Pull back the doors of this Chinese cafe and you'll enter a whimsical world of candy floss bathrooms, bite-sized ballrooms and trampoline slides.

Exterior shot of Lolly Laputan Cafe in China
Lolly-Laputan is a cafe specially designed for children ©CreatAR Images

Lolly-Laputan is a new cafe dedicated to children, young and old, in Dalian, China. Designed by Shanghai-based Wutopia Lab, it's described as "China's first educational family restaurant". Although it's not a description that truly does the project any justice. Stepping inside Lolly-Laputan is a detour into joyful abandon where young visitors can canter after one curiosity to the next in a freewheeling mini adventure.

Playful white and grey children's cafe with a deep red curtain
A red velvet curtain is lifted to reveal the performance stage © CreatAR Images

The design concept was inspired by a painting Yu Ting's young daughter made and designers say the interior is a slightly figurative representation of childlike dreams. "One morning my daughter was drawing out her dream fairyland and I really wanted to make that dream come true, so more kids could come and join in," chief architect Yu Ting, said in a statement. "We wanted to create a world between reality and dreams for kids."

A children's cafe in China
Inside the fairyland world of Lolly-laputan ©CreatAR Images

Clouds are central to the dream-like space. The main area is otherwise known as Cloudy Town, where rows of cloud-like panels surround a play area with a carousel, hidden tree-houses, trampoline slides and a ball pit. Adult-sized tables and chairs fill the space behind it so parents can sit back comfortably while their kids play.

Children play in timber-like structures at a cafe in China
Children can develop their social and motor skills in educational and play areas ©CreatAR Images

A bite-sized ballroom for tiny dancers is hidden behind a red velvet curtain, where neon lights, bright wallpaper and several crystal chandeliers await. Just behind that is the front lobby, a circular space surrounded by a "forest of lights" composed of 1000 acrylic lights. The lights are designed to simulate the effect of sunlight streaming through a forest. Even the bathrooms have been imaginatively designed in candy floss and space travel themes.

Children play on a trampoline slide
Trampoline slides, hidden treehouses and candyfloss bathrooms are all part of the fun at Lolly Laputan ©CreatAR Images

It's not all lights, camera, action. Families looking for a quieter dining experience can head to the Golden Castle, a cosy space with a fireplace, artificial candlelight and kid-size silverware. There are also a number of enclosed private spaces that provide a calmer environment for young visitors. Soothing spaces decorated in muted colours where they can unwind before heading home.

This article was first published Nov 12, 2019 and updated Nov 12, 2019.

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