Downtown Inc Welcomes Curious Little Playhouse To Downtown York


YORK, PA – For years, Jen Swanner watched as Downtown York attracted new restaurants, breweries, creative spaces and event venues, but she always felt something was missing: Something geared expressly for children.

So Swanner set out to change that. On Friday, her years of hard work culminated as she officially cut the ribbon on The Curious Little Playhouse, a new children’s entertainment center and play place at 41. W. Market St., in the heart of Downtown York.  Downtown Inc joined with community leaders to celebrate the new business’s opening during a ceremony on Friday morning.

“We have so many amazing shops, venues, creative spaces, eateries and nonprofit organizations and more, but I wanted to create something that kids could call their own. The Curious Little Playhouse will be their playhouse in their community – where we all are already,” Swanner said. “Over the last few years working on this concept, I have received so much encouragement and love from everyone. Downtown York has developed such an amazing culture full of diversity, history, giving and love for each other. I have never met so many cheerleaders and advocates within a community like ours, and I just want to thank everyone for their support in making The Curious Little Playhouse a reality.”

The Curious Little Playhouse combines Swanner’s love of children with her love of theater.

Children can let their imaginations run wild with a stage and dress-up area, as well as play in structures that include a miniature market place, school house, diner, and even a castle and throne. The White Rose King and Queen – named for York’s history as the White Rose City – as well as the York City Princess and Prince, characters will also make special appearances. Children will also be able to paint and make kindness rocks in an art space. 

The Curious Little Playhouse will host birthday parties with signature themes ranging from princesses to dinosaurs, and Swanner hopes it will also serve as a unique meeting place for professional groups.

Swanner also plans to have some special visitors from time to time. She has two goats that may make weekly visits to The Curious Little Playhouse. And she has two miniature ponies perfect for parties. During city festivals, parades and special events, she also plans to offer wagon rides for children.

“This is another important step forward in Downtown York’s development as an inclusive destination for families, and we look forward to seeing our youngest creatives playing right here in the heart of our city,” said Elaine Bonneau, Director of Downtown Inc. “The Curious Little Playhouse is bringing great energy to Market Street, and we’re thrilled to see Jennifer realize the dream she has had for so many years.”

The Curious Little Playhouse will be 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 Sundays. It’s open on Mondays for groups only.

To learn more, visit


An affiliate of the York County Economic Alliance, Downtown Inc is THE organization working to drive, enhance and encourage investment in York’s central business district through economic development, promotions, placemaking and public safety. Downtown Inc is the trade name for a joint venture between the York Business Improvement District Authority and Main Street York, a 501(c)(3) not for profit. Visit for more information.


Andrew Staub
Marketing & Communications Director
Downtown Inc