RUN, don't walk to The Urban Chalkboard

It's a buzz we've heard for weeks {scratch that, MONTHS} on our CityMoms message boards:
"WHEN IS THE URBAN CHALKBOARD OPENING?"
And if you've never heard of The Urban Chalkboard, missed the buzz yourself from your friends or completely overlooked the teaser sign on Carmel Drive just west of Keystone, let us be the ones to tell you:

THIS IS OFFICIALLY YOUR NEW FAVORITE STOP. 
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theCityMoms received the ultimate honor of visiting The Urban Chalkboard last week to help 'test drive' their facility and provide feedback on improvements before the official public opening. And we're thrilled to share these sneak preview photos with you! 

So how do we describe it? Well, let's see: It's a cafe packed to the gills with healthy goodies.
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Wait no, that's not the selling point. They have staff members with more energy than a roomful of kindergarteners.
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Wait, that's not it either. Let me try again:

The Urban Chalkboard is a new, learning-based play cafe located in Carmel. What may appear at first glance as a modernly-outfitted spot for coffee, mom chat and kiddo play is much more. {Although the Orla Kiely-bedecked wallpaper is enough to make you go home and rethink your own home decor.} 

Each nook and cranny of the space has been strategically planned out by owners Tonya Bergeson-Dana and Jessica Beer. With 2 PhDs in child development under their belts, they claim kids will be having so much fun that they 'won't notice they're learning and developing important cognitive, emotional, social and motor skills!'
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What will kids find to do? Tons like:
  • A kitchen area for imaginative play
  • Large table for arts and crafts
  • A miniature house to climb in and out of or commandeer as their own 
  • Train tracks to build
  • Blocks to architect
  • An infant-focused playscape 

 

 

 

 


Then there are teepees, tents, chalkboard areas for budding artists and sticky walls for fun puzzle play like what Thomas, Grant and Hunter enjoyed below:
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A grand and windowed studio space lines the play cafe and provides a perfect spot for TUC's weekly classes. Our crew was treated to a special kids yoga program with instructor Victoria, a performer with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra who incorporates music into her practice. Classes will be available at an extra cost.

For right now yoga is the solo class offered, but keep checking their website as new ones become available.
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Drop-in crafts are available daily, as is a kids book club which meets under the large tree in the Library corner. TUC is blessed to have local educator and actor Craig on staff, who treated our CityKids to a fun story during our visit. All daily programs are published on the large chalkboard wall you see pictured below. 
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And yes, there are table and chair sets lining the entire play area, perfect for moms to take a much-needed break OR observe their little ones at play. {Wi-fi is available for moms needing to knock out a little work!}
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Did I mention the staff? Let me do it again. The staff is amazing. Their willingness to jump in and guide kids at play was incredible AND made us want to take them home with us {Craig, consider yourself on alert!}. Don't call them babysitters: Their role is much more impactful and engaging while kids play. 
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In all, our statement above stands. This will be your new favorite stop. Just don't wait too long to visit or else you'll really be missing out. 

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MORE INFORMATIONThe Urban Chalkboard is located at 452 E. Carmel Dr, Carmel, 46032. Phone: 317.815.5711. Admission costs are $8/day for the first child, and $6/day for each additional child. Monthly memberships are also available but at the time of our visit, final pricing was still TBD. Members receive 10% off classes and cafe purchases. Visit www.theurbanchalkboard.com for more details and let them know theCityMoms sent you!  
Founding Member
A Michigan native and die-hard Wolverines fan, Jeanine is an Indy transplant. After time spent in the marketing business she is now living the dream with a fabulous job that allows her to spend time with her two adorable kids. In her free time Jeanine feeds a small Anthropologie addiction, strikes a pose like a true yogi and is the Digital Editor of Indy's Child Parenting Magazine. Follow Jeanine on Twitter @themomista.

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