Alana Rusin | Owner
Hi! I’m Alana Rusin. I have been a practicing attorney in Boston for the past 10 years and I live in Fort Point with my husband and two kiddos, Lucy (6) and Liam (3).
I first discovered Little Lovage Club in 2016 as a client. My Newbies Class, led by Nancy Gair, helped me feel sane and supported during the wild ride of new motherhood. I kept coming back and took Kangas, Here We Go Again with Liam, and other classes. Lovage and its community of young families is near and dear to my heart. So when Lovage temporarily closed during the pandemic I found my calling – and ended up taking over as the new owner. I am excited and honored to reboot Lovage. My dream is to continue to build the most supportive, inclusive community of young families in and around Boston, and to be the premier resource for you as you navigate the 0-5 year stage in the Hub.
Lauren Gagne | Head Teacher & Director of Operations
Lauren is our head teacher here at Lovage Club. Her fun personality and enthusiastic energy truly make every class a blast. With a degree in Early Childhood Education, she has spent time being an infant, toddler, and preschool teacher. After teaching she pursued a career as an educational career nanny for 10 years. Lauren’s nurturing spirit, passion for teaching, and educational background provide us with a wonderful classroom environment that fosters children’s creativity, curiosity, and self-esteem. Lauren knows that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families, caregivers, and communities. She hopes to create a community here at Lovage Club that provides the resources needed to assist and strengthen families. Lauren is our social butterfly and will happily give you her knowledge, so please say hello and use her as a resource!
Taylor Cooper | Assistant Teacher
Taylor first discovered Little Lovage Club while working as a nanny, and loved being in the space. Her background includes being a nanny, camp counselor, and lifeguard, each of which deepened her commitment to childcare. Graduating from Suffolk University with a degree in advertising, Taylor initially pursued a career as a content creator. However, her passion for working with children is a family tradition, with her mother, grandmother, and great aunt all being educators. Taylor’s unwavering desire and enthusiasm for cultivating a nurturing environment for kids make her classroom an inviting and comforting space for all young ones.
Kara Doherty | Parent Group Facilitator
Kara has twenty years of childcare experience starting as a nanny and then as a postpartum doula providing overnight support for new families. Her passion is helping parents get off on the right foot so they can enjoy the newborn stage. She’s excited to help the moms in class get more confident and answer all their newborn questions and especially likes helping with feeding and sleep routines. She’s hoping to help the new mothers really enjoy their time with their new baby and make this stage less stressful and more fun.
Vanessa Thornton | Parent Group Facilitator
Vanessa is a South End mom of two, Fiona (5) and James (3). She has a master’s degree in nutrition and has been a dietitian and certified specialist in pediatrics for 12 years. Vanessa is the owner of South End Family Nutrition, helping parents and families on the path to health and happiness. She teaches virtual classes on Tinyhood and runs groups and workshops all around the city for parents, children and entire families. Vanessa realized early in her career two very important things: 1) You can’t treat nutrition issues in a vacuum. Instead, you have to explore sleep habits, mental health, physical wellbeing and emotional security to truly find health and 2) That the wellness of family members is always interconnected. For this reason, she considers herself a Family Dietitian and takes a holistic, whole-family approach to health. She enjoys supporting parents in group settings to be able to witness the magic moments when moms find connection and learn from each other.
Rules for Fun & Safe Play
- Our motto for toys: Choose it. Use it. Put it away. Please choose one activity at a time and put it back when your child moves on.
- Please put your cell phones away in our space, we want the focus to be on the children.
- You should be an arms length away from your child at all times supervising and helping them navigate the space and socializing.
- If your child is older than 20 months, please do not let them into the baby area.
- Please pick up any food your child has dropped and wipe down your highchairs.
Please Respect our Space
- Food and drinks stay in the snack space
- Toys stay in the playspace
- No toys in the snack area or at the changing table
- Mouthed toys should be put into the dirty toy bins to be sanitized
- Please do not climb on the activity tables
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- We are a peanut and tree nut free facility. Please do not bring any nuts into our space.
- Caregivers are always free at Lovage. We only charge per child. We do not allow shoes in the playspace; children may be barefoot or in socks. We suggest that caregivers wear socks as well. Grippy socks are best!
- Parents/caregivers should always be within arms reach of their children and are responsible for continually supervising their children while in our space.
- We have bathrooms with child-sized amenities and a changing table with extra diapers. Children should never be in the bathroom alone. For eating and feeding we have a bottle warmer, filtered water and paper cups, kid-sized tables and chairs, and high chairs. We ask that all food stays in the snack area.
