Thursday, April 11, 2013

Three-fer Thursday: Stay & Play Snack Cafe + Bien Aime Consignment + Lilly's Pizza

Spring is finally here!  So, we decided to make this Three-fer one that you could enjoy by taking a stroll in the lovely weather through downtown Durham.  There are so many great places to check out now in the beautiful Bull City that it was hard to narrow down this Three-fer to three stops, but here goes.

To start off your morning, drive to downtown Durham about 9am and head to Stay & Play Snack Cafe.  You can park right across the street in a parking garage for just a few dollars or find some nearby street parking.  Then, head in to Stay & Play for a relaxing morning of play and fun for the kiddos and coffee and snacks for you.  When the kids get hungry for snack time-for mine that's usually around 10, you can get them some delicious, kid-friendly munchies in the super cute muffin tin snack trays, and your kids will love them!

Once your kids are happily worn out and maybe a little tired, that's the time to head over to Bien Aime Consignment store to do a little shopping for beautiful upscale kids clothes, accessories or gear.  It's only a .7 mile walk away from the Stay & Play Snack Cafe, but your munchkin might even fall asleep in the stroller on the way over after a morning of hard playing.  Because it's a consignment store, you're sure to find lots of great items at completely reasonable prices, so you don't have to feel guilty about indulging in a little shopping.  If you feel like doing a little shopping for yourself you can even head next door to Fifi's or Uniquities and do a little shopping for yourself.

Once you have shopped till you dropped, your kiddos might be recovering from their morning of playing at the cafe and they might be getting a bit hungry, so why not head just around the corner for a little lunch at Lilly's Pizza.  They have delicious pizza including kid-friendly cheese pizza for little picky eaters like mine.  After a delicious meal, you can stroll off all of those calories on the walk back to your car which is still only about .7 miles away.  (If you don't feel like walking through Durham, you can also easily move your car from the garage near Stay & Play to one of several parking lots near Brightleaf Square which are in between Bien Aime and Lilly's.  Bien Aime does have its own parking lot, but it is only for customers at the store so I wouldn't stay there for lunch.) 

Variations: There are so many different variations on this outing I don't even know where to start.  Instead of Stay & Play you could start at a Main Library storytime or just browsing through their kids section or at one of the parks nearby downtown such as Trinity Park or Duke Park.  For the meal portion of the outing you could stay over by Brightleaf and head to Parker and Otis instead or venture further back into downtown to head to other kid-friendly meal spots like Dames Chicken and Waffles, Bull City Burger and Brewery, or Tylers.  Oh, and you could definitely add dessert after your meal and the options are almost endless (The Cupcake Bar, Monuts, Scratch, The Parlour, etc.).

Enjoy, have a great time with all the fun that Downtown Durham can offer!

When to go:  I would do this Three-fer on Wednesday-Saturday because Stay & Play and Bien Aime are closed on Sunday and Lilly's is closed on Monday and Tuesday.  Keep in mind that Stay & Play opens at 10am on Thursday, so if you head there on a Thursday, move this Three-fer to a little later in the day.

What it'll cost you: At Stay & Play admission is $4.50 for the first child and $3 for each additional child.  Snacks there are $1 per snack and you'll pay a little more for drinks or other snacks.  It's $1 to park in the parking garage across the street.  You can spend a lot or a little at Bien Aime depending on how much willpower you have.  Whole pizzas at Lilly's range between about $10 and $25 per whole pizza. 

What to bring: Just bring yourself, diaper bag, wallet, and definitely your stroller if you plan on walking between stops. 

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