The Best Indoor Play Areas for Kids in Indianapolis

Busy Bee Play Cafe

Photo courtesy of Busy Bee Play Cafe

Here in Indiana, we love our four-season climate—at least until it’s freezing cold, scorching hot, or showering pollen for weeks on end! When I moved to Westfield as a new single mom, I was adamant about getting out of the house and exploring the outdoors with my son. But the whims of the weather mean you can’t always go out to the park, and being stuck inside can take a toll on both parents and kids.

Lucky for us, the Indianapolis region has plenty of fun, indoor activities for kids to enjoy! Now that my son is five, I need indoor play places more than ever in my endless attempt to cut down on his screen time. These places offer affordable spots for little ones to have fun and socialize, while making sure I get a break, too! 

Most of the options I’ve listed also have areas designed for parents to sit back and relax as their child gets their wiggles out. Some of them even have built-in coffee shops! Just keep in mind that you may need to call ahead or visit their website before you go. I know a lot of places change their hours throughout the year, and it’s always better to double check before you make the drive. 

With that said, let’s get into it! Here’s my list of the 13 BEST indoor play structures within 30 minutes of Indianapolis—perfect for an awesome family day trip!

1. Busy Bee Play Café — Indianapolis

We’re starting off strong with two of the newest and hottest spots for kids in the Indianapolis region! First on the list, the Busy Bee Play Café is a local small business that just opened up this February. This amazing indoor playground combines imaginative play houses for the kids with a comfortable café lounge for the adults.

Children of all ages are welcome to explore their creative play structures, including miniature storefronts, a climbing gym, and even a mini-road for toddler-sized vehicles. In the meantime, parents can grab a gourmet coffee over at the café and settle in for some quiet time. Their couches and tables are perfect for working on-the-go, while keeping an eye on your kids as they play.

Admission is $15.00 for 1 hour, and grip socks are required. Reservations aren’t necessary but are highly recommended.

2. Dig Dig Indoor Sandbox — Fishers

The Dig Dig Indoor Sandbox is exactly what it sounds like but better! This new play place just opened at the end of last year—and it’s already become one of the most popular spots on the block. Dig Dig is Indiana’s largest indoor sandbox, which is just perfect for active kids who love to get their hands dirty. Their space is packed with toys designed for scooping sand, including a variety of dump trucks, excavators, and other construction vehicles. And best of all, parents are encouraged to jump in and play as well!

I’m someone who usually doesn’t like the beach because of the sand, but even I found myself having fun playing in the sandbox with my son. So, if you have a kid under 10-years-old who loves their toy bulldozer, Dig Dig is a must-visit.

Admission is $16.00 per hour, and they ask that kids leave their personal toys at home. Reservations not required but highly recommended.

Carters Play Place

Photo courtesy of Carter’s Play Place

Dig Dug Indoor Sandbox

Photo courtesy of Dig Dig

3. Smiley Indoor Play Place — Indianapolis

The Smiley Indoor Playground & Arcade is an enormous, 25,000-square-foot entertainment center designed to keep your kids busy for hours on end. Located near the Castleton Square Mall, this playground has rock-climbing walls, basketball trampolines, obstacle courses, ball pits, VR games, a Lego room, and even an arcade where kids can win prizes! 

With so much to do, Smiley is an ideal place for birthday parties and group events. They also have a restaurant and café on-site that has lots of yummy food options, ranging from fried shrimp to Dippin Dots ice cream.

Admission ranges from $12 to $33 depending on age and time limit. Just remember that food, locker rentals, and arcade tokens all cost extra! Grip socks are required at the playground, and you should call ahead to confirm availability.

4. Carter’s Play Place — Westfield

If you’re looking for more accessible play areas, Carter’s Play Place is a locally-owned adaptive playground that also doubles as an occupational therapy center! Carter’s is designed to be inclusive to kids of all abilities, including children that need a quieter, sensory-friendly experience. 

Their playground features the usual jungle gym, foam pits, slides, and trampolines—but they also have a calming sensory room for when kids need some quiet time. Whether your child uses it or not, having that option is super important, and it’s nice to have a play place that won’t get your child all wound up. Carter’s also has comfy seating for adults and offers free popcorn and coffee while you’re there!

Admission is $10 for kids under 2 and $15 for 2 and older. You must also purchase a pair of Play Socks for $3 the first time you visit, but you can bring them back every time you come! Reservations not required but highly recommended.

5. Kid’s Planet — Brownsburg

Located just west of Indianapolis, Kid’s Planet is a fantastic indoor playground that just recently finished renovating. The main attraction at Kid’s Planet is their huge padded jungle gym, featuring all kinds of tunnels, slides, and trampolines. They also have a toddler area specially designed for younger kids and a kid-friendly arcade for the pre-teens. 

Since my son is now five, I love getting to sit back on the benches and just let him play because this place is HUGE. You will absolutely lose sight of your child as they climb higher and higher through the tube tunnels. But if you’d prefer to keep an eye on them, I recommend recruiting older siblings to assist, since parents are only permitted on the lower level. 

Admission is $18 and $10 for children under 3. Reservations not required but highly recommended.

Kid's Planet

Photo courtesy of Kid’s Planet

Greenwood Community Center

Photo courtesy of Greenwood Community Center

6. Kid City — Greenwood

Inside the Greenwood Community Center, you’ll find Kid City—a two-story indoor play place that incorporates STEAM-learning in physical activities. The space underwent a multimillion dollar renovation back in 2016, and you can see how much effort went into designing the space. 

