Guide to Indoor Play Places

Winters in Iowa are known to be long and cold and spring tends to be rainy and windy but that doesn’t mean your family has to stay cooped up until it’s nicer out. Little kids have lots of energy and for everyone’s sake sometimes you just need to get out of the house for a change of scenery or some new experiences. We’ve compiled a list of some kid and parent approved indoor places that your baby, toddler, or preschooler will enjoy.

Iowa City

Tot Time at Mercer Park and Scanlon Gym

2701 Bradford Drive

$1/child ages 1-6, 9:30am-11:30am weekdays

There’s plenty of space for your little ones to run around and burn off some energy here. The gym is set up with an assortment of inflatables like an obstacle course, slide, or bounce house, as well as tricycles, a scooter roller coaster, kids basketball hoops and more. 

Iowa City Public Library

123 South Linn St

Mon-Thurs 10am-9pm, Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm

The library has a play area with toys to keep little ones busy. Check their website for their story time schedule and other fun events geared toward kids and babies.


Defy Trampoline Park

851 Highway 6 East #102

Sun-Thurs 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-10pm, Sat 9am-10pm

The big and little kids will have a blast here. Who doesn’t love trampolines, ziplines, obstacle courses, and falling into foam pits? There’s plenty to explore and there is a corner designated for the littlest jumpers so they can play in a more relaxed environment.


Sidekick Coffee & Books

1301 ½ Melrose Ave

Mon-Fri 7am-6pm, Sat & Sun 7:30am-6pm

A nice place to visit if you are looking for a quiet outing. Get some coffee for yourself and ice cream or cookies for the kids while they play at the train table or cuddle up in the fun hexagon cubbies. While there peruse their wide selection of books for a new favorite bedtime story or a new read for yourself.


Dodge Street Coffeehouse

2790 North Dodge St

Mon-Fri 6am-4pm, Sat 7am-4pm, Sun 7am-2pm

Give yourself a chance to unwind while the kids do their own thing in the cozy play area. It has a play kitchen, toys and games so they’ll stay busy. Grab a fun coffee drink for yourself and treats for the kids or make it breakfast or lunch date.


Iowa Children’s Museum

1451 Coral Ridge Ave

10am-6pm daily, closed Mondays. 

$10/person, memberships available

There’s so much to explore here. Kids can practice their building skills in the Blue Block Room, experiment with gravity and motion in the Notion of Motion Room, learn about flight and aerodynamics in the Airplane Room, let their imaginations go wild in the play village, and get messy and creative in the art studio. With a little something for everyone, the kids are guaranteed to have fun.


Coral Ridge Mall Play Area and Carousel

1451 Coral Ridge Avel

Play Area by Barnes and Noble and Carousel near the food court

The mall is a great place to burn some energy with plenty of space to walk. The indoor play area has soft play structures for the kiddos to run around and climb on. They can also ride on their favorite animal on the carousel. Both areas also have coin operated rides nearby.


Coralville Public Library

1401 5th St

Mon-Thurs 10am-7pm, Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 12pm-4pm

The library has a little something for everyone. There are dedicated play spaces and toys for little kids and babies. Check out their website for story time information and kid-friendly programs.

North Liberty

North Liberty Public Library

520 W Cherry St

Mon-Thurs 8am-8pm, Fri 8a-5pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 1pm-4pm.

Kids love to say hi to Matilda the Guinea Pig. The library has a nice play area with a train table, play kitchen, a play room with a variety of toys, and a dedicated nook just for babies. Check out the library website to find more about their story time and fun kids’ activities.


Kids Play Campsite at the Rec Center

520 W Cherry St

The North Liberty Rec Center not only has the library, but also has an enclosed soft playground with a campsite theme. There are plenty of small structures for kids to climb and slide on with ample space to run around.


Surrounding Areas

Lambs & Ivy Play Cafe

219 1st St, Kalona

$5/child. This play cafe recently opened. It’s the perfect place for kids to play with a variety of toys and indoor play structures while mom and dad hang out nearby. Check out their website Lambs and Ivy Play Cafe for their schedule or learn more about their upcoming events and classes geared just for kids and parents.


The Play Cafe

143 Marion Blvd, Marion

$9/child. This place has indoor play structures to keep kids physically active, as well as toys to encourage creative play. While it’s geared for kids aged 6 and under, board games are available for older kids. Visit their website CR Play Cafe for hours and fun events.


The Fun Station

200 Collins Rd NE, Cedar Rapids

Tickets start at $11.99. Your little ones will stay busy here. Kids can explore the expansive play maze, play arcade games, and take a turn at the climbing wall. Babies and toddlers have their own designated play area to enjoy at their own pace.


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