A Groundbreaking Play Cafe For York

by Dinosaurs Love Fairy Cakes in York, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 18th December 2019 we successfully raised £21,930 with 331 supporters in 47 days

We need to raise funds to create the play area for our cafe, working with Tigerplay who create incredible playscapes across the globe.

by Dinosaurs Love Fairy Cakes in York, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

This extra funding will help make our event space more than a basic white box in our basement - it also currently is only accessible via stairs and we'd like to make it a fully accessible area for everyone - so the money will help do this too.

We want this space to be a place for baby showers, birthday parties, pre-natal classes, kids theatre, family lead community groups and much much more. There are hardly any event spaces in York city centre, and even fewer which are inspiring to be in. This will be a brilliant part of what we offer to York.

Ever been to a cafe in a busy city centre with a small child? 

You've managed to get through the door with said child, parenting paraphenalia and shopping.  You place your order, sit down and then inevitably your small child, wakes up / breaks something / starts running around / starts screaming / doesn't want to eat what you've paid for / wants to eat what you've got for yourself instead*.

Your well earned tea break suddenly got very stressful. And that's the end of the shopping trip (probably). No one wins.

Imagine taking that break instead, in a well designed and aesthetically joyful space, where your child can play, and you get chance to recharge with a decent brew and a sit down knowing they're safe and happy - and that everyone in that cafe is in the same boat as you.

Dinosaurs Love Fairy Cakes will be a roarsome play cafe with built in event space in York city centre. It will be somewhere both children AND their adults actively enjoy visiting. 

It’s an idea driven by two local mums: Amy and Zoe; who are determined to make parenting less lonely and make playtime more interesting for everyone.

* delete as appropriate.

Dinosaurs Love Fairy Cakes is a groundbreaking play cafe with built in event space.

You know that moment in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory where they all go into the chocolate river room?

This is our inspiration for the reaction we want to get when children see our dinosaur themed playscape for the first time. We want it to set their imaginations on fire!

We also want the space to be a haven for their adult carers who, with a fair wind and a lot of luck will be able to enjoy their drink while it's still hot :-) 

We both have children under five and know how valuable this is!

After much searching, we've found a brilliant premises in York city centre that we're in the process of securing - we'll post updates on this during the course of this campaign.

The money raised from this Crowdfunder project will be used to pay for an incredible play area, designed and built by the specialist team over at Tigerplay whom we believe are the right people to deliver our version of pure imagination.

We've already had some mock ups done of what this could look like:

An improvement on LOCATION

This will be the ONLY dedicated indoor play cafe accessible to people in York city centre without a car. This is crucial in an area where the weather isn’t reliable and there are more outdoor activities than indoor ones. Many of the cafes within the city centre are not well equipped to deal with parents with small children. Every inch of our play cafe will be designed to be practical for the modern parent.

An improvement in LUXURY

As parents, some of us have come to dread going to soft play centres. We are creating a space with both children and adults enjoyment in mind. This means a well designed and aesthetically joyful space with a menu to match. Additionally we would be able to deliver a fantastic quality and stress free birthday party experience in our event space.

An improvement in LOVE

Being a parent can be lonely, boring and stressful, there is very little being done to address this outside of us as individuals being confident enough to reach out for new friends and support. There will be a major focus on bringing people together to help each other within our space to form new friendships.

But who are WE?

We are Amy Shannon and Zoe Paterson. We met when a mutual friend set us up on a blind date after we moved to York from London with our respective husbands and were feeling a bit lost and without a tribe to hang out with.

We became great friends, and after much discussion, started Dinosaurs Love Fairy Cakes in summer 2018. We've been running regular stay and play events in York since then to prove we can work together and do this, and to get a real understanding of people's needs. We know we are our own target market, but our gut instincts on what to provide has been informed by the local families whom we've met in the last 18 months.

^This is Amy Shannon ^

Amy is a EYFS teacher with two children and has had experience in management within retail. She is passionate about offering different types of play for children to really engage with and is constantly researching this subject like a proper play nerd.

