A Huge “Family Social Club” Opens in Ivy City with Play Areas for Kids (and Drinks for Adults)

The Lane makes its family-friendly debut this weekend.

The Lane. Photography by Dominique Munoz.

The Lane, a massive “family social club,” is ready to open its doors in Ivy City this Saturday. The two-story space encompasses multiple play areas for babies and young children, an all-day cafe, and rooms for kid’s birthday parties, classes, and other events.

Similar family-friendly venues like Rockville’s Badlands and BusyBees in Falls Church and Chevy Chase are popular in the suburbs, but the Lane is among the first of its kind in the District—part of the reason working moms Molly Nizhnikov and Rachel Lubin partnered for the project.

“Finding spaces that make everyone happy in the city is a hard thing. As much as you try and make a beer garden fun for kids, ultimately you’re in other people’s way,” says Nizhnikov.

Kids can play in the ball pit.

The former warehouse space got a modern revamp from Form Architects. Kids will be able to run and play on a giant slide and climbing wall, dive in a ball pit, and partake in drum circles, story time, and other activities. “Life guards” will be on duty to chaperone the spaces. When they’re not on the go, parents and children can hang out in the cafe, which will serve coffee drinks, pastries, snacks, salads, sandwiches, beer from nearby Atlas Brew Works, and wine. Birthday party packages also get a cheffy touch with menus available from Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken, Della Barba Pizza, and brunch packages with Bullfrog Bagels. And a huge rooftop will open in nice weather. 

Local restaurants like Astro Doughnuts cater birthday parties.

Drop-in entry is $20 per child for a two-hour visit (adults are free), plus a ten percent discount for siblings. There’re also several membership options starting at $95 per month per family, which include food and drink discounts and other perks. There’s a big parking lot, which is free for the first 90 minutes.

The Lane. 1408 Okie St., NW

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.