CHARLOTTE – With three children younger than 5, Maria and Joey Byrd know first-hand how challenging it can be to find enriching entertainment for that age group.
Taking an initiative to address that issue locally, the couple is opening a Romp n’ Roll franchise this month in the heart of the Mountain Island area. And a weeklong open house and grand opening offering a preview of the educational and activities venue will begin Saturday, Dec. 8.
“We have three kids, and there’s nothing like this around here,” said Maria Byrd, who lives in the nearby Mountain Isle Harbor neighborhood. “There’s not much for kids to do around here, and we need to get them out of the house.”
The third Romp n’ Roll location in North Carolina offers a variety of fun and instructional classes for ages three months to 5 years old, including for cooking, science, socialization and other subjects based on stages of development. The youngest patrons will learn sign language and other motor skills, while the culinary skills are taught to the older groups.
The gym area will have equipment that changes, including lessons, rings, monkey bars, slides and a bounce house. Cake and pizza are provided for birthday parties.
Research-based curricula are tailored for different age groups with weekly themes – there are roughly 42 of them.
“One week it’s going to be pirates and princesses, and the next week it’ll be firetrucks and superheroes, so they don’t get bored with the same curriculum,” Maria Byrd said.
She and her husband both work for Wells Fargo and will keep those jobs, as Will Hicks has been tapped as the facility’s operations manager. Hicks has previously managed day care facilities, and there will be around 10 on staff.
“We’ll be here as customers every day,” Byrd said.
The 3,300-square-foot facility is at 3611 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road, Suite 207, near the intersection with Brookshire Boulevard. In addition to the lack of any kind of similar business the proximity to the future Riverbend Village development was appealing to the Byrds.
“We’re just excited about the area,” Joey Byrd said. “It’s up and coming. Hopefully we’re opening at the right time.”
Parents can buy a month-to-month membership to Romp n’ Roll, which includes one class a day six days a week in addition to unlimited open-play time. It also allows for discounts on Birthday Bashes, drop-off sessions like Parents’ Morning Out and Kid’s Night Out and other special events.
For those not looking for a specific class, open play times are not specific to any curriculum.
“If parents want to bring their kids in and play and see the facility, we offer that as well,” Joey Byrd said.
Activities for the preview week Dec. 8-16 include an open house with gym, art and music activities for parents and children; free, private discovery tours of the facility and programs; a chance to win free classes; and specials discounts for founding members.
The business gets into regular routine Dec. 10, when classes start around 9 a.m. with the last beginning around 7 p.m. If the parents work and kids go to school, there’s after-school options.
“It’s been a big endeavor for sure,” Joey Byrd said.