Play Cafe at Bayview and Millwood is a great place to bring little ones. Designed to be family-friendly, there are two play areas designed for different age groups. The first, a toy room best suited for 0-4 year olds with a carpeted play space and a bench for watchful parents, and then farther along a craft room, with a long craft table in the middle, full of supplies and things to do for kids 4 and up.
The whole place outfitted to ignite the child's imagination - sing-along music playing,a tree and clock painted on the white walls, crayons and paper and paint tables, train sets and mini kitchens, dolls and books and building sets. Owner Jan Nguyen has a child of her own, and understands how to create a creative and playful children's environment that is actually helpful for parents too.
Downstairs there is a basement space all ready to go for custom birthday parties, mom and tot yoga classes and special events like origami demos and kids drum circles. Foosball, air hockey and ping-pong are all available in that basement room, or have them clear it out and set up with the birthday theme of your choice.
But it's not just all fun and games; parents and caregivers can sit back and sip on one of their coffee (drip is 2-2.50$) or teas while the tykes get wild. Using a Unic Phoenix machine and Illy coffee, have the barista whip up a sanity-inducing cappuccino ($3-3.25) or in summer there's a house made iced tea.
The cafe offers light snacks and drinks for both parents and tots. Young ones can suck back those Twist juice packs, while the older kids are treated to chocolate milk, apple cider or Vitacoco coconut water.
Play Cafe is supplied by a few neighbourhood bakeries like Jules bakery and Thobors , so a variety of muffins, croissants and other baked goods are available. They even carry individual Activa yogurts to stave off the crankies.
Anyone can enjoy the cafe area, but if you're there to play, you pay...$7 for members, $10 for non-members, both which come with complimentary coffee and juice. Tucked away in the craft room is a shelving until full of toys for purchase, lovely vintage inspired building blocks ($39.95) in the range of languages, knitting kits and trapeze toys ($8.99), so you can take some of the fun home too.
Photos by Jesse Milns