Commercial Playground: Smart Move for Small Business?

Why should a corn maze, ice cream shop, or other small business invest in a commercial playground?

The simple answer is that it can help make you more profitable.

“Oh really,” you retort, “I expect you to say that. You are the marketing guy.”

Fair enough, but let me tell you about a few real-life decisions I made based on small businesses and playgrounds.

First, I have three kids who are, at this point, 4, 7, and 9. Yes, I am exhausted. And no, I don’t have any advice for you about raising kids.

Second, going to a nice restaurant for a nice sit-down meal is pointless. We all leave frustrated and fed up because kids don’t always do so well in crowded restaurants. So if the restaurant or place in question has a playground, well, now, they just became a viable option.

Recently, my wife and I decided to meet some of our friends with three kids for ice cream. In Lancaster County, there are many lovely little ice cream shops. There are the fancy ones downtown, there are dairies, there are little mom-and-pop shops everywhere.

Do you know which one got our business? It was the one with the plagyround.

Why? It’s pretty simple, really.

We wanted to chat with our friends, which is very hard to do in a fancy, crowded ice cream shop. Once the kids are sugar-loaded, an invisible timer starts clicking down until we need to either part for the night or return to one of our houses. But, since this ice cream shop had a playground, we adults could sit peacefully while our children burnt off the burst of energy.

My wife and I wanted to talk to our friends, and the playground made that a possibility.

Full disclosure: It began to pour rain on our way over to this shop, so we had to detour to another ice cream shop that had, you guessed it, an indoor playground.

A commercial playground can help your small business be more profitable in many ways. Let’s take a look at two today:

  • Helps Attract Families
  • Helps Your Advertising Efforts

Let’s dive into them one at a time!

Attract Families

Going out with my kids is expensive, especially when it’s supposed to be a fun night, like bowling or minigolf. It’s harder to say no to a drink, an ice cream cone, or something else fun. When you are buying drinks and ice cream for three, it can add up fast!

And you, as a small business owner, are delightfully aware of that! You want those large families to come rolling in (hopefully, they don’t have too many coupons) and get all the fun stuff.

But what makes that family come to your business rather than one across town? Why your corn maze, your bowling alley, or your mini-golf course?

Please scroll back up and read the story. That is a big reason why. A playground provides a place for kids to play, yes, but it also lets the parents have a moment to chat together. Not to keep telling the story, but I can think of many times when my family and our friends met at a playground to hang out so that we could chat without interruption.

That playground could be yours, and our families could hang out outside your shop.

Having a playground helps add to the value of this stop. The family can play their game of mini-golf and then play on the playground. It helps them feel as if their hard-earned money was well spent. Many families are pinching pennies right now, and if they can squeak out a little extra fun, that is a win.

Helps your Advertising Efforts

You need to advertise your business, but let’s be honest, sometimes it can be challenging for a small business to stand out. You might not be able to afford a marketing team or digital campaigns. Your playground provides an easy place to capture videos, images, or other content to help advertise your business.

But a playground gets you some of the most valuable advertising there is: word of mouth.

If you put in a nice playground, have nice bathrooms, and a friendly atmosphere, Moms and Dads will start talking. Word will get around. It may take some time, but once the word-of-mouth train gets rolling, it is nothing but good times.

On top of that, a commercial playground makes you stand out from your competition. If you have a playground and your competition does not, well now, that is an excellent place to be in.

What to Do

If all of this makes sense to you and you find yourself interested, what should you do next?

First, you must determine if you need a residential or commercial playground.

What is the difference? A commercial playground will pass a certification inspection, while a residential one will not. If you don’t need to have the playground inspected, then a residential playground will serve your purpose.

For more information on residential vs. commercial playgrounds, click here or scroll down to the bottom of this post for a helpful video.

For those of you who do not need to be inspected, we still encourage you to go commercial, as the playgrounds are built to ASTM standards. Your playground would be ready if local ordinances, your liability insurance, or some other governing body changed their requirements for your playground.

After you make that determination, the second step is to browse our options on our websites. For residential, go to You are already on our commercial website, so check the playgrounds out here.

Third, reach out to us with any questions. We would love to help you out! We can be reached at 717-687-8210, by chat on our website, or by email at [email protected].

King Swings Commercial handcrafts vinyl commercial playgrounds in Pareksburg, PA. We are a manufacturer direct and have been making swing sets for 30+ years. Each playground is delivered and installed by our in-house crews.

Justin Doutrich

Dad to three kids, Justin knows how important it is for children to get lots of physical exercise. His time as a school teacher reinforced that idea. He is passionate about creating fun, enjoyable playgrounds that are safe but full of learning opportunities.

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