25 Must-Visit Indoor Playspaces from Coast to Coast
Family play centers around the U.S.
Photo By: Little School at Kid’s Cottage
Photo By: The Pod 22
Photo By: Instagram: @odeith
Photo By: Giggles
Photo By: The Children’s Piazza
Photo By: FunBelieveable
Photo By: Kith + Kin
Photo By: Good Times Park
Photo By: Detroit Kid City
Photo By: BadLands
Photo By: Adventure Science Center
Photo By: The Big Playhouse
Photo By: The Coop
Photo By: Little Beans Café
Photo By: Peek a Boo Playspace
Photo By: Kefi
Photo By: Instagram: @kidcitychildrensmuseum
Photo By: Instagram: @cheekymonkeysplano
Photo By: Instagram: @toybraryaustin
Photo By: Instagram: @ltpcafe
Photo By: Instagram: @playcle
Photo By: City Owlets
Photo By: Little School at Kid’s Cottage
Photo By: Instagram: @artbeastchildrensstudio
Photo By: Instagram: @kidtopia_fremont
Places Kids (and Parents!) Love
The heart of winter can often bring about boredom and cabin fever, especially with young kids at home. Once your toybox loses its luster, head out to a play space where everything feels shiny and new to your kids, and as a parent you can spend time socializing with others feeling the same. Playspaces are a great way for kids to explore new things and interact with other little ones. We have you armed with a guide to 25 of the best across the country.
Miami: The Pod 22
This “urban breakroom” is Miami chic, with clean lines and modern finishes. There are places to climb and afternoon yoga classes open to those who drop-in. Parents can stay and hang, order in food delivery or have their kids supervised and make an appointment to get a manicure at their in-house salon. A true “break” for both parents and kids!
Charleston, SC: Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
This already cool and interactive museum is about to get a major makeover for even more exploration, but in the meantime, there is still so much to do. Make a masterpiece in the art room, harken back in time at the medieval creativity castle and explore the bounty in the organic kids’ garden. There’s water play and pirates, and a mock grocery store for even more fun.
This indoor playspace offers a respite from the heat in Arizona. Simple in nature, it has a wooden climbing structure, a stage for performing the most epic productions, a track for riding around and a few trampolines for bouncing. There’s a room for parents to chill and socialize, too.
Boston: The Children’s Piazza
The Children's Piazza is nothing fancy, but just a place where kids can be themselves. Little ones can bounce, climb, create and more while parents sip on a cup of coffee. It’s perfect for younger kids who are just starting to play more independently. There are also classes offered in sensory art, music, movement and music.
San Diego: FunBelieveable
This is a great place for both big and little kids who can have their own areas to explore. For bigger kids, giant play structures, wavy slides, zip lines and rock walls can keep them entertained for hours. Littler ones can enjoy playing in the softer structures and splashing around in a mini ball pit. There’s even a snack shack to keep everyone fueled throughout the day.
Philadelphia: Kith + Kin
It’s hard not to fall in love with this chic designed, bright and spacious playspace. From an infant section where even the littlest babies can explore and little nooks for grabbing a book and reading to your kids, and plenty of educational toys to stimulate growing minds. Parents can kick back in a comfy chair as needed or hang around, helping kids be kids.
Minneapolis: Good Times Park
In a place as cold as Minnesota, it’s a genius idea for a playspace to bring that playground feeling all year round. The indoor playground looks just like what you’d find at your local park with over 25 different activities to explore. A giant trampoline, a sports and game court, a place to build with giant blocks and even a picnic area makes this the perfect destination to channel the great outdoors.
Detroit: Detroit Kid City
Looking for a true taste of Detroit? A mini version of the city is ready for playing in with a Motown recording studio, a Ford automotive factory, fire station, schoolhouse and more. Vegan treats, and fresh roasted coffee are served in the café and fun imaginative classes make this a place to visit over and over again.
Maryland (Washington D.C. area): BadLands
For a taste of nature without going outside, head to this 30,000 square foot playspace taking inspiration from the great outdoors. Kids can climb a mountain and slide back down it, tinker with toys in the workshop and check out a variety of rotating exhibits. Parents can take a load off in the café that has specialty coffees and even wine by the glass. There is always some sort of fun special event happening from Nerf nights to volunteer activities.
Nashville: Adventure Science Center
Part museum, part playspace, this spot is an adventure for the whole family. Due to its expansive space, you’ll want to stick together to learn about the anatomy of an earthquake, the physics of light with a giant lite bright and anatomy through Bodyquest. The center of the space is a massive, three-story climbing area where kids can vertically explore the adventure science center. Rotating exhibits means kids will never get bored–no matter how many times they come to play.
New Jersey: The Big Playhouse
On a rainy day this replica of a mini town is the perfect place for young kids to explore and use their imagination. Kids ages 6 and under can pop into the pretend salon, go shopping at the market and give a check-up to any stuffed animal in the doctor’s office.
