There are few places in the city that cater to the entire family, which is why from a parent’s perspective, The Lane Social Club is a welcome addition. Tailor-made for families, this Ivy City locale combines entertainment and engagement for kids with a bar offering coffee, wine and beer for adults and plenty of relaxation space for everyone.
The 7,880-square-foot social club, which opened in early February, is the brainchild of Molly Nizhnikov and Rachel Lubin. The two women, both mothers, were looking to create a space with universal appeal for all members of the family.
“Leisure time should be something that happens for the whole family at the same time in a space that works for everyone,” Nizhnikov explains. “This is a concept where the U.S. is far behind. It’s much more common abroad – not just space that works for the adults but where parents and kids all have fun together.”
That’s exactly what The Lane does. For the kids, there’s a climbing wall, enormous ball pit, reading nook, infant area, two-story slide and net bridge. Adults can keep an eye on their children while enjoying fare and libations from the café and bar supplied by local food and drink purveyors.
But it’s even more than that. It can be very challenging to socialize as a parent, and both Nizhnikov and Lubin say that was another driving factor behind opening The Lane.
“As people [move to more] urban [areas], traditional networks of family and friends may not always be available,” Nizhnikov adds.
At The Lane, they hope parents can strike up conversations and meet others who may be in a similar phase of life. This is especially ideal for new parents and families who’ve recently moved to the city.
Other activities include story time, workout sessions and Parents’ Night Out, where kids can be dropped off for a few hours of creative, playful entertainment and food while parents head out for a stress-free night.
Although the space is industrial, the design itself has carefully thought-out features that make it safe, practical, functional and pleasing to the eye. Every aspect of the social club has been created with the entire family in mind – its nightly cleaning, timed entries for capacity management, a nursing room for mothers and rubber mat flooring to help prevent any injuries when kids fall, just to name a few.
While it’s been more than a year-and-a-half in the making, both Nizhnikov and Lubin say, “It’s been an amazing start to see parents and kids with smiles on their faces.”
Memberships start at $95 per month for two parents, two children and a caregiver. Non-members can drop in for $20 per two-hour session.
The Lane Social Club: 1408 Okie St. NE, DC; 202-656-1105; www.thelanesocialclub.com