As of July 27, 2014, The Nest has closed for good.
Location: 10440 German Blvd Frontenac, Missouri 63131 Amenities: restaurant, childcare, classes and activities, indoor play area Playground ground cover: astroturf Website:http://www.theneststl.com The Nest, recently opened in Frontenac, fills a niche for parents wanting to meet for adult conversation but needing a place for their children to play and entertained. The unique children's play area features a tree house with slide and fireman pole, as well as a chalkboard, basketball hoop, miniature golf (which my daughter LOVED), little bikes for the kids, a swing, mirrored magnet board, and blocks. The main entrance is in the back of the building - there's a sign on the side of the building that directs you to the back, but I didn't see this sign until I'd already parked in front...so then I proceeded to walk around the outside of the building to the back with my 3.5 year old in hand (in the cold), since the door on the front says it is for carry out only. Turns out, the front door goes into the dining room as well as the back door. And speaking of the back door, when I walked in, I almost missed the play area since it is RIGHT by the back door. Like the main door of the place opens right into the play area. We sat at the table closest to the play area so that we could chat and I could still watch my daughter and even then, I still had to get up numerous times when she'd go out of my sight under the slide or in the treehouse. I realize that there isn't supervision on the play area in the restaurant, but you can't even sit and enjoy talking with your friends while your kids play because it is situated off in the corner.
These kiddos are riding bikes up a ramp that goes right to the main door of the restaurant.
So I walked in the back door, found the ladies I was meeting there and sat down. Not a single Nest employee greeted me or offered a menu. After chatting for an hour and a half (with no employees coming by), we each ordered some lunch. I ordered the Caprese Grilled Cheese ($8), which was delicious! For my daughter, who is extremely picky, I ordered Fruit Skewers with Dipping Sauce ($4.75), as this is the only thing on the kids menu I thought she would eat (technically, according to their website, you have to buy a kids meal which are $5.95 in order to play in the play area - but no one was policing whether you paid for the play area and/or bought a kids meal). I asked the woman taking my order what fruit the skewers had, and she told me she didn't know but assumed grapes, strawberries and apples. Well, the skewers came out, with grapes, pineapple and bananas, and looked like the fruit had been sitting out all morning long. I mean, really, how hard is it to chop some fresh bananas? My daughter ate the grapes, I ate the pineapple (which tasted pretty dried up) and neither of us wanted the brown, mushy bananas. I asked if they could bring us some grapes to replace the yucky bananas, and they brought out 5 grapes, since there were 5 banana slices. I also ordered a water for my daughter, and it came out in a glass mug. The lady knew I was ordering the skewers for my daughter but didn't bother to put the water in a paper children's cup, I guess since it wasn't a kids meal (although the fruit is on the kids menu under "all day snackers."
Fruit Skewers served to my daughter - this cost $4.75
The decor of the place is neat, I especially like the light fixtures in the play area, but I'm not entirely convinced the interior designer had children in mind when she made some decisions - like the white, cloth chair seats for example. The tables each have a bowl of sugar cubes, and silverware in a glass on them - but since this is a place full of kids, I question the cleanliness of the silverware and I certainly wouldn't put a sugar cube in my tea if it was sitting out on the table in the open all day! My daughter didn't touch them, but she sure wanted to - what kid wouldn't? A bowl of sugar cubes isn't something that is sitting in front of them very often! They have a separate room that moms who want to get work done on their laptops and drop their kids in the childcare room can have a quiet place to work, which is nice, there aren't many places with drop in childcare ($10 for 2 hours) like that for work-at-home-moms. I haven't used this service, so I cannot vouch for the quietness of that room or the childcare room, although peaking in the window of the childcare room, it looks like a fun environment for the kids. The Nest also offers classes (at a rate of $20 per one hour class for non-members). I haven't attended a class either, but the website lists descriptions of the classes which include movement, art, wellness and play topics/themes.