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The Curious Little Playhouse brings imagination to downtown York

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch

There's a new theater in downtown York. There's also a new school, market, diner and castle. 

At The Curious Little Playhouse, 41 W. Market St., York's youngest residents are invited to let their imaginations run wild in themed play areas. 

"When my kids were little we would go to some of the local kid venues, but there really wasn't anything in downtown York to participate in," playhouse owner Jen Swanner said.

Swanner has lived in Hanover for about 20 years, where she raised her three children. 

Her vision for the playhouse came from what her children would've enjoyed playing with and where she would've wanted to bring them as a parent, she said. 

Marley Ruby, 2, of Shiloh, grocery shops with her friend Meadow Stough, 3, of Dover Township, left, while they play in the market at The Curious Little Playhouse, the new business at 41 W. Market St. in York City Friday, April 19, 2019. The interactive childrenÕs play place offers a variety of stations for kids. Jen Swanner is the owner of the business which staged a ribbon cutting earlier in the day. Bill Kalina photo

"I mixed my marketing skills with my mommy skills, and this is sort of where I landed," she said. 

The Curious Little Playhouse is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday,  9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Mondays are open for groups only. 

The Curious Little Playhouse owner Jen Swanner speaks during the ribbon-cutting for her new business at 41 W. Market St. in York City Friday, April 19, 2019. Officials, like city councilwoman Edquina Washington, left, attended. The interactive childrenÕs play place offers a variety of stations for kids. Bill Kalina photo

The playhouse also is available for children's birthday parties. 

There's also an art station and dress-up area. 

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"Imagination is absolutely key for kids' development. That was always important to me as a parent when my kids were younger," Swanner said. "Imagination is sort of imperative to their education."