9 Drop-In Indoor Playgrounds Where Boston Kids Can Get Their Energy Out
As temperatures hover around freezing and even trusty toys are getting tiresome, every parent is looking for fun winter activities that can help kids expend energy and get their sillies out indoors. Here are some of our favorite indoor play spaces where little and big kids can slide, climb, dodge, play pretend, and make friends—just as they might on their favorite outdoor playgrounds. Most are a drive outside city limits, but all have lots enough space and options for high-energy fun to make a day trip feel well worth it.
Looking for more ways to play inside? Try out a ninja warrior course or make a splash at an indoor pool. Our Boston Indoor Fun Guide is packed with even more ideas to making the most of cold or wet days.
1. Monkey Joe’s—Danvers and North Attleboro
At Monkey Joe’s, kids get to monkey around (heh) on inflatable slides, jumps, and obstacle courses. They have designated play areas for kids 2-12 years old, featuring jumps, slides, climbing walls, and games. There is also a Mini Monkey Zone for kids 3 and under, featuring games, puzzles, and soft landing areas.
This just me be bouncy house, castle, and slide heaven. Photo courtesy of Jump on In
2. Jump On In—Boston and Woburn
Housed in an enormous warehouse space with multiple rooms, Jump On In is nothing but enormous inflatable slides and castles. It’s very quiet on weekdays but pretty crazy on weekends and holiday weeks, with delighted children bouncing their heads off. That said, you can make a reservation in advance so you’re sure to get in. With no time limits, it’s a fantastic place to bring kids with energy to burn. There are special areas for smaller children, but be warned: larger children often jump their way in.
3. Billy Beez—Kingston
Billy Beez is best known for its rainbow of side-by-side slides: children love racing their friends as they fly down the bright, plastic chutes. But there's much more to do on this South Shore-mall-based play mecca, including climbing through a giant, tunnel-packed jungle gym, playing hoops on the sports courts, and shooting balls in a "ballistics arena." There even a "tot town" for little ones. For readers who live in the far west suburbs, check out Billy Beez at the Holyoke Mall.
The climbing structure is just big enough to be a challenge for preschoolers. Photo courtesy of Imagine Playspace
4. Imagine Playspace Cambridge—Cambridge
Imagine Cambridge offers children endless options for play, with an indoor playground and an imaginative play town. For creative kids, there are opportunities for creative play with a play town that includes a library, restaurant, grocery, bakery and theater. Active kiddos will love the swings, bounce house, climbing, ball pit and ride-on toys—including the outdoor space. Imagine’s website offers a “Busyometer” that tells you how many other people are there. In addition, Imagine provides bilingual song and dance classes in Spanish, as well as language clubs in French, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Portugese,
5. Playtown Express—Southborough
Parents, you'll love this one: This playspace not only has tons of fun activities for kids up to age 12, but even offers drop-off care for two to four hours per week (reservations are required and children must be potty-trained). Activities include a netted climber, a bouncy house, and play cars for younger children, while older kids can enjoy options such as slides, a slippery slope, and obstacle course. A separate play area for infants also is available.
From giant inflatables to Nerf guns, Boston Playground will keep kids busy. Photo courtesy of Boston Playground
6. Boston Playground—Chelsea
From Nerf wars to giant inflatables, this indoor play area will keep your kids on the move. Along with trampolines to bounce on, there are large building blocks, a climbing wall, and soccer area. Make sure to call ahead if you plan on dropping in to make sure there isn't a private party.
7. Cedarland aMAZEment Action Play Center—Haverhill
There is tons do here, including a a triple wave slide, sports court, multi-level tube slide, a giant sand room, treehouse, and arcade. All that playing is sure to work up an appetite, so you can enjoy a bite to eat at the convenient on-site snack bar; options include kid-friendly favorites such as pizza, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and juice. Parents admitted free.
8. BB Kidz Klub—Westford and Leominster
Kids up to age 12 can enjoy the inflatable slide, jumpy house, obstacle course, air hockey tables, arcade basketball games, plasma cars, and more (specific activities may vary by location). A separate area specially designed for infants and toddlers also is available. You are welcome to bring your own snacks, but keep in mind the facility is peanut free.
9. BeanStalk Adventure Ropes Course—Reading
Big kids will love navigating through zig-zag beams, cargo nets, angled rope ladders, and crisscross walks, and soaring on the self-guided Sky Rail zip rail experience. For young adventurers less than 48” tall, there is BeanSprout, a kids-only ropes course with platforms less than 3-feet from the ground.
Originally published December 2016