By the time Helen Aris started TreeHouse Family Cafe and Playground with friend and business partner Tatiana Shadymova around five months ago, she was a certified teacher with over 10 years of early childhood education experience. TreeHouse has a wide array of multilingual classes (English, German, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese), educational programs, and playgroups.
However, one of the center’s highlights are its comprehensive and personalized birthday parties. For RMB 1,000 (with a maximum of 10 people, including adults), Aris and Shadymova can tailor decorations, costumes, food, invitations, and more to a specific theme.
“We had a Barbie birthday party with pasta necklaces, wigs, dresses, and nail polish,” says Aris. “The little girls even went on a catwalk and struck poses.” TreeHouse tries to keep groups small for the optimal birthday experience, so it costs an extra RMB 100 per additional person. The venue’s facilities are rounded out by free Wi-Fi and a cafe that serves organic, kid-friendly, and gluten-free fare (try the octopus spaghetti for RMB 20).
Be sure to come by during the week for regular classes (RMB 100), free play (RMB 30), and a drop-off service (RMB 80, three hours maximum, for ages 0-9). In addition, TreeHouse accepts donations on behalf of New Life Centre and Little Flower Projects.
Tue-Sun 10am-8pm. Rm B1-115, B1/F, Sanlitun SOHO, Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District (8590 0746, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.treehousebj.com 家庭咖啡厅和游乐场，朝阳区工体北路三里屯SOHO地下1层B1-115
This article originally appeared on p19 of the beijingkids January/February 2013 issue. View it in PDF form here or contact email@example.com to find out where you can pick up your free copy.
Update: TreeHouse is now closed.