Saturday, March 31, 2007

Baby Loves Disco

When Heather Murphy had her first child she looked forward to visiting the zoo, the children’s museum and other family friendly places. But she was concerned that the junk food, gift shops and merchandising were overly commercial for children. And while the kids-only activities were fun for her son Max, she would have also enjoyed a more “adult-relevant” experience. So Murphy created Baby Disco as a way for kids and big people to have fun together. She rented a local club for a Saturday afternoon, decorated it with balloons and equipped it with a bubble machine, diaper changing station, egg shakers, healthy treats, and a professional DJ to spin disco tunes. Two hundred people attended the first Baby Disco event.

Just over two years later, Baby Loves Disco has spread from Philadelphia to eighteen U.S. cities, and will soon head over to Europe to open in London, Manchester and Amsterdam. Parents can enjoy a glass of wine while their little ones nosh on crackers and string cheese. Local businesses provide parents with on site pampering including massages and facials. Baby Loves Disco hires local parents to organize the dance parties, gives them a share of the profits and helps them with their first event. Toys, giveaways, insurance, cleaning and food run between USD 2,000 to USD 4,000 per event, says co-founder Andy Hurwitz. Organizers keep expenses low by contracting with nightclubs, which are normally empty during the day, and offering them a percentage of ticket sales.

Given BLD’s expansive growth over the past few years, mom- and dadpreneurs might want to set up something similar in their own city, getting local business owners to offer samples of their services or wares at the events. And why not offer baby discos as an alternative to kids’ birthday parties? Legions of parents will no doubt thank you.

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