- You may bring your own food and drinks (no nuts please, see above!). Please nurse or feed a baby a bottle wherever and whenever you need to while in our space. You may also use our private feeding room.
- Download our App: We HIGHLY recommend downloading our app! It is the easiest way to build a profile, sign our waiver, search our schedule, book and cancel classes and Open Play, and more. Go here to download on Apple. Go here to download on Google.
- The First Name and Last Name on your Little Lovage Club account will be your "Primary" CHILD's name (not your name, or another adult’s name). That way your child's name will show up on our class & open play rosters. Your "Primary" child will the the child in your family who will most frequently use Little Lovage Club services. You can book additional children using the "Book a Guest" feature for Open Play and Enrichment Classes (see below).
- Please purchase enough credits to book all siblings into the same Open Play session. It is straightforward to book a second, third (or more!) child into the same Open Play session using a drop in or a pack of Open Play passes. First, please purchase the correct number of Open Play credits; at least one credit per child. Second, book your primary child into the Open Play session using a single credit. Finally, book second and additional children into Open Play using the "Book a Guest" feature; use a single credit per child.
- Booking siblings into the same Enrichment Class: If you want to book two siblings into the same class, and you are using a drop in Enrichment class credit, you will use the same "Book a Guest" process as you do for Open Play. Please make sure to purchase the correct number of credits to book multiple children; one credit per child. If you are redeeming one of your Membership credits for an Enrichment Class, please go to our Membership page for instructions on how to book siblings into the same Enrichment Class.
- Reserve in Advance: Please try to reserve Enrichment Classes and Open Play ahead of time! We cannot guarantee we will have a walk in space and we do not want you to show up and not be able to get into the program of your choice.
- Cancellation Windows: We have a 2-hour cancellation window. If you cancel two (2) hours before the start of your class or Open Play reservation, you will receive your credit back in your account to use at another time. If you do not cancel, you will lose your credit. We do understand that extenuating circumstances happen; please email email@example.com if something outside of your control prevented you from canceling within our cancellation window.
- Learn about Parent Support Groups: Read more and book your spot on our website.
- Book a Parent Support Group: You can book Parent Support Groups via our website. Go here to view and purchase.
- What are Parent Support Groups? Our Parent Support Groups are designed to build connection and community with other new parents, get real about the challenges of early parenthood, help work through new relationship dynamics, and provide practical suggestions for infant sleeping, feeding, soothing and more. Groups meet for 90 minutes, 6 weeks in a row. Groups are kept small at 8 participants (no more than 10) and one group facilitator.
- Who are Parent Support Groups for? Postnatal classes are designed for a primary caregiver to attend with a young infant rather than for couples. We want to ensure there is space to be really honest about how parenthood has affected your own identity and your relationships. That being said, we celebrate the fact that families grow in many ways and if you have any questions about whether a postnatal support group is a good fit for you, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Where are Parent Support Groups located? Parent Support Groups are now located in the Urbanity Dance space at 1180 Washington Street in the South End.
- Go to our Membership Page to see what’s included in a Lovage Membership and Membership options.
- Enrichment Classes: Each membership includes credits to book for our Enrichment Classes – either 4, 6, or 8 per month depending on your selection. These Enrichment Class credits can be used to book our more hands-on and development-focused Enrichment Classes. You can mix and match enrichment class bookings – think of these as equivalent to class passes for a fitness studio. They can be used for any class in that month (e.g. attending 2 or 3 enrichment classes in one week if you will be traveling later in the month, using classes for different kids in your family, etc.).
- Open Play Passes:Your membership also includes either 100 or 200 Open Play Credits per semester (100 for Single Memberships and 200 for Duo Memberships). You can use your Open Play credits for any siblings in your family, or for guests! In order to add your Membership Open Play Credits, please take the following steps:
- Adding Siblings or Guests to Enrichment Classes or Open Play: Memberships are intended to be shared between siblings in a family. However, our booking platform - MarianaTek - is designed for single users so we have created a few workarounds. Click here for tips on using MarianaTek.
- Membership Credit Rollover: Monthly Enrichment Classes and Open Play credits do not roll over (use them or lose them during the 1 month period). However, you can use your credits to book classes for any future class on our schedule, even if it is after the expiration date of your membership credits.
- Membership Terms: Your Monthly Membership starts on the first day you pay for your membership, not the 1st of the month. Memberships are charged monthly and are auto-renewed with your primary credit card on file every month. They are billed on the date you purchase, not the 1st of the month (e.g. if you first purchase a membership on August 28th, that is your billing date).
- Cancel a Membership: You can cancel your membership at any time via the Little Lovage Mobile App or by emailing email@example.com.
