It’s a peaceful afternoon as could be in the Purple Monkey Playroom, while kids entertain themselves and parents relax while sipping tea, when in walks a 3.5 year old proclaiming loudly, “Who’s here that I know?!” It’s a comfort level that many kids share here at the Purple Monkey Playroom and especially Jessica Roubitchek‘s now 3.5 year old daughter. It’s fair to say Jessica’s daughter can call this space her second home and take some “ownership” as she’s been coming here since she was just a babe.
In 2010, with some gentle coaxing from her husband, Jessica Roubitchek opened Purple Monkey Playroom. After her daughter’s once favorite play space closed its doors, suddenly an unexpected void existed in their daily routine. The idea to branch out on her own was just an idea at the time, but all of a sudden her new venture came together with this turn of events. The playroom is creatively designed with ease, functionality and play in mind. It provides the perfect space for a mom or dad to pop in for an hour or so of time. Kids get their playtime on and mom & dad get some quality rest, while they watch on at ease.
Where did the name of Purple Monkey Playroom come from?
I knew I wanted a name that had something to do with animals. While brainstorming, it just so happens that my husband loves monkeys and we happened to have a purple monkey lying around, which by the way is so, so cute. All of a sudden it came to me! Purple Monkey Playroom! I wanted something easy, playful and memorable. To this day, parents come and tell me their son & daughter, beg them to go to the Purple Monkey Playroom!
Can people come here anytime?
It’s a drop-in playroom with a fee (no time limit), so they can stay as long as they like. Most kids stay for an hour or two and go home for a nap. We definitely still have some kids that are no longer napping and this is the plan for their day- they get here when we open and stay until we close. If spending a significant time here, it’s more than okay to pack a lunch or have snacks on hand.
Can you tell me more about your party packages at the Purple Monkey Playroom?
Parties are definitely my specialty. My background is in marketing and, as a fundraiser, I also gained a lot of experience in event planning. It’s something I really love to do. The party packages I’ve developed are unique in terms of what’s available at other venues. We cater to children between the ages of 1 and 5. Our basic package includes 2 hours of time, invitations, a staff assistant, open play plus a half hour for set-up. As we try to have options for everyone, there are several other packages that include upgradeable services. It all depends on what you’re looking for. Some people prefer just a space rental and others want or need everything planned out. Planning a party is a time commitment and it’s something we truly enjoy doing here.
How far in advance do you recommend clients book their party?
We recommend booking a party as soon as our clients are set on their date and have decided Purple Monkey is the right venue. Right now we already have bookings through May. Eight weeks in advance is the recommended minimum amount of time.
Are parents able to just drop their kids off here and leave for a bit?
With the parties, yes! However with that said, because our parties are so adult friendly, most parents end up staying. We have two tables designated for the adults to sit and relax while the kids are playing. For the drop-in playtime, parents do have to stay here but again, we have the space designed to give them time to relax and watch their children playing in front of them. And should mention too, we offer complimentary coffee, tea and wifi.
What are some other nice perks with your space?
Actually, not so surprisingly a lot of friendships are formed here. With clients regularly stopping in a few times a week it’s quite easy to get to know people quickly. I personally have some very close friends from here. The space is set up to welcome spontaneous comfortable conversations for both parents and kids. Before my manager, Leah, worked here she used to visit regularly with her son. While her son played, I got her know her pretty well. At the time she applied, I already knew I would hire her. Also, it’s a great space for organized play-dates and established groups with moms and dads. During the colder weather months, the space is regularly used for these purposes.
I noticed you have an area dedicated to retail, is that right?
Yes, we have an area by the front desk devoted to retail, in which 90% are products made by local moms. I try to stay true to the spirit of, “Shop local, keep it local.”
*As a warm welcome from Jessica, mention Gooch Too Photo and either receive $5 off per family for your first drop-in play or book a birthday party and receive free coffee, tea, and use of the bubble machine! Thanks Jessica!!
Owner: Jessica Roubitcheck
Business: Purple Monkey Playroom
Address: 2040 N. Western Ave. Chicago, IL