DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Urban Air Adventure Park, the world’s preeminent indoor adventure park, introduces Urbie, the Company’s newly-minted mascot who will quickly and endearingly win the hearts of families and children everywhere as the quintessence of fun, adventure, inclusivity and embodiment of every child. With kids across the country having been (and continuing to be) greatly impacted by the pandemic given the lack of socializing with friends and play combined with the stress of remote learning, Urbie arrives just in time to help save summer as families begin to venture out in their communities and beyond. In celebration of Urbie and to address this lack of play head on, Urban Air Adventure Park will host a variety of family-friendly games and activities involving prizes and more all summer long, which are all outlined at UrbanAirParks.com/Urbie.
As families adapt to life amidst the pandemic and in light of the challenges they and children everywhere have faced since early 2020, the importance of play, having fun with friends and socializing has never been more integral to their development, overall confidence and growth. In the exploration of how the most essential factors in a child’s development have changed recently, new research* from just this summer reveals a ‘play deficit’ amongst today’s youth, with 99 percent of parents seeing the importance of unstructured play and the impact it has on children both physically and mentally. More than four in five (84 percent) parents report that their children have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, given they haven’t interacted with peers (55 percent), have had fewer opportunities to let loose and have fun (45 percent) and feel more isolated than ever (45 percent). Meanwhile, more than half (55 percent) report that due to restrictions their children are unable to socially interact with others.
As a true representation of fun and inclusivity for all, Urbie has been reimagined to fully emulate the any and every kid. Hailing from “Gottafly, U.S.A.,” Urbie’s fearless, boundary pushing, adrenaline-loving yet approachable and friendly personality (and passion for pizza) is one that children everywhere can look up to and aspire to be – regardless of race, gender or abilities. Social acceptance is a topic that’s near and dear to many parents’ hearts – in fact, about two in three (63 percent) feel it’s important for their child to understand and appreciate diversity and close to three in five (59 percent) want their child to feel socially accepted no matter with whom he surrounds himself. Moreover, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of parents believe play is key in promoting healthy physical development, a great way for kids to interact with their peers and explore and accept the world around them. Simply put, the majority of parents (61 percent) want to see their children happy being kids and living a normal childhood.
Additional insights from the latest national research* surrounding the impacts of the pandemic on today’s youth and the importance of unstructured play include:
- Unstructured Play Reigns Supreme. About two in three (64 percent) of parents believe that unstructured play sparks creativity and helps develop a child’s imagination, whereas 61 percent think it builds confidence and 59 percent notice that it improves their communication skills. Furthermore, 68 percent believe that play enables children to challenge themselves and do things they didn’t think they were capable of doing.
- Play is Critical in Building Relationships. Parents find it critical to teach their children the importance of good relationships. In fact, two in three (66 percent) parents feel that play is an important way to develop relationships and life skills like empathy, critical thinking, and focus, while two in three (64 percent) parents want their child to value and make the most of relationships with others.
- Experiences Can Enhance a Child’s Development. 62 percent of parents believe it’s essential to strike a healthy balance between school and play to promote personal growth. Outside of school and screen time, half of parents are looking for experiences to further their child’s development and engage in physical play. In fact, more than half (56 percent) think it’s important to encourage children to learn through experiences that can help motivate, stimulate, and support their development.
Given the lack of imaginative play, inclusivity and limited interaction among children over the past year, Urban Air is launching a string of fun events this summer, including its inaugural “Gottafly Games,” where kids of all ages can participate in and win prizes for activities ranging from obstacle courses to scavenger hunts at parks everywhere. No doubt the fun-loving mascot will bring joy to families across the country with such activities as:
- Gottafly Games: As we root for the United States this summer on the global sports stage, Urban Air will host its very own ‘Gottafly Games’ complete with in-park obstacle courses, inviting kids to reach new heights, challenge themselves and feel a sense of accomplishment like no other. Races will take place daily in Urban Air parks across the country weekdays from July 26 – Aug. 6 at which time daily winners will be announced and be awarded pins, free play passes and an invitation to return for the final “Grand Games” on Aug. 6. At that time, finalists will compete for a grand prize at each park – a much-deserved medal and a group fun pack, complete with four play passes and pizza for family or friends.
- Urbie Scavenger Hunt: Starting in July, all Urban Air parks will host scavenger hunts wherein kids of all ages are encouraged to spot all 15 Urbie faces hidden throughout the park in order to win special prizes.
- Urbie Coloring Sheets: Kids can show off their creative side by downloading and printing Urbie coloring sheets from UrbanAirParks.com/Urbie. Children are then encouraged to bring their Urbie creations to life via their coloring method of choice and share on social media using #letemflywithurbie.
“We’ve noticed a major decline in play among children as a direct result of the pandemic with many direct consequences felt across many households but, as an adventure park operator, we are devoted to pulling out that sense of fun, creativity and confidence out of kids again with the help of Urbie so they can reach their fullest potential,” said Jessica Correa, Chief Marketing Officer at Urban Air. “Urbie brings out the kid in all of us, giving kids the confidence to challenge themselves and soar to new heights at Urban Air this year and in life as they develop physically, emotionally and mentally.”
Urban Air, with the help of Urbie, is dedicated to helping every kid get out and return to play with their friends at parks nationwide this summer. For more information on Urbie and details on the activities taking place at a park near you, please visit UrbanAirParks.com/Urbie.
*Online survey conducted by Kelton Global, a Material Company, to 500 nationally representative American parents with children under the age of 18 in the United States, with a margin error of +/- 4.4 percent.
ABOUT URBAN AIR ADVENTURE PARK
Founded in 2011, the Dallas-based entertainment company pioneered the adventure park concept and has since become the largest adventure park operator in the world with more than 200 locations open and under development. Urban Air's purpose is to help kids have fun and aim higher, achieving those things that they never thought they could do. For more information on the company and franchising opportunities, please visit UrbanAirParks.com.