Neither flurries nor rain, nor heat nor cold should keep New Jersey children from enjoying a day of play—especially when there are so many awesome indoor play spaces in Northern Jersey. From toddler play dates to teen outings, we've compiled a list of the best indoor playgrounds in Northern New Jersey where kids can drop in for play. No memberships needed! If you're looking for sites that are a bit farther south, check out this listing of Central Jersey play spaces.
Note that many facilities have socks-only policies or height requirements for entrance, while others require waivers from parents prior to entry. Check with each facility about their rules and schedules for open play.
Giggles – Cranford
Intended for kids under 6, this indoor activity center lets little ones play and explore without over-stimulating electronic toys. Complimentary story times are scheduled on Tuesdays (3:30pm) and Thursdays (10:30am).
Kidoolo – Springfield
This play space with an upscale vibe has a playground for toddlers with a small climbing structure, a laser tag area for older children, a video game room, and a dance floor that becomes a virtual playground with games. Daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual passes are available. Read Mommy Poppins' review of Kidoolo to learn more.
Kids can play chef in the huge kitchen play area at Kidz Village. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
Kidz Village – Kenilworth
This facility is a play town with lots of themed rooms to explore, including a grocery store, hair salon, cinema, and construction zone. There's also a small roller rink and play maze. Note that this play center can get very crowded during birthday parties, so you may want to consider visiting during off-peak times.
PumpItUp – Roselle Park (also Secaucus, Randolph, Piscataway)
This bounce spot offers daily open-jump sessions (all 70 minutes). There's your basic open-play jump as well as many special themed sessions, including Little Tikes Jump for ages 18 months – 6 years; a morning Pajama Jump; and a Cookies & Cocoa Jump. On select Friday nights, make it a Parents' Night Out and drop off the kids for three hours of jumping, snacks, a movie, and crafts. In addition to two arenas full of inflatable fun, the Roselle Park location recently added a Ninja Warrior course with hanging bridges, jungle swings, cargo tube nets, and more.
Screamin' Parties – Springfield
When it's not hosting parties, this inflatable jump facility has open bounce and events for children. It has two rooms of inflatables, including slides, pits, ball launchers, and more.
Funtime Junction – Fairfield
Funtime Junction invites kids to "climb aboard" a soft, two-story playground that will keep little ones occupied for a while. This play palace also offers a Sesame Street–themed bounce house, arcade games, laser tag, and even a helicopter ride. Closed on Mondays, but walk-ins are welcome every other day of the week.
JUMPnasium – Fairfield
Instead of bouncing off the walls at home, let your kids bounce at JumpNasium. This indoor inflatable playground provides 13,000 square feet of gigantic inflatables, including giant slides, climbers, a moon bounce, and trampoline basketball, plus arcade games and air hockey. Open jump is 70 minutes long. Time slots fill up quickly, so make your reservation online before you go. Kids must be 34” or taller to jump on most inflatables, but don’t worry; there's plenty of non-bouncy stuff for toddlers to play on, too. One great program at JUMPnasium is the Tuesday after-school, sensory-friendly bounce sessions sold in six-week packages. Run by an occupational therapist, sessions are intended for children with ADHD, low muscle tone, autism, social difficulties, or other special needs issues. While the kids are bouncing, a parent support group is held by a social worker.
Kidgits Indoor Playground – Livingston Mall
While you’re shopping at the mall, check out this gem right inside the shopping center. Located on the lower level near Sears, this carpeted playground allows kids to kick off their shoes and blow off some steam. The main slide structure is surrounded by several stationary climbers, including a bright blue car, tugboat, and rocket ship. Large puzzles and a mirror toward the back are great for toddlers and crawlers. Just outside the play area is a mini carousel. There’s also comfortable seating for grown-ups, a Dunkin’ Donuts a few feet away, and free Wi-Fi. There's also a Kidgits play center for Morris County shoppers at Rockaway Townsquare in the lower level at Center Court.
