Asheville has been a great place to raise my kids (who are only partially raised at this point). Other folks seem to feel the same — and in fact, one mom decided not just to move here to raise her babes, but to start a kid-centric Asheville business.
The Tree House, whose tag line is “A Café at Play,” will open its doors on Dec. 9 in The Shoppes at Beaver Lake shopping strip near the North Asheville Library.
The business’ mission is “to provide families with a safe and engaging place to learn together.” The centerpiece of The Tree House will be, you guessed it, a huge indoor tree house for kids to play on.
“It can be tricky to find a place indoors, especially during the winters here, where kids can get their energy out,” says owner Tanya Jennings.
The business will primarily be targeted for kids up to 8 years old, Jennings adds. In addition to the tree house, The Tree House will offer classes for children and parents, as well as a cafe featuring food from Artisan Deli next door, coffee and free Wi-Fi. There are several play areas, including a block center, a book-reading center, a dress-up area and a “protected” baby-play area.
Drop-in or “free” play will costs $7. It’s $5 for each additional kid per family, although infants under the age 1 are admitted free.
Classes will cost $80 per month (called a membership by Jennings) and will be for kids up to 5 years old (and their parents). Membership includes free play on the day of the class. Three-month and one-year memberships at reduced rates are also available. And there are special sibling deals on the classes. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Classes will include age-appropriate art classes taught by the Tree House’s child art specialist. Other classes, including music and dramatic play, will be announced. Jennings notes that she’s a former school teacher and a certified Montessori educator, so lots of the activities and classes will be Montessori-inspired. Certified teachers will teach all classes.
“We’re excited to be opening in north Asheville, which is already a family-oriented area,” Jennings says. She notes the proximity of the library and other kid-friendly businesses such as Asheville Pizza Company, The Hop Ice Cream Shop and Urban Burrito. Jennings purchased all the toys for The Tree House from local businesses, including The Toy Box and Dancing Bear Toys.
It’s important to recognize that The Tree House is not a day care; parents can’t drop kids off for classes, but must be there with their kids. Here’s hoping you can check your email and drink a cuppa while the little ones work out some energy.
For more information, see ashevilletreehouse.com.