Des Moines Indoor Play Guide

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Tired of being stuck inside? Des Moines’ weather may be unpredictable, but kids always need to get their wiggles out!

Des Moines has tons of fun and engaging places to play inside, so we compiled a comprehensive indoor play guide for Des Moines moms!

Whether it’s freezing cold, rainy, or hot we know what it’s like to feel like you’ll go crazy if you don’t leave the house. Get out and let the kids burn off some energy with our guide to indoor play places, playgrounds, interactive activity centers, open gyms, mall play places, and more — all updated for 2020. All you have to do is load up the kids and decide which indoor play place sounds like fun today.

Hang in there momma, we’re in this together!

Some locations have restricted hours or services and special safety requirements due to COVID-19. Please check the business’s or call before planning a visit. 

Science Center of Iowa

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Imagine, experiment, and play at the Science Center of Iowa! Catch science in action in When Things Get Moving, meet Iowa’s native cold-blooded critters in What On Earth?, or make a splash in Bubble Bay. Live science demonstrations and planetarium programs mean there’s something new to explore each time you visit. Special early childhood classes are offered throughout the month.

Urban Air Ankeny Trampoline & Adventure Park

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There are new adventures around every corner at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Ankeny. Find out why it’s the best year-round indoor playground for the entire family. Urban Air is so much more than a trampoline park, with attractions that will keep you soaring through every season!

Jester Park Nature Center

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The Jester Park Nature Center is a gateway to experience Iowa’s natural environment and experience outdoor recreation. Explore indoors and outdoors via interactive exhibits, hiking trails, and fun nature programming. Check out the Recreation & Wellness Building next door for outdoors skills rental equipment, a bouldering wall, archery range, and more!    

The Playground For Kids

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The Playground for Kids in Ankeny is here to give you a much-needed break while your kids engage their imaginations running, climbing, sliding, and creating memories. Ask about their special activities and events!

Pump It Up of Urbandale

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Pump It Up – Des Moines premier Inflatable Party Zone is a fun, clean, safe facility filled to the walls with inflatables and interactive games that promote engaging and interactive activity and entertain children through open jumps, field trips and private parties.  All parties are private and hassle-free for the parents and the kids will love the slides, obstacle courses, bouncers, and other inflatable fun. Check out the calendar online at pumpitupparty.com/urbandale-ia/calendar for the all public times.

Complete Guide to Indoor Fun in Des Moines

Classes and Enrichment

Family Tree Yoga & Massage 

Lifetime Fitness Kids Academy | Classes vary by type

Pied Piper Studios | Classes vary by date and age

Triad Kids Campus | Classes vary by age 

Indoor Play Areas and Playgrounds

Backyard Adventures | Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Chuck E. Cheese | Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Get Air Des Moines | Monday, Wednesday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Hop-A-Lot Indoors | Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday noon – 5:30 p.m. (Hours vary due to Merle Hay Mall hours.)

Pump it Up | Open jump times vary, see website for details

Rainbow of the Heartland | Open play Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park | Hours vary, see website for details

The Playground for Kids | Hours vary, see website for details

Valley Community Center | Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Interactive Learning

Blank Park Zoo | October – April: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; May – September: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Des Moines Art Center | Monday closed; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday Noon – 4 p.m.

Des Moines Children’s Museum | Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Wednesday 9:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m; Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Des Moines Botanical Center | Daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Reimen Gardens | Open daily from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Extended summer hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Science Center of Iowa | Labor Day – Memorial Day: Monday closed; Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday noon – 5 p.m. Summer hours: Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday noon – 5 p.m.

State Historical Museum of Iowa | Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

World Food Prize Hall of Laureates | Tuesdays 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m.; Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Mall Play Areas

Jordan Creek Towncenter | Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Merle Hay Mall | Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday noon – 5:30 p.m.

Southridge Mall | Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Valley West Mall | Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Open Gym

Mid Iowa Gymnastics | Contact them for times

Sapphire Gymnastics Academy | Saturday 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Pioneer Columbus Community Center | Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 7:45 p.m.

Recreation & Activities

Bowling | Open bowl times vary, call ahead for lane availability. 

Climb Iowa | in Grimes and the East Village. Times vary by location.

Glow Golf | Monday – Thursday 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Skateland | Tuesday — Thursday 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Skate South | Wednesday 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Skate West | Wednesday 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Urbandale Community Indoor Pool | Public Recreational Swimming: Monday – Thursday 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays & Sunday: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Summit Indoor Pool in Johnston | Public Recreational Swimming: Saturday and Sunday: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Retail Businesses & More

Bass Pro Shop | Fish Feedings: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, at 3 p.m.

Barnes & Nobles | Three Fountains Location: 4550 University Avenue West Des Moines, IA 50266 | Monday – Saturday 9 a.m.- 10 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Barnes & Nobles | Jordan Creek Towncenter: 101 Jordan Creek Parkway Unit 12170 West Des Moines, IA 50266 | Jordan Creek location: Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Burger King | Indoor play in Ankeny, Indianola, Waukee

Chick-Fil-A | Ankeny: 2410 SE Delaware Avenue, Ankeny, IA 50021 | Monday –Saturday: 6:30 am – 10 pm, Sunday: Closed

Chick-Fil-A | 4040 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, IA 50310 | Monday –Saturday: 6:30 am – 10 pm, Sunday: Closed

Chick-Fil-A | Paradise Pointe, 6555 Mills Civic Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA 50266 | Monday –Saturday: 6:30 am – 10 pm, Sunday: Closed

Chick-Fil-A | 4502 University Ave, West Des Moines, IA 50266 | Monday –Saturday: 6:30 am – 10 pm, Sunday: Closed

McDonald’s | PlayPlaces in Ankeny, Altoona, Des Moines, Urbandale

Do you want to be part of our Des Moines Guide to Indoor Play?

We want to connect our readers to your business! Partnering with us allows your business greater visibility with a large targeted market of local moms (and dads!). Join us and help enrich the lives of the residents of Des Moines. Email [email protected] to get started!

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