My 3 Favorite Things About The Indoor Playground / Play Cafe I Visited Yesterday!

In this article (which is a reader-friendly version of my Profitable Play Podcast episode 131 which you can listen to here), I am going to quickly share three things I loved about my recent visit to Cafe O Play in November 2022! Now, I could truly list dozens of other things– but I want to keep it simple so that you can walk away from reading this with actionable takeaways you can implement in your own indoor playground, play cafe, or family entertainment center!

This was an extra special visit for me because not only did I get to visit an indoor play center that I have been admiring for the better part of s decade (literally since 2015!)-- I also got to meet up with Play Maker Society member Krystyne, who is the owner of Sweet Peas Play Cafe in Kokomo Indiana. 

Now, if you have been following my Podcast or YouTube channel for ANY amount of time, you’ll likely know that Krystyne gets mentioned CONSTANTLY– and that’t for good reason. She is one of my OG Play Cafe Academy and Play Maker Society members (almost 4 years strong as of November 2022!) and she is SO generous inside our group and on our zoom calls. Not to mention, her beautiful business is inspiring to say the least! I DO plan to visit Krystyne at her space someday soon…. But for now, it was amazing to FINALLY meet up with her in person for the first time ever in Ohio!

Meeting up with my Play Makers in real-life is something that leaves me BURSTING with energy, gratitude, and motivation every single time.

Alright– let’s get to the 3 main things Krystyne and I both loved about our visit to Cafe O Play!


1) Hand Washing Stations

Before you enter the play area, whether you are just arriving OR if you just ate, washing your hands is REQUIRED. And what I loved about their set-up at Cafe O Play is that they had commercial-grade, automatic hand-washing stations. 

I have been told (by Krystyne’s sweet kiddos) that these are on many cruise lines now but have not had the chance to see that for myself. Basically, these work by sticking your hands in the machine for a set amount of time while spirals of jets and sanitizing solution thoroughly clean your hands. 

I love this because it no-doubt reduces the amount of germs and sticky stuff going into the play area, which is nice for all parents for obvious reasons, but it also makes their facility much safer for families who face food allergies. 

Back when I interviewed food allergy expert Corinna Meckelbork on my youtube channel and in episode 43 the Profitable Play Podcast, she specifically mentioned how ESSENTIAL required hand-washing prior to entering the play area was when it came to accommodating food allergies safely in our facilities. 

And considering 1 in 5 families are now included in this group, it makes sense from both an inclusivity standpoint AND a profit standpoint to do all in our power to make sure our facilities are set up to safely welcome them into our spaces for open play, parties, events, classes and more at our indoor playground businesses.

They also do not allow food into the play area– instead, you are required to eat ONLY in their cafe which is separated by a wall (with windows so you can still see the play area while dining!). This also likely contributes to the safety and cleanliness of their space so I absolutely loved that – and I would feel more safe bringing my kids to this play cafe even if they had food allergies or were perhaps immunocompromised because of this added feature.


2) There Were Marketing Materials Everywhere!

Krystyne and I both remarked during our visit how intentional the marketing was throughout the entire Cafe O Play space. From TVs with rotating messages to colorful flyers peppering every single wall of the cafe and play area– you couldn’t NOT take notice. 


Heck, they even had flyers about their upcoming pajama party on the inside of their bathroom stalls which I thought was cheeky and really creative. 

So many indoor playgrounds struggle with making classes and events profitable because they don’t sell out on a consistent basis OR it just takes the owners and staff way too much time and money to market and advertise them.

I loved that Cafe O Play was really utilizing the traffic that they were ALREADY getting inside of their space to help people continue on their customer journey with them. Because an indoor playground customer journey typically starts with an open play visit, then maybe an event ticket purchase, then perhaps–assuming they had a good experience– a larger ticket purchase like a recurring membership or a party. BOTH big-ticket (parties) and recurring revenue (memberships) I have mentioned time and time again and especially in my most recent YouTube videos– are 2 streams of revenue that are going to be vital to your success (especially as we face a possible recession).

There was truly no wasted space here and as I said, everything was colorful and eye-catching. Had I been local, I would have certainly made additional purchases or bookings while there. 


3) Staggered Ticketed Play

As parents, we can all likely agree that one of the worst experiences we can have as families with young children is arriving at a facility we are all excited to visit, only to be turned away due to them hitting capacity. Or worse, paying a large amount and not being able to enjoy your visit due to overwhelming crowds causing chaos.

At Cafe O Play we were able to reserve a 3-hour window in advance which guaranteed our spot. However, their start times for these 3 hour intervals began every hour, and they kept track of this with colored wrist bands.

As a parent whose kids’ nap times and schedules were constantly changing through the weeks, months, and years– I loved that there were many different start times to choose from (instead of just 1 or 2) and also that the windows were large enough such that if something came up or we were running late for our scheduled start time– it would not detract from our visit and we would still have plenty of time to play.

I know I mentioned that I would keep this simple with my 3 biggest takeaways– but I also wanted to share some honorable mentions. 

If you are in Play Maker Society, I will be uploading videos with a lot more detail (PLUS we talked about this on our November group coaching zoom meeting).  

But, even if you’re not, some other things I liked about their space was a quiet pod you could rent out if you needed some quiet work time or to take a call, their vast and delicious cafe menu (I got a large iced americano!), their blacklight dance room that my autistic sensory seeker son would have absolutely loved, their large climbing structure that seemed to be enjoyable for toddlers all the way up to preteens, and their adorable shirts with their logos they were selling in sizes ranging from infant to adult.

Overall I really enjoyed this visit and am SO glad I made the drive. If you are ever in Ohio, go check it out!


If you need help designing your indoor playground or play cafe business for both customer experience and PROFIT– or ANYTHING in your indoor playground business, play cafe business, or family entertainment center– I’d love to welcome you inside my membership with over 200 owners called Play Maker Society! You can get a free month inside the membership when you enroll in Play Cafe Academy, my signature program, today! Click below to get all the details and limited time bonus info!


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Can I Send You My NEW Free 2023 "What's Working In The Indoor Play Industry" Guide?

I asked 7 Play Cafe Academy and Play Maker Society members what is working RIGHT NOW in their businesses to attract customers and grow sales. I want to send you their answers in my FREE newly updated 2023 "What's Working" Guide!