Upon entering the coffee house with saffron and terracotta-colored walls in Powell, you wouldn't expect a haven for rambunctious children would be on the other side of one of them.
Yet adults read magazines, thumb smart phones and peruse the Internet on laptops as baristas prepare espresso drinks and lunch items that are hand-printed on a chalkboard.
What you don't hear is the sound of screeching kids at Lattes and Lollipops, a play cafe that opened in 2012 at 337 W. Olentangy St.
That's because they're having a good time in another room, visible through picture windows. I spy youngsters sliding down a bounce-house slide, playing dress-up and removing wooden cookies from a play kitchen oven.
The 2,300-square-foot cafe adequately accommodates both: Caregivers enjoy some downtime while children get some let-it-all-out time in the well-supervised play area. When I visited with my young children, ages 4 and 6, there were three caregivers supervising a half dozen children.
The two spaces, which feel worlds apart because of the sound control, are separated by a wall with large windows, so you can see your children, but not necessarily hear them. If you're so inclined, you can sit at a bar table with stools that looks into the play space, allowing parents and children to see one another at all times.
My children enjoyed playing in the bounce house and pretend fire station the best. After an hour's play, though, they were interested in what mom and dad were doing and exited the play area for snacks. Home-brought food isn't allowed at the cafe, requiring you to purchase the tempting juice bars and chips.
The cafe's website emphasizes that it's not a daycare – parents are ultimately responsible for their children.
How does it work?
You show up, pay the fee and sign a waiver. Children enter the playroom, take off their shoes and go at it, while parents and caregivers take a well-deserved break. No reservations are needed.
Cost for two hours of play is $15 for first child and $10 for siblings. Daily happy hour is from 2-3 p.m. and costs $6 per child and $3 each additional child.
Hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday. After hours are reserved for planned parties.
For more information, visit lattesandlollipops.com or call 614-798-2071.