Los Angeles: The Coop
This playspace has a cool LA vibe with bright citrus colors indoors and a beautiful outdoor area as well. A giant ball pit, rope tunnel, an electronic dance floor and a bouncer with a basketball net are just a few things kids can explore throughout the sunny spot. Meanwhile, parents can kick back with a cappuccino and a magazine—it’s a win-win for all.
Chicago: Little Beans Café
Venturing slightly outside of Chicago to the second location of this playspace is worth your time–especially if you have older kids. Divided into little and big beans, the smaller set will enjoy galivanting around the tiny town–fixing their car in the shop and seeking out enemies from the lookout. On the other side of the space is where the bigger kids can have a blast with an obstacle course complete with foam pit, a half gym for games of basketball, an electronic floor for games and so much more. A café (and a drive thru window if you miss your coffee opportunity) make it a great place for the whole family.
Denver: Peek-a-Boo Playspace
What could be better than a one-stop-shop for eating, working out shopping AND playing with your kids. That was the premise behind Peek-a-Boo playspace, a place for kids to run, jump and roll around right within the Stanley Market where, afterward, you could grab a coffee, a bite to eat or just push your stroller around until your kid decides to nap.
Part drop in play, part co-working space, this spot satisfies both kiddos and their caregivers. There is so much to do from a toy testing lab to a beat box music composition room, a wall of dancing robots and new features added in every month. Parents can get to work in the office with private workspaces and a luxury coffee shop, knowing their kids are safe with plenty of staff on hand and fall-safe floors. There are also parent lectures on a variety of topics from toddler tantrums to travel.
New Haven: Kid City Museum
This museum is just as much about playing as it is about viewing. Geared towards those under 7 years old–with most visitors under age 5–this Connecticut spot is three floors of exploratory fun. Build castles and look for Vikings, go on a Route 66 alien road trip, walk along Main Street and use conveyers and pulleys at the Fishery. The littlest of kids (2 and under) can make their way through the sea caves meeting mermaids and sea creatures at every turn.
Plano, Texas: Cheeky Monkey
When your kids get wild like monkeys, this is the perfect place to let them run free. The 3,000 square foot space is full of soft footing, so kids can safely explore on trampolines, slides and climbers without the ouch. There’s an arts and crafts garden with project materials galore, a clubhouse for important kid pow-wows and an open gym for dancing and puppet shows. The café looks right into the playspace so you can watch your kids while sipping on fresh squeezed O.J.
This is one of those “why didn’t I think of it?” concepts, where kids can stay, play and explore, both indoors and outdoors. They can ride rocking horses, dress up like their favorite characters and cozy up for stories. Meltdowns shouldn’t ensue because you can actually “check out” (all sanitized) toys to play with at home–just like you would at a library. They have toys organized by age group, so you can pick the perfect ones to rent for your kids.
Cincinnati: Learning Through Play Café
This place isn’t about a ton of color and distraction, but rather clean lines and simple play. This indoor playground has a modern play structure, craft of the day and various rotating activities. Meanwhile, parents can kick back with an espresso in a relaxing coffee shop setting.
Cleveland: Play CLE
Get ready for a true indoor adventure at this space that’s filled with anything an active child would desire. There are ninja courses, zip lines, climbing walls and a ropes course. Children under six can enjoy their own obstacle course away from the rambunctiousness of the older kids. A menu full of snacks and shared plates, plus local craft beer and the whole family can make a fun night out at this place.
New York: City Owlets
There is so much to explore in this little Long Island City playspace. Grow pretend flowers in the garden, whip up treats in the café, top a pie in the pizzeria and so much more. This peanut-free facility will have parents resting easy and sipping on a tea while they meet other parents.
Delaware: Little School at Kid’s Cottage
Part school, part drop-off center, part play space–this has it all. If you want to spend a few hours with your kid, there is both an indoor or outdoor playground to explore; there’s also a dress up closet and even drop-in classes like music and art. If you need to run out for a few hours, they have you covered with a qualified staff to hang with the kiddos.
Sacramento: Art Beast
If you have a mini Monet on your hands, this drop-in space is the place for you. The open studio features tables, easels and piles of clay for making a masterpiece. Paint, crayons and other tidbits make this the perfect place for exploratory art. There are usually a few guided projects and a scented play-doh project as well. For those who are a little more antsy, there’s a small climbing structure and a drama den for full expression. Along with a building room, a story corner and courtyard with sand box, this is the ultimate place for endless exploration.
San Francisco: Kidtopia
Get ready to PLAY at this spot that is perfect for the active child. It’s all about soft play structures here, from tunnels to slides and a massive (but clean!) ball pit. There’s also a creative zone with a few items for interactive play, like an ice cream truck, mini market and kitchen, alongside the classic train table and dollhouse.