An urban oasis designed by parents, for parents.
Neighbor, Parent, and Owner of Present Place Chicago
One cold Chicago day, I was at a public library with my kids.
I looked around at all of the children, caregivers, and strollers packed into the modest space. I longed for a drop-in option that was more comfortable, allowed my kids more freedom, and maybe offered some freshly-brewed coffee. I immediately checked out the book The Women’s Small Business Start-Up Kit and Present Place was born!
With a background in interior design and early childhood education, I envisioned a space that encouraged kids to explore and socialize while their caregivers relaxed and enjoyed adult conversation. That’s why every toy and piece of furniture in our space is something I would furnish in my dream playroom. I chose natural design elements and toys that spark creativity without overloading the senses. No artificial sounds, no bright or flashing lights, no kitsch.
I opened our first location, now called Present Place Lakeview, on February 1, 2017. The overwhelmingly-positive reception, including winning Chicago Magazine’s award for ‘Best Indoor Play Space’ only months after opening, has been more than I ever could have hoped for. While we’re still ironing out a few kinks, we’re thrilled to expand our inclusive, one-of-a-kind community to the River North neighborhood in early 2019. It has been quite the journey and I’m happy and grateful to share it with you!
It’s vital to have a village. We hope to be a part of yours.
To create fun, enriching, and comfortable spaces that promote physical, cognitive, and social development in children aged 0 to 4, and authentic connections between their parents and caregivers.