Play Area Features Ohio State Mascot Brutus the Buckeye


Ohio Valley Mall custom play area

Ohio Valley Mall, owned by Cafaro Company, teamed up with one of Ohio’s preeminent health care providers to introduce a new amenity:  Kidz Zone, sponsored by Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital (OVMC/EORH), your local, community hospitals.

Created by PLAYTIME, LLC, the new play area provides a welcome respite for families with young children.

“We started working several years ago to make Ohio Valley Mall a place where the community could gather,” says Joe Bell, Director of Corporate Communications. “The mall has gone through a complete renovation and, as part of that, we knew we wanted to offer families a play area where their children could take a break from shopping.”


The mall sought a sponsor for the area and was able to create a dynamic partnership with OVMC/EORH, two hospitals that are part of the same system. One is located in Ohio and the other is located in West Virginia. Ohio Valley Mall is located near both hospitals and serves the entire tristate region of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

“They understood that the play area was a great way to position their services to the community on a regular basis at one of the area’s major gathering places, Ohio Valley Mall,” explains Bell.

Coincidentally, the hospitals had just signed an agreement with Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center and, therefore, they received permission to include the OSU mascot in the play area. Brutus the Buckeye sits proudly atop a tree, the tallest play element in Kidz Zone.


“It’s been a great partnership because the hospitals have helped to offer an important community play area to one of their primary audiences – families – and Ohio Valley Mall gets to show its community spirit with Brutus the Buckeye where everyone can see him,” says Bell.

The play area opened in December right before the holiday rush and Bell says that nearby retailers remarked that shoppers seemed to stay longer thanks to the play area. He also says that working with PLAYTIME was, again, fulfilling. Cafaro Company has hired PLAYTIME to design, manufacture and install multiple play areas in its properties.

“Working with PLAYTIME always tends to be a fruitful, productive and professional experience,” he says. “We are happy with the product that they provide.”