A play café for the

a play café for the whole family

Inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy that children are capable, resilient, strong; able to express wonder & possess knowledge driven by their innate curiosity to discover & learn.

Walk-In

$ 12 per child
  • Walk-In admissions are subject to play capacity limitation*
  • Children at, or over, 9 months of age pay admission to play**
  • Adults, and infants under 9 months, do not pay admission**
  • Many daily activities included with admission***

RESERVE

$12
$ 10 per child
  • Reserve online before arriving & save $2 on each admission
  • Children at, or over, 9 months of age pay admission to play**
  • Adults, and infants under 9 months, do not pay admission**
  • Many daily activities included with admission***
Popular

Punch Pass

$50
$ 40 5 play sessions
  • Load up a pass and redeem for play sessions
  • Share with siblings & friends
  • Passes make great gifts
  • Good for 6 months from date of purchase
Best Value

**A play waiver must be completed for each minor birth to 18 years of age
***Not all activities are included with admission. Admission is noted in activity description on ‘more info’ tab.

Sun

closed

Mon

9a - 1p

Tues

9a - 1p

Wed

9a - 1p

Thur

9a - 1p
&
5p - 7p

Fri

9a - 1p

Sat

9a - 1p

Open Late Thursday Evenings – 5p until 7p – Reservations Recommended

Play Café  summer hours in effect June 4th – August 18th

Sunday - closed

Monday 9a - 1p

Tuesday 9a - 1p

Wednesday 9a - 1p

Thursday 9a - 1p & 5p - 7p*

Friday 9a - 1p

Saturday 9a - 1p

Open Late Thursday Evenings – 5p until 7p – Reservations Recommended

Play Café  summer hours in effect June 4th – August 18th

Activity & Event Calendar

HINT- turn your phone on it's side to view calendar

May 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Babies Play Music
  • Toddlers Play Music
2
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Fiber Optic Exploration
3
  • Drop-In Play 9a-7p
  • Deconstructed Play
  • Family Night
4
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Mr. Daniel LIVE!
5
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
6
7
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Grandparents' Day
  • theCityMoms Meetup
  • BEAM Interactive Play
8
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Babies Play Music
  • Toddlers Play Music
9
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Multiples Day
  • Fiber Optic Exploration
  • Paws & Read
10
  • Drop-In Play 9a-7p
  • Deconstructed Play
  • Family Night
11
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Mr. Daniel LIVE!
12
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Mommy & Me Portrait Minis
  • Urban Yogis
  • The Learning Studio Preschool Open House
13
  • Mother's Day
14
  • Dance Like a Chicken Day
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • $8 Discount Day!
  • BEAM Interactive Play
15
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Babies Play Music
  • Toddlers Play Music
  • Baby Bootcamp Meetup
16
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Fiber Optic Exploration
17
  • Drop-In Play 9a-7p
  • Deconstructed Play
  • Family Night
18
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Mr. Daniel LIVE!
19
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
20
21
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • BEAM Interactive Play
22
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Babies Play Music
  • Toddlers Play Music
23
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Fiber Optic Exploration
  • Paws & Read
24
  • Brother's Day
  • Drop-In Play 9a-7p
  • BEAM Interactive Play
  • Family Night
25
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Mr. Daniel LIVE!
26
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Urban Yogis
27
28
  • Memorial Day
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • BEAM Interactive Play
29
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • BEAM Interactive Play
30
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Fiber Optic Exploration
31
  • Drop-In Play 9a-5p
  • Deconstructed Play

NOTEalmost all of our activities are included with admission. To enjoy these activities make a reservation to play that corresponds to the activity of your choice. Play sessions last for three hours. You are welcome to stay longer if we are not at capacity. Complete a play waiver before you arrive- PLAY WAIVER . Waivers are valid for 12 months after signing.

Complete Your Play Waiver HERE!

Located in the top-notch city of Carmel, Indiana!

452 East Carmel Drive Carmel, Indiana 46032

Our Story

We designed our Play Café for families with children. Take a moment to sit back and observe what your child is drawn to when the play is open-ended and the learning is self-directed. Each of our play nooks offers a language-rich learning space for you to engage with your child. Our open-concept play area benefits parents by letting them take a moment to relax and connect with other parents. Use us like you would a coffee shop... meet friends. drink coffee, socialize, work.

Our  Staff

Jessica Beer PhD

Jessica Beer PhD

Co-Founder & Owner

Play Music Classes

A Cognitive Behavioral Therapist who combines her real world experience as a mother with her professional training as a researcher to provide parents with a practical way to apply the most current findings in childhood development research to their everyday life.

Tonya Bergeson-Dana PhD

Tonya Bergeson-Dana PhD

Co-Founder & Owner

Play Music Classes

Cognitive Behavioral Therapist & Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders at Butler University

Michelle Weber RN

Michelle Weber RN

Managing Director

Paws & Read

Pediatric Nurse with a background in technology development & a strong love of caffeine. 

