During the recent May Day holiday, we brought the kids to Eat.Play.Love craft cafe at Aliwal Arts Centre for a play date with my niece and nephew. I had heard about the cafe from various blogs and FB updates (check out Zee’s post here!). Lovely pictures of the cafe’s interior, as well as the promise of crafting fun for the family made it a “must-check-it-out” venue on my list.
We arranged to meet at 5pm, as the cafe was closed for a private event held earlier that day. I had expected to have trouble finding parking lots on a public holiday, but was pleasantly surprised to find that there were ample parking spaces available (perhaps because we beat the dinner crowd). Parking was also free on Sundays and public holidays. 🙂
The cafe was bustling with activity when we arrived. There was a slight hiccup as they had not prepared a table for our group of six although my sis-in-law had made reservations. While they sorted out the seating, I took a look around the cafe.
What struck me first was the lovely decoration on the walls behind the counter where I stood, declaring the name of the cafe:
Lined along the counter were all sort of snacks I remembered from my childhood. There were even old-school toys available for purchase.
In front of the counter, tables made from recycled crates and secondhand wooden chairs were arranged to accommodate groups of friends, couples and families with young children. I loved the laid-back vibe about the place.
There were two craft areas, located at opposite ends of the cafe. I thought that was well-thought out, to prevent overcrowding at one station.
Soon, we were seated at a table near the one of the craft areas. We decided to get some food for the kids first, to get them in a happy mood.
The kitchen was closed from 3-6pm, but desserts and snacks were available. We ordered some milo tarts (3 for $2) and a Nutella banana waffle (I think it was $4.50?) for the kids. I didn’t get a chance to taste the tarts, but the waffle was lathered with chocolatey goodness (nutella and banana- Mmmmm!)
After the energy booster, we proceeded to the craft area. We paid $5 per child for 2 hours of unlimited use of the craft supplies, and it was definitely worth it! There were plenty of materials to choose from: markers, craft punches, paper, pipe-cleaners, pom-poms, buttons, felt, ribbons… the list goes on. Craft books were also available in case you ran out of ideas. I really liked that the supplies included recycled material like egg cartons and bottle caps.
For the older children and adults, there were also plushies and soft toys to be sewn and decorated, as well as shrinky dink crafts (shrink plastic was available for purchase). Really pretty samples were shown on display, but I forgot to take a close-up of them.
The difference in my two children was evident when we allowed them free rein at the craft supplies area. C was overwhelmed by the choices available, and was at a loss where to start. She was used to guided crafting. G on the other hand, was off to a running start, gathering all the available material, then asking for glue and scissors to “cut” and “paste”.
In the end, C settled down to do egg carton flowers upon my suggestion, while G was busy working on his own collage on a paper plate, occasionally helping himself to the craft material that C collected. It was nice to see the children working quietly side-by-side. Even better, I didn’t have to worry about clearing up the mess. 😉
We took a break for dinner after an hour of crafting. Dinner menu was reasonably priced (around $10-20), with choices from both Asian and Western cuisine. We ordered the tom-yam noodles, Mac n cheese, chicken chop for the adults, and pineapple rice for the kids. I think the tom-yam was nicely done, and the kids enjoyed the pineapple rice (especially the chicken winglets).
After dinner we did a little bit more craft work (beading and such), but all too soon, it was time to pack up and go, as the kids were getting tired and cranky. The kids left the cafe holding on tightly to their precious works of art.
I didn’t get a chance to try the shrink plastic crafts, nor adopt the super cute plush monsters this time round, but I’ll definitely be back again!
Eat.love.play craft cafe is the perfect place for families, couples and friends to meet, chat and do a little craft work. Lovely venue for a birthday party too. Highly recommended!
Are there any craft cafes in your area?
Eat.Play.Love craft cafe
28 Aliwal Street #01-07 Aliwal Arts Centre
Singapore, Singapore 199918
Phone: 6444 6400
Opening hours: 12 noon – 10pm (they are closed on Tuesdays)