Mall Play Areas for Kids in Southeast Michigan
Need some real retail therapy? Shopping meccas in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties offer up super cool spots for children to blow off steam!
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Shopping at local malls can be a great way to slip in a little family time. But, as moms and dads with young children know, it can also be a stressful experience! Kids often get bored, especially when the buying trip isn't for them. But take heart: Play areas – a classic way to let loose a spare energy – have gotten seriously souped-up makeovers all over southeast Michigan. To ease your shopping anxieties, Metro Parent has put together a list of some of the best. Pack up the kiddos (and a few spare Wet Ones) and check out these awesome amenities sure to keep your brood entertained – and you sane.
- Address: 100 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor
- Phone: 734-769-9610
Whoa – humongous turtle straight ahead! Along with a super-sized ladybug, shoe, chalk and even a dumbbell. Situated outside JCPenney, this spot features "soft" play equipment to cushion tumbles. You'll also find a small carousel nearby, plus kids' mechanical cars and other small rides, for a fee.
- Address: 18000 Vernier Road, Harper Woods
- Phone: 313-371-1501
This dino-sized mall boasts "the largest double play area in the U.S." In the jungle-themed area, climb and play on a jumbo tree. Or ride a giant dolphin on the "nautical" side, channeling the east side's lake life. It's set in the Grand Court across from Macy's. Watch for Kid Central events, too, at 11 a.m. on select Wednesdays.
- Address: 18900 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
- Phone: 800-992-9500
Cleverly tucked by the Lifestyle Cafe food court, on the upper level, you'll find several coin-operated rides. This zig-zaggy '70s-era mall, with its striated levels, also features a funky, step-like water fountain that's prime for wishes.
- Address: 4000 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills
- Phone: 877-746-7452
Discounts aren't the only big deal here. Kids can scale a mega cupcake, giant ladybug – and even the "mammoth hot dog" at this aptly nicknamed "larger-than-life picnic," set in food court (get to it via the District 6 or 7 entrance). This eight-district mega center also has coin-operated rides, a Jeepers! fun center, Rainforest Cafe – and loads more family fun.
- Address: 14000 Lakeside Circle, Sterling Heights
- Phone: 586-247-1590
A "definite destination," mall reps say, this 1,600-square-foot space, spruced in 2010, offers fun for all ages. Find a boat, small slides and climbable log for tots. Older rug rats get sweet structures like a red racecar, toy house, mini hospital, ambulance and taller slide that doubles as a tunnel. Also nearby, find stroller parking, a two-story carousel in the food court, the Toy Box shop – and visit at 11 a.m. third Mondays for kids' fun (minus December).