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Unleashing the Fun: The Perks of Play Vacation Homes

Uncover the appeal of play vacation homes as a unique investment opportunity! This engaging guide provides an in-depth look into the world of game-packed vacation rentals.


By Kristy Baylor

Published on July 10, 2023

We’ve all had our share of vacations where we’ve lounged by the pool or had a beach day, but have you ever thought of a vacation where the play never stops? Well, play vacation homes equipped with game rooms, outdoor play areas, or sports facilities promise their guests a unique, fun-filled experience. These properties not only bring in high rental yields, but they are also a worthy investment option for those who’re thinking about buying a second home or entering the Airbnb hosting business.

Are you curious about the various types of vacation rental properties?
Our overview of different Airbnb property categories can get you started.

What’s Special about Play Vacation Rentals

Entertainment vacation rentals stand apart from traditional vacation homes due to their ability to seamlessly merge the comfort of a home with the exhilaration of a playground. Here’s a look into the unique aspects that make them a cut above the rest:

  • An Everlasting Entertainment Hub:, Unlike typical vacation homes that only provide a comfortable living space, unique vacation rentals are an endless source of fun. They come furnished with amenities such as game rooms, sports equipment, swimming pools, and more that keep the guests entertained throughout their stay without the need to step out. This is particularly beneficial during unfavorable weather or late evenings when outdoor activities are limited.
  • A Unique Selling Point: Offering a play space within a vacation rental is not common. Therefore, these homes stand out in the rental market. They are likely to catch the eye of families with kids or groups of friends who value entertainment and relaxation equally. This uniqueness can lead to higher demand, allowing you to command higher rental rates and ensuring your property stays booked.
  • Personalized Fun: Most play vacation rentals are designed with a theme in mind, making them uniquely personalized. From a sci-fi-themed game room to a sports-oriented outdoor area, these themes add a special charm to the property and offer guests a memorable stay. This thematic approach can be a powerful marketing tool, attracting niche markets and increasing your property’s visibility in the crowded rental space.
  • Bonding Spaces: Not just about the individual fun, they also offer spaces that promote group activities. Amenities such as board games, pool tables, or a home theatre system encourage guests to spend quality time together, creating lasting memories. This feature appeals to families and friend groups, widening your rental’s appeal.
  • Multi-season Appeal: Whether it’s summer or winter, there’s always something fun to do in a play vacation home. These homes are equipped for every season, from swimming pools for summer fun to cozy game rooms for winter entertainment. This ensures a steady stream of renters all year round, increasing the potential for a profitable rental income.

Types of Play House Vacation Rentals

From homes with full-sized gaming arcades to boasting sports facilities like tennis courts or mini-golf courses, entertainment themed vacation rentals come in all shapes and sizes.

  • Arcade Homes: These homes come with an array of arcade games, pinball machines, and other electronic gaming systems.
  • Sports Houses: These homes often feature outdoor courts, sports fields, or even indoor facilities for games like table tennis and pool.
  • Outdoor Play Homes: These houses have large gardens or play areas, ideal for kids and pets to run around.
  • Water Sports Houses: Located near lakes or beaches, these houses offer facilities for water sports like kayaking, surfing, or fishing.

Play vacation homes have become the latest trend in holiday accommodation. They offer a unique blend of relaxation and entertainment, which is why they are gaining popularity in a variety of cities across the US. Each of these cities boasts a healthy vacation rental market and is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and vibrant recreational activities that complement the play vacation home experience.

  • Orlando, Florida: Home to Disney World, Universal Studios, and various other amusement parks, Orlando is the quintessential family-friendly destination. Having a play vacation home here could capitalize on the city’s reputation as a fun destination.
  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee: Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg offers a mix of nature and entertainment. A home here could cater to guests looking to balance outdoor activities with indoor fun.
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Renowned for its sandy beaches and vibrant boardwalk, Myrtle Beach offers plenty of outdoor activities. A perfect retreat after a day of sun and surf.
  • San Diego, California: With its sunny weather, sandy beaches, and family attractions like the San Diego Zoo, a vacation home here could offer a mix of outdoor adventure and indoor entertainment.
  • Pigeon Forge, Tennessee: Known for Dollywood and other family-friendly attractions, a play vacation home in Pigeon Forge could tap into the city’s family-centric vacation market.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: While renowned for its adult entertainment, Las Vegas is also home to a variety of family-friendly attractions. An Airbnb here could appeal to families looking for a fun and relaxing alternative to the city’s bustling casinos.
  • Branson, Missouri: With its plethora of live performances and Silver Dollar City, a rental in Branson could offer a great balance of indoor and outdoor entertainment for guests.
  • Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin: Known as the ‘Waterpark Capital of the World,’ a vacation home in Wisconsin Dells could offer guests a unique blend of water-based outdoor fun and indoor play areas.

Common Amenities for Play Vacation Rentals

Play vacation rentals differ from typical vacation homes due to their extensive entertainment-based amenities. Beyond the standard offerings like fully equipped kitchens, comfortable living spaces, and cozy bedrooms, these homes go above and beyond to provide guests with an immersive and engaging vacation experience.

Usually, play vacation homes feature game rooms equipped with board games, pool tables, foosball, air hockey, and even arcade machines. Outdoor spaces often come alive with amenities like swimming pools, playground equipment, basketball or tennis courts, and more. These homes also offer plenty of comfortable seating areas for spectators and players alike.

In addition to these standard offerings, some play vacation homes elevate the guest experience further by offering a unique blend of entertainment-based amenities.

