Business, Marketing, and Life Advice for Local Business Owners

Why Should You Open an Indoor Playground or Play Cafe?

Dec 20, 2018


Exactly THREE years ago, my husband Chris and I were finally able to see almost a YEAR of our hard work come to life when we opened Climbing Vines Cafe & Play and hosted our first birthday party for a lucky little one!  

Since then, we have hosted over 550 parties, held over 200 special events and classes, and greeted thousands of smiles that walked through our door.

It has undoubtedly been the most difficult, yet most rewarding...

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Are Indoor Playground Businesses Profitable?

Dec 19, 2018


This past week I learned that another play space in my area was closing its doors. In a letter posted to social media, the owner wrote, “Sadly, the business has not proven to be financially sustainable.” These words have been in my mind since I read them.

Being so close in proximity to my own business, I...

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5 Great Ideas to Incorporate into Your Indoor Play Area or Play Cafe

Dec 15, 2018

When I was pinning ideas for my indoor playground, I came across dozens (perhaps hundreds!) of amazing ideas, and just could not incorporate them all. After owning my play cafe for over 3 years now, I may be a little biased, but I still think our play area is the bees-knees! I want to share a few of the ideas that made the cut, and a few I wish we could incorporate that I think you and your customers will enjoy as much as I do.

 The priorities for me are cleanliness, inclusivity, and...

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Considering Opening an Indoor Playground? Ask Yourself These 10 Questions First

Dec 15, 2018

DOWNLOAD- The 10 Questions Checklist- PDF

If you are one of the brave souls considering play-cafe ownership, congratulations! The time for diving in and implementing this business model is NOW. With many retail spaces closing, real-estate vacancies are on the rise causing rent (on average) to experience a simultaneous decline and therefore the barriers-to-entry in the brick-and-mortar space are lower than ever.

One of the reasons for these vacancies is the increasing demand for convenience....

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3 Mistakes to Avoid when Opening an Indoor Play Center

Dec 15, 2018

After 3 years in business at Climbing Vines Cafe & Play, I finally understand the saying, “Hindsight is 20/20.” As I was preparing to open our indoor playground, my never-ending task list seemed overwhelming.  As a result, I rushed through a few crucial phases of the opening process. While discussing this topic with other play cafe owners, I realized I was not alone. It’s certainly easy to make a few oversights and incorrect decisions when you face so many daily....

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7 Crucial Steps to Opening a Play Cafe or Indoor Playground

Dec 15, 2018

If you’re considering indoor playground or play cafe ownership, then let me be the first to congratulate you! You are likely daydreaming of this process because you are hoping to:

  1. Spend more time with your family

  2. Supplement your income, and

  3. Create a positive and lasting impact in your community

Four years ago, I was in your exact spot. I was at my desk job with my newborn baby at home, feverishly researching the play-cafe business model during my lunch hours, consuming as much...

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6 tips for Planning Your Play Cafe Space

Dec 15, 2018

Once you’ve signed your lease on your indoor playground or play cafe space, it’s time to design the interior of your business! I recommend hiring a skilled local architect that specializes in entertainment or retail space. Someone who specializes in office space, for example, won’t be able to help you design a check-in process that will boost your sales and streamline your customer’s experience.

Even if you hire an architect, they will only be able to get you so far...

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A Train Birthday Party for a Two Year Old

Feb 20, 2018


I remember being so excited to plan this party for Benjamin because it was the first year he was really INTO something- TRAINS!

The party was smaller than his first, with mostly our extended family in attendance along with a few friends who came to play.

The atmosphere was wonderful- the children entered right into the play area and the adults got to mingle, drink coffee, eat, and RELAX!

This birthday party was in the afternoon, so we went with subs, pizza, veggies,...

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