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Homeschooling parents open The Homie Hub in Oshkosh

Indoor playground and cafe offer fun, connections for kids and parents alike

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February 6, 2024

OSHKOSH — It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention.

That certainly is true of The Homie Hub — a new kids’ indoor playground and cafe in Oshkosh opened by Founders/owners Quinta and Jason Caylor, parents of four boys, ranging in age from three to 17.

The couple home-school their kids and said they originally rented space intending to create a home-school community — a place where parents could home-school their kids, form supportive connections with one another and their kids could play together after schooling was done.

But as fall and winter of 2023 approached, Quinta said finding a place for active kids to play — especially in the dead of winter — proved challenging.

Quinta, who is originally from West Africa, said she has lived in various warmer climates before moving to Wisconsin with Jason in 2022, but “didn’t realize how long and dreary the winters in Wisconsin are.”

“There was no place locally for kids to play indoors,” she said. “Everything was up in Appleton and, even then, we didn’t think there was one that would be suitable (for our small child). We figured we weren’t the only parents with such a problem.”

With that in mind, Quinta said they conducted an online survey in October to see what parents most wanted.

Quinta and Jason Caylor

Learning other parents were also struggling to find places for their children to play, Quinta said they pivoted from their original plan and decided to open an indoor playground that was open to all.

The Homie Hub was born
Once the decision was made, the Caylors wasted no time in getting the space set up and ready to open — hosting a soft opening before Thanksgiving and formally opening for business about 10 days or so after that.

The facility’s atmosphere, Jason said, is “homey” — complete with comfortable chairs (including two reclining massage chairs), a sitting area where parents can enjoy complimentary specialty coffee or tea, water or hot chocolate, have conversations with one another or read/work independently.

Quinta said parents can watch their children anywhere in the facility from their lounge area.

“Our goal is that parents can sit and connect with one another while watching their kids play,” she said.

This set-up, Quinta said, allows parents to connect.

“It’s like being at a park in the summer but indoors,” she said. “The space is not too big that they have to chase their kids around. People can enjoy the space and all it offers year-round, no matter the weather.”

Jason said The Homie Hub name is “really a pun.”

“Homie is like a combination that comes from the home in homeschooling, but also ‘homie’ is like brothers or sisters, friends and families or like a community,” he said. “And hub is because this is like a center.”

Imaginative play versus active play
Quinta said the 3,000 square feet, ADA-accessible, dynamic play area is designed for kids (infant to eight years old) and offers a variety of age-appropriate activities that are both physically and mentally engaging.

The Homie Hub has an enclosed infant area for kids under two years old, complete with mini-slides and soft play zones — though Quinta said kids under two are welcome to play in any area as well.

The main section has three structured stations for imaginative play, each with its own theme — which Quinta said are regularly changed to provide freshness.

Some of the themes The Homie Hub offers regularly, she said, include a grocery store, construction, space and health care.

Each themed area has rides or toys that correspond to its individual theme, as well as outfits where kids can dress up as if they work in that particular environment or setting.

The facility also has two playhouses.

Quinta said the active play area is set up somewhat like a backyard featuring a slide, a small trampoline, a climbing area with secure netting and a small rock wall with a ladder attached to it.

The main play area is shaped in a perfect square, with three of the four corners having sitting areas.

“It’s large enough to give kids room to run and play in, but it’s not too large parents can’t keep an eye on their kids from wherever they are in the facility,” Jason said.

They also offer a sensory room where kids can go if they get overstimulated or they want to de-stress or be quiet and relax.

This room has no fluorescent lighting but features an underwater theme with sensory lights, toys and relaxing music.

The Homie Hub also has a party room that can be rented out for birthday parties or other special events.

Themes in the party room, Quinta said, also change regularly — with specialty themes available upon request.

The Homie Hub has a party room that can be rented out for birthday parties or other special events. Cheryl Hentz Photo

So far, Quinta said the party room has been quite popular — with more than a dozen birthday parties already scheduled for February.

Finally, The Homie Hub has a small gift shop featuring items for purchase, including some made by local crafters.

Putting their professional skills to work in the hub
Quinta and Jason said neither of them thought they’d be owning and operating this kind of business.

Quinta, a registered nurse with nearly 14 years of experience, is the owner of Fox Valley Chronic Care Partners — an independent nursing company where she provides private nursing consulting services for individuals, families and businesses.

She also helps owners of senior care businesses achieve clinical and operational efficiency and assists nurses in converting their medical expertise into thriving entrepreneurship of their own.

Tapping into her experience in nursing and health care, Quinta said she works hard to ensure The Homie Hub is a safe, healthy environment for its patrons — which is accomplished through a stringent cleaning and disinfecting schedule.

Jason, a 1997 graduate of Neenah High School, served in the U.S. Air Force on active duty status for 14 years — before being honorably discharged in 2012.

He said his 26 years as an aircraft sheet metal mechanic — both in the military and as a civilian — has come in handy at the hub when it comes to the safety of the facility’s structures, making sure they always meet the highest safety and quality standards.

“If it can be repaired, I repair it,” he said. “But sometimes things have to be discarded and replaced. Whatever the case, we want the kids to be as safe as possible when they’re here ñparents, too.”

Something for everyone
Quinta said about 60% of the kids who have visited The Homie Hub so far have been between two and four years old.

“This is a place that is much-needed,” she said. “Social isolation has been a big deal, especially since the COVID-19 (pandemic). Parents are craving connections, and our goal is to build a community around parenting.”

Every Wednesday from 9:30-11:30 a.m., the hub hosts a moms’ meet-up group.

The Homie Hub has an enclosed infant area for kids under two years old, complete with mini-slides and soft play zones. Cheryl Hentz Photo

“The goal is to help the moms feel like they are not alone in what they’re experiencing and to build support in case they need help so they can rely on each other,” she said.

Quinta said they hope to start a similar group for dads, as well as a group for parents with special needs kids.

“We have so much more in store — events for the kids and events to pull people of all ages together,” she said.

More hubs to come?
Despite only being open for a couple of months, Quinta said the feedback has been positive and encouraging — which has sparked interest in other potential locations.

“We think every area needs its own little community for kids,” she said. “People are asking if we’d consider opening up in other areas because some people drive here from places like Redgranite, Wautoma, Kaukauna, Appleton and Fond du Lac.”

Quinta said they have also received inquiries about franchising opportunities.

While she said franchising isn’t necessarily on their radar, “we might consider doing something like a licensing agreement with interested parties who want to pursue entrepreneurship.”

“We could help them open up something in other areas,” she said.

What about homeschooling?
Though the Caylors pivoted from their original plan to create a homeschooling community, Quinta said “we will probably still bring the education, homeschool part to our facility.”

“We have some extracurricular stuff we want to bring to the community — life enrichment classes, including health, entrepreneurship, life skills and technology,” she said. “So, we’ll probably still do that in some element, but we’re not sure if it’s going to be in a summer camp (type setting) or something else.”

Quinta said because the indoor playground took off so quickly, they haven’t had a chance to figure out how to incorporate homeschooling yet.

“But, we’ll probably do something in some form at a later date,” she said.

In the meantime, the Caylors continue to homeschool their kids in the back of the facility.

Quinta said when the kids need a break or are done studying, they’re out in the main play areas with other kids, forming new bonds of their own.

The Homie Hub Indoor Play Cafe (2211 Oregon St. Suite S2) is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and from 1-8 p.m. for parties and events only on Sundays.

The hub closes daily from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch/sanitation.

For further details, visit

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