Saturday Aug. 21 marked the beginning of a new adventure for Great Northern Mall on Route 31 in Clay.
Employees welcomed approximately 150 people, many of them children, to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open a soft play area. According to Macerich marketing manager Sandy Graham, many of Macherich's shopping centers include play areas, which are very popular with shoppers with children. ShoppingTown Mall in DeWitt also is equipped with a play area for kids.
"We felt that the addition of the soft play area was important for out family-focused center," Graham said.
From design to installation, the project was a work in progress for about eight months. The play area includes seating around the outermost edges so parents can easily keep an eye on their youngsters. All children must have adult supervision within the play area, and the seating makes it possible for parents to relax and take a break during their trip to the mall, Graham said.
The play area is a free and unique amenity, and just the beginning of changes for Great Northern.
"The play area, coupled with our soon-to-open family restrooms and nursing rooms, make shopping with children more convenient and enjoyable," Graham said.
The addition of a play area has pleased both shoppers and retailers -- shoppers like having a dedicated section of the mall for their little ones to burn some energy, while retailers have seen increased traffic at some of the family friendly spots in the food court.
"We've gotten very positive feedback, and the play area has been full of children having fun ever since the grand opening," Graham said.