Huge New Indoor Play Area and Cafe Opening in Greenville, SC [Sept. 2023 Update]

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Play Cafe at Judson Mill in Greenville, SC is about to make every parent of little kids dreams come true with their huge indoor play area and cafe.

Austin Motes and Daniel Kingsbury are both dads with little kids. They acutely understand the challenge of finding fun, safe, and affordable places for their kids to play indoors but not at the expense of the sanity of the parents. And with Greenville growing so fast and so many new families coming to put down roots here – many of whom work from home – they also saw the need for a massive indoor space that allows parents to work but where their kids can get out energy and play.

They started dreaming up something big. Like really, really big.

Enter the new Play Cafe of Judson Mill, a massive new indoor play space with structures up to three stories tall and a cafe and comfortable tables and chairs for parents to get some work done.

The photo below is a possible rendering of what one of the playgrounds at the Play Cafe will look like. We also have photos from a sneak peek in September 2023 of how construction is coming so read on.

Possible rendering of one of the playgrounds at Play Cafe | Photo Credit: McMillan Pazdan Smith

About the Play Cafe

Austin Motes works in construction and has extensive knowledge of what it takes to navigate building codes and permits. Daniel Kingsbury owns SC Party Rentals so his expertise lies in entertainment. These Greenville natives are the co-owners of the Play Cafe and it’s their experience as parents and their knowledge of their respective industries that will make this new business venture appealing to families in Greenville (and beyond).

The vision behind the Play Cafe, they both told me, was to have a fun and relaxing place for kids to play safely but also to make sure parents didn’t need a vacation after spending a couple of hours there with their kids.

Photo of the smaller playground September 2023

To that end, there will be no arcade, no loud air blowing through inflatables, and no musical aspects. Of course, kids will be loud but none of the play structures will add to that noise.

The Indoor Playgrounds

Austin and Daniel have quite literally scoured the world to find the coolest indoor play structures to bring to Greenville. They have gone to the biggest convention of theme park operators and inventors to find unique aspects to bring to the Play Cafe. This is no small deal to say the least.

The entire Play Cafe will occupy more than 14,500 square feet, which is enormous.

There will be two huge play structures, one of them two stories high and the other three stories high. They will be netted, and have slides, climbing structures, balls to throw and play with, tunnels, ladders, and other surprises.

Possible rendering of one of the playgrounds at Play Cafe | Photo Credit: McMillan Pazdan Smith

Smaller kids will have an enclosed area to play apart from the bigger kids as well as a sensory area to explore. One side of the enclosed space will have a bartop counter where parents can sit with their coffee and laptops and watch their kids.

The Play Cafe is designed for kids through around middle or early high school and while kids can play on any structure they’d like, one structure will be geared more for younger kids and the other for older kids.

It’s obvious two dads and their wives planned this space, which I so appreciate!

Imagination Stations

For kids who may not want to play on the larger structures, the Play Cafe will have several Imagination Stations. These are small areas that are themed where kids can use their imaginations to become whatever their little hearts desire.

Some of the themed Imagination Stations will include a veterinarian’s office, a fire station, a princess castle, and a doctor’s office.

Safety at the Play Cafe

Safety is, of course, of utmost importance at the Play Cafe. All the play structures are sturdy, strong, and basically indestructible. These aren’t flimsy structures.

Additionally, when parents and their kids come to play, they will be given wristbands. To exit the facility, the kids must have the same wristband as their parents or they cannot leave. And there is only one entrance and exit so parents don’t need to worry about their little escape artists wandering off.

The Cafe

The Cafe will have comfortable seating throughout the space and service coffee, smoothies, pizza, and sandwiches. The Play Cafe will also be working with Feed & Seed, also located at Judson Mill, to offer healthier options if parents want to choose those.

And working parents, this is your place to bring the kids so you can get some work done. There will be plenty of space to bring your laptop, connect to the Wifi, and let your kids get some energy out while you meet your deadlines. In fact, parents will be able to rent out the party rooms during the week to have meetings and get work done while their kids play. I nearly jumped up and down when I heard this. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant.

Birthday Parties & Special Events

The Play Cafe at Judson Mill will offer several different birthday party packages for guests, ranging from a more budget-friendly version to an all out turnkey event where the parents only need to reserve the room and everything else will be handled for them. Um, yes please.

There will be seven birthday party rooms – yes, seven. So if the weather looks bad for your outdoor party, you have a pretty good chance of snagging one of the birthday party rooms here at the Play Cafe.

Additionally, all the party rooms will be the same with the option of projecting a theme throughout the room. Think a princess castle or jungle full of dinosaurs.

Possible rendering of one of the playgrounds at Play Cafe | Photo Credit: McMillan Pazdan Smith

Play Passes & Memberships

The pricing for a day of play has not been finalized yet but it will be competitive and there will be discounts for siblings. Memberships, homeschool days, tot times, and special needs hours will also be part of the new Play Cafe at Judson Mill.

For parents who work at the Play Cafe, the owners will allow them to bring one child per shift.

NEW: September 2023 Update

We got a sneak peek at the construction inside of the Play Cafe and it’s going to be awesome. Parents, we are so sorry this place isn’t opening sooner but when it does, it is going to be amazing so hang on tight, it’s coming.

Photo of the construction in September 2023

Some of the things we got to see are the smaller playground about halfway constructed. It’s about 18 feet high with multiple slides and tunnels. There is also an adjacent, enclosed area for kids about age one and under. We love enclosed spaces.

The equipment for the bigger playground is mostly at the site but it hasn’t been constructed yet. Some cool things included there will be plastic ball fountains and nerf guns plus huge – huge – slides. This structure is going to be about 22 feet high. Good luck trying to get your kids to leave once this place opens.

Opening Date & Frequently Asked Questions

It took an entire year for Austin and Daniel to find the location and get the permits for the Play Cafe and the space is enormous, which means they need a lot of time to get everything together from scratch and go through all the bureaucratic avenues. An opening date is planned for closer to the end of the year in 2023.

In the meantime, be sure to follow the Play Cafe on Facebook and we will be updating our readers as soon as it’s open. They will also be launching their website soon. We will update our story when they do.

Here are a few questions you may have with answers:

When will the Play Cafe open? Toward the end of 2023

Can I go see the Play Cafe now? No.

Will the Play Cafe be booking birthday parties soon? They will. Follow them on Facebook for the most updated announcements.

Will the Play Cafe have WiFi and areas for parents to work? Yes, indeed. This will be a great place for working parents.

Why is it taking so long for the Play Cafe to open? Because good things take time. Also, because the space is huge and the owners have to deal with a lot of local government requirements to open, which can take a long time.

Play Cafe at Judson Mill
701 Easley Bridge Road, Greenville
Play Cafe Facebook

Want to play now?

While you wait, try one of these indoor playgrounds near Greenville, SC.

Indoor Playgrounds near Greenville, SC

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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