Interview with Jacksonville Moms Blog - Getting to know Bay & Bee.

Get to Know Bay & Bee – A New, Local Play Space


Bay & Bee is a locally-owned small business, inspired by Montessori and Waldorf educational principles to create a stimulating eco-friendly play environment. Their unique play space nourishes community and focuses on child led play.
Monthly membership at Bay & Bee allows for unlimited and flexible play, so that you can stop by as your schedule allows to experience open play, classes and workshops. I’ve been a member since they opened back in March.
The first thing you notice when you walk in is the calming decor, soft blue walls and cork flooring. The first thing the kids notice is the CedarWorks play area in the center of the space. My four-year-old especially loves the highest point of this structure where he can get a good view of all the natural, wooden toys available for play. He also loves the train table and dress-up area.
Bay & Bee
Photo Credit: Monika Colichio Photography

My two-year-old is just as in love with the CedarWorks play area, but has the most fun at Story Time and Mommy & Me Yoga.

Bay & Bee

I sat down with Monica, co-owner of Bay & Bee to learn more about her vision and why she decided to open an indoor play space.

What inspired this?

When my now four-year-old was just a few months old, I really wanted to go do something with him and meet other moms. I tried the typical infant activities and kept thinking about how I would improve them to meet my needs.

What kind of changes did you want to make?

The biggest thing was that I wanted some place that I could go whenever my schedule allowed. Or more realistically when my son’s schedule allowed. I have never been big on waking him up mid nap to go somewhere, and when they are that little, naps are all over the place.

I also wanted some place impeccably clean, especially during the crawling phase when they are so low to the ground and putting things into their mouth is a major part of exploring their environment.

Bay & Bee

Photo Credit: Monika Colichio Photography

My educational background is a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, so I think about colors effecting mood a lot. I just needed a place for children that was designed for adult comfort that stayed away from loud colors and characters.

And then I just wanted to meet other moms. Mom dating is hard! The activities I tried didn’t really lend themselves to meeting and making friends. I wish I had known about Jax Moms Blog back then.

You talk about Montessori and Waldorf educational influences, how did that come about?

Everything in the last 5 years revolves around my four-year-old. When he was 18-months-old we enrolled him in Montessori Tides School. I was blown away that the classroom environment was so peaceful. Even with 18+ children in a room, all of them behaved respectfully and calm. They were playing and learning so much. The classroom set up, activities available, the way the teachers spoke all created this amazing loving space.
They didn’t need plastic or battery operated toys, loud noises, bold graphics. An array of well-arranged fine motor skill activities in a peaceful setting and their behavior responded accordingly.

This is where I was introduced to the benefits of child led play and a yes environment that play a big role in Bay & Bee.

Zuzia, my amazing business partner’s daughter goes to Seaside Community Charter School. The program there is amazing as well. We tapped into her experience with those ideas of creative play and attention to detail.

Bay & Bee

Photo Credit: Monika Colichio Photography

Can you tell me more about child-led play?

Yes! How much spare time do you have? Maybe I can do a full blog post about this for you guys someday. Basically child-led play is allowing your child to make choices, what they want to play with and for how long. One of the benefits of Bay & Bee is that you can stay for however long you and your child are interested; we’ve had families stay for four hours because their children were so engaged!

Studies show that child-led play plays a crucial role in social and emotional confidence with long-term benefits.

We’ve made Bay & Bee a yes environment, which means that everything is safe, everything is in eyesight and available to play with. When you present an environment like that it reduces anxiety and stress in parents and children. You’ll feel confident; your kids will feel confident.

I wanted to create a calm play space that reflected Hunter’s classroom setting.

Bay & Bee

Photo Credit: Monika Colichio Photography

What kind of activities do you have in the play space?

We have 30+ fine motor skill toys arranged on the shelves, I love to buy toys, so I will rotate work in and out so there is generally something new to find every time you come.

In the center of the room we have a CedarWorks play set that was designed for this space.

A fantastic, locally made by Beachtown Woodshop, 26ft long train table, which currently features dinosaurs.

A Tegu wall! My favorite! They are magnetic wooden blocks that you can build on and off of the wall. I love this because my four-year-old and one-year-old both enjoy it and the company is fantastic.

