As parents, we know it can be somewhat challenging to keep our bundles of energy entertained day in and day out and even harder to combat the boredom blues. Thankfully, help has arrived to take away all of your stuck-in-a-rut feelings. Umbrella Tree, Queen Anne’s newest indoor learning and play center, will put that skip back in your step and shake up your normal routine in an awesome way. Read on for the inside scoop.

Umbrella Tree

photo: Umbrella Tree

Who’s Under The Umbrella
Arlene Sargeant and Louis Books, both new to Seattle, met at a park one day and happened to strike up a conversation about wishing there were more kid play spots. Sargeant and Books really wanted a one-stop shop where their kids could learn a variety of things without having to drive all over town. That conversation turned into a huge idea, and voila! Umbrella Tree was born. This new (and totally cool) indoor center is a fun-filled educational place where kids 5 and younger along with adults can go to learn, play, and socialize.

What’s Under The Umbrella
Umbrella Tree is not your run-of-the-mill establishment that only offers one or two classes. Here, you will find lots of learning and play with classes such as Adventurous Art, Little Cooks, Movement & Music, Sensory Science, and Math classes. In addition to these more structured classes, Umbrella Tree also offer free play, story time, puppet shows, parenting classes, and themed parties. No matter what your little learner is interested in, he or she will find something to love.

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photo: Umbrella Tree

The 411 on Classes
Umbrella Tree focuses on five different categories: Education, including Explorers & Doodlers Art, Little Cooks, Little Engineers, Kids MahAvana Yoga, Music & Movement partnered with Sunshine Music Together, and parent workshops; Play and Social, including Imaginarium, parties, and play spaces; Wellness, including cooking and yoga; Community, focusing on supporting local businesses and giving back; and Home and Product. For descriptions, dates, and times of each class, check their website. We guarantee at least one class will suit your mini-me.

Even More Offerings
In addition to structured classes, Books and Sargeant felt it was important to offer a place for youngsters to learn through free play. Enter the Umbrella Room, a dedicated space with rotating exhibits where kiddos can participate in story time, puppet shows, and other exhibits. Also on tap, the movement gym where little ones can jump, dance, roll, crawl, and be silly. Best part, there’s a wall of mirrors so they can watch their own movements. And if you’re looking for ongoing activities on the weekends, every Friday and Saturday is all about families. Little explorers can have fun in the Imaginarium, creating through open-ended play using sensory toys, building materials, and other items. And for the small set, Umbrella Tree offers baby gym for newborns to 24 months every Tues.-Fri. from 12 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

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photo: Umbrella Tree

What’s Going on This Month
December’s theme is Winter Cheer and Sargeant and Books want you to join them as they celebrate the changing of the seasons from fall to winter. The classes and activities are centered around this theme and will help your wee ones feel the spirit and magic of the holiday season. Check their calendar for fun activities sure to invite in the joy of the holidays.

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photo: Umbrella Tree

Party Planning 101
If you’re looking for a place to throw your tot’s next birthday bash, look no further than Umbrella Tree. Any class can be turned into a personalized party. And the best part? You don’t have to worry about any of the details; simply pick your theme and Sargeant and Books will take it from there. The duo also offer party favors, balloon bouquets, and catering options. And in addition to birthday parties, they host fundraisers, baby showers, corporate events, appreciation events, family reunions, club activities, and holiday parties.

Umbrella Tree Sampler Punch Cards
You can purchase a sampler punch card for $75 which allows you to attend 5 different classes (Sunshine Music Together is not included). This is a great way to try a bunch of classes and see which is the best fit for your learning enthusiast. For prices on classes, check their website.

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photo: Umbrella Tree

The Grand Opening
Mark your calendars! Umbrella Tree will open Dec. 5, 2014 in the old Twirl Cafe location. They are hosting a grand opening celebration to unveil their new space and want to share it with you. Doors open at 9 a.m., and a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce will take place at 10 a.m. Come by for coffee and donuts between 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. and enjoy Queen Anne Holiday Magic from 4 p.m.-7 p.m., plus free balloons and crafts will be offered throughout the day. Included in the grand opening celebration is the launching of their holiday shop which includes items from Manzanita Kids, North 40, and Luv Chicken. You are not going to want to miss this amazing event!

Good to Know
Parking can be a bit tricky along Queen Anne Ave., which makes the fact that free 2-hour parking in the garage is so awesome. Simply enter through the alley between Queen Anne Ave. and 1st Ave. W. between W. Crockett St. and W. Boston St. Also, note that Happy Hour Wednesday will not start until January 2015. Psst… stay tuned for info on summer day camps and parenting classes, launching in 2015.

Umbrella Tree
2111 Queen Anne Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98109
206-283-4552
Online: umbrella-tree.com
Facebook: facebook.com/UmbrellaTree

Hours:
Mon., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Tues.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (open until 7 p.m. for Happy Hour Wed.)
Sat., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (closed for parties 2:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.)
Sun., Closed for parties 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Will you be visiting Umbrella Tree? Tell us about your experience in a comment below.

— Allison Rasmussen