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Posts Tagged ‘Indoor’

Huge New Indoor Play Area and Cafe Now Open in Greenville, SC

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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.

Inside of play cafe
Play Cafe at Judson Mill

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.

It took over a year to make their dream come true and now, as of mid-March 2024, they are making it happen.

Watch! See inside Play Cafe!

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.

smaller playground at Judson Mill
Smaller play area at Judson Mill

To that end, there is 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 occupies more than 14,500 square feet, which is enormous.

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

Bridge at the playground at Judson Mill
Bridge at the smaller playground

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 has a bartop counter where parents can sit with their coffee and laptops and watch their kids.

The Play Cafe is designed for toddlers 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 has several Imagination Stations. These are small areas that are themed where kids can use their imaginations to become whatever their little hearts desire.

imagination stations
Imagination stations

Some of the themed Imagination Stations are a veterinarian’s office, a fire station, a taco truck, 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 has comfortable seating throughout the space and service coffee, smoothies, pizza, and sandwiches (this will come a bit later after their opening but they will initially have snacks, drinks, and coffee). 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.

Working parents at Judson Mill playground
You can work at the Play Cafe

And working parents, this is your place to bring the kids so you can get some work done. There is 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.

There are high top tables surrounding the toddler area and next to the huge play area for the smaller kids. There are also plenty of outlets for phone charging and laptops.

Birthday Parties & Special Events

The Play Cafe at Judson Mill offers 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. Party packages range from $249 up to $599.

There are 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. The party rooms are separated by beautiful barn doors so if you wanted to rent out several, that’s an easy desire to make a reality.

Birthday party rooms at Play Cafe at Judson Mill
Birthday party rooms at Play Cafe at Judson Mill

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.

Play Passes & Memberships + Cool Employee Perk

An all day play pass is $12/child Monday-Friday and $15/child on Saturday & Sunday. For kids two years and younger, there is no cost if they come with paid sibling. A monthly membership is $29.95/child and kids can play for an unlimited amount of time during operating hours.

Sibling discounts will be 20% off for three or more kids and kids ages two and under are free with a paid child. All packages and discounts are available on their website.

Grip socks must be worn on the play areas. The Play Cafe will sell them but you can also bring your own.

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.


We’ve seen this place right from the beginning when it was just a big, empty warehouse and whoa, they have done a ton of work to make it a place that families can really enjoy!


An inch-and-a-half padded flooring covers most of the floors. It’s super soft and fluffy.

Playground for smaller kids and tots area

The playground for the smaller kids is about 18 feet high with multiple slides and tunnels. There is also an adjacent, enclosed area for kids about age one and under. The high top tables surround this area so parents can work, chat, or just enjoy their coffee while their kids play.

High top tables surrounding tot play area

Large Playground

The equipment for the bigger playground is up and it is enormous. It’s 22 feet high – almost three stories. There are slides, several entrances, a huge tower in the middle, and lots of nerf guns that will shoot balls. The nerf guns were a favorite for our kids. Good luck trying to get your kids to leave.

Three story play area
Three story play area

Bathrooms & Full Body Changing Table

The bathrooms are just off the main play area and get this: there are baby changing stations in both the men’s and women’s restrooms. Yay. There is also a larger changing table in the women’s restroom, normally used for children with special needs.

Women's restroom at Play Cafe at Judson Mill
Women’s restroom at Play Cafe at Judson Mill

Frequently Asked Questions

Opening day is March 20, 2024 at 10 am. Drinks and snacks will be able to be purchased but the more substantial food and drinks won’t be available until later.

Follow Play Cafe on Facebook for the latest updates and special events.

Here are a few questions you may have with answers:

When will the Play Cafe open? March 20, 2024

When will the cafe part of the Play Cafe open? Hopefully a few weeks after the Play Cafe at Judson Mill opens. Drinks, coffee, and snacks will be available for purchase at opening.

What ages is the Play Cafe designed for? The Play Cafe is designed for crawlers and toddlers 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.

Do special socks need to be worn? Yes. The Play Cafe sells them or you can bring your own.

How do I get there? The Play Cafe is in a big warehouse with other businesses. If you walk into the front of the building, Feed and Seed will be on your right and BlocHaven will be on your left. Walk straight and then when you get to the bathrooms, make a left. Play Cafe will be on your right.

Will the Play Cafe be booking birthday parties soon? You can use their booking feature on their website.

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

What are their hours? Monday – Friday from 10 am – 7 pm, Saturdays from 9 am – 8 pm, and Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm.

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

Go Old School and Play All Day: Asheville Retrocade

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In Asheville, NC you’ll find the Asheville Retrocade, a fantastic place to spend a few hours during rainy, cold, or hot weather. You can play all day for one price and it’s great for the whole family.

