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How to start an indoor playground business

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Starting a business venture is not a walk in the park. As an aspiring businessman, there are many aspects to take care of, and it becomes a bit difficult to keep everything in line. Additionally, if you are entering a market that already has some giants, the competition level escalates. However, this does not mean your business cannot flourish.

If beginning an indoor playground business is your choice, you require to analyze countless things. Here in this write-up, we will look at all the aspects to scan before and while doing the business! Other than that, we will also analyze if your indoor playground equipment idea is profitable or not. Let’s begin!

figure 1 indoor playground business

Is an indoor playground business profitable?

Before we dive into the process of starting an indoor playground business, we need to answer the most expensive question. Is an indoor playground business profitable? Let’s find out!

Children love to play with soft equipment and toys. However, they might not get them everywhere other than home. On the other hand, when parents are out with their little kids and want to ensure that their kid enjoys the day out, an indoor playground is a perfect place. It helps the kids socialize while parents can go shopping.

It is also a great place to let your kids go to if you want to keep them away from blue screens. As per a study, around 23% of kids are addicted to video games. More screen time means more health issues. Therefore, indoor playgrounds can be a great and healthy distraction.

As children love to play and parents are keener towards keeping their children healthy, an indoor playground can be a great income stream for you. Whether you are starting fresh or integrating it with your existing business, it will be fruitful both ways.

An existing business like a grocery store, mall, church, restaurant, etc., can harness big bucks for you when an indoor playground is added to them. As per recent stats, the market size of Children’s Entertainment Centers is expected to be worth $15.37 billion in 2026. So, your plans for an indoor playground are good so far.

Here are some more things that fall in favor of indoor playground business ideas:

  • Evergreen: One of the key reasons to start an indoor playground business is that it is an evergreen business. No matter how old you get, your business will keep garnering money for you.
  • A source of income: If you are integrating it with your existing business, an indoor playground will be a great alternate source of income.
  • Current trends: People tend to spend a lot on baby showers and other kid’s events. An ideal place for them to organize these events is a place with an indoor playground. Other than that, issues like childhood obesity, stress, etc., among kids have also made people lean towards this child activity center.
figure 2 indoor playground business

How do you open an indoor play area?

Now that you are pretty sure that an indoor playground business will be a profitable deal for you. It’s time for the critical part, the business plan!

Being a business owner, you have to draft a business plan for building your indoor playground business. We will go through all the critical business plan steps below!

A Thorough Market Research

It is pretty obvious that if you are starting a new business, thorough research on all choices you have and which one suits you the most is necessary. Here, the choice is pretty simple as indoor playgrounds are quite popular among parents and children alike.

Market research will answer some of the most important business questions like:

  • What sort of equipment or toys? What theme? Which place?
  • Who will be your target audience?
  • What are your operating costs?

Being a business owner, by analyzing the market, you will also come to know who your competitors are and exactly what they do. By analyzing the competitors carefully, you can learn their weaknesses and strengths. This can help you build your business in a better way, like by offering an exciting environment, more play area, snack bar, etc. Who knows, you end up creating an indoor playground franchise.

figure 3 indoor playground business

Choose the Ideal Location

The location of a business plays a pillar role in its success. For instance, if you install an indoor playground near a hospital, it will not attract customers. On the other hand, if you put it near a mall or a busy marketplace, it will fetch tons of visitors for you.

It is easy to understand that wherever people go with their kids for some outing, that is the ideal location for you.

Some more factors to keep in mind about the location are that:

  • It should be easy to drive to and should also have some other attractions for the adults.
  • Public transport should be available for that location.
  • It should be in a commercial area.
figure 4 indoor playground business shopping mall

Design Proposal

Now that you have shortlisted a location, it’s time to draft the design proposal. This part is not tough and can be done with the help of an architect or interior designer.

Here are some crucial aspects to remember:

  • A separate entry for parents and children should be there so that they can go to the playground directly.
  • A reception counter should be set up for parents to pay and gain entry into the playground.
  • While designing a separate dressing room for kids, keep in mind that it should have cubicles with pads for changing their clothes.
  • Make sure that the place has more indoor play areas with high ceilings.
  • Have a theme like how many other businesses have jungle gyms, rock climbing walls, etc.
  • The play area should be friendly for children of all ages.
  • A fully equipped kitchen is a must to serve food to parents and kids.
  • Include toys like balls, trampolines, blocks, climbing structures, inflatable bouncers, etc.
figure 5 indoor playground business space

Layout Planning

You can make a layout plan with the help of an interior designer or the manufacturer of an indoor playground. This plan should include how you would like your play area to be divided into sections and how many different kinds of toys will be kept, or how much space is allotted for each toy.

