If you’ve been looking for a fun and safe place to take the kids to play on cold, drizzly days like today, look no further than Fairfax’s newest play sensation, PB & Jack. Celebrating its first week open this week with free open play 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through Sunday afternoon, December 9, this new space has a soft play area with the theme of the site’s name: “pirates, ballerinas and” (their parents), “Jacks of all trade” and an additional lego section; a café with WiFi and snacks; and two rooms for exercise and music classes. The cheerful site and décor were designed by mother of two Anila Angjeli of ALine Architecture.
PB & Jack will play host to yoga and Pilates classes run by YourCore Pilates, while childcare will be available in the play area for $5 or free for members. Starting in January, PB & Jack will also offer Music Together, foreign language, and other classes for kids 0-10. In addition to drop-in rates for open play for kids and for exercise classes for adults, there will be monthly membership options for one class a week or for unlimited exercise and play with discounts on classes.
When PB & Jack owner and founder Dominique Deleage had her first child seven years ago, she lamented that there was no place to take her child in bad weather except the mall, which quickly became overwhelming. And, she said, there was “no place for a stay-at-home mom to get a break.” She didn’t like to have her children – two more came later – in front of the TV 90% of the time at the gym. And even when the kids had classes, she would have to wait with the others somewhere without any decent waiting room and not enough time to run any kind of meaningful errand.
Deleage, a native of France who holds an MBA from Georgetown University, got a lot out of a new moms support group she found through Inova hospital seven years ago; she is still close with many of the moms she met there. “This is what I really wish there was for my kids,” she said of her new space, which she conceived of after a year of looking and thinking about what she wanted to create while working as a consultant with new businesses on their business plans.
Deleage wants PB & Jack to provide an opportunity for new moms to find support and meaningful human interaction, especially in those early days when new babies don’t give back much in the way of smiles or conversation.
She also hopes to provide support for mothers experiencing postpartum depression and for families with special needs children. She knows from experience how isolating it can be to find your way through a diagnosis and treatment: her middle son has Prader-Willi syndrome and autism.
This first week, Deleage says she just wanted to get the PB & Jack doors open and is hoping to “refine and get better as we go.” She’s still looking for a good supplier of healthy snacks, including dairy-free and gluten-free snacks. The site is aiming to be peanut-free and possibly nut-free. Deleage is also hoping to undertake a recycling initiative.
My kids, age 2 and 6.5, happily played as I toured the facility earlier this week. The workers in the play area were attentive and friendly. Children and parents alike seem thrilled with the new space, which is located on Fairfax’s Main Street at Pickett Street, conveniently just a few stores away from a new Elevation Burger if you’re looking for grassfed beef and gluten-free fries and just a stone’s throw from Trader Joe’s and Healthway if groceries are on the brain.
PB & Jack’s website is www.pbandjack.com/
Jessica Claire Haney wishes she lived a little closer to PB & Jack. She blogs about living naturally — most of the time — at Crunchy-Chewy Mama.