Skip to main content

Best Indoor Play Spaces for Kids Around Seattle and Puget Sound

It’s raining! Where to take the tots to get the wiggles out

Published on: November 02, 2021

A boy plays in a ring swing at Kaleidoscope Family Play Gym in Puyallup, among the Seattle area's indoor play spaces for kids ideal for rainy-day play
Photo:
A boy plays at Kaleidoscope Family Gym in Puyallup. Credit: Devon Hammer

While my kids and I regularly suit up in our best rain gear and head outside during the gray season, sometimes conditions are so crummy (or dangerous, such as in severe wind conditions or thunderstorms) that we all prefer some playtime indoors.

As vaccination rates rise and because most kids have become pros at wearing masks, we’ve started to wade back into indoor play spaces. My kids love having access to new toys, and I love avoiding explosions of construction paper confetti and other messes at home.

With staffing shortages and an ongoing pandemic, many fan-favorite play areas have closed; some just temporarily and many others, sadly, permanently. But not to fear, there’s still plenty of rainy-day fun to be had at indoor play spaces and gyms around Puget Sound.

Before heading out, keep these tips in mind:

  • Call ahead. Hours and open status are subject to change. Avoiding disappointment is as easy as checking in (some places require advance reservations as well).
  • Be safe. Your help is key to keeping these places open to the community, so please stay home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 infection. Masks are required for kids ages 5 and older (or 2 and older, in some cases) and most King County locations require proof of vaccination for caregivers.
  • Consider your family’s risk tolerance. Local rules determine what safety precautions are in place, but we haven’t visited all of these locations to confirm that every nose is safely behind a mask or that surfaces are scrubbed regularly. Call ahead, read reviews and use your own judgment.
  • Bring socks. Most indoor play spaces require them (trampoline parks may require their own grippy socks), and no one wants a foot fungus. (Ick!)

Seattle- and North Sound–area indoor play spaces

PlayDate SEA, South Lake Union
Located in bustling South Lake Union, PlayDate SEA is an 8,000-square-foot multi-level play structure with slides, tubes, tunnels and balancing challenges. A separate toddler area gives young kids their own space apart from exuberant older children. Parents are welcome to join in on the fun.

Kids at the top of the slides at Playdate SEA a Seattle indoor play spaces for kids and families rainy day play
Kids ready to slide at PlayDate SEA

Seattle Gymnastics Academy indoor playground, three Seattle locations
Seattle Gymnastics Academy hosts kids 2–5 for lunch-hour playtime in Lake City, Ballard or Columbia City (check schedules for each gym). Families will find trampolines, obstacle courses and a Tumbl Trak to burn off pre-nap energy. 

Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion, Mountlake Terrace
Kids ages 5 and younger (including crawlers) will find a cozy playhouse, a ball pit and slides to enjoy in the pavilion’s Indoor Playground. Bonus points for opening at 7 a.m. for those early-rising toddlers (don’t they know it’s dark out?). 

Arena Sports, Magnuson Park and Mill Creek (also Redmond and Issaquah)
Little ones bouncing off the walls? Take kids ages 18 months–12 years to one of Arena Sports Indoor Inflatable Fun Zones for a bounce house instead; the newest facility in Mill Creek (which also offers mini golf, a ropes course and laser tag) has the most extensive hours.

Funtastic Playtorium, Lynnwood (also Bellevue and Tacoma)
These mall-based play areas (open seven days a week for anyone who has a case of the Mondays) are designed for kids ages 1–10 and offer multi-level climbing structures with obstacles and slides. It can be tough to keep your eyes on active kids navigating small spaces, so head to toddler areas with kids ages 3 and younger — this space offers better sightlines.

View of the climbing play equipment at Funtastic Playtorium an indoor play space near Seattle with locations at Alderwood, Factoria and Tacoma
Funtastic Playtorium

Pump It Up, Lynnwood (also Kirkland and Kent)
While mostly known for its epic parties (private parties are still available), Pump It Up has drop-in options for kids who want to party all year. Pre-K and all-ages open jumps take place on weekdays, while family jumps are available on select Friday evenings. Note: Some inflatables have height restrictions, so keep that in mind when bringing young tots.

Elevated Sportz, Bothell
Kids ages 3 and older will love exploring multiple trampoline areas and foam pits (kids must be at least 48" tall for the ninja course). A multi-level play structure, which offers smaller spaces for tiny tots, is suitable for walkers through 8-year-olds. Wi-Fi is available and limited food is available at the café (no outside food is allowed). Tip: Military families enjoy a 15 percent discount on walk-in purchases. 

Altitude Trampoline Park, Marysville
Wide open jumping spaces make it easy to keep an eye on kids at this trampoline park. A separate area for younger kids and their caregivers helps prevent any accidental trampling. Tip: If you think you’ll be back, buy a membership. At the time of writing, a monthly pass costs the same as a 90-minute jump session and entitles you to two hours of jumping every day of the month (sounds like a challenge to me …).

