Ninja U for Kids in Ankeny, Iowa

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Ninja U for Kids in Ankeny, Iowa

There is a new indoor play place in the Des Moines area and we made a visit! Ninja U is a ninja gym for those aspiring to be the next American Ninja Warrior. Ninja U offers hours of indoor play, challenges, encourages littles with their motor skills, and most importantly fun for all ages. Take a look inside the Ninja U Obstacle Course in Ankeny, Iowa.

Ninja U Ankeny Location

Ninja U Ankeny is located at 1604 NW State St, Ankeny just down the way from the Prairie Ridge Aquatic Park and complex area. This is the second location in Iowa. There is another Ninja U in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The Facility

My favorite part of Ninja U was how welcoming they were to kids of all ages no matter their fitness level. When we visited, I saw children from 3 to 12 years old. There was something for every age and if it was not easily accessible for littles, the staff made sure to show them how they could reach something or give suggestions on how to try it.

Our first favorite was the running walls. I am not sure if that is the proper term, but I feel like these are iconic whenever you watch American Ninja Warrior. The kids loved to see how high they could run up the wall. Whenever a kid would make it to the top, you could hear cheering from families or staff.

On the side of the running walls were a slide and a small climbing ladder. This is a great feature so if your kids cannot run and climb the wall, they can still have the opportunity to be at the top.

To get down, a yellow slide goes through the wall to the bottom. The kids loved going down it!

They had a kid-friendly obstacle course set up in which the kids had fun competing against each other. It included swinging rings, bars, and blocks.

There was also a “wiggly” balance beam. I loved how the kids had so much fun playing on these things and did not realize how they were working on their motor skills including coordination and balance.

Towards the back of the space is a climbing wall and “tree” this is another great feature for the kids! I loved the climbing window. It made for a fun picture.

The flooring in Ninja U is cushioned. The kids feel more confident to try new things because they know it is safe if they fall. It also keeps parents’ anxiety down too.

Throughout the gym, you will find cushioned blocks. These are great for the kids (adults too) if they cannot reach a bar, they can climb up to make it easier for them.

They had 1-2 staff members on the floor encouraging the kids to try new things, challenging them, and answering questions.

Ninja U Ankeny Classes

Ninja U Ankeny offers classes for all ages at a reasonable price. They offer Preschool Ninja, Beginner Ninja, Intermediate Ninja, Ninja\U Team, Family Class, Adaptive Ninja, and more. You can look at all their classes, schedules, and pricing on the Ninja U website.

Ninja U Birthday Parties

This would be a great place to host a birthday party! Grab some friends and challenge each other to some fun obstacle courses. They have a private birthday party room which allows you to bring any food and drink in, a t-shirt, access to the whole gym, and much more.


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


They are currently offering special introductory pricing. Before you go double-check prices! They also offer monthly membership pricing which may be a great investment. Maybe a good experience Christmas or Birthday gift?

  • Weekday – $12
  • Weekend – $15
  • College – $8
  • 5 & Under – $8
  • Spectators – FREE (I love how parents’ do not have to pay if they aren’t participating! You can still walk around the floor with your child to help if needed).

Tips Before You Go

Before you head to Ninja U I have some personal tips to share with you.

  1. Fill out the waiver online before you arrive.
  2. Bring bottles of water. They offer a water bottle filling station and drinking fountain. You are not allowed to bring in outside food and drink (except water). They do provide a small area with snacks and a small cooler with juice and other beverages.
  3. Bring a book! They have a nice area for spectators to sit while the kids run and play. This may be our new go-to this winter or another hot summer day.
  4. Not a tip, but they played kid-friendly music (we heard the Power Rangers theme song) and Kids Ninja Warrior on the TV in the gym.

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!

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