Des Moines Indoor Play for Kids!

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Des Moines Indoor Play for Kids!

A giant list of Des Moines indoor play for kids to run, play, and burn off energy during the winter months. We have gathered some of the best indoor playgrounds and best trampoline parks in Des Moines, Iowa for the whole family to burn off energy indoors. Make sure to bookmark our free event calendar for even more events and activities being offered in the Des Moines area.

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JouJou Des Moines | 2024 Sponsor

906 42nd Street, Des Moines, Iowa

  • Sunday – 9:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Monday – 9:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday – 9:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday – 9:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday – 9:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Friday – 9:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Saturday – 9:00-11:30 a.m.

2023 Des Moines Parent Family Favorite Winner

Joujou is a Montessori-inspired indoor playspace for the Metro’s smallest children (infants through age 5). Created by two moms who wanted a different way to play, Joujou fulfills the need for movement, and curiosity and creates moments of connectedness between parents and children. With a large area dedicated to infants and non-crawlers, gross motor space to get the wiggles out, an elevated book nook and rotating book selection, a self-care station, and many works for stretching minds and “working through play”, Joujou is the community for Des Moines’ littlest families. 

Options for membership or drop-in passes are available for purchase at Joujou for open play six days a week, including some late afternoon and early evening hours. Open seven days a week for open play, including early evening play, Joujou has drop-in and membership play options. In addition to open play, Joujou offers a variety of fun and informative programs for children and their parents – ranging from outdoor exploration, mini concerts, and art classes to monthly local resource workshops.

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Daytime Cirque Play Time

Cirque Wonderland; 105 S 11th Street in West Des Moines

Weekly on Wednesday beginning January 3 – April 30

9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

1 child – $12; 2 children – $22; 3 children – $32

Have fun in a vibrant playroom located inside a circus school where parents and caregivers can bring their children for a day of exploration and fun. Adults can enjoy complimentary WiFi and a cozy cafe while keeping an eye out on their little ones as they climb, balance, roll, and crawl through our exciting play areas. Kids love the circus-themed activities, plus they have all the indoor playroom classics like play kitchens, balls, blocks, and more. Adults are free.

Des Moines Children’s Museum 

The lower level of Valley West Mall

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Wednesday; 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

$6 for children 1-10; Punch cards $25 for 5 admissions

No admission is required for children under 1 or adults, but donations are very much appreciated.

The Des Moines Children’s Museum is a great place to come play, make-believe, explore and have fun. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for other fun activities including crafts, storytime, live music, and more included with admission.

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Get Air Des Moines

3799 86th Street, Urbandale 

Toddler Time: Tuesday & Thursday; 10 a.m. to Noon and Sunday 8 to 10 a.m.

A Special Time for You: First Saturday of the month from 8 to 10 a.m. for jumpers with special needs.

Prices vary depending on age and time jumping.

This is the perfect way for little jumpers under 46 inches to enjoy Get Air without the big kids. Get Air is open daily for Open Jump for all ages. Hours vary.

Hop-A-Lot Rentals Indoors

** Please note: This business is currently closed. We will update you when we have more information.

1600 Valley West Drive, West Des Moines, Iowa

Hop-A-Lot Rentals offers one big open play area with giant bounce houses, one party space with two inflatables, and another party space with three inflatables. Open play will be open all day and only be closed for large private outings. We had a blast when we visited during winter break.

Imagination Playschool at Pioneer Columbus

2100 SE 5th St, Des Moines

Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

November 1 – March 29, 2024

An indoor play area offering playhouses, big wheel bikes, safety mats, foam building blocks, and more during the cold weather months. A great to inspire imagination, social skills, and movement for children ages 1-7 years old. $1.50 per child.

Imagination Street

1345 SW Park Square Dr SUITE 102, Ankeny

Imagination Street is currently offering various Open Play hours. Please view their schedule and purchase a pass before visiting.

Their uniquely designed play space features a “main street” concept that will be sure to inspire your child to be creative and use their imagination for hours of play whether it is in a fire station, Town Center Market, doctor’s office, and much more.