With play houses, climbing sculptures, engineering centers, and a musical garden, they have something for kids of all ages. My son had a blast playing with the huge building blocks around the center. And you can’t beat the price—at just $5 admission for Greenwood residents and $6 for non-residents! Plus, did I mention children younger than one are free?

7. Escapades Family Fun Center —  Muncie

A little farther out, the Escapades Family Fun Center is approximately 60 miles northeast of Indianapolis in Muncie, Indiana. But if you went to Ball State University like I did (chirp chirp!), then you know it’s an easy drive perfect for going on a day trip. 

My son and I haven’t had a chance to visit Escapades for ourselves. But I’ve heard about it from other moms, and it sounds like a blast! This unique entertainment center offers a towering three-story playground that’s built like an indoor maze. Kids can enjoy exploring every nook and cranny, as they discover slides, monkey bars, ball pits, rope bridges, and more. Escapades also has an indoor arcade with everything from air hockey to video bowling—and their own restaurant, so you don’t have to worry about packing food for the drive. 

Daily admission is $13.99 for ages 1-15, but anyone under 1 or over 15 is free with a paid guest! (Umm, yes please!) Reservations not required but highly recommended.

8. The Playscape at Northview — Danville

If your family is anything like ours, it can be fun to go out to these places—but tickets get expensive fast, especially with multiple kids. That’s why I think it’s just as important to highlight all the amazing FREE play places available in the Indy area. Many of these places are actually hosted by local churches, but they are kind enough to welcome all guests, no matter your religious affiliation. 

The Playscape is located inside the Northview Church in Danville, offering a great space for the kids to play while you meet up or work out. Aside from their kid-friendly jungle gym, Northview Church also maintains a huge astroturf field for sports, a walking track around the facility, a 600-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, AND a coffee shop—all open to the public. Sign me up!

Like I said, admission here is totally FREE! 

9. The Park at Traders Point Christian Church — Whitestown

The Park is located inside Traders Point Church, and it’s one of my son’s favorite places. We have been going here since before he could walk, and he still loves to spend the day climbing their indoor playground. 

I’ll warn you that this place does fill up fast, especially when school is out during the colder months. But the great thing about The Park is that you can check their website and see how crowded they are that day. They also have a built-in cafeteria, which is great for packing a lunch and taking snack breaks. 

Before you go, parents must create an account and bring a government-issued ID to use the facility. But that’s all you need to do to access this FREE community space! 

Treehouse in Plainfield Christian Church

Photo courtesy of Plainfield Christian Church

Playscape at Northview Church in Danville

Photo courtesy of Northview Church

10. Treehouse Community Hours — Plainfield

The Treehouse is located inside the Plainfield Christian Church, just south of Avon and a short drive west from downtown Indianapolis. This playful tree-shaped jungle gym is designed for young kids from birth to age 12—with a dedicated infant area on the lower levels of the tree. 

The Treehouse is a great place for kids to burn off some extra energy, while you relax in their comfy community space. The church also offers free coffee for the adults, which is a total lifesaver.

Once again, admission is FREE!

11. Christ Community Church — Carmel

If you’re looking for something a bit smaller and closer to Indianapolis, then this is the place for you! The Christ Community Church in Carmel maintains a nice indoor play area with age-appropriate toys, books, and activities available in the commons. This space is designed for kids under the age of 10 with a special area for younger kids under two. 

Although this list is focused on indoor places, the church also offers a fenced-in outdoor playground that’s great for growing kids and pre-teens. So, rain or shine, there’s always something to keep your kids active. 

Admission is FREE, but make sure you’re courteous to other guests. If other kids are waiting to play, they ask that you stay no longer than 30 minutes.

12. The PLAYZONE at the Community Center — Anderson

The PLAYZONE is an indoor play place located inside the Anderson First Church, just 45 miles northeast of Indianapolis. This massive five-story, 40-foot-long jungle gym features an impressive array of slides, climbing walls, and obstacle courses to give your kids a workout. 

The church also has a Preschool Zone focused on younger children and an outdoor Sports Court, where you can play basketball, pickleball, or corn hole! But first things first, I head straight to the Luna Coffee Bar to grab a drink while we play. 

Adults need to bring a government-issued ID. But you guessed it, admission is FREE! 

The Commons in Columbus Indiana

Photo courtesy of The Commons

13. The Commons Indoor Playground — Columbus

And last but not least, The Commons is a beautiful community center in Columbus, Indiana, just 45 minutes south from Indianapolis. If you’ve never been down to Columbus, this cute city is well worth the trip—with enough activities and attractions to keep you busy all weekend long.   

Inside The Commons, you’ll find a two-story indoor playground that’s as colorful as it is whimsical. The main feature of this facility is a 35-foot-tall Luckey Climber, which is basically a 3D rock climbing maze that encourages kids to think about how they move as they play. The one at The Commons is made of 50 high-flying platforms for children to climb to the top. It’s remarkably safe, and it’s easy to keep an eye on their progress from the ground.

While you’re in the area, I highly recommend making a day of it and exploring the rest of the city! My son and I love visiting The Columbus Community Children’s Museum for some hands-on playtime at their educational exhibits. Downtown Columbus also has loads of amazing restaurants, including a historic ice cream shop called Zaharakos that’s been there since 1900! 

Admission to The Commons is FREE, and the museum only costs $9 for children older than 18 months! Pre-purchasing your tickets is not required but highly recommended.