A mother with a newborn baby used to feel reluctant to leave her home with her child in fear of disturbing those around her.
Anndra Schwartz had not gone out to a restaurant or café since the birth of her child: “You don’t realize how difficult it is to get around until you do it,” Schwartz said.
Now, thanks to the recent opening of a new café in her neighbourhood which caters to mothers and young children, Schwartz has a place where she can find adult conversation and a safe place for her child.
Playful Grounds, at College Street and Clinton Street, is designed to cater to the needs of children. It has a kid-friendly menu, room for strollers and baby accessories. At the same time, parents can relax, have a coffee or wine and take a breather from parenting.
“Before you have kids you can go to places like bars, restaurants and cafes. After having a child you can’t go out to those places anymore; you don’t want to disturb others,” Schwartz said. “But this café provides a balance between the two.”
There have been many complaints from parents that there are no trendy, upscale places in the neighbourhood to go with your children.
“It is a good motivation to get out of the house … I don’t have to worry about disturbing others.” Schwartz said. “There [are] a lot of screaming babies, so I don’t feel as bad.”
Mothers in the area are happy that the LCBO-licensed café has opened its doors.
Stephanie Donaldson, a local mother loves the facilities the café offers.
“There is lots of room for strollers, play area for kids, the bathroom is really family friendly and the food is great,” said Donaldson.
Playful Grounds’ owners, Tara Goldblatt and Davina Cheung-Brown, said they decided to open the café to satisfy a need for parents of young children. It is a chance for mothers to re-engage with the wider community.
The owners intend to use the café for other events including book launches, birthday parties and parenting workshops in the future.