How to Start a Fun Center for Kids

by Kristyn Hammond - Updated September 26, 2017
Fun Centers should be family oriented with children's safety in mind.

Opening a Fun Center is a complicated process of planning, preparation and decision making. A Fun Center is a facility where families pay for entrance and have access to a variety of games and activities, such as bumper cars, mazes, food court or a laser tag arena. On the operating side, a Fun Center is a business that involves careful planning, a sizable investment and an efficient use of space. With a little insight and preparation, you can have your Fun Center up and running.

Consider the investment required to put together a Fun Center. Review your own finances, as well as available investors, and determine whether you can afford to consider opening a new business. Speak to your bank about securing a loan for your new business. Remember a Fun Center requires an initial investment of well over $100,000, a price that increases sharply depending on the activities included. The initial investment must include the cost of land, activities, utilities, employee payroll and operating essentials.

Brainstorm about the kinds of activities you wish to include in the Fun Center. Write a rough list of activities to include in your Fun Center. Remember you can eliminate events later, but it helps to have a list of all available options when designing the floor plan. Include essential areas, such as bathrooms, entry booth and parking. Also, look into the necessary city permits and zoning requirements for your area, and prepare enough of an investment to get your Fun Center going.

Research the kinds of activities kids expect in Fun Center, and the kinds of activities kids would like to see in yours. Talk to some of the kids in your area, ask kids from your local Church and make sure to talk to your own children about things they would like to see. Remember some activities are more popular than others and some activities are no longer popular at all, such as video games, which have been replaced by home console and computer gaming. Eliminate unpopular activities from your list and make notes on activities that kids regularly comment on as their favorites.

Determine the amount of space available, based on the size of the building where you intend to build the Fun Center. Using this space as your limit, design a floor plan for your various activities. Determine the amount of space and layout needs required for each activity. As an example, a bumper cars ring needs a large oval or rectangular floor space, but you can choose to center this in the middle of your facility or in a corner. Remember to account for walking space in the Fun Center, giving parents and kids access to each area of your plan.

Add the necessary safety elements to your floor plan, including fire escapes, fire sprinklers and emergency kits in case of injuries. Make sure to spread out the emergency escapes in your facility so that kids can access them from any area. Determine an entrance price, as well as employee wages. Create a budget, which includes your monthly expenses, such as payroll, utilities and insurance for your property.

Put your plan into action. Purchase the games for your Fun Center and begin hiring the necessary employees to work in the facility. Make sure to have your license on hand when you open the doors.

About the Author

Kristyn Hammond has been teaching freshman college composition at the university level since 2010. She has experience teaching developmental writing, freshman composition, and freshman composition and research. She currently resides in Central Texas where she works for a small university in the Texas A&M system of schools.

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