Clown Around – Flanders
For kids ages 7 and younger, this jungle-themed play zone has been a family favorite for years. Always clean and bright, Clown Around offers a soft-play baby and toddler zone as well as a three-story play structure with slides, ropes, nets, and obstacles. There is plenty of seating for parents and a snack room as well. Free Wi-Fi is available, and you can schedule play dates or attend open play.
The Funplex – East Hanover
With more than 100,000 square feet of attractions, there’s plenty to keep all ages busy at this family amusement center. The arcade features everything from Boardwalk classics like Skeeball and air hockey to the latest video games. Bumper cars, go-karts, and laser tag are perfect choices for older kids.
Gravity Vault – Chatham (also Hoboken and Upper Saddle River)
Kids 5 and up can rock out out at this indoor rock climbing facility. No reservations are required for walk-in climbing, which is possible anytime during regular business hours. Kids can climb with a parent (if certified) or work with one of Gravity Vault’s instructors.
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Imagine That!!! has many themed areas for kids to explore, including a massive arts and crafts area.
Imagine That!!! – Florham Park
This hands-on children's museum is celebrating its grand re-opening in January 2018. The re-vamped space features more than 50 exhibits and activities designed to spark the imagination of young children. They can shop at the grocery store, mail packages at the post office, and climb aboard the pirate ship. New attractions include an electronic sand table, an Everbrite board, and a large jungle gym with a 20-foot spiral slide.
KIDnetic – Montville
KIDnetic features a three-level play structure, a rock climbing wall, and mats of all different shapes and sizes. Kids can jump around in the ball room, visit the alligator pit, and climb over bridges and under tunnels. The rock wall is specially designed for children under 10 and offers a great introduction to climbing.
TagAlongs Play Space – Lake Hopatcong
Designed for crawlers and kids up to age 10, TagAlongs features a large, open play area, toddler zone, custom play houses, interactive play mats, and a separate, calming sensory room. Open-play sessions offered daily; check website for times. Socks are required, and outside snacks and drinks are welcome.
Ticklez Indoor Play Center – Budd Lake
Pop in as often as you like throughout the day at Ticklez, which offers all-day, in-and-out play. The large, open space includes a 16-foot-tall play structure with spiral slides, obstacle courses, and tunnels; a pretend-play diner, house, and supermarket; a gated toddler play area; and more.
Riverside Kids – Hackettstown
This facility focuses on the physical development of kids ages 10 months through 10 years. During open gym time, kids can practice their balance and gross motor skills on the mats, bars, rings, and beam.
Laser One – Wantage
Laser One offers two stories of laser tag fun with ramps and towers. Special-effects lighting adds to the adrenaline rush. The facility also has a nine-hole mini golf course, arcade games, a laser maze obstacle challenge, and Highway 66 bowling.
The Big Play House – Westwood
Kids ages 6 and under will feel right at home at The Big Play House, which offers imaginative play props, dolls, and trucks for building social skills. There's a play library, construction site, doctor's office, market, and more. Open play reservations are recommended.
Bounce Safari – Waldwick
In addition to regularly scheduled open bounce times, Bounce Safari hosts innovative preschool and after-school programs. Classes for preschoolers combine physical activity and creative arts: themes include art, animals and LEGOs. If you’re looking for a little alone time, you can also sign up the kids for “Lunch Bunch”—90 minutes of bouncy fun, followed by a healthy lunch and storytime. Registration is required for open bounce sessions and for all special programs.
BounceU – Paramus
Known for birthday parties, BounceU also offers open-play sessions as well as special themed events including Cosmic Glow Wars Bounce and Discover Science Fun Labs. After-school bounce sessions take place Monday–Friday, and parents are free!
CatchAir – Paramus
This underwater-themed space caters to families with children up to 12 years old. There's a soft play area for toddlers and a Tiny Town for kids under 4 feet, and a three-story play structure, ball cannon, and interactive dance floor for bigger kids. Find out what we thought about CatchAir in our review.
The Great Story – South Hackensack
The Great Story lets children use their imaginations with a costume closet, sandbox, props, a climbing structure with a small trampoline, shopping area, ball pit, and more. The cafe offers some Korean specialties like bubble tea, rice burgers, and noodles.
