The winter doldrums have arrived. Save a few sunny and 70 degree winter days, the weather outside is seasonally appropriate, and aside from bundling up and embracing the chill, it’s pretty easy to get into a low-activity funk. With three kids, that’s not an option.
I’ve seen those cool contraptions that attach to doorways to turn them into makeshift monkey bars, but around my house, it is a true necessity to escape the confines of our castle and move our bodies. Luckily, there’s no shortage of great indoor spots to play in Edmond and the potential for fun is immeasurable with a different play place for practically every day of the week.
Grab your clean socks and swing into these top picks for indoor playgrounds that are sure to please.
Okie Kids Playground (321 W. 15th St., 405-562-4888; okiekids.com) is fresh off their second anniversary of opening the doors and this indoor playground is popular among the younger set — their target demographic is newborn to 6-years-old. No worries about your littles getting trampled by the big kids, Okie Kids fancies themselves a small children’s hands-on learning playground.
“We are a learning facility,” said owner Annalisa Douglass. “Everything in our playground helps children learn and grow while playing. We are fully unplugged.”
Think all soft surfaces — playhouses, tubes, tunnels, and slides. There’s an awesome craft area, a dedicated toddler area, a baby spot, and even a cow to milk. Moms and dads will appreciate the café with snacks and a barista that makes supervision a caffeinated delight. Okie Kids offers mommy-centered activities throughout the year and party packages that close the facility to the public.
“We love providing a great place for parents to come relax and enjoy coffee while their children’s minds explore new adventures each time they play,” Douglass said.
We Rock the Spectrum (64 E. 33rd St., 405-657-1108; werockthespectrumoklahomacity.com) is the Oklahoma City franchise of a national company that caters to the younger special needs population, while welcoming children of a variety of ages and abilities.
“Our general rule is that if they are getting use out of the gym and they are having fun, we will let them in,” said owner Scott Batchelor.
The gym creates a safe and fun play space with features like a zipline, tunnels, crash pit, and various swings with different textural surfaces. There are open play times daily as well as classes in sign language, kid yoga, and special parents’ nights out. Parties are also an option, with the doors closing to the public during private events.
Owners Scott and Gwen Batchelor took over ownership of the gym in 2019 when the previous owners listed the business for sale. The Batchelors’ youngest daughter was born with Down Syndrome in 2018 and as they learned more about the special needs community, the business opportunity seemed serendipitous.
“Our vision is for the gym to be a place for her to grow and experience life — and maybe even work in the future,” Batchelor said.
The Batchelors aim to make the play experience a personal interaction.
“We treat our gym as more of a ministry than a place of business,” Batchelor said. “We try and get to know all the families that come in.”
One of the newest additions to the indoor play landscape is Kidz Fun Town (14424 N, Lincoln Blvd., 405-254-5500; kidzfuntown.com) in south Edmond, which opened in November 2019. Geared towards children 1-to-12-years-old, the oversized 16,000-square foot facility features a multi-level playground with slides, two 40-foot ziplines, three playhouses, mini trampolines with foam pits, a soft ninja obstacle course, swings, as well as tamer areas like a toddler-only zone, Lego station, and a spot for arts and crafts.
“Kids love our ninja obstacles and dodgeball area,” said Truong Pham, who along with wife Tuy opened the facility with the mission of getting to know people, hearing their stories, and to find ways to bless the people they meet.
“We live to serve those around us. And we have a strong, like-minded group of young kids working at the playground who have the same beliefs,” Pham said. “When you come, be ready to have fun and be served by all of us.”
Grip socks must be worn in this no-shoes-allowed facility that also features free coffee, a drink and snack bar, a nursing and calming room, and free WIFI. Party packages can be found on the Kidz Fun Town website.
Nearby is the veteran location of the indoor playing world. One of the first to introduce the concept of playing inside as a destination, Breakaway Indoor Playground (14350 N. Lincoln Blvd., 405-286-4079; breakawayok.com) opened in March 2018 with the idea of getting children away from video games and making physical activity fun. In addition to centerpiece playground, they offer a special toddler/baby area, wave and tube slides, a ball blaster arena, trampoline, foam pit, and an interconnected city for “pretend play.” Parents will love the WIFI, lounge areas, and drink and snack bar. Nursing lounges are also available.
“We hoped Breakaway would encourage children and adults to unplug from technology while engaging in physical activity and imaginative play,” said Lori Armenta, who owns the play gym with her husband Lucas.
Breakaway was very intentional with their offerings — the three-level, 2,000 square foot playground structures are designed so that parents can easily stand up inside and navigate with their children and there is lots of attention on safety with netting on the entire bottom level and surrounding the slides, and padded flooring throughout. Also, the supersize playground is meticulously disinfected on a regular basis — even shutting its doors every month or so to deep clean and fog the huge indoor space.
“Breakaway is a great place for families to play together,” Armenta said. “We promise to maintain the cleanest and safest playground at an affordable price.”
Almost every indoor playground has rules on what can be brought into the facility and most have a particular sock standard. Check out the websites or call before you visit to learn specifics and to get information on hours of operation and admission prices. All gyms have day passes and memberships available, as well as party options.
Other area indoor play gyms include Kids Galaxy Indoor Playground (834 W. Edmond Rd, 405-359-4906; kidsgalaxyedmond.com) in central Edmond, and Bubba Play Indoor Playzone 13429 N. MacArthur, 405-420-0201; bubbaplayokc.com) in Deer Creek.