What is Cafe O’Play

IMG_4325Cafe O’ Play is Northeast Ohio’s premier indoor play cafe created to offer families healthy food options and physically-active play in a safe, clean, and comfortable environment.  We are built for children age 12 and under who also are at or under 4’10” in height and 100 lbs in weight.

We seek to develop community through a relaxed setting that also offers birthday parties, live music, and a variety of special events for both adults and children.

Cafe O’Play is for children and their parents/caregivers who desire an imaginative, challenging, and fun indoor environment in which to exercise, play, and explore.

There are two main areas to Cafe O’Play: the coffeehouse/cafe area, where everyone enters through, and the large indoor playground.

The play area is separated from the cafe by a wall with large windows, giving complete line of sight into the play area from the cafe area.  The cafe is open to the general public.  For safety, children must be accompanied by an adult in our facility in order to be admitted to the play area. Adults are not permitted to enter the play area without the wristband that indicates they have come with their child.  Children are not be permitted unaccompanied entry, nor are “drop-off permitted, except for pre-arranged parties and special events.  Furthermore, each person admitted to the play area must receive a color-coded wristband identifying him/her with the rest of their party. Trained staff supervise the play areas at all times to ensure adherence to the Cafe O’Play rules while assisting the children to maximize their enjoyment.

Relaxing for Parents | Playtime for Kids

DSC_3773Our play area, approximately 5000 square feet in size, includes a toddler-specific play area for children up to 48 months comprised of cushions, ramps, toys, and a small climbing structure.  Our larger climbing structure for older children  consists of a series of colorful tubes, slides, climbing structures, obstacle courses, ramps, and stairs.

A unique feature to the attraction mix of Cafe O’Play is an EyePlay interactive floor.  This unique play system is developed by Eye Click industries and features an almost unlimited amount of games projected onto an 8’x12’ white floor.  Games can be changed in difficulty level based upon age group.

DSC_3817DSC_3761Next to the EyePlay, is our screened in Sports Court.  Besides sports like basketball and soccer,  this court can also include an assortment of group games led by our Play Monitors at busy times in our center.

On the other side of the climbing structure, is Gaga Ball; a kinder/gentler form of dodge ball that is very popular at children’s summer camps.

In the corner near the Gaga Ball court is our popular Dance Room with multi-colored lights, a disco ball and great kid-friendly dance music.

Lastly, the play area includes two private party rooms near the play structure that offer private space to birthday guests and other corporate events. Hosted by trained “Party Hero’s”, our parties significantly reduce the hassle and mess for parents because we take care of all the details. The design of the rooms – adjacent rooms with a portable wall partition –   allow for groups as large as 38 people at a time,  Cafe O’Play offers several birthday packages for parties, as well as Family Celebrations for children 2 and younger, and Extreme Tween Parties.



That answers “What is Cafe O’Play?”  Here’s the Why.

“Now, come back here. Ok, you just sit down while I order the food. Oh, wait! Put that back on the shelf. AH!! You guys are driving me crazy today!”

I immediately hopped up to see if I could help this Mom in the Cafe with her two toddler boys aged 2 and 4. Try as I might to get them interested in playing at the Imagination Playground Blocks, they weren’t about to come over with me.

“That’s Ok. They will sit right here and I’ll get at least this guy corralled in the high chair.” This Mom was wonderfully patient.

“I totally know how you feel”, I said. “I had 3 boys each 2 years apart.”

“Oh, my goodness,” she said, “I can’t even imagine having another at this point. How did you do it?”

“Oh, just like you are doing it”, I said, “making it through one minute at a time.”

I sat down at my computer in the Cafe since I was helping the staff intermittently between administrative tasks. Suddenly hit me: This was WHY! THIS was WHY!

People want to know how in the world John and I came up with the idea of opening an indoor play cafe in Northeast Ohio. We can explain that we took our children to one in Michigan and fell in love with what a comfortable setting it was. We can explain how relieved we were that our 3 boys could release their endless physical energy.

But the REASON is the story above. The REASON is that, from very personal experience of having 4 children in 6 years, we discovered that parenting was just plain hard. As much as our love flowed for those darlings, the demand of caring for young ones was relentless. When I overheard this Mom wrangling her boys I FELT everything she felt in the way that only someone who has been there can know it.

