By now, we all know what’s coming. In November, the sprinklers turn on for real, and the rain doesn’t let up until well into the new year. If you’re at home with kiddos, you could give in to cabin fever — or you could hustle your clan out to one of our area’s indoor play spaces.
We’ve gathered a sampler of spots — some new, some tried and true — for you to check out. If you have a great idea of your own, send a tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orange Blossom Society. This brand-new arts enrichment center offers a host of classes for member kids — yoga, art — plus drop-in play times ($5 per parent/child pair) and seasonal workshops that are open to the public. While their kids play, parents can tap into the free Wi-Fi or grab a latte from the café. Visit Orange Blossom Society for the latest schedule and membership information. 16715 N.E. 79th St., Redmond. 425-883-2400.
Tot Spot Café. The kids (ages 5 and younger) play with age-appropriate toys in a monitored play area, while you relax with a latte or panino. If the little ones get hungry, the menu is packed with kid-friendly fare — Goldfish or graham crackers and jam, anyone? — at supremely reasonable prices. The café is open weekdays 9 a.m.–4 p.m. for drop-in open play ($6–$15 depending on number of hours and kids). 17802 134th Ave. N.E., Suite 6, Woodinville. 425-488-2795.
CF Kids. Head to this Crossroads Bellevue kids’ toy and clothing store for free weekly play time (Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.–noon), story time (Wednesdays, 11–11:30 a.m.) and arts and crafts times (Thursdays, 11 a.m.–noon). Northeast Eighth and 156th Avenue Northeast, Bellevue. 425-653-5555. Check Crossroads Bellevue for calendar updates.
Movies for the stroller set. If you have a little one and must get out of the house, these special screenings are for you. Mommy Matinee (Wednesdays, 10 a.m., at the North Bend Theatre); Mother’s Day at the Movies (Thursdays, 10 a.m., at Lincoln Square Cinemas in Bellevue); and Cry Baby Tuesdays (all shows before 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at Columbia City Cinema in Seattle).
Woodland Park Zoo. Kids can blow off steam by sliding down the indoor Zoomazium’s strangler-fig slide (there’s a sweet spot for tots, too), but don’t ignore the rest of the zoo if it’s pouring. Download the rainy-day map at the zoo's Web site and make your way to all of the indoor exhibits — the steamy Tropical Rainforest is warm enough to go coat-free. Through April 30, admission is a discounted, $8–$11, ages 2 and younger free; hours are 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. daily. North 50th and Fremont Avenue North, Seattle.
Creation Station. This unique store stocks an astonishing selection of recycled materials, eliciting reactions from “Cool!” to “What the heck is that?” Drop by during open hours for a craft session and let the kids figure out what to do with all of that stuff. (Reservations are required for groups of five or more.) $6.95 per person for two hours. 19511 64th Ave. W., Lynnwood. 425-775-7959.
Inflatable play spaces. Wear 'em out on the bouncies! These indoor play spaces offer big-time fun that’s easy on the wallet (about $6 per session). 3-2-1 Bounce has locations in Bellevue and Everett; Jump Planet is located in Bothell; Kidz Bounce is located in Issaquah. Pump It Up has locations in Kirkland and Lynnwood; and Arena Sports maintains facilities in Redmond, and Magnuson Park and SoDo in Seattle.
Indoor playgrounds. Many area community centers host weekly — or daily — play times in the gym, where kids can tumble and play on riding toys. Seattle offers a whopping 18 indoor playgrounds at its community centers; go to the city's playground Web page for an updated schedule. In Shoreline, visit the Spartan Recreation Center gym for a popular play time (Monday–Friday, 9:30–11:30 a.m.; 206-801-2600). On Mercer Island, the gym at the Community Center at Mercer View is open Tuesdays, 2–4:30 p.m.; Thursdays, 9:30 a.m.–noon; Fridays 2–4:30 p.m.; Sundays 11 a.m.–2 p.m. (but call 206-272-7892 by 8 a.m. to check if the program is going on). Visit the North Kirkland Community Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., and Wednesdays, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. (425-587-3350).
Seattle Central Library. It’s worth a trip downtown to check out the Faye G. Allen Children’s Center. Packed with books and toys, painted in candy-bright colors and furnished with kid-size chairs, it’s a great place for quiet indoor play. And pssst . . . there’s underground parking. 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle. 206-386-4636.
Bellevue Skate King. On Saturdays, you and your beginning roller skater can take to the rink without the fear of being knocked over — the Tiny Tots skate is just for the 10-and-younger set. The music is kid-friendly, and the atmosphere, ‘70s to the core. Check for schedule updates at Bellevue Skate King or 425-641-2047. 2301 140th Ave. N.E., Bellevue.
Dizzy’s Bus Stop. This brightly decorated Bellevue play space offers “Drop & Go” drop-off play times for children ages 18 months to 6 years (run those errands!) and open play on the mats and gymnastics equipment. The schedule is subject to change; check the current calendar. 3205 148th Ave. S.E., Suite E, Bellevue. 425-564-TBUS.
Baby Power. Visit the Everett music and exercise center gym for a drop-in indoor play time for kids ages 1–6 ($10 per hour). Visit Baby Power or call 425-267-9100 for current drop-in times and prices. 607 S.E. Everett Mall Way, Everett.
Great Play of Redmond. You don’t have to be enrolled in a class to drop by for open play time in this unique gym, where kids ages 6 months to 12 years can practice motor and other skills in the computer-assisted interactive arena. Look at the latest open play schedule. Children not enrolled, $10. 16510 Cleveland St., Suite N, Redmond. 425-885-3800.
Izilla Toys. This Capitol Hill toy store boasts a cool rocket ship for kids to sit in while they read — and free weekly story times (Wednesdays, 10 a.m.), drop-in music classes with Northwest fave Doug Fleming Jr. and periodic “crafternoons.” Check the current schedule of events. 1429 12th Ave., Seattle. 206-322-8697.
Kris Collingridge is ParentMap’s Out & About editor.