I hope you all are enjoying the warm weather. I love this time of year and really appreciate being able to take my kids outdoors. There are still times when we need a good indoor location though, like when it’s 90+ degrees outside or when its raining, and I’m a huge fan of indoor play spaces. I’ve tried several in the DMV area and have a few favorites that I’ve listed below. One caveat is that I haven’t tried any in DC. I live outside of DC and as many of you know, driving and parking (or taking the metro) in DC can be a hassle at times, especially with kids, so we typically reserve that for bigger occasions like taking them to the National Mall and museums. If you know of any good indoor play spaces in DC please let me know in the comments. We also travel to Richmond, Hampton Roads, and New York fairly often so I’d love to hear about fun things to do with kids in other cities.
The Best Playspace for Babies- Nook (Arlington, Fairfax)
Nook features soothing neutral colors that won’t overstimulate a baby and age appropriate activities for those who aren’t walking or crawling yet. Each station is equipped with fun but educational toys and there’s also a small ball pit (with white balls, also low stimulation) and places to curl up and read to your baby. Nook is also a popular spot to host instagram worthy birthday parties.
The Best Playspace for Toddlers and Older Children- Scramble (Alexandria)
Scramble has the best toddler section of all the indoor play spaces we’ve tried and is my favorite overall. The toddler section is large and runs along one side of the facility, and there are cute stations like a mock starbucks and a racing pit. The other side of the facility has plenty for older kids to do including climbing equipment and ball courts. You can easily play with your children but it’s designed to allow kids to play independently and features a cafe and generous seating area for adults. Everything is bright, clean, and well maintained.
The Best Playspace for the Adults- Badlands (North Bethesda)
Badlands is another good choice for older children. Instead of the typical toys and climbing structures that play spaces usually have, it truly brings the outdoors indoors with faux rocks and tunnels, hills, grass, and trees. Kids can have a great time running and climbing and everything is supervised well by the attendants. It’s my favorite choice for the adults though because it features an actual bar. Yes, you can schedule a playdate with a friend and indulge in wine and other drinks at Badlands. That feature alone is pretty amazing but it also won’t overstimulate you with bright colors since everything is so natural. They host parties in event pavilions that look like chic cabins so they’re another great spot for instagram worthy moments.
Those are my top three recommendations for playspaces in the DMV area. What are some of your favorite places to take kids for a fun outing?