Do you and your kids find yourselves climbing the walls when the weather gets rainy and cold? Getting the wiggles out while keeping your sanity in tact can be a tall order. So, we’ve compiled a list of fun, kid-friendly, indoor play places to run, climb and burn some energy — from Atlanta to Cinncinnati, Chicago, Seattle and points in between.
TIP: Find cold and rainy day fun using the kidsplayguide website or the Mom Maps iPhone app. Use our “Indoor Play Area” or “Museum” categories or try search words such as: “indoor”, “bowling”, “library”, “gym”, “rink”. And…. check out our previous post on “Cool Places, Mobile Apps (and more!) for Kids Who Love Science”, for more indoor fun ideas.
Mom Mapper Shalya recommends the “Eco Lake Aquarium and Science Center” in Burlington, VT for some cold day fun!
- Hippo Hop Indoor Playground (Atlanta) Jump and climb the day away at this inflatable play space.
- Champion Kids (Marietta) – Indoor toddler (including kids with special needs) play place offering open play, classes, and parties.
- DAC Kids Pirates Cove (Acworth)- Little pirates can captain a pirate ship, explore the underwater lair of an octopus or play, try the pirate-themed obstacle course. Priate’s Cove offers open play and parties.
- Little Bears Indoor Playground – Specially designed for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and children with special needs. Lots to keep little hands and feet busy!
- Coffee Park (Marietta): Indoor Play for the little one and a cup of joe for mom and dad.
- Kid City (Chicago, IL) – Drop in play where kids can explore a pretend city: grocery store, post office, home , movie theater, Reading corner, automobiles, and more. Parties too.
- Family Grounds Cafe (Chicago, IL) – Indoor play area, storytelling, art, games and music activities. Gourmet coffee and espresso, sandwiches, soups, sweet treats and gelato.
- Hobbitland Ltd. (Chicago, IL) – A bright spot for a cold day. Lots of wooden toys, play kitchen, dress up clothes, art projects, a blocked off area just for crawlers.
- Fantasy Kingdom (Chicago, IL) – Themed play areas with kid-sized buildings to explore, costumes and other play activities.
- Go and Play Cafe (Mason) – Indoor play for children ages 3-12 and a cafe for the adults.
- Cherry Grove Lanes (Cincinnati) – Bowling, pool, darts to keep you entertained and (in warmer weather sand volleyball)
- Recreation Outlet (Milford) – The folks at Recreation Outlet sell premium play equipment and have also created an indoor Play Zone where kids can run, jump and run in a showroom full of play structures, trampolines and basketball hoops. Check out their open play times or plan a birthday party.
- Krohn Conservatory (Cincinnati) – Dream of sunnier days while perusing an acclaimed collection of more than 3,500 plant species from around the world.
- Parky’s PlayBarn (Winton Woods) – An indoor, two-story, farm-theme, accessible playground with soft safety flooring. PlayBarn is designed for ages 2-12.
- Kings Skate Country (Sacramento and Elk Grove) – Roller and inline skating lessons for all levels and open skate sessions, too.
- Busy Bees Studio (Sacramento) – Classes, day camps, and parties where kids can do yoga, music, dance, fitness activities.
- Explorit Science Center (Davis) – Hands-on science learnign and fun with interactive exhibits, a Discovery Room, and a Wet Lab.
- Lasertag of Carmichael (Carmichael) – 2 story, 6,000 square foot laser tag area and arcade.
San Francisco Bay Area
- SeeSaw (San Francisco, CA) – A cozy, 800-square-feet play space stocked with toys, books, and games, good tunes are playing. Classes, Free Wi-Fi, and cafe!
- Habitot (Berkeley, CA): Indoor play for infants through preschoolers. Drop in play, art studio, themed play areas. See Mom Mapper Shayla’s video from her visit to Habitot.
- Peekadoodle Kids Club (San Francisco, CA): Classes for ages 0-5. Indoor play space features a Victorian house, a cable car, a grocer’s market, and a giant Golden Gate Bridge. A padded infant lounge and a cafe and boutique for mom and dad.
- Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito, CA) – Mixes indoor and outdoor interactive play. Places to crawl, make art and music, model trains, and interactive exhibits for hands on play. Cafe offering lunch and snack basics.
- Exploratorium (San Francisco, CA) – Full of hundreds of hands-on exhibits that mix science and art.
- REI Seattle Store (Seattle, WA): The motherlode of gear—plus a mountain bike test trail, gear-testing stations, a 65-foot climbing wall and more hands-on fun
- Lynnwood Bowl & Skate (Lynnwood, WA): The name says it all… a roller rink and 24 lanes await you.
- Kidz Bounce (Issaqhah, WA): 12,000-square-foot indoor play space that features two play rooms and more than a dozen inflatables, including obstacle courses and 35-foot slide
- Shankz Black Light Miniature Golf (Olympia, WA) – What kid wont love a little glowing 3-D mini golf in a jungle, underwater or prehistoric setting. Party room available as well.
- Great Kids Village (Columbia and Silver Spring)- Drop in play time and day care, classes, cafe, and parties.
- Adventure Park USA (New Market Maryland) – Arcade, Laser Tag, Indoor 4-level “Prospector Playground”, climbing wall and other attractions.
Other Everyday Places
… and don’t forget about some of the everyday places that can offer entertainment when the weather gets grim. Libraries get crowded on rainy days, but are free and fun.
And while shopping at our local IKEA recently, my 3 year old had a blast checking out the room vignettes, trying out ALL the chairs and testing out the kids toys scattered throughout the store. (They also have a supervised play area for preschoolers and older, where kids can play while you shop.) A nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt to cap off the visit, made for one happy camper! IKEA store finder.
Looking for more kid-friendly fun from parks, to playgrounds, museums to indoor play places and restaurants? Kids Play Guide has got you covered rain or shine! Click over to www.kidsplayguide.com and browse our growing list of more than 25,000 kid spots or take Mom Maps on the go with our iPhone app. It’s quick and easy to map and review your own favorites, too.