Monday, January 24, 2011


Well, we didn't really get the projects done this weekend that I was hoping for. We did finish up a few little loose ends of other projects though, so that works.

Instead, we spent pretty much our whole Saturday at a brand new fabulous hang out I discovered here in town. And I am totally smitten with it.

Back home, before we moved, when I had an infant and a toddler and was in desperate need of a place to get out, hang out and enjoy time in a kid friendly yet relaxing space, our hands down favorite place to go was Tony Baloney's. LOVED that place. (I think I've heard it's since closed due to the owners being overwhelmed juggling the fabulously booming business and their own young families) The idea of such a great, clean, spacious, family friendly place has always stuck with me. It's not always relaxing or enjoyable (or very clean!) for parents to take the kids to the big playplaces or the indoor bounce places. And not every place is friendly for the babies and toddlers as well as the older elementary kids.
I've said for the past five years, if we ever won the lottery, that is my dream... to open a family friendly coffee house of our own. A place with comfy couches and coffee tables for moms to hang out, with toys and small climbers and playspaces for the babies and other toy, game and learning areas for the older kids as well. So everyone can hang out in one spot; moms can easily visit with other moms, kids have a blast with plenty of things to keep them occupied... it's not crazy and loud and overwhelming... just like a regular playdate but with a big giant living room, playroom and game room... everyone's happy!

This new place in Franklin. It's taken all that a step (or a hundred) further.

It's called Sodium. I don't even know how to explain this place giving it justice. You'd have to go explore their website and take it all in. Basically it's a coffee house... but it's 18,000 square feet for the family to play in. And not like Chuck E. Cheese, crazy obnoxious overstimulating, play; It's got a laid-back club/coffeehouse/warehouse feel with comfy leather couches, tables and chairs here and there. There's a soft play area for the babies, a playtown for the toddler and preschoolers, video games, a lego room and a giant tree fort with a slide for the older kids. And that's all open, yet gated in so you can see anything from basically wherever you are, yet safe for the little ones. There's a game room "library" with a couple couches and tables of family board games (Savannah and I played Life for about an hour) and puzzles and books and magazines. There's a big stage area where they have (Christian) music videos playing on a screen (and book concerts and shows for events) and big open table and couch area for hosting parties. There's a big rock climbing wall and a dozen ping pong, foosball and pool tables in a couple of different areas. It is awesome. It's got the perfect mix of club/coffeehouse feel and totally family oriented.
Then. My favorite part: There are also a few classrooms where they offer art classes, science classes, math clubs, tutoring, music lessons, sign language lessons and all sorts of things. Which are free with your daily admission. Sawyer is totally excited to take guitar lessons, and Savannah participated in an art exploration class while we were there where she learned about Pointillism and painted a few pieces herself.
They of course have a coffee bar and sell some beverages and snacks, but no real food. However, they encourage you to bring in pizza or a "picnic" or whatever you need to enjoy some great hang out time. (Chick-fil-A is basically within sight down the road, so I think that'll be our go-to when we're there!)

Their whole purpose is to be a place where families can just hang out and play together.
They host events like Superbowl parties and church activities and you can have birthday parties and such there. And I just love the fact that they offer classes and lessons... it's so genius to have a fun place where the rest of the family can hang out while one child has an art class or a drum lesson. Or it's a perfect place to meet with moms for a Bible study a couple mornings a week. Or to go with another family or two and let the kids all play while the adults sit and have a card game evening.
I think it's just such a fabulous idea.
And totally reasonably priced. It's $7 each per day you visit, but you can get a family monthly membership for $49... or buy a year membership. And with any membership that's purchased, they match that membership and give one to a needy family. Love that. And the membership covers art and music and classes and everything.
It's too bad we're all the way across town because I'd do a membership and make that our hang out spot in a heartbeat. Right now I'm thinking it's a little too far away from us to make it a regular habit. We'll see though. I mean $50 a month for our whole family for as many classes and as much playtime as we want?? We might just have to do a month here and there throughout the year.
We are, in fact, planning on going back next weekend (or even this week if we get another snow day)... and dragging some friends along with us. Since Sodium just opened, this month adults are free so our family is half price thru the end of January and I want to take advantage of that!

The overall plan of this place called Sodium is to expand to every major growing city, giving families and communities a place to unplug, slow down, really connect and be together; providing a place to -an excuse to- enjoy quality time as a family and with friends.
I can't think of anything our cities need more.
Did I mention I love this place??


Nicole said...

FREAKIN BLOG!!! I just posted a long comment and it deleted it. Totally ruined my whole ambition to comment> GRRRRR...

ANYHOW! Here we go again... (so not the same typing it the second time!) "How neat that you guys were there when I saw it on Audrey Caroline's blog. Maybe you'll see here there! :) That would be neat!

How far is Sodium from you guys? THat is an amazing price for classes and lessons and all that... I hope they bring one to Ann Arbor sometime! I'd looove it!

heather said...

It's about 30 minutes from our house. It's just past the shopping area we frequent (mall, target, joanns, costco, etc) which is about 20 minutes away, so it's not bad. Basically it's located on the southwest side of Franklin (a Nashville suburb) and we're northeast of Franklin, having to go through all of Franklin to get there. :(

I just had a friend who told me she had heard about it, but Angie's blog is actually where I saw it first last week as well. And yes, I'd love to run into her there!

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