Kinder Cafe: Making Community

For such a rain-soaked neighbourhood, quality indoor play places for parents and kids to hang out in the Tri-Cities are worth their weight in gold. This is especially true if your kid is under school age. Not every parent wants to face bundling and zipping a wriggly kid into weather-proof gear each time you leave the house.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFamilies living close to the Oxford Connector, just off Lougheed Highway as it speeds out of Port Coquitlam, are in luck though. They have Kinder Café, a bright and cheerful drop-in play centre right on the doorstep. Open Monday to Friday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Saturdays until 4:00pm, this indoor playground is a delight to both children and adults alike.

Children get to move and groove on the play equipment, testing out their adventure skills in a safe environment on the low level Cedar Works climbing units or trying out the abundant toys scattered around the room. A calming forest-scene mural runs along one wall. And parents get to sit back and relax, or join in as they wish. There are comfy couches placed conveniently for keeping an eye on the playroom – no craning the neck or frequent getting up to check how your kid is exercising independence here. All corners of the room are easily visible.

Kinder Cafe interiorOwner Anita Fantov started Kinder Café just over three years ago, building the ideal child- and parent-friendly indoor playground. Her own devastating experience of isolation combined with post-partum depression as a single mom inspired her to create a relaxing and comfortable social space for parents and their kids, something that offered more than the regular ‘baby and me’ classes.

“Connecting with a person is important,” Anita explains. “We all need to live a little and socialize with other people.” Noticing a lack of social spaces that were truly welcoming for parents with young children, Anita set out to create somewhere that moms could come to relax, have coffee and meet people that also had safe and secure play space welcoming to the under-sixes. “A place I could go and find other people, to make a community,” Anita continues.

And so Kinder Café was born.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlongside the roomy play space, there’s also a cafe serving fantastic coffees, smoothies, baked goods and child-friendly nibbles – it’s a great relaxation for frazzled parents and cabin-fevered kids alike. You can either start your day with a smile or wind down together in harmony.

As well as play activity, there are bubbles fresh on the hour from the in-house bubble machine, and musician Lisa Rae visits every Thursday to exercise tiny vocal cords. The bouncy castle is open all day, every day. Toys are sanitized each close of play.

The play centre also boasts a boutique stocked with craft materials for kids (Kinder Café is an authorized Melissa and Doug retailer) as well as branded T-shirts.

Kinder Café is busier when it rains, according to owner Anita, but the afternoons are usually quieter. As an off-peak incentive, admission is cheaper after 2pm. In the summer, you can enjoy smoothies and frappucinos with your air con, out of the UV rays with half-price admission specials. In the evening, the space is available for private hire, for workshops and presentations. It’s a great location, with ample parking for your event and there’s a projector available for those omnipresent PowerPoints.

Kinder Cafe interiorThere is also a way to get the whole place to yourself – birthday parties are extremely popular, with bookings on Sundays enjoying the run of the playground in private. Anita has plans to extend the range of these parties and in the summer, hopes to bring the event to you. Stay tuned for details – she’ll be kicking off the new fun with a summer barbecue. And don’t forget to drop by this Valentine’s Day, Friday 14th February, to enjoy a pancake breakfast from 10am.

It’s a fulltime business, but Anita still has plans for developing the facility and possibly franchising her idea. Looking round the playroom, she points out where she’d like new equipment, showing how much pride she has with what’s in place so far. In three years she’s managed to build a place for moms to bring their kids and feel like they’re treating themselves too. It’s a unique space, and yes it does bring a little sunshine into everyone’s life. Thank you, Anita.

Note: Kinder Café offers monthly memberships for unlimited play as well as single- and multiple-entry packages. It is a socks-only play space, adults and kids alike. More details are on the website and weekly events are listed here.

Kinder Cafe

#112-2020 Oxford Connector, Port Coquitlam

Related Posts with Thumbnails