The importance of play to children’s development is undeniable. Physical activity and mental stimulation has been proven time and again to be beneficial to children of all ages. According to a study by Kenneth R. Ginsburg and the Committee on Communications, and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health published in The American Academy of Pediatrics, “play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.” Not only does the scientific community agree, the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has recognized play as a right of every child. The study goes on to propose that “despite the benefits derived from play for both children and parents, time for free play has been markedly reduced for some children.” 

This problem of reduced play is due to a number of factors, from busy schedules to family restructuring, and here in Atlanta one could easily say that inclement weather and high temperatures significantly impact the feasibility of concerted play during much of the year. Well, parents now have a new resource and facility for recreation and learning along with their kiddos: Kefi.

All photos courtesy Kefi

Located at 3637 Peachtree Road adjacent to Phipps Plaza, Kefi offers a unique concept geared towards providing year-round opportunities to play for both kids and adults. The 25,000 square foot space provides an immersive setting for learning through play in a secure and safe manner. Kids are outfitted with Kefi Play Bracelets, a technology designed to keep the kids safe onsite as well as enable digital experiences that parents and access from home.

Kefi is a welcome respite for parents who can either play alongside their children, relax in one of the two parent-only sound-conditioned spaces designed for relaxation and work that overlook the kids areas, or, with a membership, drop the kids off to leave and run errands. 

Parents relax in one of the adults-only spaces at Kefi

Designed environments include a StorycaveTM that utilizes technology in the form of computer vision and interactive projections, Beat BoxTM which is referred to as a high-touch recording and dance studio, ToyTropolisTM and Toy Testing LabTM where kids are able to try out the industry’s latest toys, and Kefi StudiosTM that feature interactive display tables of just-released toys and also converts to a theater for families to watch or record their very own unboxing videos. 

Kefi Founder and CEO Drew Panayiotou was inspired to create this concept after a disappointing experience with his own family at an entertainment venue. He has relied on his experience working at Walt DisneyTM Parks and Resorts and Best BuyTM to develop the concept. “Kefi is the answer for busy parents who value ‘me time’ and ‘we time’,” said Panayiotou. “Families deserve a space that is everyday special for both parent and child, where it can be an escape during a busy week versus just a weekend.” Alongside his creative partner Barry Williams who designed the layout and engineering of the space, Panayiotou has introduced an innovative play environment the likes of which Buckhead has never seen before. 

Families can purchase a two-hour play pass for $14.99 or a two-person membership starting at $99 per month.

On Sunday, September 22 a crowd turned out to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Tommy’s Barbershop on West Paces Ferry Road. The barbershop has been a Buckhead institution since its inception, opened by Gilmer “Big Tommy” Thomas Sr. and now run by his son, “Little Tommy.” Visitors were decked out in branded shirts that were for sale during the event, and Coca Cola even released a special limited edition Coke bottle to commemorate the anniversary. Tommy received autographed photos and a golden set of scissors from Former Mayor of Atlanta Sam Massell while news crews filmed the proceedings. 

Check out these great photos from the day’s celebrations below, photographed by Wellington Carvalho for