Indoor Playground

Valley Junction Activity Center

Seasonal: Fall and Winter

Need to get out of the house and let your toddler run off some steam? We’ve created an indoor playground that can help get the job done. Toys, slides, and riding toys will challenge your child to hours of fun! An adult is required to stay and supervise their child. Indoor Playground is not held when the school (WDMCS) is not in session. 6 months – 4 years – FREE.

Jester Park Nature Center 

12130 NW 128th Street, Granger 

Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Sunday & Open Holidays: Noon to 4 p.m.


Explore nature indoors. The Jester Park Nature Center is filled with tons of hands-on activities, books, fish, turtles, puppet theater, and more. They plan several free events and activities for kids throughout the year. Check the event calendar before you go!

Kids Empire

6805 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines

3800 Merle Hay Rd, Des Moines in Merle Hay Mall

Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday – Sunday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Kids Empire: Kingdom of fun for everyone! Indoor playground for family entertainment for all ages. Kids can climb, go down slides, play, and more. They also offer various birthday party packages.

The Kids Zone at Grimes Community Complex

410 SE Main St, Grimes, IA, 50111

Monday, Wednesday & Friday: 9 to 11 a.m.

What is the Kid Zone you ask? The Kid Zone is a NEW program located in the Grimes Community Complex Gym geared towards children under the age of 6. It will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Fun activities like basketball, scooters, hopper balls, bowling, and more will be available. Spots will be limited for each available day so you will need to register through their NEW registration site.

** BY appointment ONLY. and sometimes will not be available depending on a number of factors.

Mid Iowa Gymnastics

1500 SE 19th Street, Suite 380, Grimes, IA 50111

Mid Iowa Gymnastics offers various open gyms and camps for all ages. Take a look at their calendar for updated days and times.


4600 Park Avenue in Des Moines

Offered every weekday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

$5 per kid/session

Open play is exclusively for kids 12 years and under. This is an opportunity for children to explore their safe and dynamic space outfitted with inflatables, sporting equipment, and activities. Please note inflatables may not be available daily.

Ninja U Ankeny

1604 NW State St, Ankeny, IA

 Ninja U is a ninja gym for those aspiring to be the next American Ninja Warrior. Ninja U offers hours of indoor play, and challenges encourage littles with their motor skills, and most importantly fun for all ages. Take a look inside the Ninja U Obstacle Course in Ankeny, Iowa.


  • Monday – Friday: 1 to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1 to 7 p.m.


  • Weekday – $12
  • Weekend – $15
  • College – $8
  • 5 & Under – $8
  • Spectators – FREE

Play at the Bay

 8505 Harbach Blvd., Ankeny

Monday, October 16 – April 15, 2024; 9 to 10:30 a.m. Every Monday

Does winter have you feeling cooped up? Do your kiddos want to play on the playground, but it is just too cold? Join them on Monday mornings at Harbach Center beginning October 16 for Play in the Bay. They will have a variety of toys available for play. This is a free program great for helping run off the extra energy that comes with being cooped up in winter.  Please register ahead of time to sign the waiver. For more information, contact Jon at or Dee at Ages 2 − 6 (with a caregiver). Registration required.

(No session November 6, January 15, February 19, March 11) 

PLAYground Cafe

293 SE Westown Parkway Waukee, Iowa 50263

The kid’s indoor playspace offers a fun Cedarworks playground that has climbing features, and slides. It sits on green turf and the whole area has beautiful natural light for even the gloomiest days in Des Moines. They also have some fun ride-on toys, wood-balancing toys, and a designated, gated baby area for those who are 0 to 18 months of age. Learn more!

Head to their website page and book a play session. Open Play Sessions are 2-hours long and are set hours. It is highly recommended you book a session before you go as they do have a maximum capacity. They offer different play sessions 7 days a week and gaps in between each session so they can completely sanitize the area. Ready to book your play session? You can book here!

