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Des Moines Indoor Play for Kids!

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Indoor Activities, Spring in Des Moines, Summer Guide, Summer in Des Moines, Things to Do, Winter in Des Moines

Des Moines Indoor Play for Kids!

Des Moines, indoor play, Rainbow of the Heartland

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.

The Des Moines Parent Indoor Play Guide and printable schedules are sponsored by Rainbow of the Heartland. Learn more about Unplug N Play and their store below.

Rainbow of the Heartland | 2019 Sponsor

3300 SE Crossroads Drive, Grimes, Iowa 

Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

$10.00 per child for 2 hours of play 

Rainbow has been helping families raise Happy, Healthy kids for over 20 years. They are famous for their well- built Swing Sets but also offer basketball hoops, trampolines, and athletic surfaces.

Pay 2 Play is offered Monday- Friday 10-5. Tennis Shoes are required. Rainbow recommends printing and filling out the waiver to play from their website. The cost is $10 for any child that plays. Punch Cards are available for a reduced rate. Play on several Rainbow Swing Sets, a Trampoline, and a Basketball Court! Birthday Parties are also very popular! Stop by their brand new store in Grimes. Unplug N Play with Rainbow today!

Adventureland Inn 

3200 Adventureland Drive, Altoona 

Every day; 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

FREE

Adventureland Inn is a great Des Moines indoor activity for kids, whether you are visiting Des Moines or staying. The play area is open to guests and the public every day.

Backyard Adventures

3135 99th St, Urbandale, IA 50322

Monday – Friday (No holidays); 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Admission is $5.00 per child age 2 and over

The showroom and party room is another great option for a Des Moines indoor activity. They are open for children and their parents to come to enjoy the great playsets that we sell. Admission is $5 per child over the age of 2. Adults over 18 do not have to pay. You are welcome to play as long as you like during the open play hours.

Groups of 8 or more children please call in advance of coming to open play. There is NO FOOD OR DRINK ALLOWED OUTSIDE THE PARTY ROOM. Footwear is encouraged to be worn by the children. Backyard Adventures provides their party room with tables and chairs for you to have snacks or lunch. Bottled water is included as well as the use of a full-size refrigerator and freezer for any food and drink items you bring. Plain paper plates, napkins, plastic forks, plastic spoons, and plastic cups are also provided.

Des Moines Children’s Museum 

Valley West Mall, Lower Level 

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

Wednesday; 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

$4.50 for children 1-10; Punch cards will be $20 for 5 admissions

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

Do not miss the first location for the Des Moines Children’s Museum. This 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 

One hour: $7.99; Two hours: $12.99 

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 and prices vary.

Grimes Community Center

410 SE Main Street, Grimes Iowa

FREE

Family Open Gym: Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; Noon to 3 p.m. 

Kids 10 and under must be directly supervised by an adult. Open to all families and no registration needed.

Bounce & Play: Monday, Wednesday & Friday; 9 a.m. to Noon; Monday & Wednesday; 4 to 7 p.m. 

Going stir-crazy at home? Need a place to get out with the little ones? Well, here’s something for you!  The Grimes Park and Recreation Department sponsors a weekly Bounce and Play Time for young children and their parent/guardian at the Grimes Community Complex.  Families can go between Rooms 201, 203, and the gym.  The bounce house is on during morning times only; 10 a.m. to Noon. Check out all the fun we had. All for free.

Hop-A-Lot Rentals Indoors

Merle Hay Mall next to the food court

Phone: 515-255-9620 

Monday – Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; $6 per child 

Friday- Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; $8.50 per child 

Sunday; 12 to 5:30 p.m.

2 years and under (if playing) $5 per child 

There will be 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.

Imagination Playschool

Pioneer Columbus Community Recreation Center; 2100 SE 5th St., Des Moines

Monday, Wednesday & Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

$1.50 per child

Imagination Playschool is for children age 7 and under to make new friends and play on indoor equipment during cold winter months. It starts in November through March 2020.

Family Fun Night every Friday night; 5 to 8 p.m.

