Treasure Castle soon to celebrate ten years making kids happy
There’s plenty of fun to be had at Treasure Castle in South Williamsport, especially for children between the ages of one and twelve with imaginations just waiting to be inspired by a colorful, magical atmosphere.
Owner Sharon Markle, along with her husband Glenn and daughter Brenda Lukasiewicz, the operations director, transformed the former South Williamsport United Methodist Church at 1414 West Southern Avenue into a playland unique to the area, throwing open the doors to the castle on July13 , 2009.
When the church came up for sale in 2008, Lukasiewicz was working as director of a day care center on Lycoming Creek Road and before that had worked at a kids’ entertainment center and at the Children’s Discovery Workshop.
After seeing the complex, which included a separate building housing a day care, she presented her Shrek-inspired vision to her parents.
“Brenda is very much in tune with what kids want,” her mother said, adding that Lukasiewicz was the one with the vision and experience to pull it all together.
“It was her idea to have a kid-friendly castle atmosphere that was exciting in every way,” Markle said.
Their plans appealed to church leaders, she explained, because it was important to them that new owners would continue the day care and also provide something for the community.
For the first year they focused strictly on upgrading the day care next door, known as Little Treasures Pre-School and Day Care. Next came gutting the building and deciding what could be kept and reused to enhance the castle atmosphere. The stained glass windows stayed, adding a colorful ambience to the castle on sunny days.
A new feature on the ground level of the three-storied edifice is a virtual play floor that has been a big hit with kids who like interactive, physical games.
With a computer in the ceiling and a white floor, more than 50 games are projected and rotated every few minutes as kids switch quickly between sports themes, a large piano keyboard, or even a game that requires players to “stomp the mice, “Markle said.
The owner believes their interactive white floor may be the only one available in the area at present.
Treasure Castle offers a food court on the main floor and provides three rooms that can host birthday parties for large groups. Two rooms can serve 15 party-goers and one located in the former church choir loft can host 30.
Treasure Castle and Little Treasures also offer a summer camp program for children needing care when school is not in session.
As a business owner Markle enjoys being able to provide a place for families to “just have fun together” where they can be safe. “We gear everything we do to the kids having a great experience here,” she emphasized.
Judging by the joy and laughter of children from All things Bright and Beautiful Day Care Center in Avis, who visited Treasure Castle on a recent field trip, Markle and Lukasiewicz can be assured those business objectives can continue into a future beyond their first ten years.