Need someplace in Asheville, NC to spend a few hours indoors during a rainy, cold, or hot day? We’ve got just the place: Asheville Retrocade, an old-school arcade that features two floors of games and is family-friendly.

Asheville Retrocade
Asheville Retrocade

Playing at Asheville Retrocade

I am always looking for fun, indoor things to do when the weather isn’t cooperating and found just the spot at Asheville Retrocade. For this trip, I was visiting with a friend and her young daughter staying in the area and thanks to Google, found this indoor mecca of Pac-Man and race car driving. Now you don’t even need Google to find cool places like this since you have this story!

So at Asheville Retrocade, you pay a flat fee of $10/person (kids under 5 are free) and that gives you access to two floors of pinball, Pac-Man, dance-off games, race car games, air hockey, skeeball, and tons more games. No quarters are needed here.

Asheville Retrocade
Pinball at Asheville Retrocade

They claim to have more than 5,000 games at the arcade. They do have a lot but I’m not sure it equals 5,000. That said, I totally lost track of time there and ended up spending about two-and-a-half hours at the arcade, which was such a fun way to spend time with my own kids and my friend.

Play All Day with Retro Games

When you get to Asheville Retrocade, you pay $10/person and get a wristband, which allows you to come and go all day. The arcade is truly like taking a step back in time. I didn’t play a lot of video games as a kid but the ones I did play, like Pac-Man, are ingrained in my childhood and I love them. It was a lot of fun to play those nostalgic games I did as a kid.

We went during Christmas Break and there was actually a line to get in. I was nervous that we wouldn’t be able to play many games because there were too many people. But I shouldn’t have been worried. We only ever had to wait maybe five minutes for a game and there were always spots open at other games that we could play.

The kids we had with us were ages 3, 9, and 12 and all of us had a blast. The place is truly family-friendly and welcoming. There were a lot of families when we went and it was so much fun to enjoy that time together and see other families doing the same.

Asheville Retrocade
Asheville Retrocade

Food and Drinks at Asheville Retrocade

The arcade has several options for drinks, including local craft beer, wine, and fountain drinks. They have free water available also.

They also have snack food available for purchase.

Things to Know When Visiting Asheville Retrocade

Here are a few tips when you visit:

  • There is free street parking, which is awesome.
  • After 9 pm, guests need to be ages 21+
  • If a game is occupied that you want, just be patient and wait or play something else. It will open up!
  • There are bathrooms and hand sanitizer available but still wash your hands during and after your visit.
  • Expect heavier crowds during school breaks, holidays, and rainy days.
  • You can book a private party at the arcade.

Heading to the Asheville Retrocade

The arcade is open daily Noon-2 am. After 9 pm, patrons need to be 21+. You can purchase your wristband when you get there.

Need more ideas for Asheville fun? Visit our Asheville Guide for ideas on how to enjoy the city with your family.

Asheville Retrocade
800 Haywood Road , West Asheville, NC
Asheville Retrocade Facebook | Asheville Retrocade Website

Fly High at These Awesome Trampoline Parks in Greenville

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Are you looking for a fun activity for the whole family in or near Greenville? Check out one of the trampoline parks Greenville, SC has! Below you will learn all about the various trampoline parks in Greenville with prices and other information parents need to know.

Trampoline Parks near Greenville, South Carolina

9 Places for Rock Climbing Near Greenville, SC

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Interested in trying out rock climbing? Greenville, SC has several places, plus there are a lot of unique rock climbing gyms near the Upstate. With its proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains, you can find plenty of challenging and exciting rock climbing spots near the city, both indoor and outdoor. From experienced climbers to beginners, there are plenty of options for everyone in and around Greenville.

Rock Climbing in Greenville, SC

Our list includes indoor and outdoor climbing options. That means we have all the local climbing gyms, outdoor crags, and everything in between. There is something for everyone in the Greenville area. Read on to find out more about the best places to rock climb near Greenville.

Guide to things to do indoors near Greenville, South Carolina

Check out our Premier Guide to Indoor Fun Near Greenville, SC next time you’re looking for a day of fun!

Places to go Rock Climbing: Greenville, SC and The Upstate

Climb @ Blue Ridge

Climb@Blue Ridge, located in Taylors, has climbing spaces for bouldering, top roping, and lead climbing. There’s something for all climbing skill levels. And no fear of boredom for return visits—the climbing routes are changed regularly to keep you on your toes. This is a great climbing gym Greenville, SC locals seem to enjoy. They also have several events throughout the week and year (Homeschool Program, Ladies’ Nights, Yoga, Tai Chi, and more). 

Climb@Blue Ridge
301 Bulls Road, Taylors

Climb@Blue Ridge in Taylors, SC


Blochaven is another great local rock climbing gym in Greenville, SC. Located in Judson Mill, Blochaven is a family-run business with the goal to make Greenville a bouldering community. You can purchase a day pass, or for the more committed climbers, you can purchase a membership. 

