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New Member Spotlight - November 2016

Play Day Café

Solon, Ohio

Nate Riles always had a tough time finding indoor activities in his area for his two young children, especially during bad weather. He wanted something that would allow them to have fun, yet also get exercise and burn off some energy.

So he did what many enterprising businesspeople would do when faced with a sizable market gap: Riles started his own family entertainment center (FEC).

Play Day Café opened in late September, focusing heavily on active play for infants to 11 year olds, Riles says. He loved sports growing up and even played football at the professional level.

Knowing healthy food options would fit in with the facility’s theme, he made a complementary menu of salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and fruit cups.

He wanted Play Day Café to cater to adults as well, so he created a café with a “hotel-lounge-style atmosphere” to give them a comfortable place to sit and relax and watch their kids run around.

Riles attributes joining IAAPA and, in particular, going to the 2015 FEC Summit in Dallas, Texas, as helping form the foundation to grow his business and expand beyond his original plans.

“It was a great opportunity to learn more about the industry from the speakers, as well as to network with other FEC owners and operators,” says Riles, who plans to attend IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016. 


Fast Facts

  • Owner Nate Riles was a free agent in the National Football League with the Arizona Cardinals in 1999. He also spent time in the Canadian Football League during 2001-2002 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and played in the Grey Cup championship game.
  • Riles describes the soft-play playground as the facility’s focal point, with interactive elements throughout the two-story structure to keep children moving while they play.
  • The play structure includes a dedicated toddler area, a ball-blaster zone, a mega-size playground for kids 3 to 11, and an interactive game floor.
  • Anticipating robust birthday and group business, Play Day Café has three dedicated rooms for parties and other events such as scout functions, field trips, family get-togethers, and sports outings.
  • Located in the town of Solon, Ohio, the FEC sits about 20 miles southeast of Cleveland.