Where parents can get together and kids can play with one another

Just in time to combat the isolating days of winter, a new business brings Southwest Michigan families a chance for adults to convene indoors while kids play — with quality toys and coffee and play space provided.

What’s the business?

At The Little Things Play Café, 1332 Hilltop Rd. Suite 1 in St. Joseph,  Britt and Erik Webb offer comfy couches, delicious coffee, and a bright, clean, and modern space for adults to caffeinate and chat, and for children to explore and develop.

The Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber and Think Tank Marketing hosted an official ribbon-cutting celebration recently to allow businesses and community members to enjoy a sneak peek of the space, get full details for open play, and purchase discounted gift cards and multiple play pass bundles before the Play Cafe officially opens in early November.

 How does it work?

The space offers a Montessori-inspired play area which promotes child development with unique and safe indoor physical activities. Open Play time blocks start every two hours at $14 per child for one hour and 45 minutes of play,  which includes one free adult per child. Admission for additional children — or adults —  is $12 each. Children under 3 months old are free.

Reservations for drop-in play are not required, but are encouraged to assure space is available. Capacity is set at 25 children per session.

Reservations can be booked via the website at TheLittleThingsPlayCafe.com. 

Coming soon

The Little Things Play Cafe has two large private rooms available for private parties Friday, Saturday, and Sunday that will be available soon starting at 3 p.m. During this time, there is no open play to the public. Check here for details.

The rules

Parents or guardians must always supervise their child(ren). Employee supervision is not provided.

Respect others’ space, bodies, and feelings. Use gentle hands and feet, inside voices, and kind words. We strive to provide an enjoyable experience for all participants.

No shoes allowed in the play space. Socks are required per public health code. Socks may be purchased if required.

Respect the equipment and toys. No throwing or overly aggressive use.

Personal items must be secure. We are not responsible for damage or theft.

Help clean up at the end of the play period so the next group can enjoy a fresh space.

No strollers are allowed in the play area.

If feeling under the weather, please reschedule your visit for the health and safety of other participants.

No food or drinks to be taken onto play equipment (ball pit, climbing structures). Please eat in designated areas.

Follow height and age restrictions or recommendations for safety.

No smoking or vaping on the premises.

Hours

Monday and Wednesday  9 a.m. – 5 p.m. with four daily sessions of 1 hour and 45 minutes each, beginning at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. with five daily sessions of 1 hour and 45 minutes each, beginning at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m.
Friday – Sunday 9  a.m. – 3 p.m. with three daily sessions of 1 hour and 45 minutes each, beginning at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m
 
Word on the street
 
Arthur Havlicek, President & CEO of the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber says: “Britt and Erik understand first-hand how isolating parenting the last few years have been, especially for those with younger children. Their mission and model for The Little Things Play Café provides an opportunity for connection for not only the adults, but children too as we enter the winter months with less outdoor activities being available.”

Read more articles by Rosemary Parker.

Rosemary Parker has worked as a writer and editor for more than 40 years, most of that time in Southwest Michigan.