walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

A Medium Sized Addendum on Mall Hours

When I only had one child, T., and he was quite small, he needed fairly regular outings to, er, avoid driving everyone around him nuts. He wasn't the only kid like that. At various points in time, he was highly car-averse, so we had to come up with walkable/strollerable/bikeable options. But when he was okay with a car ride (or really liked a car ride), we could go further afield.

We went to Pheasant Lane Mall for a variety of reasons: they had a Target attached to the mall (and the Target was open earlier than other stores), they had kiddie rides, it was the closest good-sized mall, etc. When we moved to Massachusetts and had a second child, we tried to find a good hang-out location: we found malls with small trains, kiddie rides, a carousel, etc. But an attached Target was hard to find, which meant if you went early in the morning (before 10 a.m.), you couldn't do much at the mall.

I hadn't really put this together until arriving inadvertently too early at Solomon Pond today. Over the last 20 years, the population of moms-available-to-go-to-the-mall-during-the-day has swung very hard towards moms-with-very-small-children (the rest tend to have jobs and go to the mall in the evening and on weekends like everyone else). During that same time frame, moms-with-very-small-children have swarmed places like aquariums, children's museums, science museums, etc. with strollers and forced those estimable cultural destinations to adjust their offerings (and facilities in some cases) to accommodate them. But the malls haven't really done anything to help out.

Which seems outrageously, baroquely, stupid.

What am I missing?

ETA: Target and Wal-Mart hours have consistently extended earlier in the morning than mall hours, and their market share growth probably wasn't driven solely by their pricing.
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