It’s mid-summer and this stay-at-home mom gig is getting ROUGH. We’ve been to the pool, the library and the zoo about a trillion and one times. We’ve built forts in the living room, made doll houses out of cardboard boxes, taken walks, played in the sprinkler, had playdates with friends and obviously, saw Inside Out (OMG. If you haven’t seen it yet.. GO! RUN! It’s too adorable for words). But despite my best efforts, my heels are dragging because it’s about that point in the summer when all the parents start getting that glazed over look in their eyes and asking “wait, so… how many more days till school starts?”
I LOVE summer. I really do. It’s still my favorite season and I don’t want to wish it away. But I tell ya, my kids and their unquenchable thirst to be entertained is starting to give me an unquenchable thirst to just sit and do nothing. Just to have a moment to sit and stare, perhaps not be asked 14,288 questions per hour and maybe have a cup of coffee is just about all I want to do these days. Oh! A conversation about something other than fairy princesses, boogers or butts would be good, too. But let’s not go crazy here. A cup of coffee and a moment to zone the eff out would do just fine.
Enter: Play Cafe
. It’s the new Baltimore spot that’s rescuing exhausted parents one locally grown, fresh-made sandwich at a time. It’s located in Hampden at 3400 Chestnut Ave., just two blocks from The Avenue and it’s goal is to give parents a spot to go that is just as enjoyable for them as it is for their kids. It is “kid-friendly” at it’s finest with it’s fun play area that is just for little ones. But that’s not the only perk. It has tons of great, healthy snacks that parents can feel good about giving their kids. While there are plenty of salads and sandwiches to pick from, there’s also kid-themed snacks like Ants On a Log and peanut butter (or nutella!) with apples or bananas. Obviously, there is coffee, coffee and more coffee and tables and chairs in the cafe area for the parents to post up in.
While I spent my first visit… doing absolutely nothing (aka drinking coffee, eating a delicious macaroon and playing on my phone and of course, occasionally redirecting a wandering baby), I can’t wait to go back with a friend for an actual conversation! With a grown up! While sitting… in a chair! Sheesh. It really is the little things in life, isn’t it?
There is a $5 minimum for kids to play which is easily accomplished by purchasing a coffee and a snack. Talk about a cheap date! But I’m even more pumped because I just found out Play Cafe
has a ton of events coming up that I won’t have to bodily drag anyone to because they will jump in the car willingly with the promise of playing with toys that don’t belong to them (which is always
so much more enticing than their own toys) and being entertained by someone other than me (I’m getting a little boring these days).
- Monday, July 27th at 10 am is “Monday Mumbles” with Mr. Danny is a puppet show, plus role play and arts and crafts AND lots of zoned out parents… jk… kind of (this is the last one for the summer but he’ll be back in September).
- The First Friday of each month at 10 am is Tot Storytime & singalong with Aunt Whiz
- Saturday, August 15th from 6-8 pm is Family Movie night/social, Robin Hood is the feature film!
- check the website for more events soon!
This spot is great for summer, of course, but it’s open year-round (hello, middle of winter panic.. I almost forgot about you!) It’s the perfect place to head to when you just need a break or a fun activity for the kids that won’t break the bank. They serve breakfast, brunch and lunch. And you can also host a party there!
I’m so thankful for this addition to my hometown of Baltimore. Sorry if you don’t live here, folks! Hopefully a Play Cafe of something similar with pop up in a town near you. It really is something to rejoice over.
Welcome to Bmore, Play Cafe!
Visit the website and stay up-to-date on their events by following Play Cafe on Facebook!
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Published by Sarah Bregel
Sarah Bregel is a mother, writer, and deep-breather based in Baltimore, MD. Her work has appeared on New York Magazine- The Cut, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, Vice, Vox, in Parents Magazine, various anthologies and more.
View all posts by Sarah Bregel