Jan. 4, 2017 Staff Report
Long Island City’s flourishing population of young families may have a new reason to celebrate the new year.
City Owlets, a children’s playspace and cafe at 10-42 Jackson Ave, is hosting a grand opening week for parents and guardians who would like to register their kids for play sessions at the multi-roomed space.
From January 3rd to January 6th, parents or guardians can bring their children to any one of four “mommy and me” type sessions held each day, which include story time, arts & crafts, singing and dancing.
The sessions are each two hours and take place in one of many different themed “nooks” at the play cafe, the first of which begins at 9:00 am and the last one ending at 5:00 pm. Registration can be made here. Each session is capped at 20 children.
City Owlets founder and Long Island City resident, Linda Nguyen, began work on opening the space two and a half years ago, when she saw the demand for such a concept grow among young families in the community.
“You want to have a place where you can have a cup of coffee, bring your kids, and let them have fun without the weight of worry on your shoulders,” said Linda, who is a mother herself.
Nguyen said she had seen similar concepts struggle in other states, but still wanted to bring it to Queens.
“As an idea for an indoor playcafe serving children and adults, it has been rejected, scoffed at and blatantly told the business model isn’t worthy of time and space,” she shared. “But we believe in the value we would add to the community. We want to give parents and caregivers a space to connect with each other and a platform to learn about navigating the waters of parenthood.”
In addition to serving as a playspace, City Owlets also plans to host educational classes on parenthood, such as “Daddy Bootcamp, Sibling Prep, Strollers and Carseats 101,” as well as assistance with post-partum depression.
The playcafe will be a part of the COFFEED Affiliate Program, serving coffee brewed locally in Long Island City.
“COFFEED is super proud to be able to serve our fine beans at City Owlet, and we are certain it will become a hub for families in Long Island City and beyond,” said COFFEED CEO Frank Raffaele.
City Owlets hosted a week long mural painting event in October to help decorate its outdoor playspace, with the help of Efren Andaluz, a New York based artist who recently painted a mural on the outdoor wall of Jackson’s Eatery and Bar facing 50th Ave.
“We had close to 500 parents, guardians, teachers and their children come to participate that week,” Nguyen said. Organizations that attended or volunteered included the Gantry Parent Association, Hunters Point Civic Association, Court Square Library, Lolly’s Early Learning Center, Busy Bee Playcare, and My Treehouse Daycare.
Beginning January 9th, drop-in play hours for parents and their children will be available Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, then on weekends from 8:30 am to 11:00 am. The center will be closed for the remainder of the week for private parties, which can be reserved here.
Parents who wish to reserve drop-in hours will receive discounted rates when registering for any of the sessions during the grand opening week. Anyone with questions is asked to call 718-786-6957.
Note: City Owlets is an advertiser of the LIC Post.