Play cafes are popping up like posies around central Ohio, offering rumpus room for restless children and a degree of respite for tuckered parents.
Included among the pack is Piccadilly Modern Play and Creative Cafe, which opened last year at 2501 E. Main St., Bexley.
I visited the colorful cafe while attending a superhero-themed birthday party with my 3-year-old son, Max. He and his friends decorated fabric capes, ate cupcakes and clambered around a wooden play set that had a ladder and slide.
Meanwhile, we parents chatted in comfortable chairs, drinking herbal tea and munching on crackers and hummus. It was the perfect place for a play date. I felt no nagging urge to clean as I watched the children strew toys by the bucket.
"Our goal is to make your life easier," owner Allyson Morena said as she dished out pizza to party guests. Piccadilly is the latest venture for Morena and her husband, Stuart Hunter, who have two young boys. They also own three roll: bicycle shops in central Ohio.
Piccadilly is in a transformed office space and offers coffee and healthy snacks on one side and a play area on the other. There's a big, spongy floor mat that's meant for babies. There's a train set surrounded by cubbies full of puzzles and toys for toddlers. There's the wooden play set with underneath coves for preschoolers to play house and hide-and-go-seek. There's a stadium-style seating area for viewing movies, and a rear room for creating crafts and hosting birthday parties.
Other services include babysitting and daily innovative classes for babies to preteens, such as how to cook by color.
Hours are 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Thursday; and 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturday. The space is closed for private parties on Saturday afternoons and Sundays.
Admission is free for those younger than 6 months and age 13 and older. Day passes for children cost $10 for the first child and $5 for each additional child. Ages 6 to 12 months cost $5.
For more information, visit www.piccadillydally.com.