Laurel Price MA

Laurel Price MA

Communications Director

Nicole Monkul BSEd MI

Nicole Monkul BSEd MI

The Learning Studio Director

Deconstructed Play
Jenny Santeramo AEd

Jenny Santeramo AEd

Play Coach &
The Learning Studio Teacher

Sara Eynon RPN

Sara Eynon RPN

Play Coach Specialist

Savannah

Savannah

Play Coach Specialist
Ball State

Jamie Schroll MAEd

Jamie Schroll MAEd

Play Coach Specialist

Interactive Light Play
Athena Bingham BAP

Athena Bingham BAP

Play Coach Specialist

Urban Yogis
Abby

Abby

Play Coach Specialist
Butler University

Anika

Anika

Play Coach Specialist
Carmel High School

Carly

Carly

Play Coach
Carmel High School

Olivia

Olivia

Play Coach Specialist
Carmel High School

Dana Heuftle BA

Dana Heuftle BA

Play Coach

Urban Beats

Program Partners

Karaline Feller

Karaline Feller

Outreach for Booth Tarkington Theater & "Professional Book Reader"

Paws & Read
Daniel Paquette

Daniel Paquette

Children's Musician & Local Rock Star

Mr. Daniel LIVE!
Cheyenne Land-Requiz BA

Cheyenne Land-Requiz BA

Program Development Consultant

The Cafe
Virtual Tour
CafeThe Nest

Cafe

Full Service Cafe offering Locally Sourced Brewed Coffee, Espresso & Tea, Cafe Baby Bento Boxes & Baked Goods & retail items featuring Mr. Daniel, Art To The Extreme & Artist Kate Oberreich

The Nest

Parents have a bird's eye view of the cafe to keep an eye on children playing. Relax & connect with other parents or plug-in and work. We offer free wifi. The password is always noted on the large chalkboard above the velcro wall.

Studio
Studio Tour
Studi0

Studi0

The Learning Studio is a dual use space used daily for activities, events, & classes in addition to our very own Preschool. This space was designed in honor of our founder Tonya's late husband Paul Dana.

Play
Virtual Tour
Baby NookKitchen NookPlay House NookDirty Toy BinsThe Farmhouse TableThe Train TableThe PatioThe Big Block Nook

Baby Nook

The Baby Nook is reserved for non-walking children under the age of 18 months. This is a safe place doe the tiniest of our players to enjoy tummy time while playing with developmentally appropriate toys from Smart Noggin, soft blocks & checking out their own reflection in the mirror.

The process of self recognition starts with mirror play. This is a skill developed over time that will help develop self-concept, empathy for others & emotional literacy.

Kitchen Nook

The Kitchen Nook is a very popular spot in the play cafe! Playing with toys of different shapes, sizes, colors & textures encourages spatial & organizational skills while strengthening the imagination. Who knows, maybe you have the next master chef on your hands!?

Playing with food, real & imaginary,  develops eating habits that carry through a lifetime of culinary exploration.

Play House Nook

The Play House Nook is the home to many imaginative schemas. Children create store-fronts for selling food made in The Kitchen Nook, set-up a woodworking shop or promote their artwork created at The Farmhouse Table.

Imaginative play builds interpersonal skills that promote teamwork, self-regulation & empathy.

Dirty Toy Bins

If your child puts a toy in his or her mouth please place it one of our dirty toy bins. Our Play Coaches thoroughly clean toys throughout the day and at closing time but we rely on you to catch those toys that are soiled in the moment. We also encourage you let us know immediately if you find an area of the cafe or toy that needs attention.

The Farmhouse Table

The Farmhouse Table is home to our weekly invitation to play. What is that? A creative activity focused on the creating objects & art that you can take home. Our Play Coaches bring a new concept to the table each week.

The Train Table

The Train Table draws them all in; parents & kids alike. A good old-fashioned wooden set of train tracks perfect for building & constructing the depot dreams are made of.

Train track play encourages spatial awareness, memory & reasoning skills.

The Patio

The Patio is such a fun place to relax and play! There is a sand table and umbrella covered seating to enjoy during the warmer months. Children must be supervised by an adult while playing on the patio.

Fresh air and the great outdoors are fuel for developing brains!

The Big Block Nook

The Big Block Nook is the spot to dream & build big. Manipulating blocks to fit together and grow into 3D objects promotes fine & gross motor skills needed to begin working with smaller objects.

Understanding the relationships between different objects is one way that children develop reasoning skills needed for strong executive function later in life.

Dream Nook
Dream Tree Tour
The Logic NookThe Dream TreeThe Reading NookThe Velcro Wall

The Logic Nook

The Logic Nook has numerous manipulative toys & puzzles for children of all ages. Each cubbie contains a distinct set of objects to build, construct, create & explore. Puzzles and shape sorters round out the area. Children will find small blocks, stacking monkeys, magnatiles, 3D puzzles, dinosaurs, farm animals & even Velcro rollers to create their very own universe through imagination & play.

Strong foundational logic skills start with play. Wrong & right, up & down, fail & succeed are all concepts that children will explore through trial & error while playing.

The Dream Tree

The Dream Tree is an original piece of work created by local artist & profesor C. Thomas Lewis. The tree grew close to his home and was given a new life through meticulous sanding and rebuilding. The tree is illuminated with projections of weather patterns & events as a statement about global warming. If you listen closely while sitting under the tree you can hear birds chirping. The dream tree nook is a great place to envision your very pwn dreams!

Find out more about the artist HERE!

The Reading Nook

The Reading Nook is full if opportunities to read & explore literacy. All of your favorite childhood favorites are there for children to explore. You will also find a selection of current magazines and parenting books.

Early literacy skills begin to develop at birth through loving interactions, sharing of books & being read to.

The Velcro Wall

The Velcro Wall is a machine, a network of tubes, a place for balls to roll & land. It is anything you want it to be. As part of our logic nook it encourages constructive reasoning skills, teamwork & confidence.

Research-to-Real-World

Predicting Early Literacy

There are many reasons why a child may be a poor reader, both genetic and environmental. What if there was a test that could predict if a child is at

Read More »