playarts

1241 N. Front Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Weekdays: 9am - 7pm
Weekends: 9am - 3pm

 
 
Owners, Krista Yutzy-Burkey and Steve Yutzy-Burkey and son, Milo. 

Owners, Krista Yutzy-Burkey and Steve Yutzy-Burkey and son, Milo. 

our Story

Krista Yutzy-Burkey is a mother and an inspired music teacher living in the Fishtown area of Philadelphia. Her husband Steve Yutzy-Burkey is an accomplished carpenter with a talent for design simplicity, utility and sustainability. PlayArts was born from their shared passion and respect for education, the arts, craft and their neighborhood. Building on 16 years of music teaching experience in the Philadelphia School system, Krista noticed dramatic positive student response to play-based curriculum. Observing the effect of music learning on her own infant son’s language development, she was further inspired to branch out and share these discoveries with the growing number of infants and families in her long-time neighborhood.


In 2014, Krista began developing “PlayMusic,” with dreams of securing a nearby physical space to teach her play-based music curriculum. Finding few options in a discouraging real estate market, Krista resorted to writing personal letters to local building owners. She was rewarded with the incredible potential of a 4,500 square foot building! Its size allowed for expanding her original concept to include other types of play-based classes, parenting services and-- what would become the anchor of the entire business-- an indoor playspace. “PlayArts” finally opened its doors on September 1, 2016.

 

OUR Building

Open to the public from 1907 until 1960, the PlayArts building is one of only two surviving indoor “public baths” built by the City of Philadelphia. (Yes, the pool is still in the basement. No, there is no water in it.) Following years of abandonment and subsequent use by a shoe repair shop and brush manufacturer, PlayArts began renovations in 2015 with the goal of restoring the building's original purpose as a gathering space in the community.

Narrated by Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP BD+C PlayArts; Queen Memorial; Pennovation Center; Eastern Lofts; 841 N. American Street

Bright Common Architecture detailed the sustainably-focused renovation, while Steve led the interior design and buildout. Great care was taken to preserve original details, promote healthy indoor air quality and to repurpose existing materials. The paneling, bar-top, and much of the interior wood was sawn from lumber salvaged from neighborhood row homes. We hope you love the building as much as we do!

2017 Preservation Alliance Grand Jury Award

2017 Delaware Valley Green Building Council Groundbreaker Award

 

Our philosopy

_ABC1397.jpg

we believe
play is important

 

Through play, children begin to understand the physical and social environment around them. For families, playing together is valuable time for bonding and learning. It also happens to be fun - like learning should be!

 

 
ABC_0672.jpg

WE BELIEVE AUTONOMY PROMOTES LEARNING

 

Undirected play helps children develop creativity, confidence and essential skills to navigate the world. To facilitate this, we’ve designed areas that give children a feeling of autonomy. If you’re concerned about being able to see your child at all times, you may want to stay close on the ground floor.

 

 

 
_ABC0991.jpg

WE BELIEVE
RISK IS a PART
OF LIFE

 

Our custom equipment was designed to meet playground guidelines and was crafted with care. That said, our play area is not a padded, risk-free room with one-size- fits-all rules.

We've selected toys and equipment to fit a wide developmental range, which includes both small parts and climbing structures. It is up to you to determine what your child can safely handle.

 

 

 
ABC_0771.jpg

WE BELIEVE
IN RESPECT

 

We strive to teach respect for the environment, our community and one another.  We are proud to provide our sustainably-minded space; please help us care for it and teach our children to care for it, too. We provide bike and stroller parking to make it easier for you to walk, bike, or use public transportation to visit us. 

We serve drinks and organic prepackaged snacks, but we always encourage bringing your own mugs and recycling to limit waste.  While parents are always responsible for their children, we want to allow for a wide range of parenting styles. We aim to always be compassionate and assume good intent. 

 

 
ABC_0836 - Copy.jpg

WE BELIEVE MISTAKES ARE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

 

Children don’t always make the best decisions because, well, they’re children. That kid that threw blocks? Not a bad kid. Learning the parameters of social interaction is an ongoing process.

We believe that children can learn good decision making through experience, when given the chance. If you’re concerned about interactions between your child and another child, please consider helping them use “Talk it Out” strategies.

And we too hope to learn. Please let us know if you see areas for improvement.

 

welcome to the community. 

 
Best new enrichment for young city kids
— Philadelphia family love awards, 2017
 

The Staff

Krista Yutzy-Burkey Owner/Director

Krista Yutzy-Burkey
Owner/Director

Martha King Teacher/Associate

Martha King
Teacher/Associate

Zara Waters Associate

Zara Waters
Associate

Kara Rossi Programs & Partnerships Director

Kara Rossi
Programs & Partnerships Director

Taryn Sanwald AfterSchool Staff/Associate

Taryn Sanwald
AfterSchool Staff/Associate

Julia Jackson Manager/ Graphic Designer

Julia Jackson
Manager/ Graphic Designer

Julie Alexander AfterSchool Coordinator

Julie Alexander
AfterSchool Coordinator

Sally Anderson Events Coordinator

Sally Anderson
Events Coordinator

Hayley Wenner AfterSchool Staff/Associate

Hayley Wenner
AfterSchool Staff/Associate

 

featured in...