River Ridge Mall is opening a new children’s play area this weekend. Mall officials say it is an ocean-themed play area that is a part of River Ridge’s ongoing redevelopment plans. It opens Friday, and a ribbon cutting is set for Saturday morning near the JC Penney and T.J. Maxx stores.

NEWS RELEASE: Beginning July 19, children can spend time “Under the Sea” at River Ridge’s new, state-of-the-art play area. Designed and built by Colorado-based PLAYTIME, the new play area will be located near T.J. Maxx and JCPenney, featuring ocean-themed tunnels, climbers and ramps. For the parents, there will be a stroller parking area, stools, charging stations and seating surrounding the area. “The under the sea experience allows children’s imagination to explore the ocean floor,” said Sunya McDaniel, retail market specialist at PLAYTIME. “They can play on the sunken ship, crawl through the coral tower and curl up with a giant octopus.”

Rendering from River Ridge Mall

Following the opening on July 19, there will be a grand opening party on July 20 from 10 a.m. to noon. With a theme of “Shellabrate Under the Sea,” the party will be filled with mermaids, Bruce the Shark from SeaQuest, a “Shellfie” station, and more for families and children to enjoy—all complimentary. “This is one of the most fun projects we have worked on,” McDaniel said. “The theme is very unique and features very creative and interactive ways to play and learn.”As part of the plans for a two-year redevelopment of the property announced in June, this play area will contribute to a fun and enjoyable experience for guests, including local families.

“We are thrilled to bring this play area to River Ridge,” said Katie Farris, marketing manager at River Ridge. “As we go into this redevelopment, we recognize the need for more activities, entertainment and retail for children and families. Building this play area is just the beginning of what we are bringing to the property for children and families in our community to enjoy.”