Polynesian dance program for kids returns to Makutu’s Island - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Entertainment

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Polynesian dance program for kids returns to Makutu’s Island

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Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2009 11:00 pm

"Shake, Rattle and Roll," a hands-on discovery into the world of Polynesian music, instruments and dance has returned to Chandler's indoor playground for children, Makutu's Island.

"Makutu's Island is a mythical Polynesian island somewhere in the South Pacific and so we thought it would be a great idea to incorporate a little bit of fun and a little bit of learning at the same time," said Lori Fowler, spokesperson for Makutu's Island.

"Shake, Rattle and Roll" was first introduced at Makutu's during the winter of 2002, about a year after the playground opened, and ran for about six months. Makutu's decided to bring the successful program back to the island's Jungle Jamboree Theater, its venue for storytelling, crafts and education.

The program is free with admission into Makutu's Island, which is $8.50 for children and $3.50 for adults. It is designed for children ages 3 to 13 and the 15-minute classes run at various times throughout the day.

Children can dress up in native Maori headbands and sashes, Hawaiian grass skirts and flower leis while they learn about different cultures in the South Pacific in an interactive and fun environment.

In the Polynesian language of Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, Makutu means "magic." At Makutu's Island, Makutu is the fun-loving jaguar cub who is king of the island.

The 20,000-square-foot indoor playground offers hours of fun for children besides the "Shake, Rattle and Roll" program.

In the center of the island is a 25-foot-tall oak tree with tunnels, tubes, mole holes, fire poles and the Banana Slide that winds 35 feet around the outside of the tree from the top to the base.

The Blue Fantasy Tree, Pirates Cove and Palm Slide are less rigorous than the oak tree and include tunnels, caves and a zip-line.

Makutu's Island is also equipped for toddlers. Oscar's Lagoon includes three small slides and soft foam blocks.

The Inferno, a fiery volcano that is home to the video arcade, the Under-The-Sea Café, and private party rooms at The Party Pier can also be found at Makutu's.

"It's just a really great indoor environment for children during the summer, and another thing that's great about Makutu's Island is that it's a secure environment," Fowler said.

Children must be accompanied by an adult, and a wristband system is used to ensure their safety.

Makutu's Island is located at 6919 W. Ray Road and has extended its hours for the summer.

For more information, call (480) 344-3741 or visit www.makutusisland.com.


Christina O'Haver is interning this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.

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