Spotlight Business: Green Bean Contemporary Play
I cannot begin to tell you how awestruck I was by my visit today to the Green Bean Contemporary Play, located in the Regency Hilltop area of Virginia Beach. We were immediately greeted by friendly faces and were checked in for a day of play.
The cost was $10 for 13 months and older and $5 for my younger child. This admission price admitted us into the large play area for the entire day. I was impressed to learn that we could leave for any reason and still be welcomed back at any time that same day! (Take a break for lunch or to nap – SCORE!) My three kids (2-year old twins & a 1-year old) immediately removed their shoes and began walking around the play room with wide eyes and big smiles.
The room was filled with toys ranging from play kitchens to doll houses to a performance stage with musical instruments and costumes for little imaginations. What struck me as most remarkable was that the numerous staff quickly jumped in to play with the children, instructing them on certain toys and leading the way to fun and interesting things to do and experience. At one point I almost felt that it wasn’t necessary for me to be there with my brood as they were so engaged by each person, which is typically not the case for my separation-anxiety-prone children.
One of my twins was fascinated with a large chalkboard wall that she could scribble all over while the other one found more pleasure in exploring the numerous toys that lined the walls. To my surprise, my 1-year old went instantaneously for the large play structure in the center of the room, which featured two slides, tiered decks and a gazillion balls of different sizes and textures to toss around wherever she wanted.
A snack bar was located at the rear of the room and offered various healthy options, organic milk, sodas and best of all, premium coffee for the big kids! I found the pricing of the snacks very reasonable, and my kids appreciated the quick break for a squeeze fruit and milk. I was quickly informed by my tiny troop that it was time to go back and play – so we did for another hour!
Although I did not get to enjoy them this trip, I found it refreshing to see that there were two areas dedicated to the rest & relaxation of parents. There were fun chairs and playful signs advertising that you could ring a bell and someone would be over to make your “stay” more enjoyable. (So cute!!) By the time we left, my kids were exhausted and content – even sleeping in the car the entire ride home. I can’t wait to go back to the Green Bean, and my wheels are now turning on how I can make this fantastic place the venue for my next birthday party!
Green Bean Contemporary Play is owned by the smiling and warm Virginia Beach native, Laura Mayo. She said the inspiration for her business came to her in the middle of the night back in February. By mid-June, she had opened her doors to this whimsical place where small kids are the focus. Mayo, a mother of a two-year old, felt that there were not a lot of options in our area where kids six and younger could go to play and parents would know that they were safe and catered to.
Another passion that was evident throughout the facility was her commitment to green and eco-safe products and toys. The staff cleans all the equipment and toys several times a day with nothing but botanical and natural cleaners to ensure that your child won’t bring home an unhealthy souvenir of their time at Green Bean. In addition to daily play, they offer events throughout the week such as Sensory Play, Art, and Story Time, which seem to be very popular and do not cost extra. You can also host your next play-date or birthday party in their separate classroom area where outside food/drinks are accepted, and they even provide decorations if you’d like.
Overall, I give the Green Bean Contemporary Play experience a DOUBLE thumbs up!