By Susan E. Campbell
TreePaad Fun Center has added some entertaining, family friendly, new features for kids of all ages, said Patti Garrand, one of the owners and founders of the local play and party center.
Located at 2381 Route 9 in Mechanicville, TreePaad is a destination for families all around the Capital District, she said.
TreePaad now has 10 different activities under one roof.
“At many places and parks, the kids have to be 12 or older, or be of a certain height, to participate,” said Garrand. “TreePaad is designed for families to play together, no matter the age. If you can walk, you can play at TreePaad.”
In 2009, the center had only five different offerings—an arcade, play fort, bounce house, toddler area and trampoline basketball. Recently added is an area for Lazer games and a high tech game called the Beam.
“The Beam is an interactive floor game where younger kids can stomp on fish or bubbles and older ones can play virtual soccer or hockey,” Garrand said.
Garrand said business at TreePaad is “very good” in a growing, competitive field.“We can’t get any busier.”
But five years ago business came to a complete stop when a fire started in the building. The landlord’s insurance covered the repairs, but Garrand and her partners, all family members, had to fix and redecorate the interior, replace the windows and bring in new features.
“It took almost a year to recover and we are just getting back to speed,” she said.
Specials are run constantly and coupons and offers are published in local papers and flyers.
Expansion means more staff is needed to man all features during the five days a week that TreePaad is open.
“We employ 40 part–timers, mostly young people,“ she said. “This is a great first job if they like working with younger kids and being active.”
Garrand and co-owners are constantly on the look-out for new features to add.
“We find attractions at conventions everywhere, something nobody has and is family friendly,” said Garrand.
TreePaad also does community outreach, from an annual Fire Safety Day to a benefit for the Wellness Center in Saratoga. The owners donate tickets to the Navy’s Family Readiness Night and stay involved in many local charities.
It is open Sunday, Monday, and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Its website is www.treepaad.com. Its phone is 518-289-5475.