Safari Sam’s

Last week we had some family in town from the Bay area. It was so nice to see them, and to try and convince them to move to Portland next year. We had a Monday morning outing planned but then the forecast of heavy rain ended our excitement of going to the zoo. Another sister in law, Ashley, had heard of a place called Safari Sam’s. We decided to check it out.

Safari Sam’s

16260 SW  Langer Dr, Sherwood Or 97140

(503)928-8000

Hours vary, see website.

Price: Adults and children under 2 are free. Kids 2-5 $4.95, Kids 6-18 $6.95. This includes the jungle gym only.

They also have:

Mini golf: unlimited play for 2-5 $4.00 & 6 years and up $6.00

Arcade games: Tokens are 4 for $1.00

Bouncy houses: open to ages 3-12 only, 1 15min jump $3.50 or unlimited jump for $6.00

Here is how their website describes the Jungle gym.

“Our centerpiece is the largest play structure in Oregon. Your kids will have hours of fun discovering all the different features we’ve built into our jungle gym, and we built (it) strong enough for the parents to enjoy too!”

Sherwood is a little far for our normal outings, especially because I got lost. The place is difficult to find. It is in a shopping center that is behind another shopping center. The map on their website is not detailed enough unless you are familiar with the area.

Once we arrived we were told that 2 year old were free for the jungle gym and went in with no cost. We met up with our group, 4 adults, one infant and 4 kids ages 1 to 4 1/2 .  The kids had a blast! Arora is normally timid when playing in close quarters with other kids. But she was having too much fun to be timid here.

One of the slides in the "littlest kid" area

The structure was huge! There was plenty of room for adults to be playing with their kids. I had feared it would be all plastic tube tunnels but that was not the case. The two 4 1/2 year olds were off like a flash and were all over the place.

We shared a large pizza and drinks and the food was really good.  The price was a bit higher then you would pay for a pizza at say Pizza Hut, but the drinks had free refills and boy did we need them.

We played for around 2 hours and then were ready for nap time. It was a great outing. We planned on going back again. Even though it was far away, I figured, since we get in for free we can just buy our lunch here and make it a regular “rainy day” outing.

L-R Ashley, Me holding Arora, Nate, Angela holding baby JJ. Front row Blake, Sam and Audrey.

Angela, my sister-in-law, said “I think this place is great for small kiddos when it is not very busy.  Definitely a place to come with a friend to help you usher kids back and forth to the restroom, or help them if they get stuck in the maze or need a boost… Surprisingly good pizza and great for a rainy day!”

Ashley, another sister-in-law, said ” It was a great place for parents and children to interact. The huge indoor jungle gym is a great place to bring the kids to let some energy out, especially because it rains so much here. I also liked how they had the glow in the dark inside putt-putt and the games. We also think the pizza was really good! And last but not least it was a good price, they don’t charge to play until they are 2 and even when they do the prices are very reasonable. As far as Blake’s (1y/o) opinion he appeared to have a really good time and loved being able to just run around and let out energy. It was also nice for him to be able to climb all over things which really excited him, not to mention wore him out. We had a great time as a family there and would recommend it to anyone with children of walking age and above!”

Fast forward to Thursday of the same week.

I had promised Arora that we would go swimming as a reward for going to bed nicely the night before. Then I found out that both our nearby indoor pools are closed on Thursday!  I decided to ask Arora if she would want to go to Safari Sam’s instead, she readily agreed. We called a friend of ours and planned to car pool out there.

When we arrived, we were told that 2 year old are not free.  I explained that we had been there just the other day and she was free. The clerk then said I should have to pay for today’s trip and the trip on Monday because she should not haven gotten in for free.  So we paid $4.95, for Arora to get in. The clerk was also rude to the other mom who came with us. Asking if they got in for free last time too.

Then the next clerk who wanted to stamp our hands and put a paper wrist band on my daughter was also rude. Arora tore off the paper wrist band and he told me she could get in trouble if she didn’t wear it.  Let me say, we were the ONLY people there. It was not like someone has sneaked her in.

When we were leaving the door clerk was rude again,  commenting to be sure we pay next time too. I felt much less satisfied with our trip. I think paying $5.00 for my two year old who can only do 1/2 of the activities was too expensive. I certainly wasn’t going to pay $5.00 to get in and then pay $10.00 for lunch. The staff was rude enough to not make me feel welcome.

EDIT *We decided to give this place another shot and I am glad we did.  We went with some friends and split the “Fun Pack” which includes one large pizza 4 drinks and 40 tokens for $29.95. So we spent $4.95 for admission, and $15.00 for lunch, drinks and 20 tokens. Not something we will do often, but not too expensive for lunch and hours of jungle fun.*

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3 thoughts on “Safari Sam’s

  1. I would definitely send a note to the manager. You could just print out this blog post and mail it to the address, “Attn: Manager.” These employees need to be trained how to work at a children’s facility! I’m glad you at least had a good time when you went with the cousins.

  2. Your first review made me want to go, and the second one made me want to avoid the place! Considering Michael is almost two, maybe we will go check it out and see how we like it before we have to pay to get in. For me $5 feels like a bit much for a two year old activity, considering they just don’t last very long and can’t even do everything, but it’s way cheaper than the Children’s Museum! (Thank goodness the library has cultural pass for THAT place!)

  3. Hey Holly! I’m sorry you had a couple of bad apples there. We use to live in Tualatin and visited Safari Sam’s very frequently. I don’t know if things have changed but we’ve never had that happen. I agree that you should let the manager know. How else will the management change things if customers aren’t telling them what is going on?

    BTW: The entertainment book has coupons for BOGO on mini golf if you guys ever go back. :)

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