Des Moines Indoor Play Guide

kids playing in balls

Tired of being stuck inside? Des Moines’ weather may be unpredictable, but kids always need something to do – whether that’s to get the wiggles out or to engage their brains!  

Des Moines has tons of fun and engaging places to play, so we compiled a comprehensive indoor play and activities 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 be kids with our guide to indoor activities: play places, playgrounds, interactive activity centers, open gyms, mall play places, and more — all updated for 2021-2022. All you have to do is load up the kids and decide what 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. 

Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park

birthday party

If you’re looking for the best year-round indoor amusements in the Ankeny area, Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park is the perfect place. With new adventures behind every corner, it is the ultimate indoor playground for your entire family. Spend a day of fun and adventure with the family and you’ll see why they’re more than just a trampoline park. Seriously.

There’s so much to do inside Urban Air you might have to come back for a second visit. Young or old, tall or short, athlete or armchair quarterback – their attractions will help you defy gravity.

The variety of attractions is another reason why Urban Air is the perfect place for indoor play and activities. Every kid likes something different and it’s almost impossible to please them all. But at Urban Air, there’s so much for the kids to explore, they’ll have a hard time deciding which attraction is their favorite! Check it out today!

Science Center of Iowa

science center spring

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.

Jester Park Nature Center

polk county conservation indoor play guide

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!    

Complete Guide to Indoor Fun in Des Moines

Classes and Enrichment

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

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, Sunday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Hop-A-Lot Indoors | Monday – Saturday 12 p.m. – 8 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 | Monday closed; Tuesday – Thursday 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. 

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 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Code Ninjas | Hours Vary

Des Moines Art Center | Monday closed; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Des Moines Children’s Museum | Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; Wednesday 9:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m; Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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

Reiman Gardens | October 1 – April 30 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; May 1 – September 30 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Butterfly Wing 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

Science Center of Iowa | Thursday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.  

State Historical Museum of Iowa| Tuesday – Friday 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 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Valley West Mall | Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Open Gym

Mid Iowa Gymnastics| Contact them for times

Sapphire Gymnastics Academy | Contact them for times 

Kids Warrior Gym | Wednesday – Friday 3:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (varies)


Recreation & Activities

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

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

Skateland| Wednesday — Friday 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Skate SouthWednesday 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Friday 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Summit Indoor Pool in Johnston | Hours vary

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

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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