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The Backyard Atelier is calling you for a Grown-up Kiddie Playdate

It’s fall and we’re keeping up the magic of child directed, loose parts, outdoor nature play with The Backyard Atelier.

Here’s how it works: We bring the loose parts and café goodies, and set up play space under the trees near the lake and hiking trails at Tifft Nature Preserve, suitable for babies up to about age 7.

Step 1: Check your dates and book your Saturday morning with us by registering online by midnight Friday, September 29 at

Step 2: Invite your friends and family to meet you there with their kiddos, and breathe easier knowing that you’ve got some quality down time to get out as a family AND see friends. 

And still with treats for the adults. We’ll have both cold and hot brew Tipico Coffee options with cream and sweetener on the side, along with current selection of Butter Block pastries and Ashker’s fresh juices and breakfasts. Butter Block options include Almond Croissant, Apple Danish, Tomato & Pesto Danish, and Concord Grape Doughnuts. Be sure to place your order in advance to hold your selection.

If you dream of a couple hours for your kids to play happily so that you can have an adult conversation with your partner or friend, this is a beautiful morning for all. 

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. 

Pop Up Playdate Café

Saturday, September 30, 10am – 12p

Saturday at 10 AM – 12 PM

Tifft Nature Preserve | 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd – Across From the Small Boat Harbor

Register for the event here, and select your pop-up products

See Facebook event

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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