UPDATED: October 10, 2017
It’s cold and snowy here in central Iowa. Here are some great places to take your kiddos to burn off some steam this winter. Some are free or require a small fee! Am I missing somewhere fun, you like to visit? Let me know! Check out our event calendar for all dates and times too!
3200 Adventureland Drive, Altoona
8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Play area is open to guests and the public every day.
3135 99th St, Urbandale, IA 50322
Admission is $5.00 per child age 2 and over
Monday – Friday (No holidays)
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The showroom and party room are open for children and their parents to come enjoy the great play sets that we sell. For $5.00 per child age 2 and over (adults over 18 don’t have to pay) you can 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. They also ask groups to plan there outings for after 1:00 pm when scheduling their group. Come have a great time in their clean, safe, climate controlled environment. At least one adult per four children is required for supervision purposes. 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.
Valley West Mall, Upper level
Monday: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Thursday: 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 11 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 Des Moines Children’s Museum. This is a great place to come play, make believe, explore and have fun.
Grimes Community Center
410 SE Main Street, Grimes Iowa
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 the Rooms 201, 203, and the gym. Bounce house is on during morning times only; 10 a.m. to Noon. Check out all the fun we had! All for free.
Merle Hay Mall next to the food court
Monday – Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; $6 per child
Sunday; 12 to 5:30 p.m.; $8.50 per child
2 years and under (if playing) $5 per child
Monthly pricing available as well.
Grand opening is on Black Friday, November 24. During the first week they will be offering a buy one entry and get one free. 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 close for large private outings.
Pioneer Columbus Community Center, 2100 SE 5th St, Des Moines
November – March
Monday, Wednesday & Friday
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Working parents! Special evening Imagination Playschool will be held every third Friday until 7:30 p.m.
- November 17
- December 15*
- January 19
- February 16
- March 16
For children 7 years and under. $1.50 daily for 1 years and older to attend “New Season” & Imagination Playschool. Imagination Playschool allows kids 7 and under the chance to make new friends and play on all kinds of equipment: climbing tower, imagination playground, big wheels, play houses, tumbling mats, and gymnastics. They offer a bounce house on Friday only. We have had lots of fun at this location too!
2204 W 2nd Avenue, Indianola
November 1 – December 13 (No November 22)
Wednesday’s ONLY; 10:30 a.m. to Noon
It’s simple! We provide the fun (toys and equipment) and you provide the child and supervision! This drop-in program is a perfect opportunity for little ones to burn off energy while parents have an opportunity to connect. No pre-registration needed. $1 per child per visit. Closed on days Indianola schools are cancelled due to inclement weather. For ages 1 year through preschool, with adult supervision.
3001 99th Street, Urbandale
Thursday; 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Saturday; 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Drop-in for open gym! Every Thursday and Saturday until the end of the year. Ages 18 months to 5 years. $7 per child.
2401 SE Tones Dr #7, Ankeny, IA 50021
Monday, Wednesday & Friday
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday
10 a.m. to 4 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 Ball room and much more. Check out when we visited!
3946 NW Urbandale Dr, Urbandale, IA 50322
Monday – Friday
10 a.m. to 2 :30 p.m.
$10.00 per child age 2 and over for 2 hours of fun
There are no limits to the grins and giggles at our play room. That’s because your kids are invited to jump, climb, swing, and play in our indoor showroom for just $10 per child.
11401 Meredith Drive, Urbandale
Open Gym: Thursday; 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday 1 to 2 p.m.
Family Fun Night: Friday; 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
5621 Meredith Drive, Des Moines, Iowa
Bring Your Ride. It’s Toddler Time: 10 to 11 a.m. $2 admission; $2 skate mates
Bring your toddler, bring his/her favorite ride on toy and let them loose before their nap.
Tiny Tot Skate: 11 to 11:30 a.m. $4 admission includes all rentals
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
Baby Time Open Gym: Monday & Friday; 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
$5/child; Ages: 6 months to 24 months
Home School Open Gym: Tuesday & Thursday; 1 to 2 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
4444 Fuller Road, West Des Moines, IA 50265
Monday – Friday
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
** Valley Community Center will be closed 11/23-11/24 & 12/25 – 1/1
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 here! You can also check out all the fun on our event calendar. Check out when we visited.
Tot Town located at Valley Community Center; Every Thursday through March (except 11/23, 12/14, 12/21, 12/28, 2/8, 3/15)
Tot Town is a fun and safe children’s playgroup that is open to the community. Our Community Center gym space turns into an indoor playground designed for children ages 2 to 6 years and their families. Parents have the opportunity to interact with their child in a safe environment made for play! For your child’s safety we recommend supervising your children at all times and not leaving them unattended. We hope to see you at Tot Town!
Large Inflatable bounce house, small bounce house, carnival games, board games, ball pit, toys, puzzles, books, and more!
Cost: One punch from punch card per child, $5 per child drop-in
Waukee Tot Lot
Waukee Public Works Building
Mondays 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Wednesdays 8 to 10 a.m.
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. Check out when we visited.
West Des Moines Community Center
217 5th St, West Des Moines, IA 50265
Monday & Wednesday
10 a.m. to Noon
Ends December 14. Bring your toddlers to burn off some steam! Toys, slides and riding toys. Check out when we visited.