The Best Indoor Playgrounds and Play Places in DC

Looking for fun on a cruddy day? We’ve soused out the best kids indoor playgrounds that are currently open for those that want to run off some steam while staying cozy inside. From an indoor rope course at Adventure Park USA to a giant two-story slide at The Lane, here are the best indoor play spaces and playgrounds in Washington, DC (and beyond).

Jolly Yolly Kids

With over 8500 sq. feet of indoor play space and equipment, kids 13 & under can burn off some energy at this multilevel indoor playground. You'll find special, designated areas for toddlers and a safe space for kids 2 & under. This ocean themed space is the perfect indoor gym for your littles to get out their wiggles. Editor's Note: Masks are required for all guests 2 & up. Cost: $10.95+ 1101 Lee Hwy., Suite D Fairfax, VA Online:

Kids Play Gallery

Kids fill up their car at the Service Station, drive to the Grocery Market, grab a bite at the Diner and, if there is time, get a new coif at the Beauty Boutique. Realistic looking miniature structures set the backdrop for imaginative play at this Gaithersburg-based indoor play place. Cost 217 Muddy Branch Rd. Gaithersburg, MD Online:

Be With Me - The Playseum

Designed as a scaled-down replica of a real-life town, the Playseum features 24 themed rooms like a grocery store, bakery, pizza parlor, art supply store, and pet store. Children up to age 11 can let their imaginations run free by pretending to be cooks, grocers, doctors, and shopkeepers. Each room also contains a few books relevant to the theme. 

Cost: $12/person
2002 Annapolis Mall
Annapolis, MD

photo: The Lane

The Lane Social Club

Open play is back at The Lane and so is the cafe (stocked with coffee and booze for those that need a boost or wine-d down). Take advantage of the giant slide, the climbing wall and more. Or stop by during drop & play hours and reclaim a little part of your day again. 

Cost: $20/2 hrs. 
1408 Okie St. NE
Ivy Center


Scramble’s focus is on unstructured play: physical play (on specially designed equipment) and cognitive play. In unstructured play, kids (not grown-ups) choose what to do and how to do it, they negotiate the rules and agree how the play will proceed. It may take a couple of visits for families to become familiar with the idea of just playing freely, but once the creativity starts flowing, it’s hard to make it stop.

Editor's Note: Reservations are strongly suggested. 

Cost: $2/adults, $10/5-11 mo., $12/12 mo.-2 yr., $14/3-10
5412 Eisenhower Ave.
Alexandria, VA 

Once Upon a Dream

With two locations serving Northern Virginia, Once Upon a Dream bills itself as “an indoor children’s entertainment center with a focus on imagination, creativity, and development." Peek inside either venue and you will find pretend grocery store, an ice cream cart, a castle, a “treasure chest” (bursting with costume jewelry), a giant pirate ship, and a horse-drawn carriage. Costumes, arts and crafts, giant foam building blocks and LEGOs, and a climbing wall round out the fun. There are now work stations available for care takers who wish to clock in while their kiddos play. 

Editor's Note: You must reserve play 24 hours in advance. Bonus: You can also reserve private play dates! 

Cost: $20/first child, $15/add'l. children
46321 McClellan Way
Sterling, VA 

527 Maple Ave. E, Suite 200
Vienna, VA 

photo: Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Elemeno - Skill Zone

With a Montessori mindset, this play space was designed to spark kids’ creativity and play-inspired learning without the over-excitement and stimulation that’s often found at other indoor playgrounds. The creators, who are also parents, achieve their goal with super curated stations; think: an indoor wooden play structure, an indoor water table, and toys that require interaction and imagination. All activities are designed to boost development and social skills. 

Editor's Note: Elemeno is temporarily closed.  

Cost: TBD
709 8th St. SE
Capitol Hill

Adventure Park USA

Saddle up, pardner, for this Western-themed park near Frederick, Maryland—about 40 miles outside of DC. Open year-round, rain or shine, you don’t have to pay admission to enter the park itself. Instead, you purchase a Fun Pass with credits that works like a debit card (you can even add credits to your account online for return visits). Indoors you will find virtual reality games, a ropes course, laser tag, an arcade, bumper cars, a rock wall, bowling and more. Outside you'll find a miniature golf course, carnival games and rides. 

Cost: Pay-per-play
11113 West Baldwin Rd.
Monrovia, MD


The Wiggle Room

When your littles just need to get the wiggles out head to the play place with a not-so-subtle moniker. A day pass lets you stay for an all-you-can-play experience. Exhaust your favorite little monkey in a safe space where they can let their imaginations soar. The Wiggle Room also offers weekly classes in music, art and baby sign language. 

Cost: Starting at $13/child
2225 Defense Hwy.
Crofton, MD

—Meghan Yudes Meyers, Veronica Hughes, Katie Brown and Ayren Jackson-Cannady

featured photo: iStock


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