5 Reasons to Book an Indoor Summer Birthday Party for your Child

5 Reasons to Book an Indoor Summer Birthday Party for your Child

If you live in an area like we do in Western New York with beautifully hot summers and cold snowy winters, you’ll know that your options for your child’s birthday party are largely dependent on the weather.


As an August baby, we always had small family parties outside at my house. But, with sons born in November and March, we are always left to book an indoor venue for their celebrations, if we chose to have them that year. While those with children with summer birthdays may seem lucky to have so many choices at their disposal, it can also often feel overwhelming.


While at Climbing Vines Cafe and Play may be biased since we host indoor parties, I wanted to share with you the 5 most common reasons we hear from previous party clients to book indoor summer birthdays with us. To them, the stress-free nature of the indoor summer party is a no-brainer, and they’re not looking back! After their first indoor summer party, they continue hosting with us year after year.


5 Things I Still Do Myself in My Indoor Playground Business

5 Things I Still Do Myself in My Indoor Playground Business

In an earlier blog post, I discussed the 7 things I no longer do in my indoor playground business as I have grown and matured as a business owner.

I referenced Michael Hyatt, who, in many of his books and programs continuously refers to designing your ideal days and weeks as “the desire zone.” Operating within your desire zone, as he describes it, simply means you are spending the bulk of your time doing what you both love AND are good at.
While there are many tasks I cut completely and some I delegate to better-suited team members, there are several duties that still lie within my “desire zone,” and that I feel are important for me to handle personally.  While this is constantly shifting as my priorities (both professionally and personally) evolve, these are 5 of the tasks that I’m not giving up just yet as a business owner.

7 Things I did the First Year of Owning My Indoor Playground Business that I DON’T Do Now

7 Things I did the First Year of Owning My Indoor Playground Business that I DON’T Do Now

As I have grown and matured as a business owner, one of the most important things I have learned is what to spend my time and energy on, and what I am better off delegating.  Michael Hyatt, in many of his books and programs, continuously refers to “the desire zone” when it comes to designing your ideal days and weeks. Operating within your desire zone simply means you are spending the bulk of your time doing what you both love AND are good at.

For me, a great example of something I was doing that was OUTSIDE of my desire zone was payroll and bookkeeping. I neither enjoyed these tasks nor did them efficiently. Hiring a bookkeeper and accountant was expensive, which is why I held off on making the hire for so long, but once I did offload those tasks, the benefit I brought to my business and the additional sales I generated as a result made it well worth the investment.

Why I Created Play Cafe Academy | Open a Profitable Indoor Playground

Why I Created Play Cafe Academy | Open a Profitable Indoor Playground

If you've been keeping up with my weekly blogs or watching me over on YouTube for a while, you know that I tend to talk about opening a profitable indoor playground-- my recommendations based on what we did right and what we did wrong with Climbing Vines Cafe & Play.

Today, I really wanna take a step back and share a little bit about why I create this content and began Play Cafe Academy. (My paid program where I teach people step-by-step how to open an indoor playground and also hold their hand through the opening process!)

I will never forget four years ago when I was researching this business model. When my newborn was only 11 weeks old, I went back to work full-time and I just remember sitting at my desk thinking, "This is just not me. This is not what I want. I want to own my business."

But I had no idea where to start.

5 Ways We Make School Break Weeks as Smooth as Possible

5 Ways We Make School Break Weeks as Smooth as Possible

If you are a parent whose child is preschool-age or above, you understand how “break weeks” can be. Routines go out-the-window, and it’s easy to get stir-crazy, especially if you live in an area that stays cold well-through spring break like it does here in Western New York!

It can be very tempting to plan a fun outing for every day of the week, yet here’s the thing; Everyone else is also planning to do the same.

That can mean difficult parking, lots of crowds, and tantrum-inducing lines. However, we have implemented some strategies at Climbing Vines Cafe & Play to help make even the busiest week as smooth as possible for families that choose to visit us. While we have added tons of little touches that keep customers happy, even while they’re waiting, it really comes down to communication.

6 Ways we Deliver an Above-and-Beyond Birthday Party Experience

6 Ways we Deliver an Above-and-Beyond Birthday Party Experience

At Climbing Vines Cafe & Play, we offer a variety of services from classes and camps to open-play and private events. It’s our adult and child-friendly birthday parties, though, that we have chosen as our focus.

While we, of course, put time and resources towards making each aspect of our business the best it can be, I have found that having one primary focus helps us best serve our customers. Having one top priority has also helped our indoor playground stand out against our local competition because we have established ourselves as the “go-to” premier venue for private birthday parties, particularly for children turning ages one, two, and three.

But creating a stellar reputation takes more than simply declaring a focus. It’s essential that you plan your entire process, from the very first customer touch point to the last, with this priority in mind. There are a few different ways that we go above and beyond with our birthday party process that gives our clients such an excellent experience that they not only book their events with us year after year, but they also refer their friends and family.

9 Tips for Handling Online Criticism as a Business Owner

9 Tips for Handling Online Criticism as a Business Owner

If I am being honest, this has been a post that’s been on my “idea board” for months. Handling online criticism has always been a struggle for me, and I am still constantly learning and maturing as a business owner.

This past week, I had an angry woman orchestrate a coordinated social media attack on my business and me personally, and it left me gutted for hours. I could tell soon after she messaged me that she was attempting to get a rise out of me for social media attention, which was confirmed by the other reviews she had been recently leaving local businesses.

However, I was able to take (most) of my own advice and quickly diffuse the situation. I didn’t handle it perfectly, but I have absolutely come a LONG way from my early years as a business owner, and I am proud of my response to the situation and still stand by it.

My hesitation to write this post stems from the fact that I am not perfect, in this area especially. I have made some major mistakes in dealing with online reviews and criticism that still haunt me to this day. My temper is HOT (like the SUN hot) and I often take reviews very personally because I care so deeply about my business and think of it as an extension of myself.

The 3 Most Common Complaints We Get (And Why I Choose to Ignore Them)

The 3 Most Common Complaints We Get (And Why I Choose to Ignore Them)

Over the last 3 years in business, we have gathered a tremendous amount of feedback from our community. While we try and take all of this into account and make improvements and changes based on the needs of our customers, we sometimes get suggestions that we choose to not implement.

This isn’t to say that we don’t value these suggestions or the customers who make them. However, I firmly believe that if you try to please every person who comes across your business, you will end up diluting your mission and company values until you ultimately end up pleasing no one, including your current customers.

I am going to share the three most common complaints we receive that we choose to ignore. We do thank those who bring them to our attention, and simply explain why we do things the way we do. This will result in the complaining customer taking one of two actions. The first action would be that they listen to why we are choosing NOT to implement their requested change and understand the reasoning. Customers who choose this path will likely appreciate the time you took to address their concerns and remain a customer and fan.