Playseum Opens in Easton

Be With Me: The Children’s Playseum has recently opened in Easton, Md as a place to create lasting memories by providing an experiential venue to parents, grandparents, and caretakers to enjoy quality time with their child or children.
The new location is a large, multi-roomed building on Ocean Gateway with plenty of parking for families and party guests. Entry to the toy store is free, with the rest of the Playseum’s 29-themed areas representing the city of Easton accessible with a $12 admission. Themed areas are limited to one family at a time, with sprawling spaces for plenty of room to meander while role-playing or engaging in places like the local grocery store, a taco hut, a doctor’s office, barbershop, farm room, and much more.
Included in admission is a storytime taking place every Monday through Friday at 11:00am, which is followed by a sensory engaging activity. A few small café tables are available for guests to bring in a bag lunch and eat Monday through Friday. Birthday parties and field trips are also available with registration in advance.
One of the most popular themed areas is the Pet Shop. Animals in the pet shop are brought out to interact with guests every other hour and include rabbits, birds, a bearded dragon, frogs, and more. There is no additional charge for the pet shop time.
“Your wrist band is good all day long, and many of our guests come and go to accommodate nap time or lunch in downtown Easton, for example,” says Playseum founder and owner Gina Seebachan. “With so many kids missing a ‘time at grandma’s house’ I decided to build a pretend grandma’s house in each of our Playseum locations. Within Grandma’s house, we have a pretend attic with old grandma dresses, photos, a tiny wooden kitchenette, a fireplace with a teacup, and a Bible. It’s an ode to what family means to so many of us.”
Seebachan says the average visit is around two hours, with the Playseum open to homeschool groups, field trip participants, mom’s groups, and more. Military discounts are also available, with children under one admitted free.
Seebachan grew up in Minnesota—where another Playseum is now located, which was built right before COVID-19 hit. She created the original Playseum in Bethesda, Md. where her husband and children had moved to 22 years ago. Their heart’s desire was to build a place where quality time could be had by any parent with whatever small amounts of time they could give to their children.
“Children need to interact with other-aged children—and we are always conquering and dividing with school activities, sports, lessons, etc.,” said Miss Gina, as she is known by staff.
She thought a good place where people play together was at a children’s museum, but she knew she did not want to build a museum.
“I envisioned a place where we could all do things together, to be present in the moment as a family,” says Seebachan. “I created this after my mom suddenly died of cancer and I lost the gift of time spent together with her. I had an epiphany to create such a place based on the concept ‘be with me.’ There would not be drop-offs or classes—just simply a place where you could always depend on having a quality time with your child if you came in with the mindset to be present.
“If you don’t put your phone away and interact with your child, you might miss out on the memories you could make with your child,” she says. “It’s all about the moment of being fully present with your child by role-playing and interacting in situations that are different than just saying ‘don’t touch or don’t do that.’ Instead, you will hear parents having fun with their child and even recognizing qualities within their child that they had not seen before. By engaging all five of the senses while here memories become lodged within the back cortex of the brain making the Playseum a place that is not easily forgotten.”
The Playseum offers unique Creation Stations, or Bars, where children and their adults can dress up like a chemist while in the lab making a bar of soap, bubble bath, lotion, lip balm, homemade toothpaste, or a bath bomb, for example. Other activities include donning a chef’s hat and apron to decorate a cookie or cupcake at the Bake Shop or putting on a science lab coat and goggles to make slime, scented putty, or bouncy balls at the Science Bar.
The Playseum provides smocks to keep kids clean while engaged in the art shop, where you can do free projects at the self-serve craft station with art supplies. For a few Playseum dollars more you can purchase wood or ceramic projects to paint and take home the same day,” she says. “All additional items purchased within the Creation Stations would be purchased with Playseum dollars which are purchased at the door upon admission.
“We use this as an opportunity to teach children about currency, while they enjoy decorating a cupcake or creating homemade play-doh,” said Seebachan. “We work directly with the child for payment, teaching them about the value of a dollar and how to figure out change, for example.”
“We also care deeply about giving back,” says Seebachan. “We give 10 cents away for every dollar collected to support organizations that bring clean water to children, protect children who are being trafficked, help pregnancy centers, and provide resources for children who have found themselves parentless. It’s the life lesson of generosity that we want to pass on in a practical way.”
The Playseum is open every day, with gift certificates available, and hours and more information at www.playseum.com/eastonplayseum.