25 Indoor Places for Kids in Central Iowa


When it is cold in central Iowa, parents, and children are always on the hunt for places to play indoors!  Playing outside is now only reserved for times when it’s actually above freezing.  So what do we do now?  Where do we take the kids to keep them entertained and from driving us crazy?  Well, here are 25 Indoor Places for Kids in Central Iowa that you can check out:

  1. Valley West Mall – Walk around, Play in the Kid’s Area, Stop at the Des Moines Children’s Museum and create art at Artfull.
  2. Jordan Creek Mall – Grab some Starbucks, Play in the Kid’s Area, explore the newly renovated Scheel’s and grab a sample of fudge, then go read some stories at Barnes and Noble.
  3. Merle Hay Mall – Bring some quarters for the little mechanical rides, play in the fun kid’s area, or pay to bounce at Hop-a-Lot.
  4. Barnes & Noble (University in WDM) – Grab some coffee and head upstairs to the kid’s area. Play with the train table, read on the stage and check out the toys.
  5. Pump It Up – Inflatable jumping fun for all ages.
  6. The Playground for Kids – Inflatable jumping fun and huge treehouse to make-believe in.
  7. The Science Center of Iowa – Educational and fun
  8. Climb Iowa – Burn Energy and gain confidence
  9. Reiman Gardens – Head north and enjoy the indoors, outdoors at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa.
  10. Chuck E Cheese – Games, games, games, and Pizza
  11. RecPlex – Visit the new RecPlex in West Des Moines for indoor ice skating, open basketball, and much more.
  12. Urban Air – One of our family’s favorite places to play indoors.
  13. Valley Community Center – Coffee, Indoor play area for the kids, couches and warm fireplace
  14. Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden– Walk through the gardens and smell the plants. Grab lunch t their super cute cafe. Visiting on a Friday? Do not miss Story Sprouts. Check their event calendar for other fun activities.
  15. Des Moines Art Center
  16. Rainbow of Iowa – Indoor play equipment
  17. Bass Pro Shop – Bowling, and feed the fishes in the giant aquariums.
  18. SkyZone Indoor Trampoline Park – Jump away all the energy.
  19. Your Local Library – Stock up on books, music, and movies for free.
  20. Jester Park Nature Center – Spend hours exploring the beautiful nature center of head to the Outdoor Recreation Center for bouldering!
  21. Go Bowling.  Here are 4 places you can bowl with the little ones: Warrior LanesVal LanesMerle Hay Lanes, Great Escape.
  22. Skate South or Skateland – Roll around the rink with your kids and relive your younger days
  23. Movie Theater – Catch a flick.  Lots to theaters to choose from around Central Iowa.
  24. Summit Indoor Pool in Johnston – Swimming fun
  25. Backyard Adventures – Indoor Play Equipment


Thomas Brogan

Thomas Brogan, a native of Des Moines, was the original founder of Des Moines Parent and is a father to an 8 & 10-year-old. In his free time, he likes to explore nature, try new local restaurants and enjoy life as best as he can. Check out more of Thomas at www.broganlist.com.

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