This Detroit mom of two offers a safe, fun space for kids to get active and creative at her play and child care center on the city’s west side.
Think quick: Name a popular spot in Detroit solely for children.
While Detroit is enjoying a resurgence with many new businesses cropping up nearly every day, one segment of the population doesn’t seem to get as much attention – namely, its youngest citizens. As far as Danielle North was concerned, there simply weren’t enough safe, clean, fun spaces for her children to access in Detroit. So she created one and called it Kidz Kingdom.
Celebrating its grand opening in 2016, the indoor playground was recently licensed to serve as a child care center, too – Monday through Friday. It also hosts private birthday parties on the weekends, a big draw for parents wanting options in the city.
“I was born and raised in the city of Detroit,” North says. “I didn’t want to travel to the suburbs anymore (for child care). We made a conscious choice to be in the city of Detroit. We love our community. Admittedly, even if you go downtown, there’s a limited number of things that kids can do, and so I wanted them to have that space to go to, like I did as a kid.”
Located in the Grandmont Rosedale community, Kidz Kingdom is perhaps also an extension of North’s interests in sociology and child education. A sociology major (she graduated from Eastern Michigan University), North always knew she wanted to come back to the city and make a difference. Eventually, she started her own education consultant firm, EdReform Partners, which partners with schools to help improve curriculum and provide children with more options. Kidz Kingdom grew out of that preoccupation.
“Education is really at the crux of (what) ails the city of Detroit and the society as a whole,” North says. “Even with Kidz Kingdom, from the very beginning, it was established as an educational and recreational space. So I really keep myself closely connected with what’s happening in the education community and being able to bring my voice and talent to bettering our schools.
“We need better educational and recreational options, and so both of those things are really important to me.”
Kidz Kingdom achieves both goals. Inside, you’ll find a colorful play scape that has spaces for imaginative roleplaying, art and crafts and open-world exploration. Translation: Your child is free to explore. And while the children play, during special events at the center, parents can enjoy fitness classes or relaxation.
Juggling a marriage, two boys, and a full-time job in addition to Kidz Kingdom has its challenges, but North is right at home.
“One of the reasons having Kidz Kingdom is so special is (that) it is a second home for us,” North says. “I’m working on the weekends, but guess what? My kids are with me. They’ve attended a hundred parties over the past year and a half! You balance it out, and it all comes together.”
She adds, “It takes an entire support system, honestly. I’ve built around building my dreams, but it also impacts on my kids and family in a positive way.”
Kidz Kingdom is an imagination-inspired place where kids can play and explore the world around them. All playground equipment has been inspected by a licensed playground inspector. Visit kidzkingdomdetroit.com or call 313-296-1741.