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Playground for Kids

2401 SE Tones Dr #7, Ankeny, IA 50021

October 1st – April 30th Hours: Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

May 1st – September 30th Hours: Monday, Wednesday Friday; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday & Thursday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday; 9 a.m. to Noon

2-12 years old $11; Walkers up to 23 months $8

The Playground For Kids was created by local parents with active children. “As parents, we were always trying to find local places to take our children to play where we weren’t handing out quarters the whole time, we were running out of options, so we created The Playground For Kids”. Parents will enjoy watching their children smile as they bounce on our five inflatables and crawl in our enormous Treehouse structure with a triple-lane rainbow slide, cork slide, Wacky Ballroom, and much more. 

Rainbow of the Heartland

3300 SE Crossroads Drive Grimes, IA 50111

Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There are no limits to the grins and giggles in the Rainbow of the Heartland playroom. That’s because your kids are invited to jump, climb, swing, and play in the indoor showroom for just $10 per child. Groups of 6 or more must call ahead. No Open Play Parties are allowed. Learn more details.

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6500 Grand Ave West Des Moines, IA 50266

There are two ways to play at the RecPlex: renting a space or coming during drop-in times. Their drop-in sports and activities are designated times open to the public when anyone can come to use the space. Different drop-in schedules depend on what sport or activity you want to do—everything from indoor ice skating to soccer, basketball, and more. Open toddler playtime will be offered for ages four and under as an opportunity to stay active while avoiding the outdoor elements. Details have not been released yet for this option.

RecPlex works closely with the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department to plan fun events and activities. Take a look at the inside from our visit to the RecPlex.

Reiman Gardens

1407 University Blvd. Ames, IA 50011

Daily: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Enjoy the outdoors, and indoors at Reiman Gardens. Walk through and see all the plants and flowers and do not forget visit to the butterfly area! There is also a beautiful outdoor to explore and play in when the weather is nice. Please take a look at their event calendar for storytimes and other fun events.

Science Center of Iowa

401 W Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines

Thursday – Sunday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Enjoy the world of science at the Science Center of Iowa. Exhibits include What On Earth?, Why the Sky?, Small Discoveries, and much more. $13 per person. Take a look at the inside and plan your day with our Science Center of Iowa Guide.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

1300 SE Gateway Drive, Suite 103, Grimes

Toddler Time: Wednesday & Friday: 10 to 11 a.m.; Saturday: 9 to 10 a.m.; Sunday: 10 to 11 a.m.

$10 per child – Toddler Time

Toddler Time at Sky Zone is the perfect opportunity to have your children jump and play without the big kids. This is for ages 6 and under and the price includes guardian admission. Sky Zone offers open jump times for all ages. Hours and prices vary.

Spare Time Des Moines

340 Jordan Creek Pkwy, West Des Moines; 515-414-2824

The new family entertainment venue has opened in the Des Moines Area and is loaded with fun! Spare Time Entertainment is located in West Des Moines near Jordan Creek Town Center. Enjoy bowling, arcade games, restaurants, escape rooms, and much more. Take a look at our fun experience!

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State Historical Museum of Iowa

600 E Locust Street, Des Moines

Tuesday – Friday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Discover Iowa’s rich heritage through a variety of exhibitions, tours, collections, and unique programs and events throughout the year. The State Historical Museum of Iowa has more than 80,000 objects and about 1,500 objects are on exhibit at any given time. More objects are on display in the capitol building and other museums in Iowa. The museum has a great children’s area. Check out our visit. 

Triad Gymnastics

2202 SE Creekview Drive, Ankeny 

Triad Gymnastics offers so many great options!

Lunch Bunch: Monday – Friday; 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. OR 11:30 to 1:30 p.m.; Ages 3-7. Cost $15 per session  Parents may drop off children. Must be potty trained.

Bring a snack or sack lunch and join us for loads of fun! This is a great transition for kids preparing to attend school. They will play in the gym and take a break for a snack/lunch.

Parent & Tot: Tuesday & Thursday; 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. Ages 1-5; $8/child.

Open gym for young children accompanied by an adult. Come ready to run, jump, play, and have fun! Great for playgroups!

