Des Moines Indoor Play Guide

This is a sponsored guide.

Kids’ energy knows no season. The weather in central Iowa is all but predictable. Makes plans no rain can dampen, and look to an inside play option.

Des Moines has so many fun and engaging places to play, so we compiled a comprehensive indoor play and activities guide for Des Moines parents!

Whether it’s freezing, rainy, or hot we know what it’s like to feel like you’ll go crazy if you don’t leave the house. 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 you have to do is load up the kids and decide what sounds like fun today.

Give yourself a break and let the kids run wild, inside!

Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park

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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

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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.

Climb Iowa

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Climb Iowa offers an amazing experience at either of their locations (Grimes and the East Village in downtown Des Moines) for first-time climbers. Upon arrival, their friendly staff will assist you in taking the first step into the world of climbing. Just bring an adventurous spirit and be ready to get outside your comfort zone!

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)

JouJou | Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Friday 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Closed Saturdays

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.

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 South Wednesday 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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