2018 Best Indoor Playgrounds in Des Moines

2018 Best Indoor Playgrounds in Des Moines

Find winter 2020 indoor play times at community centers here.

Find a list of 202 indoor play spaces here.

There is an affliction that strikes homes across the Midwest every winter. It is not the flu. Not the common cold. It’s cabin fever – that point when it’s too cold to go outside and the thought of playing one more board game or building yet another blanket fort is enough to drive even the most patient person mad. So, what is a parent to do when they find their kids bouncing off the walls this winter? Head to an indoor playground, of course! Thankfully, Des Moines has plenty of options.

Here are the best indoor playgrounds in Des Moines:

2018 Best Indoor Playgrounds in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com

Indoor Play at Community Centers in Des Moines

Bounce and Play Time

Grimes Community Complex • 410 SE Main Street, Rooms 202/203 • Grimes, IA • (515) 986-2143

The Grimes Park and Recreation Department sponsors a weekly Bounce and Play Time for kids ages 10 and under and their parent/guardian at the Grimes Community Complex. Activities include a bounce house, scooters, trikes, and various sports balls for use.

When: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9:00am to 12:00 noon; Mondays and Wednesdays 4:00 to 7:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Imagination Playschool

Columbus Park Community Center • 2100 SE 5th Street • Des Moines, IA 50315 • (515) 248-6316

Imagination Playschool allows kids seven and under the chance to make new friends and play on all kinds of equipment: climbing tower, big wheels, play houses, tumbling mats and gymnastics. Imagination Playschool is sponsored by Des Moines Parks and Recreation.

When: November 2017 – March 2018; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Special evening Imagination Playschool sessions are hosted the 3rd Friday of the month until 7:30 pm.

Cost: $1.50 per child

Indoor Play Date

Buxton Room • 2204 W. 2nd Avenue • Indianola, IA 50125 • (515) 961-9420

Kids ages one year through preschool can burn off some energy this winter. Indianola Parks and Recreation will provide the fun (toys and equipment), you provide the child and supervision.

When: January 11 – March 15, 2018; Wednesdays at 10:30 am to 12:00 noon

Cost: $1.00 per child per visit, adults FREE

Indoor Playground

Valley Junction Activity Center • 217 5th Street • West Des Moines, IA 50265 • (515) 222-3444

Need to get out of the house and let that toddler run off some steam? West Des Moines Parks and Recreation have 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.

When: January 3 – April 4, 2018; Mondays and Wednesdays 10:00 am to 12:00 noon (No Indoor Playground when school is not in session.)

Cost: FREE

Tot Lot

Waukee Public Works Building • 805 University Avenue • Waukee, IA 50263 • (515) 978-7920

Waukee Parks and Recreation provides the fun and parents provide the supervision.  Toddler toys ranging from blocks to tunnels and mats are available.

When: October 2, 2017 – March 28, 2018; Mondays at 8:30 to 10:30 am and Wednesdays at 8:00 to 10:00 am

Cost: FREE

Tot Time

Doanes Park Youth Center • 5050 Doanes Park Road • Pleasant Hill, IA 50327 • (515) 262-9368

Want to get your little one out of the house to play? Come and play with Pleasant Hills Parks and Rec inside this winter! This program provides a place for care givers to bring their children ages 2 and up to play in a safe and fun environment.

When: December 8, 2017 – February 23, 2018; Fridays at 9:00 to 11:00 am (No Program December 22 and 29)

Cost: FREE

Tot Town

Valley Community Center • 4444 Fuller Road • West Des Moines, IA  50265 • (515) 327-6000

Tot Town is a fun and safe children’s playgroup that is at Valley Community Center and is open to the community. Their Community Center gym space turns into an indoor playground designed for children ages 2 to 6 years and their families. Activities offered include a large inflatable bounce house, small bounce house, carnival games, board games, ball pit, toys, puzzles, books, and more.

