How to Start an Indoor Playground Business

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If you love working with kids, starting an indoor playground business that is safe, kid-friendly and affordable could prove successful. When it's too hot or too cold or raining, parents need somewhere to take their children to play. Make sure your business is where they go by offering a variety of toys, games, events and equipment for toddler through pre-teens.

Things You'll Need

  • Insurance
  • Equipment
  • Space
  • Liability waiver
Girls laughing at indoor playground
Girls laughing at indoor playground (Image: Digital Vision./Valueline/Getty Images)

Step 1

Come up with a catchy name and logo, then incorporate your business and obtain your federal tax identification number. A limited liability corporation (LLC) offers liability protection for your personal assets if your company is sued, which is important in a business such as this one. Contact your health department about any safety requirements or regulations. For example, you may be required to be certified in CPR.

Woman smiling on laptop
Woman smiling on laptop (Image: Marili Forastieri/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Step 2

Choose your amenities. Your playground business might include a snack bar, vending machines, an open play area, a video-game room, rock climbing, a room for the play structure, seating for 100 people or more, a gift or merchandise shop, a private party room for birthdays and a stage for karaoke. Consider offering Wi-Fi and a coffee cart for parents.

Boxes of sports balls and indoor playground
Boxes of sports balls and indoor playground (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Step 3

Find a location that can accommodate the square footage required for your chosen amenities; you may need as much as 14,000 square feet.

Real estate agent showing property
Real estate agent showing property (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Step 4

Purchase liability insurance, such as worker's compensation, accident and equipment liability (see Resources section). Be sure to get a detailed list of insurer's requirements and follow those exactly.

Woman meeting with insurance agent
Woman meeting with insurance agent (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Step 5

Contact a lawyer to help you draw up a waiver parents must sign before their children can play. Get professional advice on avoiding lawsuits or other potentially expensive issues.

Woman meeting with lawyer
Woman meeting with lawyer (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Step 6

Determine how you will operate a safe playground, incorporating advice from your insurer and your lawyer. Use soft structures and mats and offer a separate play areas for older kids. Be aware of how often equipment must be inspected.

Boy on slide
Boy on slide (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Step 7

Purchase your play structure, sneaker keepers, foam padding, playground signage, toddler slides, dome caps and nets. Purchase popcorn machines, hotdog machines, cotton candy machines, coffee, nachos, lemonade and pretzels. Purchase vending machines, if necessary (see Resources section).

Child on slide
Child on slide (Image: Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Step 8

Purchase cash registers, paper rolls and ink ribbon and other business equipment (see Resources section).

Cash register
Cash register (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Step 9

Promote your store in local family and kid's magazines. Consider creating a website. List your business in local directories.

Woman smiling on laptop
Woman smiling on laptop (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

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Tips & Warnings

  • When purchasing play structures, be sure to get ones that come with a warranty.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Consumer Products Safety Commission guidelines on indoor playground equipment.
  • Offer group and summer rates.
  • Consider offering Parent's Night Out, overnight stays and hosting birthday parties.
  • Hire kid-friendly employees. Conduct background checks on all potential hires.

References

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