Ardmore resident Vivi Zayas has two babies named Lulu. The first is her bright-eyed one-and-a-half year old; the second is her business, Lulu’s Casita, a popular indoor play space on the Main Line. For the latter, Vivi does everything from minding the desk to planning events to cleaning bathrooms. “I went from being a full-time nanny to a clueless business owner in a matter of weekend,” she says. “I really love what I do and I’m happy to be a slave to my business.” It also makes sense that Lulu’s Casita has a Spanish theme (think Spanish story times and events), because Vivi is originally from Paraguay. Now she calls the Main Line home, and here are her favorite spots.
Favorite local playground or park: When Lulu was a crawler, we really enjoyed Freedom Park because of the rubber flooring. Now that I officially have a very active toddler, I’m looking forward to taking her to Narberth Park. I know she will love the sand and I personally love all the shade. Plus, the library is right there and it has nice, clean bathrooms. It was my go to during my nannying years.
Kid’s haircut: If she’s anything like me, little Ms. Lulu won’t be needing a haircut until she’s four!
Favorite kid-friendly restaurant: We love going to Maido — Lulu loves the noodles, ginormous stuffed animals and Hello Kitty. After we eat, we walk around the Japanese market, where there are kiddie-size baskets which my daughter proceeds to fill up with Pocky Sticks. The Ardmore Farmers Market is also great for little ones with lots of yummy options. We also enjoy Frankford Hall. We usually go for lunch — they have Jenga blocks which Lulu can entertained herself with for hours.
Favorite family outing: Music festivals. We invested in very good noise cancellation headphones and pretty much take her anywhere. We love going to beer gardens and dog parks during the warmer months. Lulu loves dogs!
Kids’ class: We really enjoy going to The Creative Clubhouse in Havertown for music class. It’s so low-key, casual and fun. We have met great friends there!
Date night spot: Now that we are new parents our date night looks more like Making a Murderer on Netflix and takeout. But when we do go out, we love trying new restaurants in Philly.
Rainy day go-to: Lulu’s Casita. Ha! But seriously, Lulu loves coming to work with me on Wednesdays, when we offer a bilingual story time and music circle. The teacher that runs it is absolutely amazing and she has the kids and parents dancing to merengue/salsa often! We do also enjoy going to the Please Touch Museum and our local library.
Favorite toy in your house right now: Lulu got a Frosty the Snowman that plays music and dances for Christmas, which she absolutely loves. But it’s torture for us!
Item you can’t live without: My cellphone. It gives me the ability to work from anywhere.
Baby gear: I love my Ergo and Tula. I learned to nurse in the Tula and it was life-changing. I also love our Pura bottle. As the baby grows, the bottle nipples can be swapped out for sippy spouts. It’s stainless steel, easy to clean, and it doesn’t leak.
Dad/child activity: They both love the water and swimming. That’s their thing.
Favorite website: I’m obsessed with a local Facebook child yard sale group called Thrifty Kids Main Line [Ed. Note: This is a private group]. I get lots of toys and basic things for Lulu there. I also really enjoy following The Mom Edit, a local mama blogger.
Exercise class: I really love Born to Burpee, a mom fitness program where you can bring kids. The kids play and the mamas workout. Win-win! Being a BTB mom gives me the option to also workout at Focus Fitness Main Line. I love that I have the option of working out with my LO or enjoying a solo yoga or spin class.
Favorite kids/toy store: Our go-to for any occasion is pucciManuli in Ardmore. Seriously, this gift shop is absolutely amazing. We always find the most unique, handmade and top quality gifts. They beautifully wrap the present for you, too. Each time we walk in there little Ms. Lulu walks out with a new friend (stuffed animal) or adds something into her wish list, which, by the way, is quite extensive!
The most rewarding part of being a parent in Ardmore is … love that we have the suburban life but with a city vibe to it — we get the best of both worlds. Not to mention being so close to Philly is huge!