Urban Air Adventure Park

2829 South Ankeny Blvd. Ankeny, Iowa 50023

Monday – Thursday: 4 to 8 p.m.

Friday: 4 to 9 p.m.; Jumperoo 10 a.m. to Noon for children ages 5 years and under.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Various packages are available. Urban Air Adventure Park is the ultimate indoor playground. The perfect place to run and play for all ages! Sky gliders, trampolines, obstacle courses, TV’s indoor playground, and more. Take a look at all the fun we have had.

Valley Community Center

4444 Fuller Rd West Des Moines, IA 50265

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday & Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Enjoy a fun indoor play area for free at the Valley Community Center. The play area was designed for kids ages 3 to 8 (the playmats are for 3 and under). All participants must be supervised by an adult. No food or drinks are allowed.

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Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

37 thoughts on “Des Moines Indoor Play for Kids!

  1. Thanks for the great ideas – I’d love to win!

  2. Thanks for the great ideas!

  3. Our favorite thing to do indoors in the winter is go to the mall. Thanks for the list, I think we need to expand our horizons a bit!

  4. Avatar Emily Kneip says:

    Favorite indoor activity is taking my three boys to Skyzone to burn off all their energy!!

  5. Avatar Kimberly Hunter says:

    We have fun trying out places we haven’t been to or have only been to a few times. We usually stick to places where they can burn off some energy if possible! The Playground for Kids was great when they were a little younger and now they really like SkyZone, especially in the winter!

  6. We love the Valley Community Center. Can’t wait to check out some of these other ideas.

  7. Avatar Becka McGinn says:

    Sounds fun!

  8. Avatar Sara masterson says:

    We love the science center in winter!

  9. We love to go skating in the winter. But I’m excited to try some of these indoor choices too.

  10. Avatar Olga Barnes says:

    Have a toddler and have not had to look for toddler friendly activities in a long time! This is helpful!

  11. Thank you for the list

  12. I so appreciate these lists of things you do in central Iowa. Some days, you just gotta get out of the house, no matter the weather!

  13. Fun! I have a 7 yr old and a 2 yr old who are both very active! We will definitely be using this list a lot!

  14. Great options!! Thank you 🙂

  15. Avatar Amanda Johnson says:

    Our favorite winter indoor activity is visiting the Urbandale library!

  16. Can’t wait to check women of these out!

  17. Meant to say can’t wait to check some of these out! Lol

  18. Great list, thanks for putting together!

  19. Avatar kara Earhart says:

    What a great list! Thank you for the suggestions!

  20. What a great prize package!

  21. Avatar Allison C. says:

    So many fun ideas here! Thanks!

  22. Avatar Jenn Sealine says:

    Great list of ideas!

  23. Avatar Lisa Nelson says:

    One of my favorite things to do came from one of your ideas! Walking the skywalk! I found the idea at such a perfect time for our family and as simple as it was, it really rejuvenated me.

  24. Avatar Anna Pham says:

    Triad Lunch Bunch is great!

  25. Great List!

  26. Avatar Brandie Stifel says:

    Our favorite thing is sledding at the big hill at the Ashley Oakland Star Playground on East Mckinley Avenue! 🙂

  27. We love the science center in the winter.

  28. Love these! Thank you so much

  29. Thank you so much

  30. Avatar Amy Burress says:

    Love the list! Great ideas and some new places

  31. We love sledding and playing in the snow. But these are some great alternatives for indoor fun!!

  32. We love to visit the West Des Moines library and the Science Center when it’s cold.

  33. What a fun place to find out all the good stuff going on in Des moines !

  34. What a great round up thank you

  35. This is great! We will be trying the Children’s museum and the tot skate sometime this winter!

  36. Avatar allison frederick says:

    In the winter we like to go to Monkey Joe’s or other indoor inflatable places.

  37. Being new to the area, our favorite thing to do so far in Winter is Pump It Up and Chuck E Cheese. SkyZone is on our bucket list 🙂 Thank you for this great website and activities list!

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