When husband and wife duo Greg and Laura Silva learned that the Portland’s Children Museum closed, a light bulb went on in their heads.
Why not start their own mini-style museum that gives children the chance to play and explore?
“We are parents before anything else and are always looking for something to ‘do’ with our kids,” Laura said. “When we lost our beloved children’s museum, our conversations moved from, ‘wow, there is such a need in this community’ to ‘we can fill this need in our community’.”
So, they got to work. The couple – both born and raised in the Vancouver and Portland area – love southwest Washington. They had lived in the Fishers Landing area for over a decade and wanted to provide something special there, so rush hour traffic to and from Portland wasn’t an issue. That’s why Vancouver was the perfect choice to open their new business, City Play for Kids.
City Play for Kids is an indoor playground focused on play and imagination. The family-friendly play space is offered for children ages one through eight with a flat-rate admission price for 90 minutes of play time. Children can pretend to be a veterinarian, a chef, a firefighter, a homemaker, or an essential grocery store worker – all in one visit. City Play also rotates toys and ‘tools’ available for open-ended play, so there are plenty of new things for children to discover if they come weekly.
The company officially opened their doors on July 15th, and so far, the community is rallying around them. Currently, Greg and Laura are running the business and their nanny will join them part-time. They are already planning to add new employees to the team so they can extend hours and offer additional times for private parties.
Laura shared, “We have been blown away so far by the support from our community. We have been flooded with birthday party requests and positive feedback. Nap schedules, life, traffic, school pick-ups for other siblings can all make making time for ‘play’ hard. Our goal is to help with that problem by having early morning play hours, drop-in hours daily, and a convenient location.”
Looking at the future of their business, the Silva family is thrilled about filling a need within the community.
“PLAY is the most important job for kids,” she said. “As parents, we can, at times, forget how rewarding it is to just ‘play’ as well. We are just excited and humbled by the opportunity to be a family staple in this community. We want to bring play and imagination back to childhood. We are also looking forward to the opportunity to offer special field trip visits for our local schools and special ‘sensory friendly’ hours for kiddos that have different abilities. One amazing thing we have found thus far since being open is the sense of community our play space is offering. We’ve had a ton of play dates so far at City Play, but we’ve been so surprised at the number of ‘new’ friendships formed at City Play and we are excited for more. We want to be an inclusive, clean play space for all kids and families alike.”