Children have a new place to bring their imaginations to life in a 3,000-square-foot play center called Eddie and Bella’s Playhouse in Northfield. There is a life-size doll village, gaming room and Lego car racing.
Children bring their 18-inch doll, or borrow one from Eddie and Bella’s, to play in the doll village, which includes a residential neighborhood, shopping area, disco, fashion show catwalk, horse stables and island resort. The game zone includes a gaming room equipped with multiple flat screens and gaming consoles with the latest Xbox and Wii games. Children can also create Lego cars and race them on a ramp.
“We have almost all of the American Girl doll accessories, including some they don’t make anymore that I found on eBay,” said Penny Villacres, a Stapleton resident and co-owner of Eddie and Bella’s with her husband, Edward. The business opened June 6 on Main Street in the Shops at Northfield near Charming Charlie.
“Our daughter, Bella, loves American Girl dolls and she gets this beautiful catalog of accessories every month, but they are expensive,” said Villacres. “We realized that lots of kids have a passion for these dolls, so we got the idea it would be great to give them an entire village to play in. Parents won’t have to invest in accessories, and it’s an opportunity for the kids to come together.”
Eddie and Bella’s Playhouse, named after the couple’s children Bella, 10, and Eddie, 12, welcomes children ages 5 and up. It’s open Monday through Friday and Sunday for open play, and Saturday for doll-themed birthday parties. Children must be supervised by parents except for Saturday Kids Night Out, when parents can drop off the kids for pizza and playtime from 6 to 9pm.
Penny Villacres decided to start Eddie and Bella’s Playhouse after her husband, Edward, retired from the military. “He had been deployed overseas, so when he came home I decided to start this new business concept,” she said. “As far as I know, there’s nothing else like it, where children can come together to engage in creative, imaginative play.”
She hired a carpenter to build six village nooks mounted to the walls. “The space is perfect to accommodate my vision of the village areas,” said Villacres.
The Playhouse also has seating for parents. “We have a 70-inch television for Broncos viewing parties, so parents can watch the game while the kids play. We’ll provide pizza and drinks.”
The on-site store sells handmade dresses and doll accessories, including furniture and bedding. “I want to add stuff for video game enthusiasts as well,” Villacres said.
Eddie and Bella are consultants on the project. “Bella suggested the dance floor and the catwalk for fashion shows. She sewed all the Hawaiian-themed bedspreads for the resort. Eddie is a video game expert on Xbox and Wii. He picked out the age-appropriate games. He helped with the build-out too.”
Villacres said she intends for Eddie and Bella’s Playhouse to be a service to the Northeast Denver community. “We’ll be able to use the space in many ways to host families. It’s a space for children to play that they wouldn’t have at home. I’m hearing from parents that they like the availability of video game consoles at our place instead of at home, where they have to regulate them.”
Eddie and Bella’s Playhouse is at 8246 Northfield Blvd, #1415. For more information, hours and prices, see eddieandbellasplayhouse.com or call 303.815.0577.