By Jade Glen
Parties for toddlers and pre-schoolers are a breeze at Littlecinos Play Cafe.
The Lilydale cafe is designed for little people and their parents, with a children’s play area catering exclusively to the under-five set.
Owner Jessica Savoia said the cafe, a local fixture for the past three years, was unique in that it specialised in little people.
“The kids’ area has a lot of soft play, room for crawlers and things like that. A lot of role play, dress ups, a little supermarket, a kitchen and nursery play area,” she said.
“At other places like play centres, you find the little ones can get bullied by the older kids.”
Jessica, mum to two-and-a-half-year old Macy and 11-month-old Archie, took over the business recently.
In a stark turn-around from her previous career in insurance, she has introduced story time to Littlecinos on Tuesdays and Fridays, leading a lively session of stories and songs.
“I am the story-teller, and the singer and performer. I try to keep it interactive, with puppet books or pop-up books, things that draw them in. It’s brand new and really taking off,” she said.
During the week Littlecinos is a popular cafe for parents and mothers groups, with room for prams and all the baggage associated with little kids.
“We have a lounge area with a mat so babies can roll around on the ground, a large table off the side which seats up to 10, and a lot of space for prams,” Jessica said.
“The cafe offers coffee, baked goods, sweat treats and lunch things like toasted sandwiches, yoghurt, little sandwiches, a good range of allergy friendly food, and we also sell food pouches.”
On weekends the cafe is available for exclusive party hire.
“It’s fully catered for the kids. The base package includes fruit kebabs, popcorn and fairy bread, a choice of three hot foods. The kids are set up in the kid area with their own tables.
“Parents can bring in their own cake, and we offer food platters and add-on options for the adults – we keep the cafe open for the adults as well.”