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Pop Up Playdate Café

We’re looking forward to a grand time this Saturday, July 29, 10 am to noon, at Tifft Nature Preserve, meeting up with other families with young children who relish opportunities for open ended outdoor play for their littles. Once a month the Pop Up Playdate Café rolls out a curated play space that includes Loose Parts items such as tree blocks, old telephones, sandpaper and boards, baking utensils, basins for pouring, water buckets, piles of dirt and sand, and all on the shady banks of Tifft’s lake, home to all kinds of animals and plant life. 

Leslie and Jason have been coming out with their daughter over the past year for the community of new friends they are each building as Buffalo Boomerangs, since moving away many years ago. “As kids, we both loved growing up in Buffalo so it was easy to come back home.  What we didn’t expect was how much Buffalo had grown over the years!  Buffalo is a place where you get a chance to get to know your neighbors, where you can make lasting friendships.The Pop Up Playdate Café gives us the opportunity to meet new people not only from Buffalo, but also people new to the area.”  

When you register by midnight tonight, Friday, July 28, you can also pre-order Tipico Coffee cold brew and Butter Block artisan pastries. July pastry selections include: Almond Croissant, Pain au Chocolat, Berries and Cherries Danish, and Honey Apricot Pop Tart.

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. 

Join us for the fun, invite your friends to meet you there, or plan on making new ones. We will be delighted to see you and to meet your family. Register online at, check out past Playdates at

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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