Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

October 1, 2022

Mom Report: The Red Balloon Cafe

The Red Balloon Cafe is a gathering place — as one of the owners says, the goal is to promote community amongst multi generations. Parents, grandparents, and children/grandchildren can come and everyone can feel like they got to connect through creative play and good food. As much as possible, all of the food in the cafe is organic and locally outsourced. Some of the menu items include avocado toast and tomato and chick pea lentil soup. Did I mention they brew some good coffee? The programming is intentional. Everything from local food to being able to pick up library books on site link back to the theme of community.


The Red Balloon is a one-of-a-kind place. From the moment you walk in, you feel welcomed, and the calming environment is contagious. The cute tables with industrial chairs and big painted red balloon on the wall invite you to sit down for a minute to eat or read a book in the cafe. My kids however were ready to go play, so I ordered a coffee, which they brought back to me! I was so impressed with the thoughtful gesture. While my coffee was being made I headed back with my kids and met my friend.


We took our shoes off and put them on the shelf. The play cafe asks that you take off your shoes, which helps keep the play area clean. It always makes moms feel good when there is intentionality in trying to keep things clean and safe for kids. The place was definitely clean and safe! My kids, like many kids, love to play kitchen and immediately flocked to the miniature stove and started cooking some good grub. That lasted a few minutes and then they were swept away by the large wooden play structure that looked like a tree with different levels to climb up and a slide. There were also little holes to peak through. Additionally, there were little cars and animals to ride on and a large water table with toys to scoop and explore in the water. The life-sized Lincoln log-like blocks were fun for my kids as they had not seen anything like that before and they also liked the squishy pillows that they could jump on. Needless to say there was plenty for them to do.


All the while I could sit back on some of the comfy couches and engage in conversation with my friend while sipping my coffee. Of course there were some interruptions but I felt relaxed and that my kids were safe and engaged. There just happened to be a free chair massage when I was there and this service is offered monthly! Some other regular programs the Red Balloon hosts include crafts, story time, penny days, waterless Wednesdays, and lucky penny days too. There are other special events like the second anniversary of the Red Balloon Cafe in June and will include a balloon drop. See their Google calendar or sign up on Face Book for more details!


The Red Balloon is a special place and has a little something for everyone. The Red Balloon Cafe is located at 6200 Montgomery Road in Pleasant Ridge. It is open Tuesday through Thursday 9a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Weekend hours are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.. For $10, you get unlimited play and a kids meal or the best deal is the 10 visit play pass.   For more details, visit

About the Author

Susie Dyson

Susie lives in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati with her husband and four kids. She has a 7-Year-old, 6-year-old, 3-year-old and a new baby! Together, they like to explore new things in Cincinnati as well as favorite places like Summit Park and the Cincinnati Nature Center. Susie is a former high school teacher and now a stay-at-home mom. She also enjoys running, being outside, spending time with family and friends, road tripping, participating in her church's activities and drinking coffee.