Des Moines Indoor Play for Kids!

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. Make sure to bookmark our free event calendar for even more events and activities being offered in the Des Moines area.

JouJou Des Moines | 2022 Sponsor

906 42nd Street, Des Moines, Iowa

Monday, Tuesday & Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday: 9:30 a.m. – Noon

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 for 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. In addition to open play, Joujou offers a variety of fun and informative classes for children and their parents – ranging from yoga to outdoor exploration to postpartum care and partner workshops.

Des Moines Children’s Museum 

Valley West Mall, Lower Level 

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 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.

Get Air

3799 86th Street, Urbandale 

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

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

Merle Hay Mall next to the food court

Phone: 515-255-9620 

Monday – Saturday – Noon to 7 p.m.; Sunday; 12 to 5:30 p.m.

Monday –  Thursday          $6.00 / per person  
Friday – Sunday                  $8.50 / per person
Ages 2 & Under                  $5.00 / per person

Hop-A-Lot Rentals offers one big open play area, 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.

Jester Park Nature Center 

12130 NW 128th Street, Granger 

Monday – Friday; 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Sunday; Closed


Explore nature indoors. The Jester Park Nature Center is filled with tons of hands-on activities, books, fish, turtles, puppet theater, and more.

Kids Ninja Warrior Gym

10141 Hickman Road, Urbandale

Tuesday – Friday: 2 to 6 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday: 10 am. to 6 p.m.

$20 per child for unlimited time + bounce

The hours listed above are for Open Gym hours. Kids Warrior Gym is for ages 3 to 12 years of age.

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 9:00 am-11:00 am. 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.

Mid Iowa Gymnastics

3580 SW Brookside Dr, 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.

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 $8.99

Walkers up to 23 months $5.99

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. Check out when we visited.

Rainbow of the Heartland

3300 SE Crossroads Drive Grimes, IA 50111

Open Gym: 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.


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. There are different drop-in schedules depending on what sport or activity you want to do. Everything from indoor ice skating, 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.

Reiman Gardens

1407 University Blvd. Ames, IA 50011

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily

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

Sapphire Gymnastics 

11401 Meredith Drive, Urbandale

Open Gym:  Saturday 1 to 2 p.m.

Sapphire Gymnastics Open Gym is available for $5 for members ages 5-18 and non-members for $8 for ages 5-14. All participants must have a waiver signed by his/her guardian on file. During this semi-structured hour of fun, gems will have an opportunity to use the vault, bars, beam, and floor exercise equipment, as well as trampolines and tumble tracks. Staff is available to ensure the safety of participants and provide light spotting.

Family Fun Day: Saturday 1 to 2 p.m.

During this hour of fun, gems will have an opportunity to play in the preschool gym and utilize all of our tot-sized equipment! For ages 1 through 5 years. $5 for members ages 5-18 and non-members for $8.

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.

Sky Zone 

1300 SE Gateway Drive, Suite 103, Grimes

Toddler Time: Wednesday & Friday: 11 a.m. to Noon; Saturday: 9 to 10 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, restaurant, escape rooms, and much more. Take a look at our fun experience!

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, Wednesday & Friday; 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. OR 11:30 to 1:30 p.m.; Ages 3-8; $12/student

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. or Wednesday 10 to 11 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!

LB & Beyond: Wednesday 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.; Ages 3& up $12/child

Bring a snack!! Drop off the kids to run, jump, play games and have fun. The instructor will also be there to help you out in your gymnastics.

Urban Air Adventure Park

2829 South Ankeny Blvd. Ankeny, Iowa 50023

Monday – Thursday: 4 to 8 p.m.

Friday: Noon 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. 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, Thursday & Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a family movie at 6 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.

UPDATED: April 2022

Des Moines, indoor play, Rainbow of the Heartland

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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