  • Home Theater Systems: An impressive feature that offers an immersive movie night experience. This can be a hit with families or groups of friends who enjoy watching movies or sports together.
  • Themed Bedrooms: Whether it’s a princess-themed room for little ones or a sports-themed space for older kids, themed bedrooms can make bedtime exciting and make the stay memorable.
  • Virtual Reality Gaming Systems: This modern amenity allows guests to immerse themselves in a different world. This can be especially appealing to tech-savvy guests or gamers.
  • Climbing Walls or Indoor Slides: Indoor playgrounds aren’t just for public spaces. Offering these fun amenities can be a big draw for families with active kids.
  • Private Mini Golf: A relaxing and engaging activity for guests of all ages. This can particularly appeal to families or groups looking for light-hearted competitive fun.
  • Outdoor Kitchen or BBQ: For those moments of downtime, an outdoor kitchen or BBQ area can be a fantastic amenity. It offers guests the chance to enjoy a meal together while basking in the outdoors.

The array of unique amenities on offer sets these properties apart, providing guests with more than just accommodation – they offer a holiday experience. Investing in these unique amenities ensures your home stands out in the rental market.

Activities and Attractions Near Game Themed House Rentals

Apart from the fun that happens indoors, there’s often plenty to do in the nearby areas:

  • Theme Parks: Homes near theme parks like Disneyland or Universal Studios are always a hit.
  • Nature Trails: Homes near national parks or reserves offer opportunities for hiking or bird-watching.
  • Water Activities: Homes near beaches or lakes can offer water sports like surfing, paddle boarding, or fishing.
  • Winter Sports: Homes in colder regions might offer skiing, snowboarding, or sledding.
  • Cultural Attractions: Museums, art galleries, or historical sites add a touch of education to the fun.
  • Food and Drink: Local restaurants, breweries, or farmers’ markets are great for food-loving guests.

How Much Does a Play Vacation Home Cost?

Investing in a play vacation home might not be cheap, but it could be highly rewarding. Prices largely depend on the location, size, and amenities offered by the property.

  • Orlando, Florida: Vacation homes in Orlando can range from $350,000 to $800,000. Properties closer to popular attractions like Disney World may be on the higher end of this range.
  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee: In Gatlinburg, you can expect to pay between $300,000 and $600,000. Those offering stunning mountain views or unique amenities may command a higher price.
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Can be found in the range of $250,000 to $550,000, with beachfront properties priced higher.
  • San Diego, California: Given its coastal location and high real estate prices, vacation rentals in San Diego can range from $750,000 to $1,500,000.
  • Pigeon Forge, Tennessee: In Pigeon Forge, Airbnb may cost between $275,000 and $575,000, with homes closer to attractions like Dollywood costing more.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: Despite its reputation for glitz and glamour, Las Vegas can be found in the more modest range of $325,000 to $650,000.
  • Branson, Missouri: Play vacation homes in Branson typically fall within the $225,000 to $525,000 range.
  • Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin: Known as the ‘Waterpark Capital of the World,’ rental homes in Wisconsin Dells can cost between $275,000 and $575,000.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Playful Vacation Rentals?

The cost of play vacation rentals is influenced by several factors beyond just the property’s basic location and square footage. The unique nature of these properties means that the array of amenities on offer, the age and upkeep of the property, and the property’s capacity to entertain and host larger groups can all significantly impact its value.

  • Extent and Quality of Amenities: The quality and variety of game facilities and entertainment options can significantly impact the value of a play vacation rental. For instance, a property equipped with a private pool, an expansive game room, a mini-golf course, and a home theater system is likely to command a higher price than a similar-sized property with fewer amenities.
  • Property Maintenance: Themed vacation rentals, with their numerous amenities, require regular maintenance to keep them in top condition. The state of upkeep can greatly influence a property’s value. Well-maintained and updated homes will fetch a higher price than those needing repair or modernization.
  • Capacity: The capacity of the property can also affect its price. Larger properties that can accommodate more guests, especially groups and families, are often more valuable as they can generate higher rental income.
  • Proximity to Local Attractions: A vacation home situated near major tourist attractions, amusement parks, or natural landmarks will typically be priced higher due to its potential for higher rental demand and occupancy rates.
  • Unique Features: Unique features, such as themed rooms, high-tech entertainment systems, or outdoor kitchens, can add a significant premium to a play vacation rental. These features can make a property stand out in the rental market, attracting more guests and allowing for higher rental rates.

Therefore, when considering the purchase of a play vacation home, it is crucial to evaluate these factors. Ensuring a balance between the price of the property and the potential rental income it can generate is key to a successful investment.

How to Make Your Play Rental Property Stand Out to Guests

You’ll need to go the extra mile to ensure your play vacation rental stands out from the crowd.

  • Unique Features: Add a unique feature, like a treehouse or a miniature golf course. Not only will it be fun for guests, but it will also give your property a unique selling point. (Cost: $5,000-$10,000)
  • Themed Rooms: Consider having themed rooms, like a Star Wars game room or a Disney princess bedroom, to add a touch of magic. (Cost: $3,000-$5,000)
  • Local Partnerships: Partner with local businesses to offer discounts or packages for activities. It will give guests an incentive to choose your property over others. (Cost: Varies)

Our Thoughts

Vacation rentals built for games and entertainment are more than just a place to stay. With the right location, features, and amenities, these properties can offer a fun and profitable investment opportunity.

Written by

Former Airbnb host turned content writer and avid runner, passionate about crafting engaging content, sharing inspiring stories, and finding joy in the power of running. Let's make every word and every step count!