fell in love with the concept.

“It combines my love for kids and my love of art,” said Wright.

She started teaching friends’ kids in her garage and eventually tested out a small business space at Providence Academy.

Wright said she wanted to create a place she would take her kids to. And she gambled on other families also being interested in having an art studio for kids in Clark County.

The gamble paid off and now her classes are filling up.

Drip Drop isn’t the only new business catering to kids. Grow & Play in Felida, City Play in east Vancouver and Urban Air Adventure Park near Vancouver Mall all opened in the past year. And more are coming.

Junebug Play & Learning Space in Ridgefield and Play Street Museum in Salmon Creek are expected to open later this year.

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Drip Drop Art Studio

420 W. Eighth Street, Vancouver; hours vary; class prices start at $20.

Drip Drop Art Studio opened in January at its new location across the street from Esther Short Park.

The studio integrates a variety of art mediums and materials.

The child-size art studio is open for classes for children between the ages of 2 and 10 years old. Plus, the studio also holds Tween Nights classes for 9- to 12-year-olds.

Drip Drop offers an after-school art club, multiweek sessions and camps. It’s also available for birthday parties.

Urban Air Adventure Park

7809 N.E. Vancouver Plaza Drive, Suite 100, Vancouver; open 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday; tickets start at $14.99; 360-559-2327.

Break out the jumping socks for the newest trampoline park in town, Urban Air Adventure Park, which opened earlier this month.

Urban Air Vancouver encompasses about 43,000 square feet in Vancouver Plaza. In addition to trampolines, Urban Air Vancouver includes go-karts, bumper cars, climbing walls and a ropes course. It’s available for birthday parties.

Grow & Play

14914 N.W. Seward Road, Vancouver; open 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; open play admission starts at $15; 808-457-9321.

When the rain starts pouring, toddlers seem to get more restless. For that, parents seek the refuge of indoor toddler play spaces. Grow & Play in Felida, geared toward kids younger than 4, includes an indoor basketball court and a playroom with smaller toys, as well as toddler climbing equipment. No food or drinks are allowed inside, so feed the kids beforehand.

Grow & Play offers private group play, birthday parties, as well as adult and kids classes.


Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the attractions at Urban Air Adventure Park. 

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