Having spent considerable time in warmer climates growing up, around this time each year I start thinking “How long until spring?” Recently, I found out about Little Beans, a play place and cafe in Lincoln Park. And now each morning, I’m thinking, “How long until Little Beans opens?”
Little Beans is an indoor play place and cafe, where kids are supervised (while you stay on-site) by Little Beans employees. Moms or dads can chat with friends or work in the cafe, catch up on reading in the parents’ lounge, or take one of the classes offered. Or, if it’s been one of those weeks, you can just sit and stare blankly off in to space, knowing you’re kid is safe and happily playing.
The large play area is lined with chid-size playhouses, much like you’d find at a children’s museum, where kids can play auto shop, grocery, school, etc. My son adores the fire house, complete with a water hose, fireman suits, a slide, and faux flames blowing out of the chimney. The play houses are sturdy, simple and creative, with a nice complement of accessories to ignite a child’s imagination.
Prices and logistical details for playtime and space rental are comparable to similar places around Chicago. Getting to Little Beans, and parking after you arrive, is easy. Located at Webster and Elston, the cafe has a number of dedicated parking spots and nearby street parking is readily available. The space is HUGE, which means more places for my son to run off that pent-up, cabin fever energy. And a little detail I liked: Little Beans employees wear TOMS shoes, an earth-friendly and socially-conscious brand of comfy canvas shoes in the play space.
And Little Beans offers a bit more than your average mom-stop cafe. Along with some delish cafe options not found in most places (I recommend the bacon/egg/swiss breakfast croissant and my son enjoys the Hot Diggity Dog for lunch), Little Beans also offers a variety of classes, depending on whether you’d like to enjoy some time apart from your kiddos or spend some quality time with them out of the house. You can take an “adult-only” yoga class while your child plays in the supervised play area, or you can take a family yoga class together. There are also art and music classes offered.
With months of frigid temps and snowplowed roads ahead, Little Beans is a great escape. But then again, Little Beans may also be the perfect relief from scorched summertime playgrounds and muggy afternoons plagued with mosquitoes. It seems Little Beans could quickly become my go-to escape from the seasonal elements! I recommend that you give it a try, soon, too.
Visit Little Beans at: 1809 W Webster, Chicago, IL 60614
For more info: 773.251.1025 / littlebeanscafe.com