Places For Kids To Play – Eat, PLAY, Love At A Stay ‘N Play Café
Parents are often on the hunt for places for kids to play and keep their children entertained, engaged and stimulated. As an aside, they are looking for some fun too! Kids are always looking forward to school field trips, so why not infuse family field trips into weekends, PA days, parental leaves and holiday breaks.
Recently, I discovered a new phenomenon for parents – the stay ‘n play café. It’s a hub for children and the adults who love them, a community that understands that children have tricky routines and that parents need a place to meet other parents and take mental health breaks.
Have I got your attention? Here are five reasons to visit a stay ‘n play café near you:
It can be challenging to catch up with friends and socialize at the best of times. This only becomes harder with youngsters in the mix. Entertaining at home entails cleaning and tidying up the toys while traditional coffee shops and restaurants can feel intimidating. Upon my first visit to a stay ‘n play café I noticed many moms nursing and chatting with other adults while children played happily and munched on kiddie fare.
This establishment is truly a one-stop-shop for adults and tots, specializing in the zero to six crowd. The big problem with children’s programming is that it often takes more time to bundle up the bambinos and transport them over than the duration of the activity itself. This is only more chaotic when there are siblings. The stay n’ play café caters to families with one or several children. They are filled with toys and play areas for all ages, with age-appropriate programs that run throughout the day. There is no rush to leave once activities come to an end and ample opportunities to socialize while children play.
Stimulation for kids and the grown-ups who love them
The name “café” can be deceiving, as there is a lot more than meets the eye. Many are equipped with activity studios, soft play spaces, gymnasiums and more. The one I visited had an eye-popping variety of programming from Baby Sign Language and Big Top Hip Hop to fitness classes for moms. They even host birthday parties, camps and once a month date-night-out for parents.
Caffeine for mommy and grilled cheese for Junior
The menus have everything you would find at your local coffee shop, in addition to a yummy menu that your child will appreciate. While you are sipping on your cup of Joe your little one can enjoy a cup of chocolate milk.
Perhaps the most important reason to give this idea a try is that it offers a welcoming space.
This environment is open, warm and inviting. It is a place for families to go where they feel accepted, nurtured and supported. Whether your motive is to catch up with old friends, or meet some new faces, there is really something for everyone.
It truly is a social hub for parents and children. We’ve created an environment that lends itself to parent and tot quality time, as well as social time with new friends.
Curious where I got my inspiration? In my case I visited Oaks ‘N Acorns on the Toronto Danforth. I asked co-founders Nicole Patel and Winnie Standish why new parents should give this concept a try. Here’s what Nicole had to say: “It truly is a social hub for parents and children. We’ve created an environment that lends itself to parent and tot quality time, as well as social time with new friends. I believe it’s what makes us so welcoming, that at no extra cost, when your scheduled program together is over, parents and tots can stay and play without feeling the need to rush out the door. It’s during this extra play time that friends after class get to really know each other in the play area.”
This concept is becoming increasingly popular across the country, so hit up Google and find a stay ‘n play café near you!
Get social with your kids!
Socialize your children with other kids
Play while they play
Joanne is a Director at Teachers on Call, a personalized home tutoring service with over 30 years of experience, providing one-on-one instruction in all subjects and grades. In addition to regularly blogging about educational news, learning strategies and the latest in student books, Joanne is a busy new mom and Co-Chair of the Corsage Project, a non-profit organization in partnership with the Children’s Aid Foundation.