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Lulu's Casita Hosts Fun and Educational Parties for Kids

By Marina Jokic

A family-owned children's playground and café, Lulu's Casita is every kid's dream. Located in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Lulu's was founded five years ago by Vivi Zayas, a loving mother and wife on a mission to create the perfect playground for kids and their parents.

Zayas wanted to design a place interesting enough for kids to play for hours on end while their parents could enjoy a bite to eat and socialize with others. What's more, Zayas saw the need for a bilingual learning environment where stories could be told in English and Spanish, and where the multi-cultural fabric of the local community could be celebrated. Lulu's Casita was born out of this vision and Zayas seamlessly assumed the role of Mama Lulu.

"I have always loved working with kids and wanted to have a safe haven to enjoy once it was my turn to be a mommy," Zayas said. "Since there was nothing around like Lulu's, I decided to chase my dream of owning a business [and to build] a safe and fun environment."

Having always enjoyed working with kids, Zayas wanted to make it her full-time job. Herself a mother of a three-year-old and a 20-month-old, she was well versed in the ins and outs of toddler caregiving. But what is more, she wanted to go beyond the basics of a run-of-the-mill children's event venue and introduce many hands-on and team-oriented activities that would spark kids' imagination and collaborative spirit. Story time, live music, Legos, and arts and crafts are just the tip of the iceberg at Lulu's. Each event can be customized to fit your specific needs.

"Lulu's Casita is very [relaxed, and] the minute you walk in, you get a sense that you are visiting a [close friend's home rather than just a business]," Zayas said. "It's homey and very welcoming, [and] our customers feel right at home relaxing in one of the very comfy couches with a coffee in hand while the little ones play."

Lulu's also sports a ball pit where kids can frolic to their hearts' content, a massive train table for the aspiring engineers, and an imagination playground for the creative types. The giant bean bags in the lounge area are popular with the parents. Lulu's runs its events like a well-oiled machine, taking care of all the planning, catering, and logistics. The host need only walk in ten minutes prior to the scheduled party with wine in hand. All of the events are BYOB.

"As you can see, play is so important." Zayas said. "Think of the play environment as another teacher in your child's life; [Lulu's] captures the attention of your child by using different mediums on the walls, floor, and ceilings like indoor plants, kid height mirrors, mobiles, magnetic boards, photographs and children's artwork."

Children are social beings and hence Lulu's creates opportunities for children to interact with their peers. The dress-up area, talking tube, giant imagination blocks, the swing and the slide are meant to encourage community, creative thinking, team work, and sharing while learning how to solve problems.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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