After moving her family from Milwaukee, WI to Tea, Beth Hintz saw a need for a place where children and parents could relax and have fun.
While living in Wisconsin, Beth says she and her two daughters became frequent attendees of indoor playgrounds in the winter. Upon arrival to her new home state, she took it as an opportunity to offer those same resources to the community and fulfill a longtime dream.
“I’ve always wanted to open a play place, but there wasn’t a need in Wisconsin, so this was the perfect opportunity,” explained Beth.
In October 2022, Beth and her husband, Jeremiah, opened Tea Play Place.
Tea Play Place follows a nationwide trend of “coffee playhouses.” Beth explains that while mainstream coffee houses welcome children, typical patrons are looking for a quiet location to work outside of their home or office.
In an effort to avoid hostile feelings toward parents, caregivers, and children, Beth worked to design an environment of acceptance, warmth, and compassion. It was her overall goal to offer a fun, yet safe setting for children to grow, play, and interact.
“Our mission with Tea Play Place is to offer a community for parents, caregivers, and kids,” said Beth. “We offer a place where parents can connect and unwind while their kids can play and interact with other children.”
Tea Play Place caters primarily to children ages birth to 8 but welcomes children of any age.
The play area is divided into two personalized sections for each age group. The children’s area is 1,000 square feet that offers a dress-up station, doll house, a kitchen playset, monkey bars, swings, slides, and more. The gated space for crawlers and younger is 350 square feet featuring items like rocking horses and tunnels.
Hintz adds that she does a toy rotation every four months to switch the environment up and continue to keep kids engaged.
Sioux Metro Growth Alliance
Tea Play Place is a community member of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. For more community members, visit siouxmetro.com.
“This is a space where parents can order a coffee and sit back and watch their kids grow.” -Beth Hintz
Tea Play Place offers a space for play and an opportunity for learning. Beth and her team provide various activities to help expand the minds and creativity of the visiting children.
Once a week, she offers a craft and sensory play activity ranging from 30 minutes to
one hour, taught by preschool and art teacher Katie Hovick.
“Sensory play is very beneficial because it focuses on hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills,” explained Beth. “We change out the sensory bin every month based on the season, so that helps with the skills they need.”
The sensory bin has previously included Play-Doh, painting, and various crafts. If kids are unable to attend, grab-and-go craft and sensory kits are available for purchase. Beth adds that she hopes to add music classes back into her repertoire.
Tea Play Place partners with local businesses to provide classes and support for parents and caregivers.
Moms and caregivers have the opportunity to participate in on-site lactation classes, pelvic floor classes, and yoga classes. Beth adds that she has welcomed dieticians and occupational therapists to share their expertise.
“We are always growing and expanding to partner with other businesses to offer parents a variety of classes and support groups,” said Beth.
Tea Play Place continues to support small businesses by partnering with Tea’s local coffee shop Central Dakota Perk.
“Anyone who has kids or plays with them knows that most parents or caregivers kind of run on coffee,” she said with a laugh.
Beth’s initial goal was to provide an in-house cafe, but she was unable due to the size of the building, so she conjured up the next best thing–a coffee bar.
“We kind of get the best of both worlds,” said Beth. “We have a coffee bar with a Keurig if you want black coffee with different creamers or flavors. But if you want a latte or a smoothie, Central Dakota Perk is right down the street and offers free delivery.”
Beth adds that their next-door neighbor, Zooks Coffee Bar, will also be pairing up with her business.
“Both coffee shops have an app, or else there is a number I can text and place the order,” she said.
Beth and Jeremiah work to make each and every patron feel comfortable within their business. The two provide organic snack options, extra nursing supplies, extra diapers and wipes, to restrooms geared for little ones to help with potty training.
“These bathrooms are helpful for kids to learn independence and get comfortable going to the bathroom by themselves,” explained Beth.
“We love partnering with other small businesses and love watching them succeed as well.” -Beth Hintz
Beth’s overall goal for Tea Play Place is to be known as a one-stop shop that welcomes its guests with a warm and welcoming smile.
“We want to be a resource for families in the community,” said Beth.
She continued, “If parents need a break or are feeling overwhelmed, they can come to drink their coffee and let their kids be kids and hopefully destress and unwind from the chaos that is in the world right now.”