From the January 2016 issue

Beat Cabin Fever This Winter at These Indoor Playgrounds

Got a bad case? These 10 indoor playgrounds have the cure. Let your restless rug rats run, play and blow off steam during the cold winter days ahead.

The holidays are over – and suddenly the snow, ice and chilly temps seem a little less magical. Come January, that wicked Michigan weather keeps your darlings from letting loose on the backyard play structure or in the neighborhood park where they’d otherwise be getting out some of their cooped-up energy.

If your children’s recent behavior is making you finally understand the meaning of “bouncing off the walls,” you’re not alone. But what’s a parent to do when building a snowman is old news and you realize you can only call it “movie night” so many times before it’s just an excuse to let your kids watch too much TV?

Take heart! There’s a cabin-fever cure, and it comes in the form of a little time spent at some of southeast Michigan’s coolest indoor playgrounds. We guarantee your kids will start to chill – in the good way – after a few hours running (or jumping or climbing) wild at these weatherproof destinations. Note: Winter hours are provided. Call ahead for the latest.

AirTime Trampoline Park

  • Troy: 662 E. Big Beaver Road, 248-918-0909
  • Westland: 36901 Warren Road, 734-215-2400
  • Sterling Heights: 44855 Hayes Road, 586-247-8887
  • Novi: 44255 12 Mile Road, 248-671-1700
  • Ann Arbor: 800 W. Eisenhower Parkway, 734-470-0040
  • SE Grand Rapids: 3681 28th St., 616-773-1563
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday
  • Costs: Monday-Friday: $14/2 hours, Saturday-Sunday: $14/hour, $10/additional hour

Open jump at Airtime is a crowd pleaser with its wall-to-wall trampolines, foam pits, basketball, dodgeball, arcade games and more. Parents can join in the jumping or enjoy a snack from the concession area.

“We’re a high-energy trampoline and music experience unlike any of the other trampoline parks out there,” says marketing director Melissa Morris, who points out that Friday and Saturday nights are a big draw among teens thanks to the live DJ. “It’s like a big party. It’s a lot of fun.”

Boogie Babies

  • Address: 1928 Star-Batt Drive, Rochester Hills
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (closed Monday)
  • Costs: $7.50/ages 1-14, $4.50/7-11 months, free/0-6 months, parents and caregivers; play passes available
  • 248-852-6288

Three words: Disco Dance Room! Parents and toddlers are encouraged to bust moves together – and much more – at this cool indoor playground that hosts open play, live concerts, puppet shows, magic shows, classes and more. There’s also a cafe and lounge, treehouse play scape and craft area. This play space is geared more toward little ones but offers fun for the whole family.

The Bayou Adventure Center at Joe Dumars Fieldhouse

  • Address: 45300 Mound Road, Shelby Township
  • Phone: 586-731-3080
  • Hours: 9-2 a.m. Monday-Friday, 8-2 a.m. Saturday, 8:30-2 a.m. Sunday (Adventure Center hours may vary; call ahead)
  • Costs: call for details

The Bayou Adventure Entertainment Center has rock climbing, slot car racing, mini golf, Whirlyball court (ages 12+), Gator Tag (i.e. laser tag), a bungee trampoline, high ropes course and inflatable slide and more. Most activities are best suited for kids ages 6 and older.

Note: Joe Dumars Fieldhouse’s Detroit location, at 1120 W. State Fair Ave., has basketball only. Call 313-368-0055 to learn more.

Zap Zone

  • ‘Ann Arbor’: 4177 Carpenter Road, Ypsilanti, 734-930-6670
  • Brighton: 6995 Grand River Road, 810-227-2010
  • Canton: 41953 Ford Road, 734-844-7746
  • Farmington: 31506 Grand River Ave., 248-471-6777
  • Taylor: 9751 Telegraph Road, 313-299-9690
  • ‘Utica’: 7529 Auburn Road, Sterling Heights, 586-323-0030
  • Waterford: 1490 N. Oakland Blvd., 248-706-7777
  • Hours: Hours vary daily
  • Costs: Laser tag: $8/one game, $15/two, $18/three; bumper cars: $4/one ride, $6/two; $8/game Glo Golf (select locations); mini-bowling: $4/10 frames (select locations)

A game of laser tag is sure to warm up your kids on a cold winter day. Stop by one of the seven locations on a Tuesday for a special deal: $4 each for all attractions.