Seattle Bouldering Project, Central District and Fremont
While kids can boulder (rock climbing without a rope and harness) on any of the walls at SBP’s Poplar (Central District) location, head downstairs for the most kid-friendly areas. You’ll find rainbow-colored holds, forts and a wooden slide to make the descent more fun. There’s no age limit, although it’s more fun once kids can grab holds to pull themselves up.

A young boy climbs at Seattle Bouldering Project among indoor play spaces for tots and kids during rainy days
Climbing the walls at Seattle Bouldering Project. Credit: Natasha Dillinger

Half Moon Bouldering, Greenwood
Go ahead, storm the castle walls! A unique castle-themed climbing area with kid-friendly routes greets families at this bouldering gym. Located right behind Snapdoodle Toys and with options for beer and pizza around the corner, this destination would make a great family night out!

Eastside indoor play spaces

Funtastic Playtorium, Bellevue (also Lynnwood and Tacoma)
These mall-based play areas (open seven days a week for anyone who has a case of the Mondays) are designed for kids ages 1–10 and offer multi-level climbing structures with obstacles and slides. It can be tough to keep your eyes on active kids navigating small spaces, so head to toddler areas with good sightlines for kids ages 3 and younger. 

We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym, Bellevue (also Federal Way)
This sensory-friendly gym offers multiple swings for balance practice, zip lines, trampolines and climbers that foster play for kids of all abilities. Check the Facebook page for the most updated hours, as they change frequently. 

North Kirkland Community Center, Kirkland
Kids ages 9 months to 5 years (and their caregivers) can play together at this inexpensive indoor playground. Available one morning per week (currently Wednesday), there are lots of ride-on toys and even busy boxes for babies. If the weather perks up, head to the stellar space-themed playground right outside.

Arena Sports, Redmond and Issaquah (also Mill Creek and Magnuson Park)
Little ones bouncing off the walls? Take kids ages 18 months–12 years to one of Arena Sports Indoor Inflatable Fun Zones for a bounce house instead; the newest facility in Mill Creek (which also offers mini golf, a ropes course and laser tag) has the most extensive hours.

WiggleWorks Kids, Bellevue (also Puyallup)
At one of the area’s original indoor playgrounds, kids can tumble, jump, and climb and swing on play equipment that moves with them. Note that the minimum height requirement of 48" is strictly enforced.

A girls plays on the soft-sided play equipment at Wiggle Works, and indoor play space for tots and preschoolers near Seattle for rainy day play
Kids play at WiggleWorks Kids

Pump It Up, Kirkland (also Lynnwood and Kent)
While mostly known for its epic parties (private parties are still available), Pump It Up has drop-in options for kids who want to party all year. Pre-K and all-ages open jumps take place on weekdays, while family jumps are available on select Friday evenings. Note: Some inflatables have height restrictions, so keep that in mind when bringing young tots.

Kidz Bounce, Preston
While weekends are reserved for parties, weekday drop-in times and unique inflatables (including a carousel-themed bounce house) make this a popular destination for Eastside kids ages 2–10.

Vertex Arena, Redmond
Kids ages 3 and older can bounce around Vertex Arena’s trampoline park. Height and age restrictions apply to some of the more daring components (dodgeball, arrow tag and a ninja course), but with later opening hours, this would make a great option for a few preteens on a weekend night. 

Kids play on the trampolines at Vertex Arena in Redmond among indoor play spaces for kids near Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and around Puget Sound
Zap the wiggles at Vertex Arena. Credit: Kate Missine

Stone Gardens, Bellevue
Fans of the Ballard Locks will recognize the name of this gym from its Ballard location, adjacent to the locks, but head to the Bellevue outpost for a fun kids’ climbing area (including a slide). There’s no age limit for kids to climb, but read the youth climbing tips ahead of time so you can make sure the experience will be enjoyable for everyone.

South King County and South Sound indoor play spaces

Safari, Tukwila and Auburn
This Southcenter Mall favorite added a new outpost at the Auburn Outlet Collection over the summer. Kids 52" in height and shorter can enjoy pretend play at a mock doctor’s office or grocery store, clamber to the top of a climbing gym or dive into a ball pit. Parents will find plenty of seating and easy access to the food court when hunger hits.

A small boy plays in the climbing structure at Safari indoor play space in Seattle's Southcenter Mall and now open in Auburn Outlet Collection
Playing at Safari at Southcenter Mall. Credit: JiaYing Grygiel

The Jungle Gym, Burien
Open-gym attendees ages 6 months–12 years can enjoy traditional gymnastics equipment (a balance beam, trampoline, bars and rings) or branch out to a climbing wall, zip line or cargo net. For an additional $4 drop-off fee, parents of kids ages 3 and older can head out for some quick kid-free errands.

