By Kate Quesada

The verdict from FishHawk parents is in. Susan and Nick Clark are filling a need in the area with their new business, Kidtopia, which opened its doors in late December.

The Riverview couple has three young children of their own, and when they realized there was nowhere close offering them a place to play and learn in a fun, clean environment, they decided to open their own and Kidtopia was born.

“Our goal is to provide FishHawk with a conveniently located state-of-the-art indoor playground and after-school tutoring club where kids and parents want to visit, while avoiding harsh climate, insects and outdoor allergies,” said Susan, who is also a fourth grade teacher at Bevis Elementary. “Kidtopia is the place to play, party and learn.”

The 3,000 sq. ft. space formerly occupied by Snap Fitness in the FishHawk Pizza-anchored plaza on FishHawk Blvd. houses multiple inflatables, obstacle courses, cannon blasters, ball pits, rock walls and climbing structures and is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily for play time. The facility is designed for toddlers and elementary school aged children to enjoy up to two hours of play. All children and adults must wear socks to maintain the cleanliness of the facility.

“Rain or shine, we know the importance of having family outings that will be fun-filled, convenient and guarantee that the kids will get their energy out,” said Susan, who adds that she and Nick were always looking for ways to entertain their own three children, nine-year-old Makayla, Madalyn who is 3 and Mason who is 2. “Our space promotes physical activity and builds social skills in a safe, clean environment.”

In addition, Kidtopia offers a private room, equipped with tables and chairs, available to rent for parties. The $239 party fee includes up to 20 children for two hours and the party host is welcome to cater in food, cake and decorations as they wish. The facility does remain open to the general public during parties.

One of the most unique aspects of Kidtopia is the after school program and tutoring club that offers a balance of playtime and learning for elementary aged students with pick-up from local schools.

“Kids will navigate between homework time, learning and games, and, of course, they will love all the benefits of the indoor playground,” said Susan, who has 10 years experience as a classroom teacher and District Mentor in Hillsborough County Schools. “Parents will have peace of mind knowing that the program is being supervised by a certified elementary school teacher.”

Currently, the $60 annual enrollment fee is being waived for the 2017-2018 school year. Discounted tutoring packages are available for students enrolled in the program, but tutoring is also available to the whole community.

Kidtopia offers reasonably priced concession food and drink items, including hot dogs, popcorn, fresh baked cookies and coffee.

Since Kidtopia opened in late December, they have had a very positive response from the community.

“It is a perfect addition to FishHawk,” said Pinkal Patel, mother to 7 and 12 year old girls. “It is a great place for kids to get their energy out and it is a safe, clean environment. Kids are very visible which makes parents feel at ease.”

The Clarks are hoping their space will become a frequent destination for families, play groups and students who need a little extra help.

“I know the importance of quality education, differentiated instruction and instilling a love for learning in young kids,” said Susan. “Together Nick, who is an experienced business owner, and I can offer what every parent is seeking for their kids, trust, safety and education-focused fun.”

Located at 15276 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia, Kidtopia is open seven days a week from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 548-1062 or visit www.Kidtopiakidz.com.