We take fun very, very seriously.

We all get to use shopping and dining out as an excuse for “market research” in this business (it’s one of the perks!), but another element of own personal business development is scouting out great experiential retailers. What do I mean by experiential retailers? Well, I mean entertainment retailers such as theatres, museums, amusement parks, bowling venues, live performance teams and venues, unique fitness concepts, family activity centers, aquariums, and professional sports venues. And usually I can test out these clients on the ultimate fun detectors: my kids, Lorenzo and Vincent.

When I became a mom, it became less about finding brunch spots on the weekend (read: bloody marys) and more about finding fun and affordable activities for my me and my family. Whether it’s an average Saturday afternoon or a child’s birthday party, there are plenty of entertaining options for the whole family. When we lived in Center City, Philadelphia there were plenty of family friendly activities within walking distance: pop-up parks, historical sites, museums, block parties, playgrounds and outdoor explorations. Recently, my family and I moved out to the ‘burbs and with this, we reinvented our family outings.

One of our favorite places to go is Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park park. Not only is Sky Zone pure, unadulterated fun, but it’s affordable: it offers special events and promotions throughout the week for families, such as “Toddler Time” where kids can get 60 minutes of jump time for just $7, or a 2 hour jump with “Jumpapalooza” for all ages for just $18. There are trampolines on the floors and walls, foam pits, and trampoline basketball courts which makes it fun not just for the kids, but for my husband and I as well. And for you athletes, Sky Zone also has an Ultimate Dodgeball league where you can play pickup games (held daily) on the wall-to-wall trampolines.

iFLY, an MSC Retail client, is an indoor skydiving arena that creates free fall conditions without having to jump out of an airplane. You put on a jumpsuit, helmet and goggles and enter a vertical wind tunnel on which you float. iFLY is fun for all ages…from ages 3 – 103. It’s fun for a family outing or a birthday party. For all you Philly area readers, stay tuned for a big announcement about our first iFly deal!

Pinstripes Bowling is unique in that it’s a bowling alley, bocce court and a bistro all in one. On weekends they offer live blues and jazz music, wine dinners, mom & tot play dates, clubs and leagues and private parties. On Sundays, kids eat free; “Fifty Fifty Fridays” offers half off all bottles of wine $50 or less; and Happy Hours are offered daily!

For those of you paying attention, the mix of entertainment in shopping centers and malls is rapidly changing. As the retail experience evolves, shopping centers and malls are looking for differentiated traffic drivers: they want to give people an experience they can’t get online. Having entertainment attractions draws in shoppers to spend time at the mall while serving as anchor attractions to pull in potential shoppers who otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to the mall. Creating experiential anchors in shopping centers and malls activates neighborhoods and real estate that may typically see slow nights, weekends and other dayparts. At MSC Retail, a creative vision that adds and unlocks value is just how we roll.

Whether it’s bowling, “skydiving”, or trampoline hopping, there are plenty of options for you and your family. As always, look to @MSC_Retail for updates on Philadelphia area activities and entertainment trends.

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