15 Indoor Play Places in the Iowa City Area

Looking to beat the heat, get out of the cold, or do something indoors to entertain the kiddos?  No matter what season of Iowa weather or motherhood, there are many options for indoor fun in the area. 

Indoor Play Places for kids in the Iowa City area

Iowa City Locations

Tot Time at Mercer Park

Ages: 1- 6 years            
Cost: $1 per child (13 punch card pass available for $10) 
Days/Times: M-F 9:30-11:30 a.m. 

Head to Scanlon Gym for all things fun! Inflatables, climbing and riding toys, play houses and more! Kids will absolutely stay busy and burn off energy. Check their website linked above for other additions to the daily schedule like crafts and guests. Bring a picnic lunch and head outside to the awesome park after. Don’t forget to say hi to Herky in the Lobby and take a dip in their indoor pool!  For older kids ask about using their game room and equipment rentals and schedules.

Iowa City Marketplace Play Area

Ages: Under 42 inches in height   
Cost: FREE
Days/Times: Daily from 630am- 8pm

The former Sycamore Mall has a play area for littles. Have your kids explore the Barn with a play picnic then get lost in the adjacent maze. Coin operated ride on toys are next to this space and adults can watch on with a treat from Panera then hit up the Dollar Tree on their way out. 

Iowa City Public Library

Ages: All Ages 
Cost: FREE 
Days/Times: M-T-W from 10-9, F 10-8, Sa 10-6, Su 10-5

More than books the ICPL offers several play areas including train and block tables, a play kitchen, indoor slide and many toys, puzzles and games, several even available for check out! For story time hours and special events check here

Dodge Street Coffeehouse

Ages: Not listed but geared towards kids who use imaginative play 
Cost: FREE for customers
Days/Times: M-F 630-5, Sat-Sun 7-5

Technically not a play place but this Coffee House has a great space for littles and delicious treats for parents! Meet up with friends for a playdate or bring out of town guests for an easy catch up lunch while the kids play in the background. 

Planet 3 Extreme Air Park

Ages: 0-99      
Cost: 2 and under- free, prices start at $10 for an hour for ages 3-6, $13 for age 7+, plus the cost of socks      
Days/Times: M-T-W-T 9-9, F-S 9-11, Sun 11-7

Enjoy endless trampolines, foam pits, a trapeze line, a ninja obstacle course and more. Parents of littles can enjoy the designated area so they don’t sustain injuries with the big kids and adults. Check out their website linked above for discount dates and times.

Colonial Lanes

Ages: 0-99      
Cost: Bowling- Under $4 a game per person + Shoe rental at $2.25   Minigolf- $3.50 per person
Days/Times: Hours vary per season and leagues so check their website for the most up to date schedule

Break out your moves for a family game of bowling or putput golf at this Iowa City gem. Food and drink are also available for purchase.

Coralville Locations

Iowa Gym Nest Lunch Bunch

Age Range: All Ages    
Cost: $5 for members, $6 for non-members, punch cards available for purchase. 
Days/Times: M-F 1130am-1230pm

Children are able to play with various equipment throughout the gym in a supervised but unstructured environment. Pack a lunch and eat at one of the tables when you’re through.

Coral Ridge Mall Play Area

Age Range: Crawling and up
Cost: FREE
Days/Times: M-Sat 7am-9pm, Sun 7am-6pm

Easily watch your kiddos play while you sip an Orange Julius. Head down to the mall carousel and coin operated riding toys when you’re done.

The Iowa Children’s Museum

Age Range: 0-99 
Cost: $9 per person, free for kids under 1
Days/Times: M-Th-10am-6pm, Friday 10-8, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun-11am-6pm

There is never enough time to explore everything offered here. If you plan to go frequently or have a large family you will save a bundle with their membership plans.  Check out their website for free days, special guests and themes.

Tot Lot at the Coralville Rec Center

Age Range: 1-4 yrs           
Cost: $1.00/child (discounted punch cards available)
Days/Times: Fall & Winter Hours only- See website for details

Smaller than Scanlon and not operational all year but locals love this indoor play area for kiddos.

Iowa Gym Nest Open Gym

Age Range: All Ages        
Cost: $10 per session or $15 for both
Days/Times: see Facebook page for dates

Kids can play with all the equipment throughout the gym in a supervised but unstructured environment. Kids 5 & up drop off is available while kids 3 and under will need an adult to stay with them.

Coralville Public Library

Ages: All Ages 
Cost: FREE 
Days/Times: M-Th 10am-830pm, F 10am-6pm, Sat 9am-430pm, Sun Noon-4pm

More than books this library offers a play area for your littles to enjoy. Go to their website for upcoming events and special guests. For story time hours check here.  

North Liberty Locations

Kids Campsite at the North Liberty Community Center

Age Range: Under 48 inches in height   
Cost: FREE
Days/Times: M-F 9am-8pm, Sat/Sun 8am-6pm

Similar to the Coral Ridge Mall play area.  The biggest perk is no escaping littles with the closed off hey have a door that closes!  No escaping littles!!!  Having a toddler, the Kids Campsite Play Area is one of my favorites. Think: mall playground on a smaller scale, with a door that CLOSES so kids can’t escape!

Open Gym at Synergy Gymnastics

Age Range: All Ages 
Cost: $10 per child
Days/Times: See Facebook page for event schedule

Come for an hour of fun! There are areas set aside for the crawling/just walking age, small gymnastics equipment for toddlers and larger equipment for bigger kids. Enjoy the trampoline, foam pit, and the inflatable bounce house.

North Liberty Public Library

Age Range: 0-99   
Cost: FREE
Days/Times: M&W- 9-8, T&T- 8-8, Fri-9-5, Sat 10-5, Sun 1-4

More than books this library also offers a play area for your littles to enjoy. Go to their website for upcoming events and special guests. For story time hours check here.  

Looking for indoor ideas in Cedar Rapids? Check out our sister site’s post here.

What did we miss?  Where are your favorite indoor places to play with your kiddos?


Megan, an Iowa native from West Branch, shares her home with husband Cody, two adorable kiddos Charlie and Gwen and their pet dust bunnies. When she is not smooching on them she is trying to change lives as a social worker. You can find her running endless errands in Liza the mini(van) or on a hot date with her treadmill watching IPTV. Since having baby #2 she is drowning in laundry and love and someday hopes to foster or adopt if fate will allow.



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