by Sue Ann Rybak
Today’s parents are constantly driving their toddlers from one activity to the next for art class, tumbling class, music class and outdoor play dates, but NEST Philly, 10 West Gravers Lane in Chestnut Hill, the site of the former Tree House Play Cafe, is hoping to make life easier for busy parents.
Chestnut Hill resident Kara Hertzog, 38, who has a master’s degree in education, is the new owner of NEST’s first franchise, which opened last month.
NEST is the brainchild of three fathers: Scott Caplan, Matt Gorman and Farrell M. Ender, who said in an article in the Philadelphia Business Journal in 2012 that the business grew out of a need to find activities for their young children.
Hertzog, who is originally from San Fransico, said the business fulfills a need in the community by providing a place for both parents and kids to gather and play. She said it is designed “to make life easier and better for parents of young children.”
Nest, which is membership based, not only provides enrichment activities for children, but offers educational playgroups for parents.
“We are a family-based access club,” she said. “One of the reasons we do that is to build a sense of community among our families here.”
The center, whose programs are designed for children 6 weeks old to 6 years old, currently offers more than 20 enrichment classes, which include NEST Baby Music, Climbing Cubs, Ballet & Bounce, Sensory Art and Story, Beginners Dance, GymNest and many others.
Priya Green, of Lafayette Hill, said she was looking for enrichment classes for her toddler and NEST offered the “best variety” close to her home.
“We were really excited when Nest opened and have been really happy so far with the classes he’s taking,” she said. “Kiran loves his Climbing Cubs class because he can independently explore all sorts of things from balancing to climbing with other kids his age. He also really loves his music class and dancing with Mr. Pat, who is really energetic and fun.”
Kim McGurkin, of Ambler, said her 15-month-old daughter loves coming to NEST, which is open seven days a week.
“Molly loves music, so I knew that the NEST would be a great fit,” she said. “The staff is very friendly and there is always someone greeting you when you arrive. The music teachers put a fun spin on classic children’s songs, as well as new ones, which are fun for all ages. Molly loves being able to play the different instruments, dance and interact with the other children.”
While you don’t have to be a member to take classes at the center, members have unlimited access to the 7,500 square foot facility, which includes an indoor playground, a toy and clothing boutique, an outdoor play area and snack cafe. Members also receive discounts on classes, parking and birthday parties.
Families can choose from three different membership options – starting at just a $1 a day.
So if you are tired of dragging your child from one toddler class to another or you just want to get some work done while your child plays in a safe, clean, enclosed environment, drop by NEST.
For more information about NEST, call 215-664-4100 or go to www.nestphilly.com.