Moomah of New York

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In May 2009 we reviewed London’s Purple Dragon, a place that redefined ‘play centres’. Welcome to Moomah, New York’s arty-café that will change the way you look at the box of toys left in the corner of your local café to entertain the kids while you down a latte.

Moomah is described as a ‘creative arts café’ but is also a ‘playscape’, a living classroom, an art oasis, a hideaway, a neighbourhood meeting spot and an exhibition space. It was created by Tracey Stewart to give parents and children an opportunity to slow down.

Stewart designed the space to be inviting and to nurture creative stimulation as opposed to over-stimulation; hence the colour scheme was inspired by nature (no in-your-face primary colours). These themes are carried through every aspect of Moomah’s set-up from the organic and fair-trade café offerings to the toys and craft kits, all informed by the palette of patterns, forms, hues and elements found in nature.

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There’s attention to detail in every aspect of Moomah’s homely but very stylish set-up. From a café menu that includes a ‘Tryers’ section (in other words, add a side of green peas or purple cabbage) to the exquisitely mismatched furniture.

The schedule of classes and activities available is impressive: from Moomah’s signature ‘Gloga’ classes (glow-in-the-dark yoga, described as Hayden Planetarium meets Mahatma Gandhi) to high tea with Moomah’s own superhero, SuperTryer. The emphasis is on parents and children sharing activities so Moomah have put together a bunch of ‘DIT’ kits and classes (Do-It-Together). Check out the lovely little ‘Create a Shadowbox’ tutorial below.

Moomah also houses art exhibitions. Currently on display is the Funky Forest installation – a state-of-the-art wild and living ecosystem where children manage the natural resources.

If any Babyology readers are stopping by New York, we’d love a first-hand report of Moomah!

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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