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“Great Play area, somewhat expensive eats”
Review of Circus Play Cafe

Circus Play Cafe
Ranked #1,912 of 3,845 Restaurants in Vancouver
Price range: USD 4 - USD 8
Restaurant details
Reviewed 28 June 2016

This place is, to me, first and foremost a play gym for my kids. For that, I give it a big thumbs up!!
The fact that there is a cafe on the other side of the half wall of the play area is a bonus!
So far, I have just ordered coffee (very good) and snacks (cookies/scones/ kids tapas plates). I find the prices of the sandwiches, etc a little steep (especially after paying for the kids to play there. They look pretty good though..
The service for the food is good, however there can be a bit of a line up as that is where customers pay for their children to play as well.
The cafe has a fair bit of seating but the coveted booths are right beside the play are (you can actually sit and sip a coffee while keeping an eye on your kids!!)
I can't say too much about the actual main dishes but it is definitely a place you come for your kids to play and then grab a snack/lunch ( as they don't allow outside food).
Overall, one of the few places in Vancouver that mixes a play area with a decent cafe :)

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Thank travellingtammi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 May 2016

A friend introduced us to Circus Play Cafe on "The Drive" in East Vancouver, marveling at how her toddler can roam around playing while she sits on the side sipping a cup of coffee or having a light lunch. Since our friend's toddler and our son are friends from pre-school, we visited Circus Play Cafe once together, and immediately fall in love with it.

Concept: The set-up of the cafe is very simple: on one side is a small cafe that features coffee, tea, and some light food (sandwiches, soup, etc.) On the other side of the cafe is a large play area with many sturdy wooden play sets, toys, and children's books. The play area is separated from the eating area by the way of a short wall in between, so parents can sit or stand against the wall and watch their children play, or they can take off their shoes and join the children in the play area. After our visit, I am surprised that there are not more restaurants and cafe that would have a layout like that - it is totally kid-friendly, and parents can have an ease of mind that they can eat comfortably while their children play.

Safety - Child safety is of paramount concern to me as a parent. At Circus Play Cafe, I do feel my child is safe. Almost all of the toys or play sets in the play area are made of wood, and are manufactured by several major reputable toy manufacturers that have a good track record of producing safe toys for children to play. The cafe also has a basket for parents to place the "excessively loved" toys (i.e. toys that have been chewed on by young children) so they can be washed. Of course, due to the nature of the play area with slides, ladders, and so on, children can and will trip and fall... but the risk associated with that is no different than any playground you visit.

Other Facility Considerations - The cafe has a place for parents and their children to place their shoes and to hang their clothes. Its bathrooms are clean but not overly roomy. For a facility that targets parents with young children, I am surprised that there is not a changing station available, nor a family room for nursing moms if they choose to nurse in private. But given how pricey real estate is in Vancouver, maybe having such facilities would be too not economical. But yes, having those facilities available would make Circus Play Cafe a truly amazing child and family-friendly place.

Food - Oh yes, this is a cafe after all. The number of selection available is not extensive - several hot food items (sandwiches and soup), a couple of kids' food items, and a wider selection of coffee. The price for the food is not cheap, but its quality is very good. Not exceptional, but very good. I would still consider the food over-priced, especially considering its portion size... but we didn't really care.

Prices - There is an admission fee for children to play. It ranges from $0 for infants to $7 for Pre-kindergarten children, so again, it is not cheap. You can buy a discount pass for 10 visits or a three-month, unlimited visits pass. Note: individual admission only allows your child to play for a maximum of 2.5 hours. It is probably more than enough for children that age, but it is important to know.

Overall, I really, really like the concept of Circus Play Cafe. I don't like that it is actually quite pricey to come for what probably would amount to around two hours of play time. But it is a good place for parents to hang out, a place for children to play safely while the parent enjoys a calmer moment where they can have a sip of coffee or a light lunch... for all those reasons, our family would probably visit this place again and again (we did end up buying a 10-visit pass...)

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Thank Ed L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2016

Recently went to the Circus Play Café for a playdate and was not disappointed! What a great little café for parents and kids (designed for babies to pre-K). Parking is a bit of a nightmare though, as the café is located in a small strip mall that has very limited parking spots. I was very lucky to score a spot which made it so much easier for me to get my two toddlers to the café on my own. So when you arrive you sign yourself in at the computer kiosk and the computer will spit out a couple of stickers. You take the stickers to the register/food ordering area to pay the admission fee which allows your kids to play for 2 hours. They write the time of when your 2 hour ends and you stick the sticker on your kids back and off you go. Inside there is quite limited seating - I think it was about 7-10 tables, some were small for 4 people and they had a couple bigger ones. There is then a separate play area for the kids (socks only) which was great. Had some "stores", kitchen, and then structures that had slides. There was one that looked like a bus for the smaller kids. Then there were books, and other little things for the kids to play with including a sensory wall, and a great area that had locks and switches and buttons (my son loved that). I went on a Sat at 10am and it got busy really quickly and as you can expect, a contained space with kids running around there were a few bumps here and there. Found that it slowed down again around 11:30. We then fed our kids there and it was great that they had a kid menu and adult menu. I really liked the kid menu as they had some relatively standard kid stuff like grilled cheese and quesadillas, but also bento boxes that came with deli meat, cheese, fruit, yogurt and tortilla chips. Didn't order any "adult" food except for coffees and teas, so can't comment on how it was, but the kids liked the food they got. All in all a great little place to spend a rainy afternoon!

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2  Thank MickBaby8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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