“Oh, Mommy, it’s so pretty! And sparkly!”

Those were the first words out of my daughter’s mouth as we walked into Roxx Salon and Spa. Dark paint colours are offset by glittering chandeliers everywhere, and a huge tree wrapped in twinkle lights sits in the centre of the main lobby. The symbolism of the bright lights isn’t lost on me.

Roxx Salon and Spa Childcare

Roxx is a huge, sprawling, 2-floor facility. Tucked in the back of the main level is its secret weapon – a room with a single word label on the door – Childcare. Heather Dierkens, the General Manager of Roxx, and her team saw a void in the industry, and decided to do something about it. Salons and spas are designed as places of relaxation – so why not give busy parents the ultimate opportunity to enjoy their time here. Roxx Salon and Spa Childcare is offered during select hours.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I booked a badly-needed pedicure. Was the “childminding” a table with a couple of colouring books and crayons, with an employee occasionally peeking over a shoulder at my kids? Was it a TV with a handful of chairs scattered around?  To my pleasant surprise, Roxx has dedicated a beautiful space as a childminding centre. A long room is divided, with half being set up for babies, and half dedicated to toddlers and older children.

Roxx Salon and Spa Childcare

One view of the childcare room. Courtesy: Roxx

My girls made a beeline for the play kitchen, and were thrilled to find a well-stocked fridge. They promptly started setting up a picnic at the child-sized table. “E” loved sitting in the soft, squishy chairs, while “A” took special note of a hobby horse and toy helicopter. They both pointed out the art supplies, including a wall-sized chalk board just waiting to be coloured.

Thea, who runs the childcare, was warm and welcoming and the girls had no problem saying goodbye to me. I went upstairs to wait for my service, and was surprised to see how far the Roxx facility sprawled. I was greeted by Rachel, who is clearly an esthetician who takes her craft seriously. She didn’t bat an eyelash at my awful runner’s feet – in fact, she described them to me as “not that bad”! She pumiced and polished and pampered my toes. I’ve had pedicures where corners are cut, and the job is done to the letter, but nothing more, and I will say with great conviction that this was not one of those experiences. If you are looking for a high-quality spa experience, where your feet look and feel transformed, days after you walk out of the spa, then Rachel is your girl!

Roxx Salon and Spa Childcare

Note to self: next time, take the pedicure picture BEFORE taking the kids to the park. Photo: Jill Footz

When I looked at my watch, I saw that nearly 90 minutes had passed, and I was anxious to get back to my kids. I was worried about how poor Thea was coping – but when I collected the girls, I was pleasantly surprised that they were having so much fun they didn’t want to leave! “E” suggested I get “another pedicure so they could play some more”. Once I managed to coax them out the door, I asked what they liked best about the childcare room. “A” loved the kitchen and its food, as well as the colouring books. “E” loved the cars, chalk and squishy chairs. All in all, rave reviews.

Roxx Salon and Spa Childcare is summed up in a single page on their website, with the quote “in a world of inconveniences, be convenienced”. Busy parents trying to squeeze in a haircut, esthetics service or even just a little R&R will, no doubt, agree. I suspect it’s a model that could catch on with other salons and spas keen to appeal to the moms and dads in their clientele.

Roxx Salon and Spa Childcare

Roxx Salon and Spa Childcare:

Where: #108, 2693 Broadmoor Blvd, Sherwood Park
When: Tuesday-Friday, 10am-3pm
Cost: 1 child – $7/hour, 2 children – $12/hour, 3 or more children – $15/hour
Phone: 780-449-6545
Website: www.roxxsalon.com