By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Jul 19, 2022 at 2:01 PM

As the mother of two young children (and soon to be three!), Abi Gilman is well aware that the cliche “it takes a village” is a true statement. But at the same time, she knows the village needs to support the parents, too.

This at the heart of her new business, The Little Village Play Cafe, that’s opening this fall in Wauwatosa, 6505 W. North Ave.

The Little Village Play Cafe is an indoor space for kids newborn to 6 years old and their caregivers. It will provide a clean, interactive environment created to inspire kids' imaginations, along with WiFi and specialty drinks for grown ups. Snacks for all ages will also be for sale. 

Little Village Play Cafe will host open-play sessions, educational classes and party rentals. The space will include a retail area with gifts and toys suitable for play in the cafe or beyond.

"As a parent, it’s often difficult to find safe, clean spaces where your child feels comfortable playing and engaging with other children," says Gilman. "The Little Village Play Cafe will be a safe, fun environment for children to play, grow, and interact with each other through educational toys, games and imaginative and collaborative play equipment."

Gilman says The Little Village Play Cafe will be unique in that it addresses parents’ needs as much as their kids’ and it emphasizes the reality of parenting, not the Facebook-perfect moments.

“Sometimes what parents and caregivers need most is the opportunity to sit and dare I say, indulge in a coffee or snack, while they watch their children's imaginations run wild,” says Gilman.

“The Little Village Play Cafe fosters an environment of acceptance, compassion and warmth where kiddos and their families are truly welcomed with open arms. Here we totally understand – and expect – that kids will spill their smoothies, shout at the top of their lungs and not sit perfectly in their chairs. We've all been there. You'll be in good company.”

little village play cafeX

Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for a First Look when Little Village Play Cafe opens this fall. 

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.