When: Thursday from 9:00 to 11:00 am

Cost: $3 per child with punch card or $5 drop in

2018 Best Indoor Playgrounds in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com

Indoor Play at Malls in Des Moines

Jordan Creek Town Center

101 Jordan Creek Parkway • West Des Moines, IA • (515) 440-6255

The Jordan Creek Town Center children’s play area is located on the lower lever near Dillard’s.

When: Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sundays 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Merle Hay Mall

3800 Merle Hay Road • Des Moines, IA • (515) 276-8551

The Merle Hay Mall  play area is located just inside the Main Entrance.

When: Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sundays 12:00 noon to 5:30 pm

Cost: FREE

Valley West Mall

1551 Valley West Drive • West Des Moines, IA • (515)225-3631

The Valley West Mall play area is located on the lower level near Younker’s. Mall.

When: Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sundays 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Cost: FREE

2018 Best Indoor Playgrounds in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com
Image source Rainbow of Iowa

Indoor Play at Local Businesses in Des Moines

Bring Your Ride, It’s Toddler Time at Skate North Incrediroll

5621 Meredith Drive •  Des Moines, IA 50310 • (515) 238-1690

Toddlers can bring their riding toys and ride around the skating rink at Skate North Incrediroll. Oh, and it’s a probably a good idea for them to bring their parents along too.

When: Wednesdays at 10:00 to 11:00 am

Cost: $2 admmssion; $2 skate mates

Chick-fil-A Playground

Ankeny, Des Moines, and West Des Moines

In most free-standing Chick-fil-A restaurants, you’ll find an indoor playground where the kids can play and climb to their heart’s content.  They even have a “toddler zone” in each playground with smaller play structures dedicated to little ones under 3.

When: Monday through Saturday 6:30 am to 10:00 pm.  CLOSED Sunday.

Cost: FREE to play in the play area

Chuck E. Cheese’s

1431 22nd Street • West Des Moines, IA 50266 • (515) 223-9430

Chuck E. Cheese’s offers family fun and entertainment, Where A Kid Can Be A Kid®! You’ll find high tech arcade games and low-tech games like skee ball; kiddie rides and climbing areas for the little ones.

When: Monday through Friday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm; Saturday 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Cost: Varies

Des Moines Children’s Museum

Valley West Mall • 1551 Valley West Drive • West Des Moines, IA • (515) 218-8334

At their temporary location in Valley West Mall, the Des Moines Chidren’s Museum is a great place where you can let the kids loose this winter and they can play, experiment, be creative, and explore without you having to say “no” or “don’t touch that.”

When: Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm; Monday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and Thursday 5:00 to 7:00 pm

Cost: Ages 1-10: $4.50; under 1 or over 10: Donations appreciated but not required

McDonald’s PlayPlace

Altoona, Ankeny and Urbandale

Several McDonald’s in the Des Moines area have PlayPlaces, indoor playgrounds where kids ages 3 – 12 can climb and make their way through tunnels.

When: Monday through Sunday 5:00 am to 12:00 Midnight (Hours vary by store)

Cost: FREE to play in the play area

Open Play Time at Backyard Adventures

3135 99th Street • Urbandale, IA 50322 • (515) 270-2433

With a name like Backyard Adventures it’s pretty obvious what active little kiddos can do here.  Swings, slides and backyard play equipment make for an entertaining time.

When: Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. (Excludes holidays and no Open Play on the weekends)

Cost: $5.00 per child (two and over) (adults over 18 FREE)

Open Play at Rainbow of Iowa

3946 NW Urbandale Drive • Urbandale, IA  50323 • (515) 327-8989

Your child is in for a fun-filled afternoon during Open Play at Rainbow of Iowa’s indoor showroom. Kids can swing, climb, slide, use the trampoline and shoot hoops. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon regardless of the weather.

When: Monday through Friday at 10:30 am to 2:00 pm

Cost: $10.00 per child.

