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WKids is wonderful for shopping parents

Let's face it, it's no fun grocery shopping with kids. Especially when the list is long.

Back in the day, I used to shop at Wegmans and bring my kids to WKids. I remember it made things easier for me to get what we needed. But, alas my girls grew up and weren't quite as difficult or were just too busy to make a grocery run with their mother. Now, with little ones again, here we go again.

Although our girls are generally very patient and pretty good (especially when we are lucky enough to get one of the cool race-car shopping carts), Emma, 4, gets pretty bored and hungry looking at all of that food. So, I decided to let her go into the WKids Fun Zone and check it out for us. We went to the McKinley Parkway location.

There are a few rules:

  • Children must be 3-years-old and potty trained.
  • You are not allowed to leave the store while your child is in WKids.
  • Kids have to take off their shoes (socks required).
  • If your child is sick, they ask that you don't bring them.
  • Kids can stay for about an hour.
  • If your child has to use the bathroom, they'll page you.

Yep, back in the day, they'd page you over the store speaker. (I may or may not have gotten a page once because my then 6 and 7 year old children were arguing with each other.) At any rate, no more store speaker - you get a pager to hold onto while you shop. It's peace of mind if you ask me.  They will page you if your child needs you for any reason or if there is any problem.

They give you a pager, just in case. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

Emma was there for about an hour. She absolutely loved it. There were six other children there but some were leaving and others were checking in. It was basically a revolving door of kids. A locked one. It is very secure, you have to give photo identification, sign your child in and then show the same identification when signing them out. If a child or anyone else opens the door to the area, an alarm goes off.

They have plenty of things to keep the kids entertained. Children can play with books, arts and crafts, baby dolls, blocks and movies. Emma got to pick out a movie - she chose her favorite, "The Little Mermaid." She sat with her new friend and watched part of the movie. She was upset when we picked her up. It was much more fun for her to be in there, playing then being carted around the store.

Kids really have a ball. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

Ella, on the other hand, had to hang with us because she's not nearly old enough just yet. She's a ton of fun to shop with.

Not all Wegmans have the WKids Play Zones. Here are the ones that do:

  • 5275 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville
  • 675 Alberta Drive, Amherst
  • 3135 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst
  • S3740 McKinley Parkway, Blasdell
  • 651 Dick Road, Depew
  • 4960 Losson Road, Depew
  • 370 Orchard Park Road, West Seneca

It is a free service for customers of Wegmans. Store hours vary by location. It's clean and convenient. What's not to love?

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