The Play Cafe
934 W Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 / visit website
I’ll admit I am a fish out of water when I venture out to our Philadelphia suburbs. Give me the city grid system any day over Lancaster Ave with its lights, merging and impossible left hand turns. But I did find some solace in a solo trip to The Play Cafe last week. When I sat down to my lunch of a Le Bus sandwich, La Colombe coffee and Good Spoon butternut squash soup I calmed down and felt like I was one of those American’s traveling abroad that finds comfort in anything that reminds them of their homeland. Dramatic but true. I had a really nice time and here is how it went…
Since I was in the burbs for work the boys were not with me. Which means I had to go up to the front desk, explain who I was, and why a mom that gets to actually have a kid’s free lunch or lunch in general for that matter wants to sit at a children’s cafe / play space. #akward. Luckily they believed me and I entered The Play Cafe solo.
I grabbed some food and took a seat at the window. My lunch was amazing and to top it off the background music was the Black Keys, Alt-J, Florence and the Machine and so on. Places like this did not exist five years ago. I remember literally asking my pediatrician what I could do with my first child because he was so squirmy but couldn’t really do anything. I just wanted a kid’s space to go and hang out in. Duck, Duck, Goose has Jersey covered, The Creative Clubhouse has that section of the burbs covered and The Play Cafe now has new moms of the Main Line covered.
Here is what I like:
The space is bright, friendly and modern. So often at kid’s places you have to compromise on the food. That is not the case at The Play Cafe. There is a full coffee bar, soup and prepackaged Le Bus sandwiches among other things. One thing that is important with little ones is being able to see them the whole time. The open floor plan lets you sit at one end of the room with a latte and see your little cruiser at the other end.
I think The Play Cafe is ideal for the mom that needs to be in an environment where her crawler or new walker is not going to get mowed over by running toddlers. Instead the newbies have their very own padded obstacle course to tackle. I think it is a great place to meet up with your friends and grab a bite, socialize and play. For the toddler set there is an awesome LEGO wall, doll house, firehouse and a dress up stage/ play area among other things. The space is not jammed packed with toys. The toys are special and have been selected with care. This set up encourages children to play together in addition to the typical side by side play that little ones tend to do. Again I see them safely exploring and you sitting with a latte.
The Play Cafe has special music events with Mama Mac that I hear draw a loyal pint-sized crowd. It also has the First and Marley pop up shop which is an awesome boutique that sells that kind of kids clothes that you want to squeeze yourself into when no one is looking.
It is a bit of a haul up city line and through the woods for my city Mama’s but let’s be honest winter is setting in. The walls are starting to close in a little bit and mini road trip just might be what the doctor ordered. Call the gals. You have a new spot to check out ….and whoops SKIRT boutique is right across the way.
*There is a parking lot in the back so don’t pay the meter on the street if you don’t have to.