Sick and tired of all of the usual play spaces? Us too. That’s why we were so thrilled to find out about the newest place for families to explore in Lincoln Park, Happy Play Café. It combines two of the best things in the world, creative play for kids of all ages and abilities and rescue and care for animals looking for their forever home. Here’s why we love everything that Happy Play Café has to offer Chicagoland families:
The wide variety of activities. There are four main rooms at Happy Play Café: the parakeet sanctuary, bunny room, pretend play room, and a train and marble run room. Since my boys were put off by the birds I was a bit worried that they wouldn’t have a fun time at Happy Play Café. Boy was I wrong. They could have spent hours upon hours playing in all of the other rooms. The highlight for them? The unique marble runs attached to the walls of the train room.
The train room. Other than the Museum of Science and Industry’s massive train display, I have never seen a larger train display than the one at Happy Play Café. And the best part? It is a hands on train table, not just something that kids can only look at. My boys loved everything about this room, and I enjoyed the fact that I could sit close enough to them to watch what they were doing yet take a much needed load off.
The trained staff who not only cared for keeping visitors content, but also focused on keeping the animals safe. In order to visit with either the birds or the bunnies, a staff member accompanies you and gives you information regarding the animals. If a bunny has had a lot of interaction from visitors that day, they keep it in a fenced in area so that it can relax and not become over stimulated. Happy Play Café’s priority is to find a loving and safe home for all of the animals, and they will take great care of the birds and bunnies until they are adopted.
The relaxing environment. One might think that having a huge room of birds chirping nonstop would make a space become loud and obnoxious. Not true at Happy Play Café. The combination of the subdued and stylish décor, including some absolutely adorable wall art, and the layout of Happy Play Café makes the entire play space feel spacious no matter how many people are in attendance.
The extended hours. Most play spaces close at four or five p.m., which limits how much working families can utilize them outside of the traditional work day. Happy Play Café is open until 6 p.m. and hours are extended until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Super Tuesday. Every Tuesday, children’s admission (which includes one adult) is reduced by $4. And don’t forget that admission lasts the entire day, so if you want to take a break for lunch or a nap, it’s no problem! Just be sure to mention to the desk staff that you plan on returning later in the day.
The philanthropy. Happy Play Café is dedicated to serving as a rescue center for animals. The parakeets have a huge room instead of a cage to explore, and it is meticulously cleaned by the staff. You will receive a stick of bird food as part of your admission fee, which most definitely helps you make some new feathered friends. As mentioned, the bunnies are protected from overstimulation and too many visitors. And if after adoption you decide that a bunny is not right for your family, Happy Play Café asks that you return the bunny to their rescue center.
Disclaimer: I received free admission to Happy Play Cafe. All of the opinions and descriptions of our experience are my own and not affected by Happy Play Cafe.
Be sure to see for yourself why Happy Play Café is the buzz around Chicagoland right now. Say hi to the bunnies for me!