Bad weather in Detroit can make outdoor play time impractical, if not dangerous, but kids can easily become bored when kept inside all day long. A few hours at an indoor playground can help kids burn off energy while they develop social, learning and thinking skills.
Hours: Tues to Fri – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: $7 per child 2 to 14 years old; $6 per child 12 to 23 months; children younger than 12 months and parents/caregivers free
Boogie Babies combines education and entertainment in a family friendly setting. The indoor play area provides a wide variety of activities, from dress-up stage productions to a play bistro kitchen. A large chalkboard wall and craft area let kids express their artistic side, while computer stations, XBox and Wii cater to their technical side. A tree house play structure and library round out the offerings. The parents’ lounge includes free WiFi, and healthy snacks can be purchased in the cafe. Classes in dance, parenting, sign language and foreign languages are available for additional fees.
Hours: Tues and Thurs – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m; Weds and Fri – 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m; Sun – 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Price: $6 per child; adults free with paid child
Kids love inflatable bounce houses, and Bouncing Off The Walls has taken the concept several steps further, constructing an entire indoor playground of inflatable structures. The bright colors and soft surfaces create an ideal atmosphere for kids to shake off their cabin fever. Bounce structures include slides, the obligatory bounce houses, and even an inflatable obstacle course.
Hours: Mon to Sat – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: $7 for kids 2 and older; $3 for kids 12 – 23 months; kids less than 12 months and adults free.
Java Jungle was designed with both parents and kids in mind. The large indoor play structures are sized to allow parents to play with their kids if they want, while the lounge area provides comfortable seating where parents can relax and interact with other adults while watching the kids play. A reserved area for children younger than 3 years old keeps toddlers safe from the exuberance of older kids. Healthy meals and snacks are available for purchase, as are smoothies and specialty coffee drinks.
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Hours: Mon to Sat – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: $6.50 per child; infants 6 months old and younger free
Kids will love exploring, playing and learning in this unique indoor miniature city. Infant Park features soft toys and floor mats for safety while babies play and learn motor skills. Toddler City encircles the park and includes a firehouse, market, theater, library, fine arts area and aquarium. Kids can play dress-up in the theater, read books or play with puzzles in the library, or don a firefighter costume and ride on the fire engine at the firehouse. All destinations are on ground level and accessible to crawlers, toddlers and walkers.
Hours: Sun to Tues – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wed to Sat – 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Price: $6.50 for kids 1 to 15 years; kids younger than 12 months free; kids 16 and older free when accompanied by younger child
With more than 9,000 square feet of floor space, the Tree House is a favorite spot for indoor play. The play area includes five slides, swinging bridges, basketball hoops, a large climbing and play structure, a separate baby and toddler area, and a giant tree house. Parents may play with their kids or observe from the lounge area. Light meals, snacks and hot or cold drinks are available for purchase.
Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.