Editor’s note: We’re making every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information. However, there are widespread closures to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of Covid-19. Several of the businesses listed here are currently closed––but they’ll look forward to your support once they reopen.
P.S. Need some ideas on what to do with the kids indoors? Check out our complete guide to virtual events and activities here!
When the kids need to get some energy out, we’ve got you covered with our list of super fun indoor playgrounds for kids near you––including San Diego’s first American Ninja Warrior Gym! Kids of all ages will love these wonderlands with features including animal slides and rock climbing, giant bounce houses and wall to wall trampolines. Scroll down to discover your sidekick’s favorite indoor play space today. Don’t forget socks!
KidWonder is a new kinetic learning academy looking to inspire kids through physical activity to find their passion and gain confidence. They are an indoor playground, the first American ninja warrior gym in San Diego, and they also have gymnastics classes, along with mom’s day out events, pre-K prep and more. They host birthday parties and have tons of activities for kids of all ages to participate in! Drop in for open gym for $19, but call ahead on weekends to make sure they aren't closed for a private party.
4735 Point Loma Ave.
San Diego, CA 92107
The New Children's Museum
The New Children's Museum offers plenty of indoor play and fun. Don't miss their newest installation! The Museum's Tot Studio has been reimagined by artist-in-residence, Tanya Aguiñiga. Inspired by care and empathy, the new play space called tikitiko, is designed for toddlers and caregivers to make meaningful connections around abstract, anthropomorphic forms covered in colorful, soft and furry textiles. tikitiko will display a non-verbal, visual language of nurture and well-being in new and imaginative ways.
Kids will also love Whammock! It's a giant hammock kids and adults alike can climb and swing across! There's plenty to do here for kids both young and older. Get ready for a day filled with excitement and learning.
200 West Island Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
Kids climbing the walls at home? Then why not take them to literally climb the walls of a mini-metropolis at Uptown Jungle? Part trampoline park, part indoor playground that resembles a small city, your kids will love channeling a superhero, explorer, climber or ninja warrior in a safe environment designed especially for them. They'll have a blast and get in some great exercise too!
8711 Magnolia Ave.
Santee, CA 92071
Pump it Up
Whether it's a giant slide or bounce house that your half-pints love, this is a great place to release tons of energy. You'll have to be 34 inches to play, and you can find plenty of open days to fit your schedule. What's more, plan your next party here, and they do everything for you.
12760 Danielson Ct., Ste J
Poway, CA 92064
445 Ryan Dr., Ste. 103
San Marcos, CA 92078
Westfield North County
Shop and play! Head out to this indoor mall in North County San Diego where there's plenty to do. From great shops to a giant animal play area, little bunnies can have tons of fun. What's more, the play area is free. When done head to the inside food court for a bite to eat. Choose from options like pizza, Chinese food, and a giant cinnamon roll for dessert. Before you head out, treat tots to a ride on the mall's indoor train too!
272 East Via Rancho Pkwy
San Diego, CA 92025
Located at Grossmont Center Mall, The Playground is a little kid's version of indoor play heaven complete with ball pits, foam block pool, inflatables, trampolines, ride-on toys, basketball hoops, cars and toys and play centers including a grocery stand that encourage imaginative play.
Good to know: All visitors, including parents, must wear socks in The Playground. Non-walking infants get free admission with a paid general admission.
5500 Grossmont Center Dr.
La Mesa, CA 91942
My Gym Children's Fitness Center, Poway
Swing on over to My Gym Children's Fitness Center, Poway where you can explore their state of the art facility and meet the staff while the kiddos play on the equipment and join in the revelry of music, dance, games, puppet shows, story times, gymnastics, and indoor play.
My Gym offers structured classes for kids age 6 weeks-10 years-old. Their classes incorporate circle time, dance, song, relay, games, gymnastics, puppet shows and much more! They change their gym set and curriculum every week to keep things fresh and engaging and they offer parent and me classes for kids under age 3.
Try their Practice & Play class (included with membership) where kids can enjoy an open-play concept. The perfect way to spend an afternoon!
12222 Poway Rd., Suite 18-19
Poway, CA 92064
The Backyard at The Nat
The Nat's nature-inspired indoor play area called The Backyard is designed for kids 5 and younger. This serene setting gives little ones a chance to explore the natural world while parents sit back and observe. Tiny tots ages 0-2 will dig the garden bed that's modeled after a self-contained garden area and gives them a safe, soft space to do tummy time, roll over or sit up and grasp a variety of textures. An old oak tree highlights an area for kids ages 2-5 with activities like dressing-up like familiar backyard animals, crawling on a giant ladybug, building structures, mixing colors on a light table and discovering hidden sounds and live animals in the garden wall. Kids will also delight in the potting shed where they can create and pot flowers, read books, sort shapes and solve puzzles––all while caregivers relax on plush benches and enjoy the free WiFi and charging station. You'll find The Backyard on Level 1 of the Museum behind The Flying Squirrel Cafe.
Good to know: The Backyard closes at 4:30 p.m. daily.
San Diego Natural History Museum
1788 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
Play City truly is a world of fun for kids ages 1-12. Featuring an indoor inflatable playground and massive play structures, this is the place to go to tire out those tots. Speaking of tots, Play City has a designated toddler zone especially for tykes ages 1-3. Parents will love that you can bring in your own food and enjoy lunch at the tables while your kids are in view on the play structures. You can also get a wristband for all-day play within and out privileges Mon.-Thurs. There's also free WiFi!