- Please reach out if you have additional questions or special requests (e.g. when a grandparent is paying for membership).
1) Purchase your membership.
2) Once you have an active membership, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask our team to add your credits into your account. Alternatively, our Front Desk team can assist you in person.
- Open Play Schedule: Each Open Play booking is a two-hour session. Open Play is broken into 30-minute start times and is available during all operating hours: 9:00 am–5:00 pm every weekday, and 9:00–1:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Your Open Play booking provides access to the play space and amenities for a two-hour block.
- Open Play on the Weekends: Generally, Open Play is not available on Saturday or Sunday afternoons due to private parties, but please check the schedule to confirm.
- Book a Spot for Every Child: Every child who comes to Open Play must have a separate booking to play, including siblings. However, babies under 6 months who accompany an older sibling are not charged for Open Play. Every child over the age of 6 months must be booked into Open Play.
- Advanced Bookings Recommended: Advanced bookings are highly recommended, especially for our peak morning Open Play from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee a walk-in spot will be available if you do not sign up ahead of time.
- Purchasing Enrichment Class credits: You can either buy a credit for a Single Enrichment class ($35) which also includes 30 minutes of free play before class; or you can purchase a Membership which will have either 4, 6 or 8 credits per month. See Membership FAQs above.
- Open Play after Class: Your Enrichment Class booking does NOT include Open Play after your class has ended. If you'd like to stay for Open Play after your class, please book an Open Play session.
- Please Arrive Early: We always recommend arriving at Lovage to check in and get settled at least 15 minutes in advance of your Enrichment Class start time. You are welcome to play in our Open Space for up to 30 minutes until the start of class is announced. After you’ve checked in and your stroller is settled, please move into the Open Play space to make room for others to arrive.
- Book at Spot for Every Child: Every child attending an Enrichment Class must have a separate booking, including siblings. However, babies under 6 months who accompany an older sibling to a class designed for the older sibling can attend free of charge.
- Booking Siblings into Enrichment Classes: Non-Members: You can book siblings into Enrichment Classes by using the “Add a Guest” feature. Unfortunately our new platform does not have family profiles, so you cannot select a different child’s name, but you can add a sibling as a guest. Members: Please see the section below called Adding Siblings to Enrichment Classes or Open Play.
- How can I book a birthday party for my child? Please visit our Parties Page for more information and reach out to email@example.com to inquire about availability.
- Can I bring my own decorations? Absolutely! Feel free to bring a wide range of decorations to personalize your party space (a few exceptions below). However, we kindly ask you to remove all decorations at the end of your event, leaving our space as you found it.
- Are there any restrictions on decorations? We kindly request that you refrain from using glitter or confetti to maintain the cleanliness of our space. Additionally, please avoid using duct tape or package tape that could damage/remove paint from our walls.
- Will your team assist with set up and/or clean up of food, beverage and decorations? While we will have a team member available to address any questions or concerns you may have, the setup and cleanup of decorations, food and beverage, and other arrangements are your responsibility.
- Is there an option for the Lovage team to set up my party? Unfortunately we are not offering party setup and cleanup by our team members.
- Do you have a kitchen available? We have a simple refrigerator, but do not have kitchen facilities on-site for reheating or cooking food. Unfortunately, this also means we do not have ice readily available. However, there's a convenient Star Market located on the other side of the Prudential building.
- Can we have deliveries before the party? No, unfortunately we cannot accommodate deliveries or storage of decorations, food, beverages, or other in advance of your party. We kindly ask that all food, beverage, and decoration deliveries be scheduled within the one-hour period prior to the start of your party. Guests are responsible for coordinating all deliveries.
- Are alcoholic beverages allowed at private Little Lovage birthday parties? Unfortunately we are not able to allow alcohol in our space at this time. Please do not bring alcoholic beverages to a birthday party.
- Can I bring in activities or entertainment? Yes! Generally we allow guests to bring their own activities and entertainment, but please discuss this with our Event Coordinator during booking to confirm and answer any logistical questions.
- Do you offer an option for Lovage teacher-led activities? No, unfortunately we do not have the capacity to offer Lovage teacher-led activities at private birthday parties at this time.
- How to Buy: Go here to purchase a gift card.
- How to Redeem: Sign in to your account or create an account at littlelovageclub.com or via the App. Go to your account / personal information. Under Payment Methods, go to Redeem Gift Card. Type in the Gift Card code. This will add the gift card funds or credits to your account. Then go to the buy page and use these funds to purchase credits and/or apply those credits to classes and/or Open Play via the schedule.