Welcome to Trips 'n Toys!

Welcome to Trips 'n Toys!

INK (Interactive Neighborhood for Kids) - Gainesville, GA

INK (Interactive Neighborhood for Kids) 
999 Chestnut Street,
Georgia 30501

"Our Experience Was Pretty Rough"
I've seen a slew of solid 5 star reviews on this place, so I'm hoping our bad experience was just an anomaly. But, it was a bad enough experience for me to feel the need to comment. 
First, upon entering, the woman at the counter seemed nice. I explained to her that I was interested in purchasing a membership. We didn't need it specifically for this place, we were just on vacation and wanted a membership with ACM reciprocal benefits to save us money on other stops along our journey.

I asked if they had the ability to prepare our membership cards that day. Some museums from which we have purchased memberships in the past do have the ability to prepare cards immediately. Some don't. That's fair.

At first, she ensured me they could have our cards ready. Then after filling out the forms while negotiating a toddler anxious to get started in the museum, she decided that the woman who makes the cards was "too busy" and "didn't feel like making the cards today" so I would just need to come back later in the week.

Since we were on vacation and coming back was not possible, we just paid the full admission price and continued on our way.

Upon entering the museum itself, you can quickly tell this place is in the category of a very hand-made museum. It reminds me a bit of the Children's Museum of Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana, which we actually adore.

But beyond being hand-made, everything just felt very dirty. And dingy. And worn out. And dirty. And broken. And dirty.

Through the first few rooms, the kids had a pretty good time. There is a dedicated infant/toddler room, a construction area, a grocery store, a bank, dentist's office, hair salon, motorcycle, train tables, and a cafe.

We had a pretty big group playing all together in the cafe. Taking orders, cooking, serving, eating, cleaning... My children love when they can get other kids to all join together to participate in a creative scenario.

After that, though, it got rough pretty quick. I'm not sure if it was a large school/camp group, or just a busy summer day; but there were HORDES of unruly kids, with nary a chaperone in sight.

I wouldn't normally be so quick to blame this on the museum, but there wasn't a single employee in sight either. The place rapidly became a dangerous free-for-all. My 1-year-old was thrown off the motorcycle, and then pushed and shoved away from the trains. Kids were throwing toys and fighting. Everyone was running and screaming.

It was a little quieter around the corner. There were a few more toys. Nothing specifically museum quality, just a handful of things we own at home. The airplane in the back of the museum was pretty awesome; but by the time we got ready for take off, the crowd found us, so we decided to get in the van and take off from the premises instead. 

Maybe it wouldn't have been as much of a disappointment had we not paid full admission to enter, and instead put our money towards a membership that held a financial value to us for the rest of our trip. 

And, again, it's not INK's fault if parents were not minding their own kids, but I don't see how you can run a museum with no floor staff whatsoever. Surely that's a catastrophe waiting to happen. A catastrophe for which we weren't willing to subject ourselves. 
Of all the dozens of kids' museums we have visited, this is the first one my kids have begged to leave. I'm usually dragging them out at closing time. Here, they were dragging me out after less than 90 minutes.

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