Apr 01 | 5 Minute Read

5 Drawbacks of Opening an Indoor Playground Franchise 

Sports Franchising

5 Drawbacks of Opening an Indoor Playground Franchise

Opening an indoor playground franchise is an appealing business opportunity for people who enjoy physical activity, children, and working with people. The idea of bringing joy to kids and providing a valuable service to parents is appealing. It can be a lucrative business, but the stakes are high, and the potential risks could outweigh the benefits.  

Here’s why we think it’s a risky venture: 

  1. Large initial investment: One of the primary challenges of opening an indoor playground franchise is the high initial investment. The costs associated with securing a large enough space, purchasing high-quality and safe play equipment, and creating an inviting environment can be substantial. One of the more popular playground businesses requires an initial investment ranging between $352,250 and $769,100. This initial outlay can put a strain on your finances before the doors even open to the public. 
  1. Ongoing operational costs: Running an indoor play area franchise requires securing a brick-and-mortar location, which involves ongoing operational costs, including utilities, maintenance, and equipment upgrades to ensure safety and appeal.  
  1. Hefty legal requirements: The licenses for operating an indoor playground are stringent, given the inherent risks associated with children’s play areas.  
  1. Subject to economic downturns: Like many businesses, indoor playgrounds are vulnerable to the ebbs and flows of the economy. In tough economic times, discretionary spending on activities like indoor play may decrease as families tighten their budgets, directly affecting your franchise’s profitability. Following the pandemic outbreak, indoor playground revenue dropped 40% as many locations were forced to close or follow stringent guidelines. 
  1. Market saturation: Depending on your location, the market for indoor playgrounds might already be crowded. The indoor playground market size was valued at $979.3 million in 2023. With numerous options available for parents to choose from, such as climbing walls, inflatables, mini-golf, laser tag, and ninja courses, standing out could become a challenge and potentially impact your success. 

Safer Franchise Opportunities 

Given these challenges, you might wonder if there are less risky franchise opportunities that allow you to work with children. We have some ideas to share that might be a good choice for you. 

Tutoring centers or educational programs offer valuable and in-demand services to children and parents, focusing on academic enrichment rather than entertainment. According to Technavio, the private tutoring market in the U.S. will grow by $8.37 billion from now until 2025, making it an attractive business option to explore. Other options include franchises that promote physical activity, such as children’s fitness classes or sports clinics. There’s also the option of  opening arts and crafts studios to provide creative outlets for children, often requiring less space and lower initial investment than playgrounds.

Make an Impact with Apex

Apex Leadership presents a compelling work-from-home alternative that aligns with your desire to work with children and offers less financial risk. Our fun run franchise specializes in school fundraising through fitness and leadership programs, offering a blend of physical activity and character-building initiatives that directly impact children’s lives.  
We’re a low-cost, high-demand franchise opportunity featuring operational flexibility and minimal overhead costs. Unlike indoor playgrounds, which require substantial space, regular maintenance, and constant updates to remain competitive, Apex operates with a lean business model that can adapt to various settings without the need for extensive physical infrastructure.  
For an initial investment of $79,000 to $113,700, you’ll benefit from the robust support of a proven system, comprehensive training, and a network of like-minded entrepreneurs, ensuring that you’ve got the tools and community support you need to thrive. The average gross revenue for 11 of our top-performing single territory locations was $344,127.17 in 2023.* 

Own Your Future with Apex

Request information to connect with one of our franchise business consultants and learn how an event fundraising franchise can help you reshape your future as an entrepreneur. 
*This is a historical representation of what some of Apex’s franchised agencies earned, as described further in Item 19 of the FDD.