All Emily McCall wanted was a place to get out and escape with her two little girls. But she couldn’t find anywhere that was as friendly to adults as it was to kids.
“Obviously taking kids to a grown-up restaurant or attraction is challenging,” Emily says. “But even a kids museum can be really hard on parents since it’s so exhausting. [Stay & Play Snack Café] is designed to be fun and comfortable for kids and their adults together.”
That’s right – Emily took matters into her own hands and set out to create a spot where parents and their young children can hang out together. She began a Kickstarter campaign last summer and is ready to open the doors to Stay & Play Snack Café this Saturday.
“It has been so cool to see how the area parenting community has come together in support of the cafe, both through our Kickstarter campaign and through continued engagement with us,” Emily says. “I think we will meet a real felt need for parents of young kids in town.”
The combination coffee shop and play space is located at 405-A E. Chapel Hill St., and will have “toys, comfy seating, espresso, snacks and Wi-Fi in an inviting atmosphere.” Stay & Play is targeting children ages 5 and under, so toys will include a train table; dollhouse; kitchen; workbench; art area; lots of baskets of animals, building sets and puzzles; a train soft climber; books; and an infant area.
Emily says she plans on using local products and services whenever possible. “We really believe in supporting a strong and engaged local economy and community,” she says. “We got some of our toys from The Play House in Durham, craft supplies are donated by Bull City Craft, we are sourcing some snacks from the farmers’ market and our coffee is roasted in Raleigh, just to name a few things.”
Stay & Play also will offer a mix of movement/fitness classes and art/music-oriented classes. Some classes with outside instructors will carry a fee, but with that you get reduced admission. (Admission is $4.50 for the first child and $3 for each additional child.) Other activities like story time and music will be free with admission.
Saturday’s grand opening lasts from 10am-5pm and features a photo booth by Jessica Lobdell Photography, a craft table by Bull City Craft, presentations from some of the Café’s class instructors and a performance by Sandbox at 2pm. Also, one lucky email list subscriber will win a year membership.