AJ’s Play Date celebrates grand opening in Medina
MEDINA – AJ’s Play Date in Medina celebrated its grand opening Saturday with a ribbon cutting, coloring contest and giveaways.
Adam and Kerry Papaj opened AJ’s Play Date on Aug. 24 at 627 West Ave., at a former women’s gym across from Lee-Whedon Memorial Library. The Papajs transformed the site into a one-of-kind playground with other activities that get kids ages 2 to 12 jumping, climbing, building and exploring.
AJ’s Play Date opens at time when many youth programs have been shut down or curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kerry Papaj, a speech pathologist the past 26 years at Lyndonville Central School, designed the playground and the space at AJ’s. There is a trampoline in the center of the playground, and swings, stairs, a spiky spinner, a webbed bridge, tunnels and other obstacles for gross and sensory motor play.
The Papajs also set up a double train table, two doll houses and pretend play center with a kitchen, laundry, grocery store and ice cream/bake shop.
The family created the space to be friendly with children on the autism spectrum who have sensory processing issues. AJ’s has activities for gross motor play, such as jumping and running.
AJ’s is named for Adam and sons Aiden and Arik, whose first and middle initials are all AJ. The family had been considering the indoor playground center for the past three years. They were aiming to open on March 1, but Covid-19 delayed the project. They weren’t able to receive the playground equipment until July.