701 Easley Bridge Road – Suite 6020, Greenville


Looking for a rock climbing gym in Easley? projectROCK is your answer. The gym and climbing routes are all inspired by places the owners have traveled. Fun Fact: projectROCK Easley is home to the highest climbing wall in the country… at 84 feet tall. They offer classes for beginners and also have a competitive league and a recreation league. And like other climbing gyms, you can purchase a day pass or a membership.

2121 Farrs Bridge Road, Easley

Indoor climbing rock at projectROCK in Easley, South Carolina

Trailhead Climbing & Outdoor Center

Trailhead Climbing & Outdoor Center in Anderson, SC has 50’ rock climbing walls. Climbers of all skill levels are welcome, and they offer classes for beginners. You can purchase a day pass or a membership. They also have party packages for your rock climbing-loving kids (or big kids!).

Trailhead Climbing & Outdoor Center
505 Camson Road, Anderson

Rock Climbing Gyms in Western North Carolina

Pisgah Climbing School

Looking for an outdoor rock-climbing adventure near Greenville? Pisgah Climbing School has several locations in Western North Carolina that aren’t too far away. The school wants to give climbing opportunities for both beginners and advanced climbers.

Their beginner climbing consists of top roping, fundamental knots, and belaying instruction. Sometimes with the right weather, you can even participate in ice climbing…just be sure to call ahead to see if weather conditions are allowing for it.

Pisgah Climbing School
Multiple locations


Located in Mills River, NC, Riveter has an indoor rock climbing gym that boasts over 16,000 square feet of climbing terrain. The bouldering area has 60 routes, and there’s even a kid’s area for your youngest climber. Day passes and memberships are both available for purchase.

701 Old Fanning Bridge Road, Mills River

Brevard Rock Gym

Brevard Rock Gym is just over an hour away from the Upstate in Brevard, NC. The climbing gym also has an indoor rock climbing and bouldering. They also offer several classes for all skill levels and ages. They even have youth climbing programs. You can purchase a day pass or a punch pass.

Brevard Rock Gym
240-B South Broad Street, Brevard

Cultivate Climbing

Cultivate Climbing has one location in Asheville, NC. They offer top roping, bouldering, gear rental, and instruction. They also offer indoor climbing, as well as an outdoor climbing wall.

Cultivate Climbing
173 Amboy Road, Asheville NC 28806

Outdoor Climbing Spots in the Carolinas

You’ll find an extensive list of outdoor climbing spaces, routes, and details about what to expect at each spot at Carolina Climbers. Routes are listed for North and South Carolina, as well as Tennessee and Georgia.

Places to Buy Climbing Gear

Having the right climbing gear is critical to rock climbing. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rock climbing veteran, there are a few great stores near Greenville, SC to choose from. Whether you’re looking for climbing shoes, ropes, harnesses, or other accessories, here are a few places to buy climbing gear near Greenville.

Sunrift Adventures
1 Center Street, Travelers Rest

Sunrift is a great local option for climbing gear, as well as lots of other outdoor sports.

1140 Woodruff Rd. Ste 400

Note: If you’re new to climbing, REI is a great place to get gear. With their generous return policy for members, you can be sure to get the right shoes and harness for you! They also offer lightly used items online at REI Garage. This is only for REI co-op members but is a great option because you’ll find equipment in good shape at a steep discount.

Dick’s Sporting Goods
1125 Woodruff Road, Greenville

With so many great locations to rock climb near Greenville, you’re sure to find your gear and take your climbing adventures to new heights!

Are we missing any of your favorite climbing gyms or locations?

More Indoor and Outdoor Fun Near Greenville, SC

If you’re looking for indoor things to do, don’t miss our huge Indoor Guide to Greenville, SC. It has everything from bowling, to arcades, to trampoline parks, and so much more.

If outdoor adventure is what you crave, check out our Outdoor Guide full of things to do in Greenville, SC.

Places to Enjoy Go-Karts: Greenville, SC

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If you are thinking about spending an afternoon racing go-karts, Greenville, SC has a couple of venues nearby that offer indoor or outdoor karting. So, grab the kids for a bonding session, your significant other for a date, or your arch nemesis for a karting throwdown. Either way, check out this list of places where you can go karting in the Upstate.

Karting venues in Greenville, South Carolina

The Kroc Center is the Perfect Indoor Play Destination

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Have you been to The Kroc Center in Greenville, SC? One of its key features is the kid-friendly heated indoor waterpark! Greenville, SC residents can also enjoy a lap pool, tennis, indoor basketball courts, a gym, soccer fields, and so much more when they visit the Downtown Greenville location. We have all the information you need to enjoy a day at The Kroc Center, or maybe even become a member!

Kroc Center in Greenville, South Carolina