Dress up area, we stayed away from characters and just have occupations and animals.

Farmer’s Market that is a source of fantastic food serving and tea parties.

Arts & Crafts table and wall.

Books! We have books. And many objects for infants to grasp and hang out on.

Bay & Bee

How does Bay & Bee work?

Everyone’s first visit is complimentary; you need to see if what we are doing is a good fit for your family. You can come play anytime, join a class or do both for your trial day.

Once you are a member you can come and go as you please. It’s pretty simple. We send out a newsletter, post our schedule on the website and facebook and you can pick the activities that appeal to you. There is no limit on how much you can come.

Why did you decide to require membership versus drop-in?

We get a ton of questions about this. There was a lot of consideration put into this but basically it boils down to the core values. We want to build a community and a membership lends itself to that.

We see it working and I get sappy! Parents and grandparents talking, exchanging numbers, meeting up, getting to know each other. Kids recognizing each other and making social connections. It’s fantastic.

A membership also keeps this place open and functioning. It guarantees that I can buy new activities and keep things as clean as possible.

It also lets us get to know our core crowd and tailor workshops to them. We LOVE getting to know you and your needs. One of the things Zuzia and I enjoy the most is finding the right people to teach classes and workshops that people ask for.

Bay & Bee

Photo Credit: Monika Colichio Photography

What age ranges do you cater to?

We are focused on the 0-5 demographic. Everything in the space is built to their height and accessibility from the train table height, farmers market, to the CedarWorks play structure.

The main membership is tied to the child under five years old, older siblings are welcome as long as they understand that the space is for the younger kids.
I noticed you have some after hours classes, can you tell me more?

Absolutely. We are open 9-4pm during the week and 9-1 on the weekends. During that time everything is included in your membership.

During the week we have partnered up with some local businesses to host their classes. Jax Prenatal Yoga taught by Michelle Bauer. She makes me want to get pregnant again just to take her class!

4th Trimester Fitness by Emily Wannenberg, she focuses on post partum recovery.

Jax Music Together moved here as well. It’s an amazing music program focused on developing communication skills.

Om with Mom yoga, which is a mommy and me yoga class taught by Jenna Orr. She is fantastic!!!!  Highly recommend this drop in class.

And finally hypno birthing through Doulananda.

We have a lot going on.


Bay & Bee

Photo Credit: Monika Colichio Photography

Is there anything else you’d like people to know?

Sure! We host birthday parties on the weekends after hours. There is a 1:30-3 time slot and 4-5:30 on Saturdays and Sundays for private use. The birthday parties here have been amazing. They are custom tailored to each child’s theme and enjoyable for parents. I think it is the perfect party venue.

We also have a small shop up front. Super handy to stop in and get a baby shower gift or something for yourself. The products we carry are a mix of retailers that Zuzia and I have been using forever and local handmade stuff from work at home moms. Some of our favorite big brands are Lifefactory, Tula, Swaddle Designs, Naty Baby and local; Gingerbaby Designs, The Littlest Learners, and Olive Street. We love cute, eco friendly and useful.

Thank you so much to Monica for getting a lot of our readers questions answered! Bay & Bee is an amazing space and JMB is so happy to be a part of their journey. Be sure to check them out on Facebook to get the scoop on all the amazing events they have going on throughout the month!

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Welcome to Summer Party!

Summer is here for Jacksonville!

Since winning best party spot for kids in Jacksonville, we've been wanting to figure out how to throw a party for people who haven't been to a party at Bay & Bee.

We've got it!

Let's Celebrate Summer together!

We are inviting Members and Non Members to join us at Bay & Bee Jax on Sunday May 27th to celebrate!

Arrive anytime between 2pm and 3pm to enjoy

live music, bubbles, open play, light snacks & enter into our Summer Raffle!

2pm Welcome Play, Snacks & Bubbles!
3pm Ashton will draw our Raffle Winner ($60 Summer Fun Basket, filled with Think Baby sunscreen, RoShamBO shades, HABA sand toys and more.)
3-4pm LIVE MUSIC with Ashton Taylor
4pm Bubbles and Snacks Continue
5pm Goodbyes and parting coupons.

Ready to Party? Heck Yea!!!

Get your tickets Below!

