Ahh, spring in DC. It’s the most beautiful time to be outside. But it doesn’t last forever – between hot, humid summers and below-freezing winters, the great IN-doors is often the place to play.
Luckily, DC, MD, and VA are home to many amazing indoor play places. Check out our favorites below! We have a full list of indoor play spaces listed at the bottom categorized by location.
NATIONAL CHILDREN'S MUSEUM
Inspire your young learners to dream big at National Children’s Museum! Designed for the whole family, children and parents alike will enjoy playful and modern exhibits that explore science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) concepts.
Big kids will love climbing through the Dream Machine, the three-story, cloud-inspired structure of colorful pods and netting pathways that lead to a thrilling slide; flexing their sports skills in Engineering Games + Play, where they’ll hit virtual home runs and send racecars hurtling towards a photo finish; and so much more. Meanwhile, your littlest ones will explore from the safety of our two enclosed, toddler-specific spaces, Little Dreamers and Little Movers.
While exploring the exhibits, keep an eye out for themed programming and family workshops that will prompt further STEAM exploration. On any given day, you might also discover the surprise of a spontaneous pop-up program ranging from DIY builds to science demonstrations.
KIDS PLAY GALLERY
Kids Play Gallery is an indoor imaginative play space that your children will love. They offer a fun, friendly, clean, and safe environment with custom play homes for creative exploration.
Escape the screens and bring your kids to this one-of-a-kind play center! Stroll around the “neighborhood” exploring each of their uniquely designed Play Houses. Grocery shop at the food market, fight fires from the fire engine, get dolled up at the beauty salon, pump gas at the gas station and so much more.
Their friendly staff is happy to welcome you, whether you’re visiting for daily play or whether you’re booking a birthday party or event. With a clean & wide open space for your kids to enjoy, they assure you of an impeccable play area, fun private party room, and well organized environment at all times.
Bring your family today and check out Kids Play Gallery in Gaithersburg, MD!
Come one, come all to The Wonder, an absurdly playful space for curious, imaginative families!
The doors to this brand-new shiny space in Ballston Quarter, Arlington open on May 12. (Think ball pits, a bounce house and lots of space for your kids to run and run around.)
Play passes start at $29 per kid; monthly membership starts at $124 a month.
FULL CIRCLE MONTESSORI SCHOOL
See what an intentionally designed indoor play space for children under 3 can be; one that promotes independence, confidence, fine and gross motor development, and creativity.
You’ll watch in wonder as your child plays independently while you can engage with other parents and our child development experts!
Bloombars | Columbia Heights, NW DC
Explore DC & Kogod Courtyard (National Portrait Gallery) | National Mall, NW DC
Gymboree | Woodley Park, NW DC
Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, SE DC
Little Ivies | Palisades, NW DC
National Museum of American History | National Mall, NW DC
National Museum of the American Indian | National Mall, NW DC
National Building Museum | Penn Quarter, NW DC
National Children’s Museum | Downtown, NW DC
National Postal Museum | NoMa, NE DC
National Zoo | Woodley Park, NW DC
United States Botanic Garden | Capitol Hill, SW DC
Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo
Chuckie Cheese | Various
Climb Zone | Laurel
District Jump | Hyattsville
Glen Echo Park Aquarium | Glen Echo
Imagination Stage | Bethesda
Kids Play Gallery | Gaithersburg
Launch | Capitol Heights
Monkey Joe’s | Germantown & Hagerstown
My Gym | Bethesda
Nook | Bethesda
Play ‘N’ Learn | Columbia
Silver Stars Gymnastics | Silver Spring
The Little Gym | Silver Spring
The Little Towns Playseum | North Bethesda
Zava Zone | Rockville
Book Stores (Walls of Books, Solid State Books, Politics & Prose) | Various
Indoor Playground (Malls) | Various
Indoor Pools | Various
Libraries/Story Time | Various
Library of Congress | Downtown
National Museum of American History | Downtown
National Museum of the American Indian | Downtown
National Postal Museum | Capitol Hill
National Zoo | Woodley Park
United States Botanic Garden | Downtown