Quite honestly, I knew only about C.A.K.E. Village since it is located around my neighborhood and I pass it daily. I was immediately drawn to the name CAKE Village thinking that this was all about cake. But little did I know that C.A.K.E. Village is a cultural center when kids and adults can learn all about the African culture!
Address: 611 E. Main Street, East Dundee
Prices: $7 for drop-in days
Hours: Drop in hours Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10 – 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for field trips.
Parking: There is a free parking lot. Enter through the doors by the flagpole.
Stroller-friendly? Leave the stroller at home. CAKE Village is located on the second floor of the building. There are elevators, however, once you arrive on the second floor, there’s about 5 more steps until you reach the entrance.
Food: No food can be purchased here.
Crowded: We were here on a Wednesday afternoon and we were the only ones there.
Nursing Friendly: No designated spaces, but since we were by ourselves didn’t have a problem.
What to Expect:
The C.A.K.E. Village, standing for Culture of Africa for Kids Everywhere, is an African cultural center. They have a mini village dedicated to imaginative play and also offer art, cooking, and performing arts classes.
- Tons of imaginative fun at the mini village! The kids (5, 3, and 9 months) literally spent hours here and had enough to keep them preoccupied.
- Keeping busy at the village fruit and veggie market. The kids absolutely adored this area where they could pick up a few fruits and veggies and “pay” for it.
- Serving lunch at the “restaurant.”
- Being center stage. Taking up the entire wall, the stage was the first thing that jumped out to the kiddos. My son, currently obsessed with Transformers, couldn’t resist the opportunity to “transform” on stage.
- The adorable thatched villages with a dress up area and baby playroom.
…where the kids could dress up like an African King with traditional garments.
..or care for babies.
- Fun for the tiniest tots. My 9-month-old had a little section all to herself….
- ….and had fun crawling around. The play area is spotless so I didn’t worry about her crawling around the entire space.
- Safety first! How often do you see covered outlets? Not enough in my experience.
- Ability to offer more cultural classes. Learn more about culture with hands-on experiences. During the summer, they offer the Art-is-fun program where on select days, you can learn a little more about the African culture. For instance on Mondays are Visual Art Mondays, Wednesdays are Culinary Arts, Fridays are Performing Arts.
- The kids loved the hands-on experiences! We visited on Culinary Arts Wednesday and had a great time learning about cooking. The kids measured, mixed, and scooped. Since the kids were a little on the young side, we started with something simple like baking muffins. Older children are able to make authentic African dishes. Yum!
- The kids loved their fabulous teacher, Lande. She was very patient with the kids and went at the perfect pace. She also happens to be the owner. 😉
- And although there wasn’t a music class or art class scheduled for that day, it was nice to check out the areas and imagine drumming and dancing….
…or creating a masterpiece in the visual arts and craft studilo.
- The owner is wonderful! Lande was great with the kids. In fact, my youngest (usually the shy guy), wanted to hold her hand the majority of the time. After chatting with her, I could see how much passion she really has for teaching and (showing) the African culture for kids everywhere.
- We could try all their other cultural classes!
Tips to enjoy the CAKE Village:
- Shoes aren’t allowed in the mini village. Bring socks!
What a fun way to have the kids learn more about the African culture! We highly recommend visiting this gem and trying one of their Art-is-Fun drop-in classes.
Giveaway Nitty Gritty:
There will be one lucky winner of a birthday party for up to 15 kids at The C.A.K.E. Village.
Party will Include 1.5 hrs of total party time. Choice of candy or cake for dessert. Choice of visual arts (painting, pottery, etc) or dance arts for entertainment.
Winner will need to redeem birthday party by December 31, 2015.
The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond back or the prize will be forfeited. (Be sure to check your spam and add email@example.com to your safe sender’s list.)