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Kids will have a blast with foam ball shooters and the ball volcano at Jumpin' Jax .
Jumpin' Jax – Paramus
This early learning center and indoor playground combination facility has open play for toddlers on up to older children. Kids will have a blast with foam ball shooters, hand-pedaled cars, a rock-climbing wall, a LEGO room, and imaginary-play areas.
Jump On In – Hasbrouck Heights
Bounce the day away at this indoor facility featuring inflatable bounce houses, obstacle courses, slides, tunnels, and more! Preschool Open Jump and All Age Open Jump are offered regularly.
Lily & Liam Kids' Indoor Playground and Cafe – Englewood
Kids 12 and under can climb, build, pretend, and explore at this sweet indoor playground. Attractions include a climbing maze, bubble ball pit, soft play for toddlers, a "sand" pit, pretend-play area, and more. Parents who worry about germs in play spaces will be happy to hear that Lily & Liam is closed the first and third Mondays of the month for sanitizing.
The littlest ones can climb safely at Fun Lot.
Fun Lot – Bayonne
Pretend play is a focus of this indoor spot, with areas for children to dress up as firefighters, farmers, grocers, doctors, and more. Kids can also drive a fire truck or school bus and push a shopping cart through the market. Climbing structures and a ball pit add to the fun.
Hudson Play – Jersey City
The whole family will love hanging around at Hudson Play, which is packed with fun and unique climbing, hanging, and swinging structures. You'll definitely get a workout here! Younger children will have fun building with the Imagination Playground blocks.
Hudson's House of Play – West New York
A sweet little space for kids ages 6 months to 5 years old, Hudson's offers a lovely, custom-built open play space created to replicate a traditional downtown city square. Each "building" has appropriate costumes, furniture, and toys. There is also a separate area for ages 2 and under, and a small cafe for caregivers with tea, coffee, and baked goods.
Liberty Science Center – Jersey City
Yes, it’s a museum, but Liberty Science Center can definitely qualify as an indoor play space—and it's always a good bet on a chilly or rainy day. A favorite of kids of all ages, the Touch Tunnel is a pitch-black, crawl-through maze. iExplore is geared toward kids ages 2 through 5 and offers a stimulating and interactive environment designed for discovery, complete with a climbing apparatus and a “sandbox” that is actually filled with rice. Kids taller than 42 inches will love the Infinity Chamber, a climbing jungle of sorts suspended two stories in the air. There are always new exhibits and events and, of course, the IMAX theater and new, state-of-the-art planetarium.
Play City – Weehawken
Climbers, sliders and crawlers will enjoy the 2,000 square feet of indoor playground at Play City. With soft play areas, slides, jumping spots, climbing structures, and a ball pit, this indoor space is geared towards children under 1 through age 12. Socks are required, and outside food and drinks are not permitted. A small cafe offers coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soft drinks, and healthy, on-the-go snacks for purchase. In addition to daily open play, Play City offers enrichment classes and birthday parties.
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Romparoo offers drop-in play for little ones. Photo by Alexander Concepcion.
Romparoo – Hoboken
Romparoo is a preschool alternative that also offers drop-in open play, when little ones can socialize, climb, sharpen gross motor skills, build, stack, and enjoy a small ball pit.
Urban Jungle – Hoboken
This jungle-themed indoor play facility is packed with fun things for kids to explore, including a jungle gym, Imagination Playground blocks, a water and sensory station, arts and crafts, and a soft play area for toddlers.
Planet 301 – Paterson
Catering to children ages 2 through 13, Planet 301 will cure cabin fever with its arcade, soft play area, basketball hoops, train ride, bouncy house, batting cages, laser tag, and more. It's located on the top floor of Center City Mall, so check with the facility about validation for underground parking.
Rack 'N Roll – Passaic
This family entertainment center will occupy kids of all ages (and their parents) with more than 100 video games, foosball, kiddie rides, air hockey, basketball, billiards, and more.
Top photo: Hudson's House of Play. Unless noted, all photos courtesy of the venues.