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Playdate Café… it’s playtime Buffalo!

We love it when our little people have a wide open spaces that are full of fun things for them to freely explore, tinker with, and imagine into their own creations. So we teamed up together with Tifft Nature Preserve, Tipico Coffee, and Butter Block to create a space for families with little ones to meet us out over scrumptious local coffee and excellent fresh pastries.

If you sign up by midnight Friday, you can order up a couple of coffees and your favorite Butter Block June selections. Dress for whatever the weather turns out to be and meet us out at Tifft Nature Preserve. We bring boxes and baskets full of fun loose parts and pieces, natural materials, and assorted playthings that appeal to little people. It’s right along the idea of an Adventure Playground but on a smaller scale so that toddlers can also join in the fun. 

Parents and friends can hang out at a safe distance, visit with coffee in hand, share a sweet Saturday morning. Register online at Check out pictures from past playdates at Invite the friends you’ve been meaning to connect with, order up, and see you there! 

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. 

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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