A 13,000-square-foot playground for babies, kids, parents—and even adults who don’t have kids— is now open for everyone to enjoy.
WOWMOMSWORLD Montreal is a wellness centre that offers programs and services for people of all ages, even babies as young as three months old. The WOWMOMSWORLD franchise also has locations in Brossard and Laval. Montreal mother of two Daniela Rusu opened the centre on March 8, mere days before Quebec implemented the lockdown due to COVID-19.
Rusu, a former lawyer, opened the centre because she believed it would give her an opportunity to spent more time with her two daughters.
“I had my daughters very young, 25 and 26 years old,” she said. “I didn’t want to go back to being a lawyer, having the long hours and not being with my kids. This was a perfect opportunity for me to use the basic knowledge I had of being a lawyer, like signing contracts and negotiating with clients, etc, and open my own business where I can actually have my kids with me all the time.”
Because the centre had to close so soon after opening, Rusu has had to restructure the space to adhere to government health guidelines. While the full menu of services is not yet available since they began to reopen on June 15, there are still many activities for families to enjoy including the spa, swim lessons, and flotation therapy sessions for babies between the ages of four weeks and 12 months old.
During floatation therapy sessions, babies float in the pool near their parents, with the help of a little device around their necks. They are given toys to play with, and the pools have little jets and bubbles to help babies relax so they can sleep. The water in the pools used for flotation therapy has bromine instead of chlorine, which does not cause the baby’s eyes to burn if splashed.
“The advantages of flotation therapy is that it’s very therapeutic, it helps them sleep better,” says Rusu. “A lot of moms come here just to do the flotation therapy so the baby can sleep through the night.”
The centre also offers indoor play areas for children and a café, which serves healthy food options for both kids and adults. And anyone (whether you have children or not) can enjoy WOWMOMSWORLD’s spa, which offers manicures and pedicures, massages, waxing, eyelash extensions, and facials. Nanny services are available for parents.
“The goal was to have a space for families to enjoy while their kids can play and be kids,” says Rusu. “It’s also a place for the families, for new moms to create new friends, to have people who have the same interests and have kids the same age, to be able to bond.”
Clients can register online for all services. Two sinks have been installed at the entrance for hand washing, and all the guests must have their temperatures taken when they come in. There are separate bathrooms for staff and guests. Masks are mandatory at all times while inside.
Parents can also reserve time in the centre’s play areas by phone by calling 1-855-969-6667. The play areas are open every weekday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. BPA-free plastic and wood toys will be available for the kids to play with, and will be disinfected between each visit. Chalkboards will also be available for the kids to draw on. No more than 10 kids can play in each play area at a time.
The café, right across from the play area, will also be open at the same time, so parents can eat, have a coffee, and socialize while their kids play. The café is also for takeout or delivery. You can visit www.wowmomsmtl.com for the full menu.
WOWMOMSWORLD Montreal is also offering a summer camp until August 21 for children aged three to nine, using the four playrooms designed for the birthday parties. The campers will be split into four groups: kids 3 to 4 years old, kids aged 5 and 6 years old, kids aged 7 and 8, and kids 9 and 10 years old. Although the kids within each group do not have to practice social distancing, the four groups will not mix.
Each group will do arts and crafts, take swimming lessons, and use the gyms for activities like basketball, soccer and dance. The kids will also take cooking lessons and will be able to eat anything they make. Outside, the centre built an outdoor space to do outdoor water activities. There is a baby pool set up for the younger kids.
The camps run from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, and extended pick up hours are also available. The summer camp costs $325 per week, or $75 a day. Registration forms are available online and parents can pay by credit card or by e-transfer. Every morning, a COVID-form must be filled out, detailing if any parent or child has any symptoms or has been in contact with someone with the virus. Temperatures are also checked every day upon arrival.
Rusu plans to reopen some programs and services she originally planned on having once health officials state it is safe. In the future, for example, WOWMOMSWORLD will offer gymnastics programs for kids from 10 months old to four years old.
Once it is safe to do so, WOWMOMSWORLD will also be offering classes that parents and children can participate in together, like mixed martial arts, dancing, and yoga. And don’t be fooled by the centre’s name: Rusu says child-parent courses will be open to dads as well.
Before the pandemic forced a lockdown, WOWMOMSWORLD built four party rooms in the building to host children’s birthday parties. All parents have to do is rent one of the rooms, give Rusu a theme, and WOWMOMSWORLD will plan the rest. They will take care of everything from invitations, balloons, decorations, flowers and will even provide the cake, via Les Délices Lafrenaie. Activities will include animation, dance classes, and parents can even rent a mascot to come in. While they had to pause the birthday parties during the lockdown, WOWMOMSWORLD Montreal is now booking birthday parties on weekends.
WOWMOMSWORLD had also planned to have pre-natal classes, yoga and pre-natal yoga classes. Rusu hopes to gradually add those classes in August and September.
WOWMOMSWORLD Montreal is located at 5155 de Sorel St. To register your child for the WOWMOMSWORLD summer camp, visit www.wowmomsmtl.com/summer-camp.
For more information on the WOWMOMSWORLD franchise, visit wowmomsworld.com.