Les Gove Park Gymnasium, Auburn
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, families can enjoy free rein of the Les Gove Park gym during inexpensive 90-minute indoor playground sessions.

We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym, Federal Way (also Bellevue)
This sensory-friendly gym offers multiple swings for balance practice, zip lines, trampolines and climbers that foster play for kids of all abilities.

A boy stands and plays with a wall of toys at We Rock the Spectrum an inclusive sensory sensitive play gym in Federal Way near Seattle
Playing at We Rock the Spectrum Federal Way. Credit: April Chan

Kaleidoscope Family Gym, Puyallup
Book a private-play or open-play session at this sensory-friendly gym where capacity is limited to keep chaos to a minimum. Kids will find a play store, climbing wall, hammocks and more waiting for their imaginations. Babies as young as 6 months are invited to join in the fun.

WiggleWorks Kids, Puyallup (also Bellevue)
At one of the area’s original indoor playgrounds, kids can tumble, jump, and climb and swing on play equipment that moves with them. Note that the minimum height requirement of 48" is strictly enforced.

Treetops Playground at STAR Center, Tacoma
Kids up to age 8 can climb through tunnels and across bridges at the indoor portion of the STAR Center’s Treetops Playground. For an extra challenge, older kids can head to the covered outdoor section (where they’ll need to wear closed-toe shoes). Designed for kids 44" and taller, it resembles a ropes course in the tree canopy. A more traditional playground awaits outside by the ball fields if the play space is at capacity.

Pump It Up, Tacoma (also Kirkland and Lynnwood)
While mostly known for its epic parties (private parties are still available), Pump It Up has drop-in options for kids who want to party all year. Pre-K and all-ages open jumps take place on weekdays, while family jumps are available on select Friday evenings. Note: Some inflatables have minimum height restrictions, so keep that in mind when bringing young tots.

Funtastic Playtorium, Tacoma (also Lynnwood and Bellevue)
These mall-based play areas (open seven days a week for anyone who has a case of the Mondays) are designed for kids ages 1–10 and offer multi-level climbing structures with obstacles and slides. It can be tough to keep your eyes on active kids navigating small spaces, so head to toddler areas with good sightlines for kids ages 3 and younger. 

Odyssey 1, Tacoma
The Jungle Gym Park portion of this fun center is huge! Crawl through mazes and zip down slides with the comfort of soft landing surfaces at the bottom. You’ll find a laser tag arena and arcade for older kids as well as enjoy late hours that accommodate playing a little past bedtime.

Catapult Adventure Park, Federal Way
Can’t make it out to Snoqualmie Pass for tubing this winter? Leave the winter gear at home and take a tube down the tall slides at this fun park. There’s plenty of inflatable bouncing fun to be had (and a huge ball pit) for kids of all ages. Since a few attractions are limited to kids 42" and taller, there’s a fairly sizable discount for little ones who don't meet the minimum height requirement. 

Defy Seattle (formerly Flying Circus), Tukwila, and Defy Olympia (formerly Boom Shaka), Olympia
These indoor trampoline parks offers trampolines, foam pits and "American Ninja Warrior"-style obstacle courses. On weekday mornings, caregivers of kids ages 6 and younger can jump for free with the purchase of a KidJump ticket. 

boys battle over a foam pit at defy seattle among top indoor play spaces around Seattle
Boys “battle” at Defy Seattle. 

Climb Tacoma, Tacoma
This bouldering gym provides kids a room of their own to encourage them to start rock climbing early. You’ll find routes that are set closer together for shorter arms and legs, and there is no minimum age limit to participate. Adult supervision is required with a ratio of no more than two kids per adult.

More ways to play on rainy days

Our region has excellent children’s museums, and while you may not zap quite as many wiggles as at a more active play space, these spots deliver hours of fun. Among our favorites: Pay-what-you-can Children’s Museum of Tacoma, Bellevue's KidsQuest, Hands On in Olympia and Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett.

Visiting other museums — the ones not specifically dedicated to kids — can get pricey for what is likely to be a short stay with the tots in tow. Luckily, we have a guide to visiting family-friendly Seattle-area museums for free. It takes a bit of planning, but it can be done.

For spontaneous get-out-of-the-house-right-now moments, choose a rain-friendly park or playground. Wear your rain gear and don’t forget to bring a towel for drying off playground equipment.

This option will not keep the mess out of your house, but if you need an at-home project, check out our list of 100 rainy-day arts and crafts ideas.

Editor's notes: We've been maintaining and updating this indoor play list for more than 10 years. The pandemic necessitated a complete overhaul and resulted, sadly, in our removing many, many indoor play spaces that have closed. Some photos shown are from the Before Times, and several ParentMap writers and editors have contributed to this article over the years.

STAY CONNECTED!
Get the best of ParentMap delivered right to your inbox.

Share this article with your friends!

Leave a Comment