For families, summers in Miami can mean lots of things. They can mean trips with your kids to the beach, splash pad, or park and weekday cookouts in the backyard. But they can also mean stormy weather, insufferable heat, and the ever-dreaded mosquitoes, all of which result in plenty of kids whining, “I’m bored!”
Fortunately, there are plenty of fun indoor playgrounds where little ones can burn up all that energy, saving your sanity. And if you’re looking for the best ones in town, look no further than this list.
1. Pod 22
Pod 22 is a tired mama’s dream come true. It’s not just an indoor playground. It’s a nail spa and Wi-Fi lounge disguised as a kids' play place. Let your children (up to age 9) roam about, climb, run, jump, and explore while Pod 22 employees supervise. At the same time, you can use your laptop, spend some time reading, get a manicure, and enjoy some healthy snacks while watching your kiddos from afar. It’s the perfect place for parents who need to get a little work or rest while their children play.
8101 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 102, Miami; 305-456-4791.
2. Silly Monkeys Playhouse
This membership-based indoor playground offers plenty of activities for babies and toddlers to enjoy, especially in the realms of music and art. Open play is available Thursday afternoon, but kids are encouraged to sign up for classes any day of the week, many of which are offered in Spanish as well as English. Monkey See and Monkey Do classes allow your child to enjoy sensory play as well as time to roam the playground. Silly Monkeys also offers slightly more academic classes that involve learning numbers, letters, colors, and other subjects with the use of props and puppets. It's certainly a fun alternative to daycare or preschool.
3310 Virginia St., Coconut Grove; 305-444-4448.
3. Planet Kids
Located just a hop, skip, and jump from Wynwood, Planet Kids is a great spot for children to play and parents to caffeinate. There are two play sections, one for babies and young toddlers, and one for older kids. The youngsters' side offers soft toys, books, rocking horses, a little slide, a playhouse, and other age-appropriate activities. But for the 3-to-7 set, there’s a three-story play area with a slide, tunnels, ball pits, and other fun. And for parents, there’s the café, serving Nespresso coffee and tasty snacks.
2403 NE Second Ave., Suite 108, Miami; 305-573-1379.
Courtesy of My Gym
4. My Gym
For your active tots, there’s always the ever-popular My Gym. If you’re a mom or know any, you’ve already heard of it. But if you’ve never gone, you might want to take My Gym up on its Free First Class offer. My Gym is essentially the gym for babies and youngsters. Instead of free weights and treadmills, though, there are tumbling mats, balance beams, slides, basketball hoops, and other equipment. Plus they offer tons of fun instructional classes, from pre-ballet to preschool prep to “kickers” (martial arts) and even Zumba.
Locations in Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, and Kendall.
Courtesy of Ninja Lounge
5. Ninja Lounge
Chances are you won’t have much trouble persuading your kids to go to a place called Ninja Lounge. This North Miami indoor rec center is definitely not for babies. Still, it offers activities for toddlers and older kids and even adults that range from soft play jungle gyms, dodgeball courts, and a gymnastics obstacle course to trampolines, slides, building blocks, toy cars, arts and crafts, and a rock-climbing wall. You can buy single-attraction passes or monthly memberships. It’s definitely a great place to get a workout with your kids.
14401 NE 20th Ln., North Miami; 888-682-4318.
Courtesy of Goin Bananas
6. Goin Bananas
If you ever wanted to take your children to the playground but also wanted to grab a bite and a brew, Goin Bananas is your spot. Kids love crawling up and down the play area. Parents enjoy sipping ice-cold brews after a long workday. It’s an ideal place for Kendall families to unwind and enjoy.
15750 SW 56th St., Miami; 305-456-1485.
Courtesy of Monkey Joe's
7. Monkey Joe’s
This chain of indoor playgrounds is slowly growing, and though it's not quite in Miami, it’s already making splashes with the right people. Little ones 3 and younger can hang back in the Mini Monkey Zone. Older kids will enjoy roaming the premises freely, bouncing from slide to videogame to a slew of other activities parents might not enjoy. And adults are just happy not to be the center of attention for a while.
9980 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines; 854-442-8777.
Courtesy of IGI Playground
8. IGI Playground
For those whose children have a penchant for pirates, there’s no better place than IGI Playground. The main play area offers tunnels, slides, random obstacles, a zip line, and even a pirate ship to pique children’s imagination. Kids and adults alike will also surely be drawn to the many snacks offered. Coffees and teas, salads and sandwiches, hoards of candy, and free samples of frozen yogurt complete the experience.
12885 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-615-5655.
Courtesy of Just 4 Fun
9. Just 4 Fun
The Shops at Sunset Place has always been a family-friendly mall. There’s a movie theater, an arcade, and plenty of places to eat. Just 4 Fun adds to the appeal, especially on rainy or sweltering days. Between the megaslides and obstacle courses, ball pits, and plenty of other equipment to jump and climb on, kids are practically guaranteed not to get bored. Just 4 Fun also has a kids’ hair salon and an arts and crafts room for those who prefer calmer activities. And for moms and dads, an onsite restaurant serves chicken wings, hummus platters, burgers, panini, pastas, and much more.
5701 Sunset Dr., South Miami; 305-763-8249.
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Courtesy of Cool de Sac
10. Cool de Sac
Mamas in West Miami-Dade know about the indoor playground at Dolphin Mall. It’s their secret weapon to soothe the kids before a long shopping spree. It’s also a fun place to catch up with old friends while your mutual little ones spend time on the playground. The attractions at Cool de Sac vary but include lots of different activities for youngsters. Tree houses, zip lines, table stations, and other fun can be found here, and shopping-weary parents are all the happier for it.
11401 NW 12th St., Miami; 305-477-5505.