Wouldn't it be great if there were a place where you could get a hazelnut latte and a cranberry-orange scone and actually sit down in a chair and enjoy it while your toddler or preschooler got to play dress up, build a block tower or just run around screaming like the crazy kid that he is?
Well, there is such a place. It is called Family Grounds Cafe. This Lakeview kids-meets-coffee establishment was recently opened by a local family with three children of their own. This family saw the need for a place that gave both parents and kids what they were looking for. It is like a cross between Starbucks and the play area at McDonald's -- except that it is clean, stocked with hundreds of cool toys and no one is going to give you dirty looks if your kid throws a tantrum or loudly declares that his pull-up is wet.
Here are the details. Family Grounds
appears much like a normal coffee shop at first. In fact, there is a
whole separate room devoted to just being a coffee shop for those customers who don't have kiddos in tow.
main counter, you can get coffee and baked goods for yourself and an
assortment of kiddie snacks (like milk boxes, string cheese, goldfish
crackers, etc.) for your little ones. You also buy a "play pass" here
for your children to enter the play area ($7.95 a child, siblings $3.95). Non-crawling infants are free with a $4.00 purchase. Kids and parents must remove shoes and don clean socks before
entering the play area.
The play space is the feature that really sets Family Grounds apart. Your kid can
do everything from play school to shop at the grocery store to dress up
like a fairy princess. There are train sets and dump trucks and
puzzles. Older kids can color or choose a book to read. The staff
promised that story times were coming soon.
This is a great spot to meet up with a bunch of friends (because whose
condo can accommodate ten energetic kids?). Children of different ages can each
do what they want to do. And while I am certainly not saying that you
can sip coffee and ignore your child, Family Grounds does have staff
members who are out in the play area interacting with the kids,
cleaning up, helping them decide whether to dress as a mailman or a
As the weather turns cooler and outdoor play options become fewer, my
guess is that Family Grounds is going to get really popular with the
moms around town.
Think about this spot for your next big play group or just a rainy day when the kids are driving you batty. A hazelnut latte is waiting for you.