A new play cafe is now open in Fountain Inn and KAG contributor Kristina got the scoop.
Leave it to a mom to come up with an idea so spectacular that she already had social media in Greenville buzzing about it before it even had a sign up. Allison Manchester opened Village Play, a play space for young children that doubles as a cafe and meeting space for moms and caregivers to enjoy each other and form lasting friendships.
Allison and her husband, Chris, moved to Greenville in 2016 from Massachusetts. She is a full-time accountant and he’s a former investment banker-turned entrepreneur in the postal business. They have two little kids and understand the importance of not only safe spaces for kids to have fun but also a space and time for the adults to recharge. Having seen similar concepts in big cities, Allison started looking for a place like Village Play in Greenville but didn’t find exactly what she was looking for.
So as women are known to do, she decided to do it herself.
Idea Turned into Reality
Allison had definitive ideas on what she wanted Village Play to look like.
“I want it to be a great community feel where primarily moms – but any caregiver – connect and where it’s a relaxing place for moms and kids,” Allison said. “This will have a little more of an intimate feel. Everywhere you sit in the cafe, you’ll have a view of the play area. You can have coffee, catch up with a friend, while you watch your kids.”
The feedback has been very positive thus far. These are comments from various social media posts about Village Play on Facebook:
“[R]eally looking forward to this! I’ve dreamed of something like this for a long time”
“This is AMAZING!!! ❤ Can’t wait to follow your journey and bring my littles/mama friends!”
“This is amazing! We had several of these in the city I used to live, and I’m so happy to see yours will be opening close by!”
“Yes! They have 1 of these on [Long Island] where I’m from & I’ve been hoping one would open here!”
A Place for Little Kids
Village Play is specifically geared towards kids ages 0-6 years old. There are lots of imaginative play aspects for those ages.
Allison wanted to create a safe place for the smaller kids to have fun without fear of older kids accidentally trampling on them. It also gives parents the peace of mind that they can let their kids enjoy the space while they catch up with a friend in the cafe.
Village Play is not a drop-off daycare. Parents must be present with their children at all times.
Parties & Private Events + Cafe
What’s a new play space without the ability to host parties? Village Play has options for birthday parties and private events. Birthday parties start at $247 for the basic package and go up to $497 for the total birthday bash.
“We are planning to offer classes with a private classroom – kids yoga, possibly STEAM classes, arts & crafts, and music,” Allison said.
A full espresso bar is available as well as prepackaged snacks. They don’t have a full kitchen but really, coffee and play sounds just perfect.
Before You Go
Socks are required so be sure to bring your own. Village Play will have them for sale if you forget to bring them.
Also, to save time, sign the waiver online before you go.
Regular open play is available for children up to six years old. The homeschool membership allows kids up to age 10 participate in play from 12-3 pm Monday through Friday.
“I want people to know that this is a space designed for the kids but also for the adults in mind so that everyone can enjoy themselves in a relaxing environment,” said Allison “Think of it as a place to catch up with your friends in a more intimate setting while your children play and learn together.”
Hours, Rates, & Play Passes
Village Play is open Monday – Friday from 9 am – 3 pm and on Saturdays from 9 am to Noon.
The drop in rate of play is $10/child and you can purchase an unlimited play membership for one child for $37/month or multiple children for $57/month.
Village play also offers a Homeschool Membership for play Monday-Friday between the hours of Noon-3 pm for $25/month per family.
A 10-pack of play passes is available for $85, which is valid for children in the same family and expires a year from the date of purchase.
If you’d like to reserve a play spot ahead of time, you can do that here.
Will you be checking out Village Play?
4 Howard Creek Drive, Fountain Inn