A new play space opening in a Brooklyn neighborhood while always welcome, isn’t that surprising. But a fresh place to bring the kids in Bayside, Queens? Wow! We headed over to the recently-opened Good Day Play Café to check out the kid-friendly scene and grub.
Best friends Jesica Chang and Sarah Park—along with their husbands Jisoo and Hyan Dong—recently opened Good Day Play Café in Bayside. It’s a Korean-inspired indoor play space for children and toddlers, along with a (mostly) organic café and juice bar where parents can mingle while their kids frolic nearby.
The vibe inside is mellow and laid-back, and the warm and inviting space is very clean, open and airy with high ceilings. Upon entering the facility, parents sign a safety waiver for their children—standard protocol at kid’s spaces—and kids, and well as mom or dad, must wear socks while inside the play section. (They do sell some cute socks for both adults and children, though, if you need.)
The approximately 1,500-square-foot space is “split”—one side houses the café, with sturdy wooden tables and long counter tops (near one counter space parents can store their strollers) and on the other side of the open wall is the play area. Whether you sit at a table or a counter; it’s easy to spot your children inside the play section.
The café menu includes healthy eats, such as Horizon milk, acai and green bowls, mini sandwiches, fresh juice, fruit salad, granola bars, smoothies, fruit pouches for babies, and more. They also sell Stumptown coffee and various teas.
Chang noticed how popular these types of cafes were in Korea; which inspired the social and design aspect for Good Day Play Café, such as the wooden look, and soft, muted tones in the play space areas (as opposed to bright primary colors). Additionally, the non-toxic foam play mats were manufactured in Korea.
“We, of course, created this place for kids, but we also designed it with the parents in mind,” explains Chang. “Many parents tell us coming here is playtime for them as well; they can catch up with friends casually without it being way too loud or stimulating inside.”
The cafe’s play section is recommended for kids 8 months to 6 years of age. It contains a plethora of sturdy toys, such as trucks, stacking rings, and cash registers, which are almost always from “green” companies. There’s also a ball pit, rock climbing wall which leads to a Lego table, and a slide. Kids will also love the dress-up section, construction table, mini kitchen with pretend foods, dollhouse, train table, blocks, mini cars the kids can “ride,” and there’s even a cozy book nook.
Says Park: “We included toys and activities my own young son enjoys.”
One popular and unique feature is the facility’s Hinoki cypress wood cube pit, which is popular in Japan and South Korea; the cubes used at Good Day Play Café were indeed shipped from South Korea, so they’re authentic. The cubes are made from soft wood and feel extremely gentle to the touch. In fact, parents were commenting that when they went inside the pit with their children (socks only, please!), they felt like they were getting a mini foot massage.
A sign inside the Hinoki cypress wood cube pit explains the cubes contain natural compounds that kill microorganisms, and have a positive effect on one’s—yes, even little one’s—body, mind, and soul. They’re calming, and feel nice to touch, but can be easily swallowed, so it’s strongly encouraged you watch your children with extra caution in the Hinoki cube pit.
“The Hinoki cypress wood cube pit is like a sand box but much cleaner,” says Chang.
A Bayside gem, open play is every day from 9:30 to 6:30; and the facility is closed on Sundays. They do generally host private birthday parties on Saturdays, but if there are no parties that date, there will be open play times. The Web site and business’s official facebook page is updated frequently with calendar info and times, so check accordingly before coming by. Although it is an open play space, it is not drop-off, so an adult must be present with child at all times. Eventually, the owners will have special events, such as story time, and they will be advertised on social media in advance.
Open play pricing is per child; parents are free and sibling discounts are available. Currently, it’s $9 for one hour per child M-Thus; $10 on Fridays and Saturdays; $14 for two hours M-Th and $15 Fridays and Saturdays; and three hours or more is $19 an hour during the week; $20 on Fridays and Saturdays.
Frequent guests can become a member of Good Day Play Café; prices range from number of children you’ll be bringing to how many months you’d like to register for.
Note: Unless you happen to live nearby, you will need a car to travel here; as there’s no public transportation in the vicinity. Also good to know: There’s a large bathroom on-site with changing table; and a smaller bathroom in the play section. Party packages available.
Good Day Play Cafe
208-03 35th Ave.
Is there a new play space in town we should know about? Share in the comments below!
— Rachel Sokol