PLAY – a vital part of every child’s life. What better way to do it then in a safe, open plan playground that also has a cafe offering delicious, wholesome meals. AND COFFEE!!
Introducing – The Wishing Tree Play Cafe!!
I have had the opportunity to take Gradie to The Wishing Tree, a newer play area right in the heart of the Twin Cities – in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, on a few different occasions and I am constantly asking myself, why someone didn’t create a space like this earlier. No matter – I am glad that we have it now.
Jennie and Bryan created The Wishing Tree because they believe that families crave a place to gather and grow, make memories and meet new friends.
After raising 5 boys (YES FIVE) they have many years of experience dealing with the ins and outs of being parents. Plus they have many years of experience in the food service industry, as owners of The Pizza Shoppe at the Minnesota State Fair & Leimon’s Pizzeria which travels to other State Fairs.
Now back to The Wishing Tree Play Cafe and why it is we absolutely cannot get enough.
Let’s start with the main indoor play ground area, pictured below. When I first met Jennie (owner) and Gradie had an opportunity to explore and play, she told me that the play structure was custom designed for The Wishing Tree and their set up, by Cedar Works.
If you look closely you’ll see that all the slides and way to enter and exit the play structure face towards the center. This was a very specific feature of the design – reason is that it is easy for the parents, especially grand parents, to be able to keep an eye on their little ones and not have to make a mad dash to rescue them, should they need it, from an exit facing away from you.
Then there is the race track around the play structure. Your little ones will zip around on numerous different ‘forms of transportation’ – three of them are pictured above, and another below.
When your little one (more likely you) need a rest, you can sit down and enjoy a puppet show, put on by the best puppeteers you know – YOUR KIDS!! Gradie has spent a lot of time telling me all about the great puppets they have, and loves saying, “Ok, show is over!” and shutting the curtains, only to open them up and start all over. I love it – the imagination in this child is simply amazing.
Of course there is an area dedicated to our youngest ‘friends’ – the infant play area. Designed for children under 24 months of age and allowing older siblings to play there too, provided they’re calm and respectful of the babies. As I am sure you can understand the safety of the children is the #1 concern for all involved with The Wishing Tree Play Cafe.
With safety in mind, be sure to bring your kids gripper socks to play in!! However, if you forget you can grab a pair for just $2!
Next, let’s talk about the restaurant. Oh the food, the delicious food. The Wishing Tree Play Café offers a wholesome, healthy menu, with a couple items for our indulgences. Jennie is very proud of their café and that they are committed to selling items prepared with the best quality ingredients.
Gradie’s favorite is the grilled cheese (of course), and I love that it comes with a side of carrots. As you can see the café has seating that is just Gradie’s size, and with a little struggle (getting my butt into the chair) I sat with her to eat my sandwich too. Don’t worry there is plenty of ‘big people’ sized seating too.
Of course, all parents NEED coffee, right?! The Wishing Tree Play Cafe offers fair-trade, organic and locally roasted coffee and espresso drinks, and tea. Jeanna, who is one of hte biggest coffee lovers I know, absolutely loves all the drinks she has had at The Wishing Tree.
To keep all the kids safe Wishing Tree has a strict no outside food policy to ensure an allergen free zone for our friends with allergies. With that said, I want to bring attention to the fact that they have a ‘first foods’ sampler platter for our younger friends to enjoy too, there really isn’t much they haven’t thought of. You can download the full menu by clicking here.
Let’s talk about this ‘ball pit’ but made out of cut up pool noodles! I have to say this is probably my favorite part – I have spent more then my fair share of time in here with Gradie and I love it. As you can see Gradie does too! Whether it’s just hanging out………
Getting buried in the noodles……….
or using them as binoculars……….
When I spoke to Jennie about this unique idea, I couldn’t stress enough how much I loved this option over that of having a true ‘ball pit’. She joked about how long it took to get the noodles cut up, but they’re a great alternative and easy to replace if the pieces break etc. In addition, they’re all removed each Sunday and cleaned.
Talking about cleaning – The Wishing Tree Play Cafe strives to keep their play areas clean and do so by using only child-safe, non-toxic cleaning products. All of the products used, along with information sheets on them, can be found by clicking here. Again – nothing they haven’t thought about.
One last thing I just have to mention – they’re expanding!! That’s right, it was announced in December that the support for this local, small business, has driven the need to grow! They’re growing into the space right next door to their current location, which will offer more natural light, a fireplace, and patio. Along with 2 more private restrooms too, no more potty dances (and they have kids sized toilets, Gradie LOVES them!).
Once the expansion is complete they’ll offer expanded seating & the perfect toy/play area to occupy your little ones a bit longer while you comfortably eat, drink your coffee and chat with other mom’s and dad’s.
I absolutely cannot stress enough – FOLLOW The Wishing Tree Play Cafe via their social media channels. They are constantly posting useful information and a ton of GIVEAWAYS for chances to win passes to bring your kids in to play.
Talking about giveaways – how about YOU enter to WIN one – Jennie has been kind enough to offer a TWENTY VISIT PUNCH PASS (that’s a $112 value!!)
All you have to do is complete the EASY entry form below and come back daily for more chances to WIN!!!
Good Luck & Happy Playing!!!