When Nils and Lynn van Doorn had a son, they wanted the best baby gear for him. They couldn’t find what they needed, so they decided to import it. Eventually, they also realized the need for a high-quality family center with adjacent dining and playing areas, allowing adults to relax while their little ones kept busy.
Their latest project, the Pirate Bay restaurant, fulfills this need with a three-in-one shop, play center, and family dining spot. The center also hosts birthdays for kids aged 5 and under. Highlights include a pirate-themed soft play area, personalized activities, and catering from the restaurant. Past party themes include Mickey Mouse, dinosaurs, and fairies. For now, the restaurant mainly offers homemade pasta and pizza. Kids can make their own pizzas during the party using pre-kneaded dough, sauce, and toppings of their choice. Desserts and waffles are also available.
The price of birthday packages includes exclusive use of the restaurant, access to the play center, food and drinks (including pizza, pasta, French fries, salads, finger food, desserts, coffee, and juice). The menu can be tailored. Alcoholic beverages can be bought for an extra fee. The minimum party size is ten children.
The center’s set-up encourages families to linger and mingle. There are clean toilets and diaper changing rooms with child-sized facilities and fun colors, as well as extensive storage for families with lots of baby and toddler gear. The restaurant is spacious, with booths and tables suited to big groups.
It is no surprise, then, that play groups have sprung up at baby international. The inclusion of drinks for grownups – such as beer and wine – have made Nils popular among the European dads in particular. Though the name “baby international” initially denoted the brand’s imported baby merchandise, the van Doorns are increasingly proud of the fact that it has come to represent the mix of families who come together to play.
baby international 国际宝贝
Mon-Fri: RMB 199 per adult, RMB 168 per child for up to four hours. Sat-Sun: RMB 299 per adult, RMB 268 per child. 2 Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing (8450 1189) www.baby-international.com 朝阳区将台路2号
Optional: Themed birthday cake (RMB 600 for 8” or RMB 780 for 10”), treasure hunt at the play center (RMB 50 per child), pizza-making (RMB 69 per child, 50 percent discount for birthday parties only), additional services like face painting, balloon artists, clowns, magicians, arts and crafts, and games (RMB 900-3,680 depending on theme and content)
Photos: Courtesy of Baby International
This article originally appeared on p21 of the beijingkids March 2014 issue.
Check out the PDF version online at Issuu.com