She has two children of her own, one of whom has severe food allergies. A key element of all of our events to date is offering an inclusive menu and being attentive to dietary requirements, in part because Amy's had to deal with the restrictions you're inevitably faced with when your child has allergies.

Amy is passionate about building a unique, fun, creative, safe and welcoming space where children and their families have the chance to have quality time together, eat great food and make new friends. She has had many a day when she would have loved a space like this to visit with her own family.

^ This is Zoe Paterson ^

Zoe's background is in media and event management. She spent a decade working at the coal face of the BBC's national music radio networks before changing direction and running her own successful events business and programming events for prestigious members club Soho House. 

Zoe has lived in York with her family for five years and she currently programmes and manages events at Spark: York.

Zoe wants to enrich people’s everyday lives with joyful experiences, regardless of their age. She is certain that Dinosaurs Love Fairy Cakes will do this for the families in York.

She is also a keen home baker and very interested in creating a menu that walks the line between being appealing to kids and not being entirely beige / orange.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£75 or more

31 of 200 claimed

Custom Travel Mug with bottomless tea and coffee!

We've worked with Frank Green to create a custom designed reusable cup. Every time you bring this cup into our play cafe you can use it for unlimited cups of tea and americano coffee. The cup itself is gorgeous - ceramic lined so your drink tastes great and stainless steel so it stays hot. It'll be an indispensable addition to your bag every day regardless of whether you're coming to see us.

£15 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Confidence Workshop

Local confidence consultant, Stef Bricklebank will be giving a workshop aimed at new mums who need to re-awaken their va va voom after the life change of childbirth and motherhood. This will be held in our event space once we open. For more info on Stef and what she does, head to www.stefbricklebank.com

£20 or more

23 of 200 claimed

DLFC Socks

A pair of customised knitted socks - 80% Combed Cotton, 18% Nylon and 2% Spandex, featuring our dino mascot 'Stumpy'. These are available in two different adult sizes. A perfect stocking filler!

£25 or more

11 of 100 claimed

Socks plus Adult Entry

A pair of DLFC socks - check the design in the project updates. Plus one £5 adult entry to the cafe which is redeemable against food and drink with us.

£35 or more

99 of 100 claimed

Afternoon Tea For 2 at Dinosaurs Love Fairy Cakes

A voucher for afternoon tea for two people at our play cafe when it opens. We love afternoon tea (Zoe used to run a business celebrating it) so we'll make sure the scones are up to scratch!

£156 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Expectant Parent Gift

We'll continue to run our weekly Babes In Arms Club sessions in our event space when we open. These are for parents with babies under one. They're a chance to hang out with other great people who are in the same boat as you. This reward would be for 26 sessions (six months worth) which can be taken non-consecutively so you get your monies worth. It's a gift of friendship with tea, coffee and treats every week in that first year of parenthood.

£750 or more

0 of 10 claimed

A Company Away Day with 100% more JOY

Finding an inspiring venue in York to help your team be creative is tough. This reward would be for exclusive full days use of our event space - we think this would be comfortable for about 20 people to do team building exercises or have an away day. It would include morning and afternoon break refreshments and a buffet lunch. Plus a 90 minute exclusive play session for employee or client families when you're done talking shop for the day.

£5 or more

100 of 100 claimed

1 Pre Paid Adult Entry Into The Play Cafe

We're charging every adult through our doors a fiver. But before you kick off about that... this £5 is redeemable against cafe purchases, so it's basically down-payment on that coffee and cake you were going to have anyway. Pledge a fiver to help us open and get your adult entry pre paid for your first visit.

£200 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Birthday party for 16 children

Book your child's birthday party in our play cafe when we open. Plus get the warm glow of supporting a local start up business. We're working out the exact terms and conditions for this one but you can expect: - 2 hours exclusive use of our event space - Invitations, Decorations, Party Favours - Cold buffet for children - Non exclusive use of our play area Redeemable from the moment we open our doors for business

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