'Pip's Island' offers immersive entertainment experience for kids, families

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Some parents decided there wasn't enough for their children to do in New York City, so they created a show just for kids aged 4 to 10.

Now, a single adventure to rescue Pip's Island from the forces of darkness takes place in a series of rooms behind the Pod Hotel's facade in Midtown.

It's like a real-life video game, and it comes at the ideal time.

"Parents are very conscious of not having their children constantly glued to a screen, so we've created a place where children are active," said Rami Ajami, CEO of Pip's Island. "They're engaging."

Grownups show the way, but it's up to the kids to make stuff happen.

"It's like a journey where they have to save the island," one child said. "And they go through all these different phases to do it."

The adults are actors skilled at improvisation, but they aren't the only characters there.

"It's all very funny, and you get to be a part of it," another child said.

The message was obvious to one first grader.

"You can do a lot of things if you work together," the student said. "And you can accomplish something."

The show - lasting about an hour - is the brainchild of a local mom, Rania Ajami.

"There wasn't enough things for kids to do that were wondrous and inspiring," she said. "Both for kids and the parents."

She enlisted a creative team to "create a world where kids are the stars of the show and the heroes of the journey."

It took five years of trial and error to create "Pip's Island," and the result was worth it for young Evangeline.

"(I) would give this a 10 out of 10, or a 100 out of 10," she said.

The kids are the stars of "Pip's Island," but moms and dads are allowed to participate as assistant explorers.

The show runs every day except Tuesdays at the Pod Hotel on West 42nd Street in Manhattan.

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