Tue, Wed, Thu
Monday - Friday
and Private Parties
At Village Play Space, we aim to bring the community together in a creative way. In this unique and charming place, children and their caregivers can connect with their neighbors for play dates during open play (Play by Day).
Play by Day offers an escape for kids and adults alike on the Main Line. Parents, grandparents, and caretakers are invited to bring their little ones (6 years old and under) to come discover our world of imaginative pretend play, interact with others, and learn under the supervision of their guardians.
Yesterday was June 18th. This particular date will always hold a special place in my heart. On this day in 2018, Village Play Space officially opened its doors. On this day in 2019, we were preparing for the Berwyn Block Party, which we hoped could become an annual event.
Sadly, on June 18th of 2020, I made an extremely difficult decision. In the words of Josh Jameson, “There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.” I have decided to close the special book that is Village Play Space.
Starting a small business is always a gamble, but armed with the amazing support of my husband, family, and friends, I decided to take a leap of faith back in February of 2018. My husband and I began to make this dream a reality, knowing full well that we might fail or ultimately choose a different path. It was at this time that we also found out we were pregnant with our second child, which just added to the excitement. I was told (and believed) I might be crazy for following this dream, but I also received an unbelievable amount of encouragement.
During these past two years I met and worked with more wonderful people and friends than I ever could have imagined. I gained invaluable business experience and learned a lot about the importance of finding balance. I enjoyed finding new ways to flex my teacher muscles and express my creativity. Most of all, I loved having the privilege of playing with and learning from my boys every single day.
However, I also learned that running a business while trying to simultaneously be a stay at home mom was quite challenging. Both jobs require endless time, energy, and tender love and care. As I’m sure many of you agree, there is just too little time in the day!
And then the pandemic hit.
Like so many other small businesses across the nation, Village Play Space suffered as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. However, we were hopeful that we would be able to weather the storm. We ultimately came to a crossroads and had to make a hard decision. Borrowing for an uncertain future wasn’t right for our family, and we unfortunately didn’t receive funding from the competitive grant program for which we optimistically applied.
Furthermore--- and it breaks my heart to admit this--- I struggled to envision what Village Play Space would look like with the current restrictions and future regulations in place. The heart of VPS is our community, and knowing that we wouldn’t be able to operate in the same, meaningful way without risking the health of our VPS family, we couldn’t embrace the challenge of redefining and redesigning our play space.
It’s been inspiring to watch our community rally together to support small and local businesses during the pandemic. I mentioned the Berwyn Block Party earlier and would be remiss if I failed to express the gratitude that it provided me. The party was an awesome time to gather with our wonderful community. But more so in my experience, it was an amazing opportunity to meet, connect, and collaborate with other local businesses in our neighborhood and those that it surrounds. VPS was a new business with a small list of contacts and a long list of things to learn. I hoped that the businesses I contacted might be interested in celebrating together, but never expected so many others to embrace the opportunity.
I realized very quickly how supportive---both emotionally and financially--- our village is of its small businesses and neighbors alike. While somewhat spontaneously throwing this party together, we received many inquiries from business owners and community members who wanted to know if they could be included, or if we had reached out to a specific business of their neighbor or friend. These members and businesses wanted to lift each other up and continue building a tight-knit community. As a result, the block party evolved into a much larger celebration than we initially anticipated.
To say that we’re disappointed that helping organize another block party is not on our current to-do list is an understatement. We are sure we’re preaching to the choir when we say that we really miss our old gatherings, celebrations and opportunities to interact without fear or reservation. However, we know that those opportunities will be that much sweeter when they become a reality once again.
I’ve always strived to focus on the bright side and find the silver lining. Although the last few months have been heartbreaking and unsettling for so many, I think they have also been eye-opening for most. They’ve inspired us to donate, to commit, and to act in new--- arguably improved--- ways. They’ve motivated us to not only adapt to change, but to demand change in the name of justice. They’ve allowed---perhaps forced--- us to reevaluate our goals, our abilities, our dreams, and our (perceived) realities.
Thank you to our patrons for all of the memories, the kindness, and the support. Thank you to my dad for being the best landlord and business advisor. Thank you to our family and friends for giving helping hands, cheering us on, and sharing in our failures and successes. Thank you to Meghan, Jon, Sue, Cristina, PJ, Lindsey for your dedication, flexibility, and commitment to making VPS a safe and fun space.
And finally, thank you to Jessica, who without a doubt has been the most important member of VPS. Without her steadfast commitment, day in and day out, VPS wouldn’t have made it this far. Her music and dance classes truly set us apart from other spaces. Her compassion and empathy, ability to connect with kids and adults alike, organizational skills, enthusiasm, creativity, up-for-anything attitude, conscientiousness, team-player mentality, ability to notice the little (and big) things --- and willingness to act accordingly --- are what made it a reality. I am not sure what the future holds but I am confident that no matter what happens, we will continue to do great things together!
My sons don’t remember life before Village Play Space. And they may not remember life with Village Play Space a few years from now. However, I can say with certainty that I will never forget.
With love and appreciation,