Mother's Day 2018

We have 2 special offers
for Mother's Day!


Buy a 10 day pass pack and get 2 FREE day passes!

Be sure to enter code
MOTHERSDAY18 in comments at checkout to redeem offer HERE

Enjoy 35% off our unlimited annual membership!
(save $410!)
Click HERE for more information


Valid between May 1st and May 31st, 2018!
Offer ONLY AVAILABLE with code at time of purchase.

Silhouette Artist!

Silhouette Artist Keith Donaldson returns to Bay & Bee Jax on March 25th!
Book your appointment now for heirloom quality silhouettes! (and it's so much fun!)

All you need is to sit for 3 minutes. Wiggly little people welcome!

Motherhood Support Meeting- For All New Moms Adjusting to the New Role

Parenthood is just amazing, so perfect and fulfilling! Or so they say, until you have a baby yourself. Not that glamorous at times. Feelings of loneliness, uncertainty, fear, self doubt, anxiety might start rolling in every now and then. Or all the time. It's normal. In fact, it is estimated, that 40% of all new moms go through postpartum anxiety and around 10% postpartum depression. You are not alone! 

Together with various pre and postnatal experts we would like to welcome pregnant and new moms, as well as mothers of young children who are finding the challenges of pregnancy and/or motherhood to be different than expected. Join us to create a supportive connection between other mothers. Babies and young children are welcome to attend. 

Those monthly meetings are free to public, do not require membership. Just bring socks for yourself (we are a shoe-free facility).

If you know anyone who's struggling with postpartum feelings, please invite them to the meeting! It's an informal gathering, following our new moms playdate at 2pm.

Motherhood Support Meeting is led by Ida Brown at our Atlantic Blvd location-  a Northeast Florida native with a passion for supporting new mothers. Ida comes from a mental health background and has training through Postpartum Support International. As a mother of a toddler, Ida knows how the isolation and exhaustion of motherhood can dampen those magical moments that we all crave. With years of experience facilitating groups, Ida is excited to offer mothers a safe place to share the silly, the successful, and the serious or to simply connect with other moms.

Bartram Springs Bay & Bee has Hiroko Hsieh leading the meetings. Hiroko is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and mom to 2 young children and lives in Julington Creek area.

Happy Birthday to US!


4 years of fun, community and laughter. 

From now until March 8th, 2018 Celebrate with us by joining with no registration fee!

Schedule your first free visit HERE, or if you are ready to sign up come on in anytime!


Non-Members book a party by March 8th for any date and get a 1 month silver (4 visits) membership gift certificate!

Members book a party by March 8th for any date and get $48 store credit!

*LIMITED TIME ONLY* 10 Visit Day Pass

We love feedback: the wonderful and the constructive criticism on how we can make the space better and more available to people.

We have had many requests for a 10 day pass pack, after a lot of work, we are thrilled to announce the 10 Visit Day Pass.  We are testing this program out for a limited time and while supplies last.

December 11th- December 31st.

The 10 pack  $150 + tax. for 1 child.
Additional Children $45 + tax
Infant under 7 months with paid sibling - Free


Every new family is required to pay a one time registration fee. (If you have already paid it, then no need to pay again)


The registration fee is a one time fee.
This sets you up as a member in our system.
With that you can
-switch between all the memberships levels
-put the account on hold (for month to month members only)
-cancel and come back anytime per your contract terms.

The 10 day pack can be used anytime within the year FROM DATE OF PURCHASE. (this is different than buying a month to month membership online and activating it the first time you come in)
 12 months to use it from date of purchase.

Unused sessions are forfeited.
- Yes, you can go and come back the same day.
-Valid for open play, classes and events.

We are not able to offer our infant discount for 1st child under 7 months or military discount on the pass pack.


Why can't we do a 1 day drop in or less than 10 days?

Bay & Bee is founded on the Montessori Method which relies on repeated actions. We believe when you make something routine (like coming to Bay & Bee) it enhances and encourages confidence and independence from the child. It also helps foster a community.

The value of our program is rooted in repetition, exploration, and engagement in the community.

We offer a quality program and in return ask for a little bit of commitment.



TO PURCHASE A 10 DAY PASS - CLICK HERE or visit us in store!