This is why Cafe O’Play exists in Northeast Ohio. It’s because John and Carolyn Green had 3 boys and a girl and struggled desperately to make sure they didn’t tear the house or each other apart with their extra energy. It’s because both of us just plain love kids. It’s because we think parents ought to be valued. The chairs ought to be nice. The Cafe should look comfy. The coffee ought to be good.

We bring the food out to you. We clean up the mess. We arrange the craft and the character visit, and events and hope beyond all hope that you get a wee little respite.
It’s because….well, we know how it feels.

  • John & Carolyn Green, Owners

Tickets now available for our Mommy and Me Tea!! We will be live later on with a preview of activities for this special VIP event. ...

Mommy and Me Tea!

May 7, 2017, 9:30am - May 7, 2017, 11:00am

Sunday May 7th, 9:30am-12:00pm. Celebrate Mom/Grandma/Aunt or other favorite women in your life at Cafe O’Play during this private event. For $25 per adult and child duo you’ll get admission to the Play Area, sandwiches, fruit, veggies, tea, juice and coffee. There will be a craft available to do with your child. One flower for each duo to plant together and you will each receive a cookie to decorate. There will also be fun door prizes and giveaways. Each additional adult or child is $15.

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My 7 year-old face turned beet red and I wanted nothing more than to be swallowed whole by the church pew.

All eyes in the church turned around and smiled at little ol’ me.

Young and old alike let out a collective, “Aww…..”

My father, a pastor, had just told the congregation a story about something I said to him during the week. Out of the blue I had told him, “Guess what, Dad?” “What?” he said. “I love you!”

What he had shared as an anecdote about love for his sermon backfired on him. From the pulpit, he noticed I looked like a deer in headlights.

He had put me on the spot and I was embarrassed.

Later in the day, my Dad found me and apologized for making me feel uncomfortable. He proposed that in the future, he would always ask me first if it was ok if he shared a story about something I said or did.

All was forgiven and I felt respected and heard. He never again shared something about me without asking me first.

Ah...the trials of being a Pastor's Kid.

Or PK, for those of you in the know.

Us PKs are a certain breed.

One thing we know, is that we are likely to be the last family to leave the church after services. There was always one more person that Mom or Dad had to touch base with, or some part of the building that needed to be locked up.

I’m convinced this is how my parents taught me the concept of eternity, because that’s how long it took for us to leave.

We also knew that weekends are for other people. For our parents, the weekend was the focus of all the preparation and prayer during the week. After Sunday services were over, Mom and Dad were TIRED! Especially Dad. There was a mandatory rest time Sunday afternoons, and even if we didn’t want to rest, we sure had to be quiet if we were in the house!

This is even more true over the holidays. High and holy days took even more energy and focus. There is nothing like the relief a clergyman feels once all of the holiday services are over.

But despite this and all of the “pressure” of being a PK, I’m grateful for the foundation of faith my parents provided me. They introduced me to the most important Person of all and gave me lots of opportunities to grow in my faith and make it my own.

At Cafe O’Play, we understand that after holidays like Passover or Easter, families of clergy can really use a chance relax and reconnect in something that is just for them.

That’s why we are really excited to be hosting our 2nd Annual Faith Leaders Appreciation Night, April 23rd, from 5:30pm-7:30pm. We are providing the food and fun for free (due to limited space, this is for church/synagogue staff-only). We want our area clergy to know they are appreciated, valued and are deserving of unique time together as a family.

Do you have a faith leader you want to make sure can take advantage of this event? Please tag this article or share the opportunity with them. This is ideal for families who have children in our target age and height range (see our website for details: www.cafeoplay.com) and could include nieces or nephews or grandchildren if the ages best accommodate them. Participants must register ahead so we can plan appropriately for food and staffing. faithappreciation.eventbrite.com

It’s not everyone who gets what it’s like to grow up in a family of clergy, but from one PK to all you others out there, hang in there.

I know it’s not easy sometimes. But I hope you will be as grateful someday as I am.

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