Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Feel the Pulse

I got an email about a month or so ago from Linda at World Sports Academy/Pulse Cafe in Westwood asking me if I wanted to have a free "play date" at their new facility for up to 20 kids, including mine. She wanted me to be able to check it out. I told her that I'd love to and that I write this blog, so if we like it, I'd write about it. She said she knew of my blog, so I guess that's how she found me. In any event, I was happy to have a new kid venue to try. It's almost November and I guess I need to start thinking about E's birthday. Considering he's been thinking about it before his last birthday ended.

Westwood isn't far but isn't exactly close either. It's just not somewhere I would ordinarily think of to do a kid party. On a Sunday it's fine, thanks to the Bergen County Blue Laws (not allowing most retail shopping on Sundays). With no traffic, we could be there in around fifteen minutes. I made this play date for quarter after ten in the morning, on a Sunday, and it would run for an hour. I didn't know what would be planned for the kids but I rounded up whoever I could think of off the top of my head. Mostly kids who are only children or ones with a sibling close in age. It's a lot to ask parents of more kids to shuffle one kid to something like this when I know how many other sports and various obligations people have when they have more kids. As it was, I had many who I knew wouldn't be available because of religious school or soccer. Neither of which we are involved in. A few days prior to the event I had fifteen kids. Add in sickness and pop-up emergencies, I think we ended up with ten, maybe eleven kids.

World Class Sports Academy/Pulse is located at 701 Broadway in Westwood, on the right hand side, going toward Hillsdale. It's actually across from the Kmart shopping plaza. Everything in there is brand new. They built the whole thing out. The first thing you see is Pulse Cafe in the front. It's spacious and the food selection is really amazing for something inside a "gym". They're a training gym, a cafe, and have an area in the back where they put turf down to do soccer clinics and birthday parties. It's a very cool set-up.

I will say off the bat- I don't know much about the gym/training aspect of it because that's not what I was there for. I wasn't sure what their main business was when I accepted the offer to come in. I am just interested in what's available in the way of events geared for kids.

I'm sure many people don't know that Pulse is open to the public. It's not just a cafe inside a gym. It could be free-standing. It's large enough and you can see it from outside. You do NOT need to have a gym membership to go to the cafe for your protein shake or to sit with a cup of coffee and bagel.

They serve breakfast, lunch, salads, specialty beverages and snacks. It's different than just going to chain coffee place because Pulse really has a large variety of more healthy choices. I feel like other places have some healthy options but it's still hard to keep kids away from junk. Here, they have a great majority of healthy vs the other way around. They are open many hours daily, so it's also very convenient. The current hours are- Mon-Fri: 6a-8p and Sat/Sun: 7a-6p. They have a large flat screen tv with Direct TV where they can also screen sporting events for groups. They are considering doing a "Dad's Day" where dads and kids can come in to watch football. It's definitely a cute place where moms can come meet up with or without their kids. I know they're always trying to come up with new classes or events for parents and kids to be able to use their space to their advantage. So, if you have an idea of how you or your group could utilize them, go in and speak to them. Allen Gross is the owner.

Back to our event- We were taken to the back rooms where kid parties and sport clinics are held. There is a nice room for parents to sit in that is closed off by a door to the turf area. It also has a large flat screen tv. In the turf area they had a large bounce house/slide set up and then had some balls the kids could throw around. Jessi came to greet all the kids. She wanted to wait until most of them were there so the kids had some free play and bounce time before she organized anything. It was a Sunday morning, kids full of energy, so that was nice. After a little while she then had some of them playing games and the rest of them could continue to bounce. They all seemed to have a great time, no one ended up hurt or maimed and the hour went really fast.

E asked if we could come back, so that's always a good sign. All the parents who were there thought it was a nice, clean space and were happy with their choice of how to spend an hour on a Sunday morning. My one friend who was there said she was most likely going to book a party for her younger son who was there with her. They have a great deal going for parties/field rental right now- 50% off for November.

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