You should divide the area efficiently into different play areas for different activities. Moreover, also focus on areas for families to sit and relax, food, etc.; when you have done all of this, you can purchase the play equipment.

figure 6 indoor playground layout

Consider Safety of Indoor Playground(from material and safety standard)

Having the required play equipment is necessary, but security is more necessary. You can set up toys that children of all ages can use but how safe they are and how the material and safety standard is also important.

Indoor playgrounds must comply with federal and state laws and regulations to ensure your business, employees, customers, etc., remain safe from any kind of harm or damage. In case there is some accident during the play due to using low-quality materials, your business will be in big trouble.

Here are some safety standards that you should follow based on the country!

AS 3533.4.2-2013: For overall manufacturing and production.
EN1176 standard: Testing standard for materials used in indoor playgrounds.  
EU REACH: The safety regulation deals with the authorization and evaluation of chemical substances.  
CE: An essential safety standard meant to sell your products in Europe.  
EN 71: It mentions all the safety requirements for toys.
North America
ASTM F1918-12: The standard uncovers the specifications for Soft Contained Play Equipment.  
CPSIA: This is a law signed in favor of maintaining safety for children.  
NFPA 701: NFPA specifies how the fabric will be used in making the equipment.  
UL 94: The UL 94 tests the relative material flammability.
CSA Z614-07(R2012): This is a standard that features requirements for public use play spaces and play equipment.

ISO is a universal standard that has to be followed by every business. It specifies factors to note for ensuring quality, safety, and efficiency.

Safety considerations include:

  • Proper size, weight, and height of the soft play equipment.
  • Safety equipment in activities like harnesses in rock climbing, cushions around trampolines, round edges of blocks, soft plastic balls, and more!
figure 7 indoor playground qc team

Business Licenses

You will require a business license to start the business of indoor playgrounds and also a tax identification number if it is a new one. Even though you might not think that this is necessary, it is necessary to follow the rules of your state or country and fulfill licensing requirements.

Some of the key licenses that you may need for an indoor playground business are:

  • DBA (Doing Business As) License
  • General business license

Other than this, you will also need a center-based child care license and a license to prepare and sell food if you are planning to include a cafe or a snack bar.

application for license

Production & Construction

Now that you have the design and all the other things in place, it is time for you to start the construction of the site. Hire people who are efficient in this work because your business cannot afford any delays.

Along with this, make sure that the company you appoint has well-qualified engineers, skilled laborers, and technicians.

Go and select the material that best suits your requirements. The play equipment should be of top-notch quality that will withstand wear and tear even with rough use by children. It should also be durable, attractive, and safe for children and adults alike. Apart from all this, it is necessary to pick out high-class toys. Whoever provides the design/layout will also produce the toys. So, we need to select suppliers in advance.

figure 9 indoor playground production

Product Shipping

The items should be shipped to the destination in time so that you don’t miss your grand opening. Also, if it is an overseas order, make sure that all the shipping documents are properly arranged and sent over by a reputed shipping company. Check with your indoor playground manufacturer once before confirming your order shipping details.

Here are the steps to import indoor playground equipment from China!

1.    Know your country’s import requirements: To ensure that the import process is smooth, check the import requirements of your company. It should include the duties, taxes, and various documentation required.
2.    Check the delivery options: It is necessary for you to check what type of delivery options that the firm offers. Verify how their service is and then confirm your order.
3.    Prepare for customs and other payments: Once you are done with the order confirmation, you are required to pay for custom duties and taxes. Here are some documents required by the countries.

●        CE Certificate for Europe and the United Kingdom
●        Packing list
●        Origin certificate: This is required by all countries.
●        EORI number: It is required by the UK only.
●        Declaration of Conformity: Required for Europe and the United Kingdom
●        Landing bill
●        Invoice
●        Label of made in China
●        EU type Socket Input Support for the UK and Europe

Make sure that you have all of these documents with paid charges for smooth overseas shipping.

figure 10 indoor playground shipping


Once the shipment of toys and other items that your indoor playgrounds require arrive, it is time to install them. Make sure that you install them at the required heights so that kids can access them easily. Moreover, also ensure that you leave appropriate spaces between different sections to prevent any sort of minor injuries.

