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Weekend Parenting the Pop Up Playdate Café Way

Simple parenting seems more of a necessity these days than ever before. Parents who can take time to schedule quiet, calm time away from the chatter of our ever present media and social upset often find that their children are also able to be calmer and happier, better able to focus on tasks and more generally agreeable with family schedules and routines, even less particular about what they do or don’t eat. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s consistent with what we’ve been finding at our Pop Up Playdate Cafés.

We’ll be trying it again this Saturday, April 8 at Tifft Nature Preserve. Join us between 10 am to 12 pm and you can connect with other parents who appreciate some chill time outdoors while their children explore and create with play materials provided by The Backyard Atelier. All ages are welcome, but the play space seems to be the best fit for children who are sitting up to about age seven. Families of all ages are welcome to join in and explore the rest of Tifft Nature Preserve while they are in the area. The Tifft Mud Kitchen is also open for play production. It’s an ideal location for arranging a play date with old friends you’d like to see more of. Parents with babies find the morning especially delightful for connecting with friends and families outside of familiar routines.

Butter Block pastries and Tipico Coffee are available for those who pre-register by midnight, Friday April 7 at Butter Block pastry selections include Coconut Croissant, Apricot Danish, Pain au Chocolat, and Chocolate Chocolate Pop Tarts. Always tasty and delicious, they are particularly delicious for a Saturday morning outside with preoccupied children. 

Sunshine and a high of 44 is forecasted for Saturday but dress in a few warm layers and boots that hold up well for spring thaw. Register online, schedule a meet up with your family and friends, and share some peace and calm with us before launching into your weekend!

The Backyard Atelier is an outdoor, play-based early childhood program that draws inspiration from the Adventure Playground movement (playwork), Reggio Emilia Approach and Forest schools of Europe. By creating a curated space that prioritizes each child’s play agenda, children are encouraged to explore their interests, questions and big ideas through open-ended, child-directed, loose parts play.

Visit us at for pictures from past playdates in all kinds of weather.

Written by Arete


Megan Mills Hoffman, Alaskan-born and raised, arrived in Buffalo in 2003 thinking she'd stay for a few months, much like her other brief sojourns in Missoula, Montana; Oxford, Mississippi; Portland, Oregon; and Albany, New York. Then she discovered Wegman's cheese aisle and Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin Martin House, the first of which reminded her of her mother's experience living outside Manchester, England and the second of her father's experience in construction in Alaska. While discovering Buffalo's others treasures, she worked with Buffalo Rising as it first expanded online, the Burchfield Penney Art Center's New Museum Project, Buffalo State College, Western New York Land Conservancy, Young Audiences, and The Gow School. She has served on the boards of the Allentown Association, Mandala School, Western New York Environmental Alliance, and Field and Fork Network. With a B.S. in Sociology and twenty plus years of experience working in community development and grassroots organizations, she has embraced, developed, launched, and established, to varying degrees of success, a variety of local social movements, all directed at changing the way we think about our education and learning. She lives in a small town south of Buffalo, much like the one she grew up in, with her Buffalo-born husband, daughter, and Bernese Mountain dog.

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