“Zap Zone is fun for all ages,” said Bethany Snell, manager at the Utica location. “It’s a great family experience where everyone can participate together and no one’s feeling left out.”

Jungle Java

  • Canton: 6481 Canton Center Road, 734-927-6680
  • Clinton Township: 44595 Enterprise Drive, 586-203-0500
  • Farmington Hills: 27658 Middlebelt Road, 248-919-3284
  • Hours: Hours vary daily
  • Costs: $8/ages 2-plus ($9 in Clinton Township), $4/12-23 months; free/under 12 months and adults; three-month passes available

This local favorite offers indoor jungle gyms with lots of padding and a special area just for younger tots. Parents tend to appreciate the healthy snacks, coffee drinks and smoothies.

“We’re all about active play and healthy food,” said Laurel Hess, owner of the Canton location. “It’s a good way to get your kids moving physically and getting some activity that you can’t typically get during Michigan winters.”

Nature’s Playhouse

  • Address: 703 Livernois, Ferndale
  • Phone: 248-955-3219
  • Hours: Drop-in play offered throughout week; hours vary by activity
  • Costs: $8/single drop-in play, $35/one-month unlimited drop-in play, $25/single fitness class; packages available

This all-natural play and wellness center offers drop-in play and fitness classes for ages 0-6, plus free support groups for parents on topics like babywearing, infant massage and birth recovery.

“It truly embraces the notion that ‘it takes a village,'” executive director Sarah Doyle says. “As a mom, I feel this is a unique and perfect place to come and play while building supportive relationships with others.”

Chelesa TreeHouse

  • Address: 1101 S. Main St., Chelsea
  • Phone: 734-475-1555
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday
  • Costs: $8/ages 1-15; free/0-12 months and ages 16-plus when accompanied by child; memberships available

This Washtenaw County destination offers 9,000 square feet of play space including a huge climbing structure, five slides, a baby and toddler area, basketball hoops, swinging bridges and a tree house. You’ll also find yummy sandwiches and healthy snacks, homemade baked goods and fresh Zingerman’s coffee.

Detroit Kid City

  • Clinton Township: 37051 Gratiot Ave.
  • Southfield: 29115 Greenfield Road
  • Phone: 248-443-5300
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday (closed Sundays for private parties)
  • Costs: $10/admission, free/adults and infants under 12 months (with purchase of drink)

Kids will delight in imaginative play as they explore the child-sized Mini Detroit. Mom and dad can sit back and relax with a latte – and then everyone can enjoy some Michigan-made snacks. This destination is best for ages 1-8.

Planet Rock Climbing Gym

  • Ann Arbor: 82 Aprill Drive, 734-827-2680
  • Madison Heights: 1103 W. 13 Mile Road, 248-397-8354
  • Hours: 3-10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays (open till 11 p.m. Wednesdays in Madison Heights and Thursdays in Ann Arbor), 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
  • Costs: Day passes: $17/ages 14-plus, $16/students, $12/military, $13/ages 5-13, $10/belay only, $3/belay check, $4/harness rental, $5/shoe rental, $2/chalk bag, $1/belay device

It’s time for a break from yelling, “Get down from there!” Kids as young as 5 can start rock climbing at Planet Rock, where walls are available for all skill and experience levels.

Note: Children under 14 must be accompanied by adult who has taken the course.

Pump It Up

  • Auburn Hills: 1720 Opdyke Court, 248-375-1100
  • Shelby Township: 15117 Commercial Drive, 586-416-4386
  • Taylor: 25710 Northline Road, 734-946-2017
  • Westland: 34700 Warren Road, 734-338-9815
  • Wixom: 28373 Beck Road, Unit H, 248-912-1090
  • Hours: Hours vary daily
  • Costs: Prices vary by day/location

Bouncy castles aren’t just for outdoor parties. Stop in for an open-jump session (check online calendar for dates/times) and let your kids bounce and slide on the wide range of huge, super-fun inflatables. Even the grown-ups can join in the fun.

This post was originally published in 2015 and is updated regularly. 

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