Indoor Play Places in the Iowa City Area

On days when it’s too wet or cold for outdoor play, or your kids are just tired of the rain and snow, there are some awesome local play places where your little ones can burn off their energy.

Note: many of these indoor spaces have limited hours, mask requirements, and other safety policies due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to call them ahead of your visit if you have questions about their virus protocols or any changes to their current operations during this time.

Indoor Play Places in the Iowa City Area

Iowa City Area Indoor Play Spaces Graphic

Coralville Indoor Play Places

The Iowa Children’s Museum

Age Range: All ages
Cost: $9 per person, $8 for seniors, free for kids under 1 (military families receive discounts and some free admissions, check the website for current details)
Days/Times: Monday – Wednesday: Closed; Thursday – Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
COVID-19 Policy: Families must purchase tickets online and wear masks. View the full COVID-19 policy on the Iowa Children’s Museum website.

At The Iowa Children’s Museum, playing is learning! In this one-of-a-kind space, children can imagine what it’s like to walk on the moon, create masterpieces in the art studio, discover how the human body works, and explore the science behind skateboarding. Conveniently located in Coral Ridge Mall, this interactive space is designed to encourage free play (a critical part of child development) while also building skills related to school readiness, STEM, financial literacy, health, and the arts.

Members of the museum can visit as often as they like and receive a 10% discount on summer camps, birthday parties, purchases in the Think Tank Toy Story, and other museum programming. As a part of the Association of Children’s Museums’ Reciprocal Network, members also get half price admission at nearly 200 other children’s museums throughout the country. There’s always something new at The Iowa Children’s Museum, so COME PLAY!

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.

Iowa Children's Museum

Coral Ridge Mall Play Area

Age Range: Crawling and up
Cost: Free
Days/Times: Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
COVID-19 Policy: Coral Ridge Mall complies with all local and state safety regulations. You can view the mall’s health and sanitation measures on its website.

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.

Tot Lot at the Coralville Rec Center

Not currently offered.

Iowa Gym-Nest Open Gym

Not currently offered.

Coralville Public Library

The indoor plays space is not currently open. Storytime is available on Facebook Live and YouTube.

Iowa City Indoor Play Places

Tot Time at Mercer Park

The Iowa City Parks and Recreation website indicates it is offering tot-time through preregistration. For more information, call 319-356-5100.
COVID-19 Policy: The City of Iowa City requires masks in public. Learn more by visiting the city’s website.

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. 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 Public Library

Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

The Iowa City Public Library is not currently open for in-person use. Families can check-out books, toys, and multimedia and pick it up in the lobby. Storytimes and events are available online. Visit the library website for more information.

Dodge Street Coffeehouse

Drive-thru open. Play space not currently offered.

Planet 3 Extreme Air Park

Ages: All ages
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: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
COVID-19 Policy: Temperature checks and masks are required. View the park’s full COVID-19 policy on its website.

Enjoy endless trampolines, foam pits, a trapeze line, a ninja obstacle course and more. Parents of little ones 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: All ages
Cost: Bowling: Under $4 a game per person + Shoe rental at $2.25. Mini-golf: $3.50 per person
Days/Times: Hours vary per season and leagues so check their website for the most up to date schedule.
COVID-19 policy: Contact Colonial Lanes directly for information.

Break out your moves for a family game of bowling or putt-putt golf at this Iowa City gem. Food and drink are also available for purchase. Visit the Colonial Lanes Facebook page for the most updated information.

North Liberty Indoor Play Places

Kids Campsite at the North Liberty Community Center

Not currently offered.

Open Gym at Synergy Gymnastics

Age Range: All Ages
Cost: $6 per child, cash only (If you are taking classes there you can charge the fee to your parent account.)
Days/Times: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11 a.m.-noon; Thursdays 3-4 p.m.
COVID-19 Policy: Contact Synergy Gymnastics directly for information.

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.

Synergy Gymnastics

North Liberty Public Library

Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The library is open by appointment only. Virtual storytimes are available. Visit the library website for details.

What did we miss? Share your favorite indoor play spaces in the Iowa City area!

Related: check out some arts & crafts ideas and kids’ activities from Iowa City Moms!

Katie is a spouse, mother, and professional communicator. She became acquainted with Iowa City as a student at the University of Iowa, earning degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and most recently her MA in Strategic Communication. Katie and her husband met and fell in love in Iowa City, deciding to never leave. Their family can often be found eating their way through downtown, walking their dog in City Park, or cheering on their beloved Hawkeyes at live sporting events.


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