Whether you’re trying to beat the heat on a hot day or find a dry place to play on a rainy one, we’ve soused out the best kids indoor playgrounds that are currently open for those that want to run off some steam inside. Worried about sharing the same air space as others? A number of these indoor play space gems will also let you rent their entire space by the hour. Reservations are almost always required because, well, COVID. But for those that still want some spontaneous fun, we even found one special place where you can skip the online registration. Read on for the best indoor play spaces and playgrounds in Washington, DC (and beyond).
Rent the Place
The Wiggle Room
When your littles just need to get the wiggles out head to the play place with a not-so-subtle moniker: The Wiggle Room. For $50 an hour you can rent this space in Bowie, MD for the perfect play date with those in your socially distancing pod. The Private Play offer lets your child and up to 7 of their siblings or pod-buddies enjoy exclusive access to 2,000 sq. ft. of indoor fun where they can tumble on padded floors and climb indoor play structures all while you work (if you so choose to log in the telecommuting time). The Wiggle Room can even provide a receipt for those that taken advantage of The Work Room while their kiddos are playing.
Safety Standards: The Wiggle Room is open for private play only. The Wiggle Room has a state of the art bipolar ionization system on the HVAC system proven to neutralize COVID-19 from the air by 99.4% within 30 minutes.
2225 Defense Hwy.
Be With Me - The Playseum
Designed as a scaled-down replica of a real-life town, the Playseum features 24 themed rooms like a grocery store, bakery, pizza parlor, art supply store, and pet store. Children up to age 11 can let their imaginations run free by pretending to be cooks, grocers, doctors, and shopkeepers. Each room also contains a few books relevant to the theme. During normal, open play hours, CityShop spaces are limited to one family at a time to ensure social distancing. You can host a party here for up to 8 of your pod friends and enjoy the entire cityscape to yourself.
Safety Standards: Masks are required. There are sanitation stations throughout the Playseum.
The Lane Social Club
Want to host the ultimate bash? Check out the second floor of The Lane where you can rent over 2000 square feet of family-fun The Lane is designed for kids 6 & up, but all are welcome. Younger kids will enjoy the cozy reading nook and ball pit. Bigger kiddos can hang (literally!) by the rock climbing wall or on the mini rope course. You’ll also find a roof deck, a game room, a bar/cafe and more on-site.
Cost: Inquire about private party pricing.
1408 Okie St. NE
Open for Reserved Play
Scramble’s focus is on unstructured play: physical play (on specially designed equipment) and cognitive play. In unstructured play, kids (not grown-ups) choose what to do and how to do it, they negotiate the rules and agree how the play will proceed. It may take a couple of visits for families to become familiar with the idea of just playing freely, but once the creativity starts flowing, it’s hard to make it stop.
Safety Standards: Adults and kids 5 & up must wear a mask and socks. High-touch areas are disinfected throughout the day. Guests should be prepared to have their temperatures checked upon entry. Reservations are recommended.
Cost: $2/adults, $10/5-11 mo., $12/12 mo.-2 yr., $14/3-10
5412 Eisenhower Ave.
Once Upon a Dream
With two locations serving Northern Virginia, Once Upon a Dream bills itself as “an indoor children’s entertainment center with a focus on imagination, creativity, and development." Peek inside either venue and you will find pretend grocery store, an ice cream cart, a castle, a “treasure chest” (bursting with costume jewelry), a giant pirate ship, and a horse-drawn carriage. Costumes, arts and crafts, giant foam building blocks and LEGOs, and a climbing wall round out the fun. There are now work stations available for care takers who wish to clock in while their kiddos play.
Safety Standards: Masks are required for adults and children 3 & up. High-touch areas are routinely cleaned during the day.
Cost: $20/first child, $15/add'l. children
46321 McClellan Way
With a Montessori mindset, this play space was designed to spark kids’ creativity and play-inspired learning without the over-excitement and stimulation that’s often found at other indoor playgrounds. The creators, who are also parents, achieve their goal with super curated stations; think: an indoor wooden play structure, an indoor water table, and toys that require interaction and imagination. All activities are designed to boost development and social skills. Elemeno is currently open for small cohort classes. Each group is made up of 10 children ages 2-4. With a rolling admission, you can sign up for a minimum of 2 weeks (based on availability) and enjoy 3 hours a day 2 days a week of free play while you work onsite for juts $122/week. Parents and caregivers receive exclusive access to their workstations during class hours.
Safety standards: Masks are required for adults and children 2 & up. Social distancing is implemented on premise and all children are kept at a minimum of 6 ft. from other kids while playing.
Cost: $244/2 week session
709 8th St. SE
No Reservation Needed
Adventure Park USA
Saddle up, pardner, for this Western-themed park near Frederick, Maryland—about 40 miles outside of DC. Open year-round, rain or shine, you don’t have to pay admission to enter the park itself. Instead, you purchase a Fun Pass with credits that works like a debit card (you can even add credits to your account online for return visits). Indoors you will find virtual reality games, a ropes course, laser tag, an arcade, bumper cars, a rock wall, bowling and more. Outside you'll find a miniature golf course, carnival games and rides.
11113 West Baldwin Rd.
—Meghan Yudes Meyers, Veronica Hughes, Katie Brown and Ayren Jackson-Cannady
featured photo: The Lane Social Club