Play, Learn & Explore: Buttons & Bows Indoor Playground opens children’s wonderland

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

“Play is often talked about as if it were relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.” — Mr. Rogers

Jamie Angotti, owner of Buttons & Bows Indoor Playground in LaPlace, wants to paint the quote across the walls as a reminder of everything her new business stands for.

Angotti’s long-standing dream of opening an indoor playground began while she was living in a small town in Tennessee with virtually no businesses geared toward young children.

As a former teacher, she understood how children learn through play, interacting with others and staying physically active.

“I wanted to create something unique, powered by little feet and little brains,” Angotti said. “No other place has the children’s museum aspect, as well as a climbing structure and technology being used in our schools and homes.”

Nia Gaudet, 6, gets in some play time at DJ’s Salon & Barber Shop inside Buttons & Bows.

Located at 2021 W. Airline Highway, Buttons & Bows includes two party rooms, a certified safe play structure for children 3 to 12 years old, a baby playground for infants and toddlers 2 and under, a virtual reality playground, a snack station, arcade games and 11 imaginative play rooms in an 18,000-square foot structure.

Community vendors, pop in characters and a blood drive highlighted the grand opening event and ribbon cutting Saturday.

Blood donors and raffle winners won play pass discounts, according to Angotti. A 50/50 raffle raised proceeds to cover travel expenses for Aimee’s Dance Academy to attend cheer nationals in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and $25 was donated to Ascension of Our Lord Catholic School and $50 was donated to St. Joan of Arc Catholic School as part of two coloring contests.

Angotti said she would like to see more participation from St. John the Baptist Parish schools. With an option to open Buttons & Bows in Metairie in a facility that had just as much if not more to offer, the Angotti family chose to stay local to become an asset to the community.

“We want to be able to keep our money in the Parish, increase our tax revenue and be able to drive somewhere five minutes away with our ‘littles,’” Angotti said.

Buttons & Bows Indoor Playground offers 18,000 square feet of children’s play options.

Since its February opening, Buttons & Bows has booked 14 parties and five field trips, and busy open play days can see as many as a 150 guests.

Weekends and Thursday and Friday evenings after 3:30 p.m. have been the most active business times thus far, Angotti said.

The grocery store, home living, jail, theater and toyshop imaginative playrooms and the large climbing structure have been big hits among children, Angotti said.

She said parents like to get involved with the Beam interactive virtual playground that includes math pop, literacy games and high intensity sports.

Erica Harris brings her 3- and 1-year-old children to Buttons & Bows regularly, and visits sometimes stretch four to five hours. Even when it’s time to leave, her toddlers are reluctant to go.

As a teacher, Harris believes in active playing.

“I think it’s completely awesome for kids to be creative when playing,” Harris said.

“Most kids don’t know how to play anymore because they’re stuck on iPads for hours. Young minds are wasted that way. It’s good socially for kids to role play with other children and learn from each other.”

Angotti compared Buttons & Bows to a Montessori school where children guide their own learning paths.

Buttons & Bows is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Angotti said Tuesdays are reserved for exceptional children who could benefit from a quieter environment.

Adults and children under 6 months are admitted free everyday, and sibling discounts are available. For more information on pricing and parties, visit Buttons & Bows Indoor Playground on Facebook or call 985-359-2697.

Parents are invited to register their children for an Easter Camp April 2-6. For $100, potty-trained children ages 3 to 12 can enjoy playtime, guided crafts, literacy time and snacks from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Summer camp plans are in the works.