MEET THE TEAM
Founder's Story + Mission
Stay + Play Local founder Chrissy Somers was always a social local-loving girl growing up in the suburbs of Chicago. While attending Northern Illinois University, she worked at Geneva Commons to make extra money. On weekends, she would pass by the quaint local shops in the downtown area, dreaming she would one day own a home and raise a family in the Tri-City area.
Her dream came true in 2014. Chrissy and her husband spent so much time getting to know their new community: planning local excursions, exploring parks, eating at new restaurants, visiting local shops, checking out the local craft brewery scene, attending local events. Unfortunately, becoming part of the community like this involved a lot of time and research at home before even stepping foot outside.
At the time, there was no single platform to help her get out and have some fun locally – yet there were always so many things to do. Simply searching for weekend events became an overwhelming, Herculean task!
She realized her community needed a one-stop shop for ALL THINGS FUN + LOCAL: Places to go. Eateries to explore. Outdoor expeditions to experience. Resources for birthday bashes, girls nights out, date nights, and mini-adventures close to home. The community needed a resource that could help them spend less time searching and more time DOING.
So, after having her third child and leaving her ten-year tenure as a middle school teacher, she summoned her local-loving self and built Stay + Play Local (formerly Families on the Fox), a go-guide for all things local! While we have grown quite a bit since our inception in 2018, Stay + Play Local continues with the same beliefs we started with:
WE BELIEVE IN LOCAL | Remember Dorothy’s red shoes? Yeah, all the good things were right there in front of her all along. Same with us. Local is the adventure in our own backyard because there’s ‘no place like home’.
WE BELIEVE FUN MAKES A LIFE | Fun is completely underrated in our race to check off items on the dreaded to-do list. When life draws to a close, who will ever regret having too much fun with people they love?
WE BELIEVE CURIOSITY IS THE CRUX OF ADVENTURE | Want to discover something new? That’s what we’re here to help with. Count us in on your next adventure.
WE BELIEVE INCLUSION IS NOT A QUESTION | We all belong. Isn’t this THE beating heart of a thriving community? Inclusion brings out the best moments in everything we do and we want every person in the community to feel that this is their community.
There are so many gems in our community, friends! You’ve heard the phrase when you travel: “This is where the locals go.” Well, Stay + Play Local is that coveted website to help locals + visitors get connected to the community! Get out to #ExploreMore and #LoveWhereYouLive.
Share your local adventuring with us on Instagram or Facebook by tagging @StayAndPlay.TriCities!