Helping play-based early childhood educators create child-centered environments.
March 23-26th, 2023 - Virginia Beach, Virginia USA
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Why should you come to The Play Retreat?


You know play is the way young children learn, but our current societal structure doesn't support play in it's truest form.  You spend your evenings and weekends peeling though countless resources trying to find systems, ideas, research and answers to help you manage your play based early childhood environment.  The amount of information is overwhelming and it can be a challenge to find all the things you need to move your play based practice forward in a way that feels organized and meaningful.  


Join me for a weekend of play transformation!

The Play Retreat is a transformational weekend meant to answer your questions about play, motivate and inspire you, connect you with other like-minded educators, help you start to unpack your own subconscious beliefs about education and learning, and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.  Plus, you get to hang with me for a few days on Virginia Beach in a house built for royalty.  Peep The Play Retreat house below...

What To Expect

You can expect a lot of laughter, mind-body experiences, dance, discussion, reflection, learning, play, and a dress-up night (because early childhood educators hardly every get to wear sequins, eat fancy food and drink from pretty glasses).

Everyone stays on site in the same retreat house (there are shared and single room options) for three nights.  There are plenty of bathrooms and ample room to accommodate a group of 20 people.  

Imagine time to connect, reflect and learn in an environment that is inspiring and supportive of your play journey.
  • Time away from "the real world" to reset.
  • Your questions answered about play based learning and child centered environments.
  • Most of the meals will be made for you!  You just show up! 
  • Time in large group learning, small group discussion, mind-body experiences, sharing, reflection, journaling, creative projects all put together to give you a play transformation!
  • New connections made with like-minded educators.
  • Pool time (if the weather is conducive), walks on the beach, a movie night in the theater room, games, dancing, singing (PLAAAYYYYY).
Located on Virginia Beach, Virginia in the USA!
The Retreat House Features...
  • TWO pools (one indoors and one outdoors)
  • Game Room
  • Theater Room
  • Right on the ocean!  Virginia Beach, VA
  • Decks for days
  • Large gathering spaces for us to connect!
  • 11 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms (see below to book your room type - we have single occupancy and group occupancy options)

The Travel and Meal Details

  • Arrive at the Retreat House between 4 and 6pm EST on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023.
  • The closest airport is Norfolk (ORF).  
  • Once registration has been filled, an email will be sent out with information about a closed Facebook page to connect you with others that are also making the trek!  We are hopeful that people can share cars and/or rides to the Retreat House as parking is limited!
  • All meals (except for 1) are covered in the cost of the retreat.  We are leaving one evening open for anyone who wants to head out on the town!  Please let us know upon registration if you have any food allergies.
  • The Play Retreat ends at 12pm EST on Sunday, March 26th, 2023.

The Room Details

  • There are single rooms available (this option is SOLD OUT) if you prefer to have a space to yourself.  These rooms are not guaranteed to have their own bathroom.  If you prefer to have your own bathroom, please let us know at checkout and we will do our best to accommodate the request. 
  • All other rooms are shared bunk rooms that can sleep up to 6 people in their own bunks.  These rooms will have a shared bathroom. 
  • If you are coming with a friend and would like to share a King or Queen room - please email us at [email protected] and we can work out details and provide a different check out link.
Guess who is joining us???
Samuel Broaden of Honoring Childhood!


Samuel began his career in Child Development in 2005. He always knew that his life’s work was with children. Throughout his career, Samuel has worked in varying positions and aspects of the Child Development field. From being a teacher in classrooms with Infants to School-Age children, to directing various child care centers to a Quality Coach for Family Child Care programs and Child Care Centers and his current position as a School Director. Through his work, Samuel has cultivated his own philosophy for how children grow and learn, which is deeply rooted in the importance of nature and the joy of allowing children to discover who they truly are. Through Honoring Childhood, Samuel hopes to inspire teachers, administrators, parents, guardians, friends and the world to think differently about childhood and what it means and to work together to create a more kind and beautiful world. He currently resides in Oregon with his husband, Perry and their dogs Oliver and Baby Bear Broaden. 

Samuel will be with us all weekend and will be leading three learning sessions you can take part in.


And a Special Night With Rita Book

Rita Book is the clever, culinary queen with talents beyond your imagination.  From cooking to cosmetics!  From rice to wigs!  She's the lady to host your... anything!

She loves sparkling wine and spoiling her little sidekick, Oliver.  If you are lucky enough to have Rita host one of your events (which you will be if you register for The Play Retreat), you will never have an experience quite like it again!

Rita will be joining us one evening during the retreat and designing a special dinner experience to enjoy together as we all dress up in our sparkliest outfits!  

What will we during the retreat?
  • A variety of learning opportunities in small and large group settings led by Kristen.
  • Three learning sessions led by special guest, Samuel Broaden of Honoring Childhood!
  • Surprise activities to keep you engaged, inspired and reflecting.  You just need to come with an open mind and heart!
  • A celebration dinner featuring the drag queen chef, Rita C. Book.  Rita will be making up cocktails and delicious food and we get to DRESS UP in our sparkliest outfits!  
  • Journal, breathe, laugh, sing, dance, create, move.  You can do what feels best to you and there isn't any pressure to participate if an activity doesn't feel right for you!
The Registration Options
{SOLD OUT} King or Queen Single Occupancy

Let's face it, some of us need time and space to ourselves.  We have 6 rooms available that have one king or queen size bed and some of them have their own bathroom.  If you want a room to yourself, this will be the option that you want to select.  If having your own bathroom is something that you would prefer, please let us know at checkout and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Have a friend coming with you and wouldn't mind sharing a king/queen size bed with them?  Send us an email [email protected] and we will work out the details and send you a checkout link.


Early Bird Single Occupancy Room 



SOLD OUT - see shared room option below


Early Bird  - Single Occupancy Room



SOLD OUT - see shared room option below
Shared Bunk Room

It is just like camp!  If you want a true community experience, book your early bird reservation in the shared bunk room!  These rooms will all have shared bathrooms.  We have three rooms that can sleep 4-6 people on their own bunk.  These rooms will all have a shared bathroom.


Early Bird Shared Bunk Room




Early Bird Shared Bunk Room



Is this a good fit for me?

Should you join me at The Play Retreat? Is it a right fit for you?


  • You are open minded.
  • You are working towards implementing play based learning in your early childhood environment.
  • You want to spend time with like-minded people and walk away with a solid support system.
  • You like having fun and playing!
  • You need to getaway to reset and rejuvenate your heart and mind so you can give your all to the children in your care.