Nibbles Play Cafe

Nibbles Play Cafe – website

Location: 13 Huntington Lane, Wheeling

Phone: 847-229-0400

Hours: Monday – Saturday 8:30 am – 2:30 pm. Nibbles is closed on Sundays for private parties.

Admission: $7.50 per child, $3.75 for each sibling. Adults are free. Living Social has a 3-visit pass for only $10, but it is only available for 3 more days.

Parking: Free parking in the attached lot.

Bathrooms: The public bathrooms are very nice and have changing tables (in both the men’s and women’s rooms), small pottys, and small sinks with stools so the kids can reach. The bathrooms are around a corner so there is only an open doorway rather than doors, which make it a little easier for kids, but in the mens’ room the urinals are not far from the doorway so my husband felt like there was a little lack of privacy from little kids that could run in.

Nursing: According to the Nibbles Play Cafe website: “We do not have an area specifically designated for nursing and we hope that all moms feel comfortable nursing anywhere at Nibbles. We are strong advocates of the right to breast-feed in public. We recognize that some women prefer privacy and have a chair in our girl’s bathroom for that purpose.”

Handicapped/stroller accessibility: The cafe is fairly open and I think it would be easy to maneuver a wheelchair or stroller inside. The actual play areas are divided and a little more confined.

Other amenities:

Food: Hot and cold sandwiches, homemade soup, breakfast entrees, snacks, and beverages are available in the cafe. Kids meals are only $5; grown up sandwiches are $7. The menu is available online. Nibbles offers vegan options and will customize menu items to meet special dietary or allergy needs when possible. Outside food is not allowed.

Special events: Nibbles Play Cafe has events going on almost daily. Here are some upcoming events:

Visit their calendar for a full listing. You’ll also find events at Nibbles on the Toddling Around Chicagoland calendar.

Activities: 

  • Pretend play
  • Train table
  • Manipulative Play Area
  • Baby Room
  • Construction Zone
  • Dress up area

We paid: I purchased a 3-visit pass from Living Social for $10.

Our experience:

We visited Nibbles on a Saturday morning to meet with some other moms. There was a birthday party going on in the back, but it really wasn’t crowded. The boys went off to play while John and I sat down for tea and coffee. We stayed for about two hours. Dexter had a great time examining stuffed animals with a stethoscope and vacuuming the entire cafe. Cooper played for a little while and then complained that he was bored. (He is 4 1/2 and Nibbles is intended for kids from 0-5). He sat with us for a little bit, but then went back to playing. He had a really good time playing in the construction area and when it was time to leave we had to drag him out kicking and screaming. (That’s only a bit of an exaggeration; he gets a bit worked up sometimes.)

We were sitting at a booth and I could see the boys most of the time from where we were sitting. There are a few short walls between the dining area and the play areas, but if the kids weren’t in view it was easy to stand up and see them. I liked that you ordered at the cafe and everything was put on a tab and someone brought your food to your table; it minimizes the time you have be there so you don’t feel like you have to struggle to keep an eye on the kids.

I loved the food offered at the cafe. We wound up not eating while we were there because we had lunch plans, but the snacks and meals they offer are so much better than the ones you find at most restaurants. There are the usual suspects on the kids menu (pizza, nuggets, mac & cheese, hot dogs), but you can also get hummus and veggies, fresh fruit, and bagels and cream cheese. I was expecting the food to be expensive, but I actually thought the prices were pretty reasonable.

I think if Nibbles was closer to our house we’d visit more often. It is the perfect place to meet with friends, let the kids play, and feed them healthy food.

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