November – February

From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., participants can access all the amenities at our newly renovated facility to play basketball, pickleball, and dodgeball in the gym. We also have board games, table tennis, billiards, a weight room, a computer lab and a cardio room for your enjoyment.

Cost is $1 per person ages 18 to 59 with free admission for youth and seniors. Expect special programming on the third Friday of each month for things like a bounce house, Imagination Playground, and other special activities.

Indoor Play Date

Indianola Activity Center; 2204 W 2nd Ave., Indianola

Wednesday 10:30 a.m. to Noon; Now through December 18

It’s simple! We provide the fun (toys & equipment), you provide the child and supervision! This drop-in program is a perfect opportunity for the little ones to burn off some energy while parents have an opportunity to connect. No pre-registration needed. $1 per child per visit, adults free. For children ages 1 – 5. Note: Playground will be closed on days that Indianola Schools are closed due to inclement weather.

Indoor Playground

Valley Junction Activity Center

Monday & Wednesday 10 a.m. to Noon; Now through December 11, 2019

Need to get out of the house and let that 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 for a day of fun! Parents are required to stay and supervise their children. *No Indoor Playground when WDM Schools cancel classes 4 and under with an adult. 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; Noon to 4 p.m. 

Free

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

Monday – Friday: Noon to 8 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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

$13.50 per hour

Hours listed above are for Open Gym hours. Kids Warrior Gym is for ages 4 to 12 years of age. No one under the age of 4 years is allowed in the gym.

Mid Iowa Gymnastics

3580 SW Brookside Dr, Grimes, IA 50111

Wednesday: Lunch Bunch 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Drop your kids off from 11:00 am with a sack lunch and we’ll take care of the rest! We lead off with playtime in the gym with trampolines, the cargo net, mini balance beams, pre-school bars, obstacle course, and fun gymnastics games. Then we’ll break for lunch, read a story together, and have arts & crafts time before being picked up at 1:00 pm. $12 for members/ $15 for non-members.

Saturday: Open Gym. Preschool: 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. School Age 11 a.m. to Noon. This is a great way to start your Saturday! Open Gym is a chance for your child to have open playtime and be active and have fun. The children can use equipment in the gym including trampolines, bars, cargo climbing net, balance beams, tunnels, mats, and MORE! The hour is unstructured, but we will have staff and coaches present in the gym. $5 per member/ $8 per non-member. 

Playground for Kids

2401 SE Tones Dr #7, Ankeny, IA 50021

Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Saturday; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

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.

Sapphire Gymnastics 

11401 Meredith Drive, Urbandale

Open Gym:  Saturday 1 to 2 p.m.

Open Gym is available for $5 members ages 5-18 and non-members $8 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.

Preschool Play Date: Monday 9:15 to 10:15 a.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! $5 members; $8 non-members. Parents are required to stay to partner with our staff in keeping their children safe.

Lunch Bunch: Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This is a two-hour drop-off program geared toward helping little ones become independent in a safe and FUN atmosphere. Aside from playing in the gym, we will also complete a craft, read a story, and- of course- eat lunch! $12 member/$15 non-members.

Science Center of Iowa

401 W Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines

Labor Day-Memorial Day

Monday: Closed; Tuesday–Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m.
Memorial Day-Labor Day
 
Monday–Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m.
$8 for 2 to 12 years; $12 for 13 to 64 years
Explore several exhibits at the Science Center of Iowa located in Downtown Des Moines.

Skate North – Skate, Scoot, Stroll

5621 Meredith Drive, Des Moines, Iowa

Wednesdays 9 to 11 a.m.

$5+tax includes admission, skate rental, skate mates, and scooter rentals.

Every Wednesday starting in October, you can have a blast at Skateland on almost any kind of wheels! Open to ages 6 and under and their parents. Skates, scooters, trikes, push toys, strollers, etc. are all welcome! Non-skating or scooting parents are welcome.

Sky Zone 

1300 SE Gateway Drive, Suite 103, Grimes

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

$9 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 price includes guardian admission. Sky Zone offers open jump times for all ages. Hours and prices vary.

