An indoor play centre loved by Dubbo families has reopened in a bigger premises with an expanded vision.
The Kidzoo business was sold last year and since then planning and work has been going on to get the venture up and running again.
The efforts are coming to fruition this month with the opening of the doors of the indoor play centre's new White Street location.
Raynor Jones, manager and the driving force behind the project, told the Daily Liberal of the vision to build not just a "safe, fun play area" but also "a community centre".
"I saw it as a wider perspective, a place where parents and children can be cared for, connected with other organisations, and to create a really nice peaceful space where it's beneficial just to be able to relax and chill out and enjoy life a bit," she said.
As part of that, Kidzoo is undergoing a rebrand as the Billy Tin Community Play Centre, Ms Jones said.
She reports the business is "owned by a trust that has a community-based interest".
When Kidzoo went on the market 18 months ago, it drew Ms Jones's interest.
...I had my daughter's fifth birthday there, and then my granddaughter's fifth birthday there, and saw the need for something like that...Kidzoo manager Raynor Jones
"I thought I hope it stays in Dubbo, it's a good venture, I had my daughter's fifth birthday there, and then my granddaughter's fifth birthday there, and saw the need for something like that in the area," she said.
With a new building came the opportunity to construct a new set-up.
Ms Jones said they had developed more space for the "toddlers", the two- to five-year-olds.
"I wanted to create a playground that was beneficial to their education and motor skills..., but a place they felt safe in," she said.
The toddler area forms one of four main areas that also includes an indoor bike area for two- to five-year olds, a baby area, and a playground for children aged five to 12.
Already open are the toddler area, and the bike area, a place for the two to fives to learn ride, Ms Jones reports.
The toddler area had its first party last week.
The manager says the finishing touches are being made to the playground for five to 12-year-olds and she expects it will open soon.
The coronavirus pandemic made another challenge to negotiate in the path towards reopening.
Ms Jones said they were operating under COVID-19 restrictions, with bookings for three time slots each day, morning, lunch and afternoon.
"At the moment, we're taking bookings for parties and we're encouraging people to organise play dates, so they're with people they know, whether it be a family getting together or neighbourhood, or preschool, and the parties," she said.
"...When we get fully operational and the COVID-19 restrictions are all lifted, then we have a designated party area, which will take up to 20 kids, plus adults, and another area that will take 10 kids, plus adults."
The cafe is finished, and anyone was welcome to come for a coffee, but if they wished for seating, bookings were essential, Ms Jones said.
Community interest has encouraged Ms Jones throughout the process.
"I'd spoken to a few parents that I'd run into, and just talking to them and [they said] 'please, please, please go ahead and get it because we can't afford to lose it, we need it too much, the kids need it too much'," she said.
"So that was an encouragement to me to keep going when things got a bit tough and a bit complicated and difficult."
Ms Jones shared the idea behind the new name.
"...with a billy tin, you're normally sitting around a campfire having a cup of tea or a coffee, and having social gatherings, forming relationships, chilling out, sharing life," she said.