Monday, October 19, 2015

9 Reasons You Need to Visit Cafe O'Play

As the mornings have gotten colder, and the days have gotten gray and rainy, I've been having flashes of what our winter will look like.  Two active boys cooped up in the house all day is not a pretty sight!  Kids need to use their large muscles - run, jump, climb, and explore like we do at the playground.

*I received free admission to Cafe O'Play and lunch for my family to facilitate writing this post.  All opinions are my own.*

That's why I'm so grateful to have an awesome indoor play place near by where we can go safely burn some energy regardless of what the weather outside looks like! Cafe O'Play is a large indoor playground with space to run, a two-story padded climbing structure, slides, and so much more.

9 Reason You need to Visit Cafe O'Play overlayed on picture of play area

There are always lots of chances to sign as well - TAKE-TURNS, BALL, WAIT, and DANCE are probably our most frequently used signs while we're playing.

Here are 9 reasons we love Café O'Play and think you will to:

1. Visit any Time of Year

With daily admission rates as well as monthly or 10-visit packages, Cafe O'Play is perfect for any time of year.  During the summer, we pop in for the day when it's super hot and we want an air-conditioned place to play or to get out of the rain.  In the winter, we opt for the monthly pass and stop in for a half-hour or so after school to burn some extra energy before heading home or visit for a few hours to get out of the house on a snowy Saturday morning.

2. It's Fun - and Always Different

The boys (and seemingly all the other kids there too) love to run, climb, slide, and play to their hearts' content.  It's not uncommon to see a game of tag or some other creative game start up between a group of children then continue to morph into a dozen different things as each adds an imaginative touch.  It is totally common to see the staff join in on the fun!

Child running on bridge in 2-story play structure with triple wide slide

Just like the outside playgrounds we visit, the play structure doesn't change. The play, though, is never the same twice.  It's amazing what a new day and a different mix of imaginations can dream up!

3. Time Out for Me - Or Not

I love that I can sit back and relax for a few minutes while the staff run run run with the kids.  I also love that I am more than welcome to slip off my shoes and climb my own socked feet up the play structure to help my child myself.

Cafe O'Play staff member helps child climb steps of two story play structure

4. The Staff is Super Involved

During busy times, the staff will often facilitate various organized activities like parachute games, sharks and minnows, and other childhood favorites in the sport court. When it's less busy, there are a hand full of spongy balls, foam discs, and stuffed rubber octopuses and pigs (I know - it sounds crazy, but they're always a hit!) to use imaginatively.

Sports court floor covered with discs, balls, and rubber animals

5. Interactive Play

3 year old boy plays a game using an eye-click floor
Two other constant hits for my family are the perpetual dance party complete with fun lighting and the "EyePlay Floor" which projects video games onto the floor to be played with the whole body by stepping, swiping, dancing, etc. to play games like pop the balloon, rotating puzzles, coloring pictures, and more!  I think I have as much fun playing along as the kids do!

There is also a gaga court which looks super fun.  My boys are a bit small to stay engaged for long, but I've seem some quite spirited games get started.

6. Options for the Smallest Guests

three year old uses toddler sized foam climber with slidethree year old builds with giant foam blocksFor those with younger children, the toddler area (for those under 4) allows climbing, sliding, and lots more fun - all at a toddler's level.

No one gets left out of the fun at Cafe O'Play!

7. The Chance to Grab a Bite to Eat

The café part in Café O'Play comes from their menu of goodies to eat and drink.  There are great options for adults like cappuccino, chai, and a variety of infused waters in addition to the typical water, milk, juice options.  Lunch and dinner choices include a variety of tasty sandwiches, soups, and salads like our favorites - broccoli cheese soup, balsamic marinated portabella sandwich, and red pepper Caesar salad. 
cup of broccoli cheddar soup with half ham and cheese sandwich

plate with half balsamic portabella sandwich and red pepper caesar salad

8. Kid Tins

The kids menu is my one of my favorites of anywhere we visit.  There are traditional options like PBJ sandwiches, and mac and cheese, but we never pass up the kid tins. These six-section muffin tins come filled with five child-approved foods like turkey, cheese, apple sauce, carrots, pretzels, etc. they can choose from a list of 16 options.  They are a hit for the boys every time which makes them a hit for Mom and Dad too! 

kid tin with carrots, cheese, ranch, applesauce, ham, and tortilla chips

The portions are plentiful, and I definitely feel you get your money's worth! Rarely does my 2 year old finish the entire amount of food (that's nothing new - he rarely finishes food), but my 4 year old never walk away hungry.  In a perfect world, I would love to see more fresh fruit and veggie options, but as a once-in-a-while lunch or dinner while we're playing, I can't complain.

9. The Aftermath

As you exit Café O'Play, you can't help but notice their warning:

Sign above the door reading "children leaving Cafe O'Play may need an early bedtime!

It's true!

three year old asleep in a car seat after playing at cafe o play

One of the best parts of visiting Café O'Play - be it crammed to capacity with children or we have the whole place to ourselves - is that the kids leave satisfied and tired, which means Mom and Dad leave satisfied too!

If you find yourself in Stow, Ohio definitely take the time to stop by for a visit, you'll be glad you did!


  1. I love places like this! Thanks so much for sharing this great post with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week :)

    1. We have so much fun here. I'm going to have to look for others whenever we travel! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. That looks like such a fun place!! That "after" photo is adorable!! Thank you for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty

    1. We all have a blast here. The "after" is always my favorite part! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. That looks like such a great indoor play centre. I love that the staff are involved and the kids muffin trays are fab! Thanks for linking to #featurefridays

    1. Those are my two of my favorites too - their staff is all fabulous!

  4. Sounds fun! Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home!