There’s a new play space in town, and you’re going to want to sign up! The Wonder opened up its first location in TriBeCa, the Mecca of family life. This is a space for both kids and adults to congregate, truly bringing the outdoors in! There is a lot of open play space, filled with themed wooden toys, a cozy book corner, and room for arts and crafts. Unlike other play spaces, this one is also geared towards adults looking to sit and work or grab a bite in the cafe. There is a private room carved out as a workspace, as well as a soothing nursery to bring babies while the kids run around. I’ve never seen a more well-thought out environment for children and their parents in NYC. Founders and parents, Noria and Sarah, made this space a members only club you will want to be a part of, and it’s constantly evolving with the seasons to feel fresh and new.
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
About 7 days, haha.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
Sarah came up with the idea while sitting in a baby class with her first son Henry. She wondered why classes hadn’t evolved to be more interesting to parents, why these kids spaces never considered the parents' needs (like coffee or a place to sit). She approached me (Noria), by then a mom of two young boys, and we started working on this together. We dreamed of a Space where parents and kids could hang together with friends, where we could play, eat, drink, and get a little work done on the side. Thus The Wonder was born.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
Our attention to design, experience, and hospitality. We pulled from our years working in fashion and design to create an experience that didn’t exist in the kids’ space. You can literally watch as parents realize they can relax in our space, and it’s like a magical transformation.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
Our creativity overfloweth! We have an amazing team of dreamers and storytellers. We’re constantly thinking about the things we can do to bring a little everyday joy to our member families. We got hundreds of ideas for events and experiences that we want to do with the kids.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
We thought of every pain point in a parent’s life with kids, and tried to solve it through the design of the space and the experience. Then we trained our staff to be warm, welcoming, and super engaging. It’s sort of like the easiest thing to do: make people feel welcome.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Getting to know our members, hands down. They are amazing, and it’s so fun to feel a community growing.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
I love Café Sabarsky on the UES for when I want to feel like I’ve left New York and landed in Europe.
How do you benefit mamas?
We make quality time easier, we make parenthood easier. We really designed The Wonder for parents, and it’s so great to see them relax, knowing their kids have a blast, and they are getting to hang with friends. Happy parents make for happy kids make for happy families. It’s simple.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field.
We really admire Audrey and Lauren from The Wing, for creating such an incredible community for women. It helped us believe we could do the same for parents.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
Sarah and I believe in radical candor, but it only works because we assume best intent from one another. It allows us to be honest and vulnerable with each other, and it helps us navigate difficult problems as one team.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Waking up early (early Sundays are my favorite time to get real work done), and effective delegation of tasks (which we are both still working on).