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A Day at the Lilliput Children’s Cafe

Imagine a really nice, gentrified Chucky Cheese, where each play area has a minder, all of the games are free, there’s no weird animatronic show, the food is good, and they serve beer – that’s Lilliput Children’s Cafe. 

We visited this weekend with some friends from my new job and their littles. Because it was a snowy cold Sunday we actually had to wait about 15 minutes to get into the cafe, and it was crowded the whole time we were there. They had lockers for coats and shoes and a few small kids chairs in the lobby for us. You can only stay for 2 hours so the wait usually isn’t too long. 

I was worried that Baby Jo was going to lose it because she was a bit behind on napping for the day, but she rallied as she always does for her 2 straight hours of play. 

Todd and I traded off adult conversation and beers with following Jo around the play areas. She started in the bounce room/ball pit, which also had an interactive screen so you could throw the balls at moving targets and get fruit to explode, aliens to melt, or whatever the little game was at the time. I think that was more for parents’ enjoyment, and I definitely threw more than my share of the balls. I also appreciated the very loose tolerances required for hits. 

From the ballpit Jo crawled through a small padded play gym up and down ladders and slides and eventually found the upstairs doll loft. 

There were tons of dolls, doll houses, and all of the accessories for play. And below it was a kitchen and grocery store, with carts or strollers to push around. 

Meanwhile, kids are running all over the place, back and forth between activities. A few are also lapping the room on small cars. It’s a happy chaos reasonably controlled by the parents and staff. 

Eventually we realized that Jo was just fine on her own. Due to her standout coloring (to Koreans) the staff were all excited to play with her and of course, our social butterfly just loved it! 

I have a feeling we’re going to be asking this a lot: Why don’t we have places like this in the U.S.? Or do we, and i just don’t know about them? 

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