So if you’re anything like me, every year by mid March you’ve had it. The grey, cold, uninspiring weather is bringing back your annual empty threats of packing it in and moving your whole circus to Florida. The thought of even one more day of cramming toddler hands into mittens they’re going to yank off anyway makes you nauseous and what do you mean you’ve lost the sixth hat this winter?! Waiting for “spring” in Vermont to give way to the fragrant, colorful, summer’s-really-coming feeling can seemingly take forever. While the true antidote has to be fleeing to the Caribbean until mid May, that can be pricey. Coming in a close second, how about a coffee date with a good friend? Commiserate, caffeinate, and fantasize about the summer ahead. And lucky for you, there are a few places you can do all that without even have to call a babysitter.
Block Gallery and Coffee House
Located on the rotary in Winooski, The Block Gallery and Coffee House is a spacious, sunny spot that is great for catching up with children in tow. There is a nice selection of kids books lining the lowest shelf along with an array of rocks, driftwood, and seed pods meant for curious hands. Cushions perched in the bay windows are comfy and inviting for little readers and artists alike, while conveniently out of the way of customers coming and going. The snack options are rather limited, (bagels, cookies, macaroons) but the maple chai latte more than makes up for it.
Tucked behind the design office of JDK in Burlington is the kid (and cyclist!) friendly Maglienero cafe. While they seem to appeal more toward the freelancing, lap top toting crowd, it’s a winner for coffee+kids. On a recent cold afternoon, armed with baked goods, fancy soda and a cup of coffee, my troops and I hunkered down in the back corner and idled away a solid hour virtually undetected. Between the blocks and chalkboard, the kids were as entertained and as happy as the adults.
If you’re looking for a little more than standard coffee shop fare, Mr. Crepe on Church Street can satisfy the crowd while giving parents a fair chance at actual conversation. It’s a known fact that only thing that pleases a four year old more than a strawberry nutella crepe, is eating it at his own kid sized table complete with a bin full of crayons and pages to color.
The magical mitten-less days of spring and summer are upon us. Really. But until those warm, sunny, playground coffee breaks roll around, it’s possible to steal a few minutes with a friend while keeping the kids occupied. And maybe give you just enough time to hatch a plan on how to get to the Caribbean this time next year.
About Sara Goldstein
Wife of a rock star, mother to his proteges. Snack slinger, band aid applier. Amateur comedian on stage and off. Professional laugher. You can follow along with her here.