State Historical Museum of Iowa

600 E Locust Street, Des Moines

Monday – Saturday; 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

FREE

Discover Iowa’s rich heritage through a variety of exhibitions, tours, collections and unique programs and events throughout the year. The museum 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 

Lunch Bunch: Monday, Wednesday & Friday; 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. OR 11:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Ages 3-8; $10/students, $15/non-students; 1/2 price for Lunch Bunch 2 if doing both

Home School Open Gym: Tuesday & Thursday; 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Ages 3+; $7/child

Parent & Tot: Tuesday & Thursday; 9 to 10 a.m. OR 12 to 1 p.m.

Ages 1-5; $6/student; $8/non-student

Urban Air Adventure Park

Urban Air in Ankeny, Iowa

Monday – Thursday; 4 to 10 p.m.

Friday – Saturday; 10 a.m. to 10 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 glider, trampolines, obstacle courses, TV’s indoor playground, and more.

Urbandale Swimming Pool

7201 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale

Monday – Thursday: 7 to 8:30 p.m. 

Sunday & Saturday: 1 to 4 p.m. 

2 years and under free with paid adult. $5 for 3 years and older

Burn off some energy in the pool. This is the perfect opportunity for the entire family to enjoy an outdoor activity indoors.

Valley Community Center

4444 Fuller Road, West Des Moines, IA 50265

Monday – Friday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

FREE

The Valley Community Center has so much to offer for everyone! It truly is a warm and cozy place to bring your little ones when it’s cold outside. They have free wi-fi, a warm fireplace, Maplenol Cafe where you can purchase warm drinks and snacks, a large jungle gym where your children will spend hours playing! They also offer a variety of classes for a small fee of $5. Check out their schedule full of events and activities for all ages.  You can also check out all the fun on our event calendar.

Waukee Tot Lot

Fox Creek Pavillion; 522 NE Westgate Drive, Waukee Iowa

Tuesday 5 to 7 p.m. and Wednesday 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. 

$1 per child per day

Head over to the Waukee at the Public Works Building for some indoor free fun for your little one. Let the kids run off steam and play where it’s warm.

Wells Fargo History Museum

666 Walnut Street, Des Moines, Iowa

Monday – Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed on bank holidays)

First Saturday of every month; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

FREE

Explore some fun exhibits including a stagecoach, telegraph machine, drive-thru bank and more. Take a look at a review from when mom visited.

Indoor Play, Des Moines, Rainbow of the Heartland

UPDATED: October 23, 2019

About Author

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) Comments

  1. Melanie says:

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

  2. DeAnna says:

    Thanks for the great ideas!

  3. Jennifer says:

    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. Emily Kneip says:

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

  5. 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. Jenny says:

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

  7. Becka McGinn says:

    Sounds fun!

  8. Sara masterson says:

    We love the science center in winter!

  9. Chrissy says:

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

  10. Olga Barnes says:

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

  11. Heidi Dk says:

    Thank you for the list

  12. Kristin says:

    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. Liz says:

    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. Jennifer says:

    Great options!! Thank you 🙂

  15. Amanda Johnson says:

    Our favorite winter indoor activity is visiting the Urbandale library!

  16. Shelby says:

    Can’t wait to check women of these out!

  17. Shelby says:

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

  18. Jayme says:

    Great list, thanks for putting together!

  19. kara Earhart says:

    What a great list! Thank you for the suggestions!

  20. Michelle says:

    What a great prize package!

  21. Allison C. says:

    So many fun ideas here! Thanks!

  22. Jenn Sealine says:

    Great list of ideas!

  23. 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. Anna Pham says:

    Triad Lunch Bunch is great!

  25. Ashley says:

    Great List!

  26. Brandie Stifel says:

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

  27. Ashley H says:

    We love the science center in the winter.

  28. Tracy M says:

    Love these! Thank you so much

  29. Tracy M says:

    Thank you so much

  30. Amy Burress says:

    Love the list! Great ideas and some new places

  31. Christi says:

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

  32. Sarah says:

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

  33. Charity says:

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

  34. Nikki says:

    What a great round up thank you

  35. Megan H says:

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

  36. allison frederick says:

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

  37. Kara says:

    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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