There's a place in Naperville where the train station resides just down the street from a medieval castle, inhabited by a society of young pirates and princesses. In a nearby oasis, a council of giants confers over bitter potions and sweet nectars until, at their leisure, they scoop up their diminutive wards and carry them off to their home kingdoms. This haven, Cafe N Play, maintains the balance between playtime and parenthood with a vast tract filled with toys and play structures, all adjacent to a WiFi-equipped lounge serving fair-trade coffee, organic drinks, and foodstuffs friendly to any diet. Kids 6 and younger hone their imaginations on wooden trains and a town of intricately detailed buildings. The kid-friendly staff also hosts birthday parties, furnishing private rooms and necessities such as pizza, invites, and utensils.
Since its inception in 1999, Adagio Teas has filled the cups of its ever-growing customer base with farm-fresh gourmet teas harvested from across the globe. Seasoned sippers and new tea drinkers alike gather around the fragrant vapors of Adagio's expansive selection, which includes thousands of unique green, chai, and herbal teas. In addition to its stockpile of potables, Adagio Teas puts an innovative spin on tea ware with a varied collection of ceramic sets, Asian-inspired pots, and electric kettles that purr when plugged in or tickled gently with unused leaves. Adagio Teas' products fill the virtual shelves of its online store, and can also be found in many gourmet and health-food shops.
2 Foodies' culinary duo refined its skills with classical training in hotels and at locales across the globe, including Morocco, China, and Singapore. The diverse epicurean experiences helped the pair devise its café menu of eclectic salads, soups, and sandwiches, such as a ham-and-brie panini bedecked with apple, fig compote, and seasoned frequent-flyer miles ($8.95). Lemon-dill aioli swathes the house-made salmon burger ($10.50), and chickpeas, bruschetta tomatoes, and feta cheese tiptoe along the Mediterranean chopped salad’s nest of mixed greens ($7.95).
Everything about Eggsperience Pancakes & Cafe is bright, warm, and sunny. Natural light floods the restaurant's eight locations, which sprinkle across Chicago and its suburbs like powdered sugar over a slice of french toast. Orange and yellow walls surround every dining room, and some locations have fireplaces, which make ideal places to sip Ghirardelli hot chocolate or espresso beverages. Even the food is colorful. Fresh fruits?either in solid or juice form?complement dishes such as the Mediterranean omelette, baked in the French style and filled with a vibrant medley of spinach, tomatoes, olives, and imported feta cheese.
Those omelettes, like what most of what comes from Eggsperience's kitchen, start with grade-AA, farm-fresh eggs. The chefs work magic with those eggs, whipping them into frittatas and poaching them for five different "Eggsquisite Benedicts." They also use them to create their signature pancake batter, but in this case, eggs are only the beginning. Strawberries, blueberries, and other fruits mix into the pancakes.
The creativity shown with those pancakes and egg dishes extends to dozens of other breakfast items, and diners could spend countless mornings at Eggsperience without boring their taste buds. The chefs don't stop at breakfast, either. They simply transition to lunch, when they grill Cajun avocado burgers and pair gourmet chicken-salad sandwiches with a soup of the day.
Within 10,000 square feet of space at Ball Factory Indoor Play & Cafe, kids up to age 13 burn off energy by meandering through mazes, racing down a 30-foot slide, and climbing up four levels in a 2,000-square-foot play structure. Play areas have soft indoor play equipment with extensive padding and no sharp edges.
For family celebrations - such as birthdays and special occasions - Ball Factory Indoor Play & Cafe offers private party rooms hosted by trained staff to provide everything a child would want in a birthday. The venue desires playtime to be as rewarding for the parents as it is for the children, as they spend time together.
At B Happy Cafe, the process is simple: Customers pick a cup or a cone, and then fill it with their preferred frozen-yogurt flavor—or a customized blend of flavors. Next, they load it with toppings—and there are more than 40 to choose from, including gummy bears, Oreos, fresh fruit, and seasonal options. And in keeping with its simple approach to treats, B Happy Cafe doesn't mess with weighing the creations; instead, treats are priced by Spoonfull (small), Cup Full (medium), and Wonderful (large). Along with the dozens of frozen-yogurt flavors and limitless self-serve creations, guests can also order gourmet cupcakes, smoothies, and espresso drinks.