871 Showroom Pl., Ste. 105
Chula Vista, CA 91914
This indoor trampoline park is suitable for tots, tweens and teens, but they do something really special for the 6 & under set three times a week. For two hours and an affordable price, first graders & younger rule the air space Tues., Wed. and Sat. mornings. Although they call this segment Rockin' Tots, you might find it hard to stand idly by when cool tunes are sifting through the speakers and little ponytails and superhero shirts are rocking in a continuous hop. The older tots and parents seem to especially love the two basketball hoops that are anchored on a trampoline platform and the foam block pits where kids gleefully squeal as they're tossed into and absorbed by the soft square blocks.
8190 Miralani Dr.
San Diego, CA 92126
FUNbelievable will especially please parents with kids spaced multiple years apart. Crawlers and new walkers can claim the corner lot of this Lakeside play spot. A ball pit, small blue slide and soft crawl-on toys are encased by a perimeter of soft foam blocks. The space is so cool that they'll unlikely feel the need to crawl off and see what else is out there. While FUNbelievable appeals to those 12 & under, the older set are thoroughly entertained by the neighboring play structure that includes taller slides and mazes.
Good to know: Snacks from home are welcome, but the "Snack Shack" offers a tempting menu including fresh popped popcorn and a variety of espresso coffees for you.
11655 Riverside Dr., Suite 155-157
Lakeside, CA 92040
San Diego Children's Discovery Museum
The pirate ship and slide that's enclosed by a nautical-like gate is a hit with the diaper wearing bunch. They may prepare play food in the ship's rear galley before venturing to the lot's backyard where bubble tables and a stage with foam blocks await. When they've grown hungry for snacks prepared by you, there are some picnic tables by the garden where they can fuel up before romping around the shaded archeological digging site. The indoor/outdoor aspect of this North County play center gives everyone ample play space even during its peak hours. The museum is known to run many specials so keep an eye out for periods of free or discounted admission.
320 N Broadway
Escondido, CA 92025
Classes at Gymboree Play & Music are arranged by age for kids 5 and younger, so your little ones will experience age appropriate activities with their peers. A class begins and ends with circle time and the middle is filled with themed activities that are played out with the playground-like structures that were constructed specifically for infants and young toddlers. Young babies will get the thrill of possibly going down their first slide; early explorers will crawl through tunnels and the nooks beneath the equipment; and they'll be gently schooled on just how to interact with others their age. Family gym is also available to those of us with multiple children and they host many events throughout the year like daddy play gym, new mommy meet-up and themed workshops.
4340 Genesee Ave., Suite 103
San Diego, CA 92117
Kid City at Fleet Science Center
Consider exploring Kid City on a Residents' Free Day, the first Tues. of each month, when admission is on the house. The second floor 5 & under play area is smaller than others on this list, but it's enough to keep the younger set well entertained. A grocery store with a moving conveyer belt sits prominently in the middle and little shopping carts may be seen whizzing down the room's main street. Now, this locale is more than just a morning or afternoon of entertainment, a majority of its components playfully challenge its visitors. Babies will gawk with wonder as their plastic ball gets sucked up by a tube and they'll eagerly watch as toddler learners watch their ball filter through wheels and various contraptions that carry them up, down and around the wall.
There's plenty for big kids too: the Fire Station, Factory, Little Learner's Lab and Magnetic Wall will all be a hit!
Insider Tip: Try to arrive when the museum opens because parking fills up very quickly.
1875 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
If you're a fan of Liberty Station, it's likely your tot will want to romp around in the jumperoo and padded baby play area that are located near the corner castle of this Kid Ventures location. Little Jack or Jill may crawl through the arch of the baby lot, pause to watch a pal come down the castle's slide and then shimmy on over to check out one of the giant stuffed animals. There are plenty of pushable objects for beginner walkers, like tyke-sized shopping carts and activity walkers. While the toddlers will enjoy cooking up a pretend meal in the grocery area and they might even whip up a play java while the real thing is being prepared for you by the cafe's barista. Older kids will channel their inner pirate on the giant pirate ship! Your kids will really light up at the 'edutainment' aspect of each Kid Ventures location. The "villages" that comprise these indoor playgrounds enable kids to pretend to be everything from firemen/firewomen to pirates, grocers or princesses and knights. Amenities at each location may vary, but they all offer a kidtastic experience.
10760 Thornmint Rd.
San Diego, CA 92127
851 Showroom Pl.
Chula Vista, CA 91914
2865 Sims Rd.
San Diego, CA 92106
This Carlsbad play spot features mats, balance beams and trampolines to bring out the athlete in every visitor. The soft play shapes encourage littles to build and use their imaginations with many mediums. You'll love the space for those not yet walking for its pint-sized slide and many baby toys you might not have at home. Their Babiesville zone is especially for kids age 2 and younger and big kids will be thrilled to jump on the trampoline, explore the Dino Cave, swing on ropes, go to work in the Construction Junction and play dress-up at the Pink Palace.
2375 Marron Rd.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Bounce it out! The dedicated kids court ( for kids 70 lbs. and under) makes this indoor trampoline spot a must-do for little tykes. Even more, there are plenty of activities for bigger kids––like trying the trapeze that lands in a foam pit. You can head to the main court for major bouncing action, joust on a beam or try your skill at the rock climbing wall. Kids won't be able to get enough of this trampoline park.
1928 Hacienda Dr.
Vista, CA 92081
–– Jeannette Swanson, Nikki Walsh & Beth Shea
featured image: The New Children’s Museum