It is best to employ skilled laborers backed by a professional engineer for this job.

Indoor Playground Manufacturer will offer an overseas installation team to help clients.

figure 11 indoor playground installation

Operation Support (Hire staff and training)

Now, you are done with the installation. We all know that kids are naughty and are keen to try things that they shouldn’t. Though you have ensured that nothing bad happens inside the playground, it is still necessary to hire some professional staff members to keep oversight over the activities of the kids.

There can be scenarios where kids might try to get out from over the fencing (if it is not that high). They might tend to get into a quarrel with other kids. Some might fall from the slides and more. To handle such scenarios responsibly and quickly, hire and train some staff members.

figure 12 indoor playground equipment staff hiring

Marketing and Advertisement

So far, your store is ready to welcome the audience. To get the audience, you have to make people aware of it. For this, you can build a website, run ads online as well as offline.

If you already have a website, connect with people on social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. You can share the indoor playground’s pictures and videos to add a spark to the online content. Make them interested in visiting the location or contacting you for more info.

To make your ads more lucrative, you can provide discount coupons and other offers along with your price listing. It will surely make a good impact on your targeted customers and make them get to you faster.

figure 13 indoor playground equipment

Maintain and Clean

To keep your indoor playground running for a longer time, make sure that you keep it clean and maintained at all times. You will never know how many children have visited and played in your store. Therefore, it is best to hire people for cleaning and maintenance of the toys and other indoor playground equipment. Here are some tips you can follow:
●        Make use of disinfectant spray and Teflon spray for shine and hygiene.
●        Use wet towels to wipe out the surface of the toys.
●        As packaging can cause litter, provide food items like candies or biscuits without wrappers.
●        Use wireless vacuum cleaners to keep the yard dust-free.
●        Inspect the park daily to check if any part needs repair.

figure 14 indoor playground cleaning

What is the cost involved in starting an indoor playground in the USA?

There are many crucial factors that contribute to the overall cost of an indoor playground. If you are planning to enter this business, analyze all your spendings that might be. Based on the area and type of playground equipment, the cost varies.

For example, the aspects that greatly affect the cost are:

  • Kitchen area (if you include a snack bar)
  • Flooring
  • Furniture for seating the families
  • Toys
  • Swings and other play equipment

These are some of the fixed upfront costs that you might have to bear. The overall expenses for these may vary from $5000 to over $1,000,000. It all depends on your preferences for areas, quality of toys, number of toys, shipping charges, etc.

The cost may overwhelm you, but once you have invested this much, the annual revenue will be off the charts. The overall revenue that you can generate from your indoor playground business can be around $100,000 or more. It all depends on your marketing, location, service quality, etc.

Other than this, the salaries of the staff and maintenance charges can also add up to the overall cost. Therefore, you have to carefully decide your budget.

As an example, we have mentioned some of the crucial costs involved in making a 200 square meter indoor playground.

figure 15 indoor playground design price
Item or ServiceBudgetDetails

1. Equipment and management (shipping and installation)

$14,500 = $3000-6000 for installation with 1 engineer + $4500 for shipping
Toys and play equipment, design of the space, engineer cost, travel cost, etc.

2. Production cost
$25,000 (24.3 x 7.5 x 5 meters) The production cost of playground equipment.

3. Decoration and multimedia
Park decoration, multimedia items like computers, television, air conditioners, installation charges.

4. Rent and Reserve funds
$360,000 per year Advance payments, salaries, water, and electricity bills.


  • Income per month = $41,600 ($10-15 per hour for 100-150 children per day, 600-1000 persons per month)
  • Cafe: $33,000 per month

The total cost of setting up will be around $550,500, and the total profit will be $895,200.

Wrapping Up!

So how to start an indoor playground business? There are many ideas that are there to explore. Start with something small. Expand your business over time if it proves profitable to the market. However, keep all these points in check before beginning one.

Simona Peng

Simona Peng

Hi, my name is Simona Peng and I am Marketing Director for TOPKIDSPLAY . Welcome to our website and thanks for your interest in TOPKIDSPLAY. I do hope you’ll make yourself at home here.

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