Texas is known for its incredibly hot summers and almost non existent winters (although if it drops in the 50s or below native Texans will NOT be spotted outside without a ridiculous amount of ‘winter’ gear on ). This is what makes indoor play areas in Dallas so incredible! After speaking to many different nannies in the area and my own experiences; I have narrowed down the top 10 indoor play spaces in the Dallas Area (many of which are free)!
1. Prestonwood Baptist Church in (west) Plano. During the week the FREE play area, Kidzplay (directly to the right when you come in the main entrance) is a must go for children infant to 10 years old. There are tons of climbing, slides (one for the bigger kids and one for the small ones), hilly terrain to run all over and some flat area in the back for the little babies! Plenty of seating for moms. Free to play and best of all they have a cafe downstairs that is inexpensive and delicious! (Salad bar, different foods such as pizza, baked potato bar, chicken tenders, coffee bar, snacks and drinks). Monday, Tuesday, Thursday they are open from 9:00-4:30p, Wednesday’s 9-6:15, Friday’s 9-1:00p, and although they are open on Saturday and Sundays those times change and are VERY limited so please call before heading there! 972.820.5000
2. Kid Mania in Plano. Another great place for climbing! Kid Mania is a multi level climbing adventure and I would definitely say it’s more suitable for the 5 year olds and up! Although they do have an adorable toddler area as well! There are a few arcade games and tons of seating! Also a kitchen with tons of food options from lunches to snacks! This place does get pretty packed on the weekends but it’s great because it is very open and allows you to see your kids with ease! It is open Monday through Thursday from 10a-9p, Friday and Saturday 9a-10p and Sunday from 11a-8p! Admission is only $3.49 (ages 1-2), $6.99 (ages 3-18) and $1 (19+).
3. Need somewhere to let your kids burn off some energy? Pump it Up Open Jump in just the place! It is a great place to practice those gross motor skills and really get some energy out! They have tons of inflatable bounce houses, basketball goals, slides, obstacle courses and more! The best part is that each Pump it Up has a different set up and different Open Jump days and hours! Admission is $5 (1 year olds) and $8 (ages 2-17 and adults are free)! Their open play hours are typically a two-hour window but that’s really all you need for these hyper kiddos! Keep your eye open as well because some locations offer a monthly sensory Jump night for those kiddos on the Autism Spectrum.
4. The Woods (Inside Highland Park Presbyterian). This play area is great for the younger kiddos (4 and under)! It has its own outside entrance and is full of soft things to climb all over! Admission is free and it is open Monday-Friday from 9-5!
5. Watermark Tree-fort (Inside Watermark Church off of 635). This indoor play space is so much fun for the toddler age and up! There is plenty to do on the lower level with tons of room to run around and then a tree fort to climb! They have a small little cafe as well with a few snacks and drinks! Admission is free and they are open Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday from 9-6p, Wednesday 1p-6p, Saturday 7a-2p and Sunday from 12:30-5!
6. Local Libraries. There are so many local libraries that offer amazing programs! Many nannies have raved about the UP and Preston Royal locations! I personally LOVE the grapevine location! The Grapevine location has an imagination station weekly which is so much fun and awesome for independent imagination play! They set up different stations with all the things to go with it such as a grocery store, nursery, fire station, outdoor barbecue and so much more! NorthPark has a library as well and they have weekly music/story times! They also tend to have larger productions during the week right in the middle of the mall! Each library has different activities and schedules but they are all worth going to visit! Most of them you do not need to sign up for a library card in order to be apart of the children activities!
7. Mall Play Areas! During the weekend these play areas can be pretty chaotic but during the week I find they are much calmer! Galleria (located on the third floor), Stonebriar (located on the first floor) and Willowbend (located on the first floor) all have great play areas! These areas are typically perfect for about 5 years and under! They have the soft ground and soft things to play on.
8. Peek n Play in Grapevine. Peek n Play features a kid-sized town, a slide that goes into a ball pit, and tons of toys! This is great for ages infant-10 years old! There are tons of things for your kiddos to explore! You can bring in outside food or they have snacks and drinks for purchase there. Admission is $12/child and they are open Monday- Friday from 10-6.
9. The Coop in Frisco. The Coop is very similar to Peek n Play! They also have a slide that goes into a ball pit, an electric dance floor, a bounce house, rope climbing, toys, dress up clothes, coloring and many books! The Coop is also great for infant to 10 years old! Admission is $10 (ages 1+) —$2 off on Tuesdays and they are open Monday- Friday 9-5p.
10. CooCoos in (west) Plano is similar to Pump it Up with the many different kinds of bounce houses but it also has a great variety of arcade games and my personal favorite a small working train! The kiddos I’ve taken here have LOVED it (and mostly spent time riding the train over and over!) it’s very open so allows for plenty of space to run around! They are open Sunday through Thursday from 10-6, Friday and Saturday 10-9! Open play in all day every day! Admission for 3 and under is $5 and everyone else is $8!
Author: Kathryn Eastin