Playgrounds at Burger King

Ankeny, Indianola and Waukee

This fast food chain offers the kids a chance to burn off some energy in their indoor playgrounds at a few of its restaurants in the Des Moines area.

When: Monday through Sunday 6:00 am to 12:00 Midnight

Cost: FREE to play in the play area

2018 Best Indoor Playgrounds in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com

Indoor Play at Bounce House Play Spaces and Trampoline Parks in Des Moines

Get Air Des Moines

3799 86th Street • Urbandale, IA 50322 • (515) 528-7549

Get Air Des Moines trampoline park offers large areas for jumping, foam pits, and a dodgeball court. They also have a special section in their “Kiddie Court” set aside for kiddos under 46”.  In addition, they host Toddler Time on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.

When: Monday through Thursday 10:00 am to 10:00 pm; Friday and Saturday 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight; Sunday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

Cost: Big Air, One Hour – $13; Two Hours – $21; Little Air (Under 46”), One Hour – $8; Two Hours – $13; Jump Socks – $3

Hop-A-Lot Indoors

Merle Hay Mall • 3800 Merle Hay Road • Des Moines, IA 50310 • (515) 255-9620

Hop-A-Lot Rentals has been bringing fun and unique inflatables to Central Iowa for more than 12 years. They’ve now brought their inflatables indoor for the winter. They are in Merle Hay Mall in the old MC Sports space and offer Open Jump every day during mall hours.

When: Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm; Saturday 8:00 am to 10:00 pm and Sunday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Cost: Monday thru Thursday is $6.00, Friday thru Sunday $8.50 and 2 and under are $5.00 any day.

Monkey Joes

1600 Valley West Drive, Ste. 100 • West Des Moines, IA 50265 • (515) 223-5867

Here you’ll find several massive inflatables for kids under 12. There are huge slides, obstacle courses and bounce houses that will keep your kids entertained for hours.   For your tiny tots there’s the Mini Monkey Zone, which is a separate toddler play area that will keep your little ones safe and secure.

When: Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm; Sunday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.  Check the website for holiday hours.

Cost: $8.49 Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; $5.50 Wednesday; $10.99 Friday through Sunday and Holidays; $5.50 for 2 and under if playing.  Frequent User Cards may also be purchased.

Pump It Up

4069 121st Street • Urbandale, IA 50323 • (515) 270-5017

Open jump times welcome kiddos of all ages to hop around the giant bounce houses, which feature slides, climbing and obstacles. Watch their calendar for Open Jumps, Glow Jumps, Parents’ Night Out and other special events.

Hours: Open Sunday to Saturday.  Times vary.  Check their calendar of events for specific hours.

Cost: $7.00 Open Jump; $8.00 Glow Jump

Sky Zone

1300 SE Gateway Drive #103 • Grimes, IA 50111 • (515) 986-2524

Who doesn’t love massive trampolines? If your kids love to jump, Sky Zone will send them soaring.  Located in Grimes the facility features a gigantic trampoline area for jumping and doing tricks, a jumping pit, basketball hoops and dodge ball areas.  They also have a small spot for kids under five to jump.

When: Winter Hours are 3:00 to 8:00 pm Tuesday to Friday; 10:00 am to 9:00 pm Saturday; 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm Sunday.  Check their website for special events.

Price: $11.00 30 minutes; $15.00 60 minutes; $19.00 90 minutes; $23.00 120 minutes

The PlayGround For Kids

2401 SE Tones Drive #7 • Ankeny, IA 50021 • (515) 965-9899

The Playground for Kids combines fun and fitness.  They have two rooms that house five inflatables and a ginormous play room that features an enormous tree house for kids to play on.  There’s also a concession stand and smoothie bar. Check their on-line calendar for their daily deals.

When: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm; Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; check their on-line calendar for Saturday times.

Cost: $8.99 for 2 to 12 year olds; $5.99 walkers up to 23 months and special needs; non-walkers FREE with a paying child.



What’s your family’s favorite indoor playground in Des Moines?  Let us know in the comments below!

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