Best Indoor Playgrounds in Washington, D.C.

August 2, 2014 7:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Indoor playgrounds are the perfect solutions for rainy, dreary days, or simply for a fun change of pace. Kids are free to rip and run, while parents can enjoy a little peace of mind knowing that they don’t have to worry that their child will wander off. Here’s an update on some of the best indoor playgrounds in the D.C. area.

Soft Playroom – Chinquapin Recreation Center
3210 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22302
(703) 746-5553

This is the perfect retreat for rainy days when outdoor play isn’t ideal. The Soft Playroom at the Chinquapin Recreation Center offers children ages five and under a large play space where just about every area is covered in colorful, super soft mats. Even the walls are padded, so the kids can simply run free. The toys are also made of soft materials–from soft cubes and blocks, to soft slides that empty into a ball pit. Kids can get creative and build forts, arches and other imaginative creations using the soft blocks.

Alexandria Coliseum
4317 Ravensworth Road
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 879-6410

The Alexandria Coliseum boasts inflatable slides and obstacle courses that will entertain both kids and adults. The facility has an “unattended child” policy which allows parents to drop their children off while they enjoy a little “me” time for shopping, relaxation, salon pampering or a few games on its athletic fields. Or, if parents have other matters to attend to, the facility has meeting spaces available for rent where you can conduct meetings while the kids safely play–no babysitter needed. Alexandria Coliseum is also great for hosting birthday parties, and provides party hosts who make sure that everything runs smoothly so that parents can take a load off.

Related: Best Cheap Activities To Do With Kids In Washington DC

4825 Bethesda Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 656-5030

Kidville converts its state-of-the-art gym into a supervised indoor play space where children are free to roam, play and simply enjoy themselves. This unique facility also offers several other services like creative classes in music, dance, art and gym for children up to the age of five. Kidsville has many other amenities like a kids’ boutique which sells toys, books and clothes. There’s also a salon for the kiddies, and a cafe that serves both children and adults.

Joyful Jumps
6858 Race Track Road
Bowie, MD 20715
(301) 464-2009

This indoor play area has just about everything a kid could want. From slides, to obstacle courses, to inflatables, Joyful Jumps has plenty to keep even the most energetic children busy at play. The facility is an ideal place to host birthday and team parties, and school or summer camp field trips. It can also be a great spot for just a fun night out with the family.

imagiNations Activity Center
National Museum of the American Indian
National Mall
4th St. at Independence Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20560
(202) 633-6644

Not only does imagiNations offer wide-open carpeted spaces where inquisitive children can roam free and crawling babies can safely explore, but there are many hands-on, educational activities that will keep them occupied as well. Kids can learn about Native American culture by surfing on a virtual river using a kayak, visiting a real, full-size tipi to see how it’s built or by weaving a basket. As the kids make their way through the center, they can stamp an imagiNations passport with authentic tribal seals. They can also visit an Amazonian stilt house to learn about how the natives adapted to their environment.

Related: Guide To DC’s Smithsonian National Museum Of Natural History

Kevin Don Porter is the author of OVER THE EDGE and MISSING—two mysteries available on Visit his website at

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