6 Free or Cheap Indoor Places for Kids to Run Wild in Columbus

These 6 indoor play areas offer inexpensive options for getting out all that pent up energy!

There are lots of places to play inside in Columbus – for that we are extremely thankful come winter! So many of them are free (see a list of over 20 here!) and we also have our fair share of fun play cafes (see a complete list here!) but this list is about places where kids can really run and play – places for LARGE muscle movement and getting out all the pent up energy that threatens to explode after being stuck inside in sub zero temperatures!

As my kids transition from toddler play to big kid play, I’m finding the answer to What Should We Do Today? requires a little closer assessment of their current energy level. There are lots of things we could do indoors, but some days they really need a space where they can run, jump, slide and climb!

These 6 places accomplish just that and, if you play your cards right, they don’t break the bank! 😉 All of these places are FREE or less (some way less) than $8/kid!

1. Recreations Outlet


484 W. Olentangy/Powell Rd., Powell, Ohio 43065, 614-792-3700

This play equipment showroom features an area for kids to play during select hours. It includes large indoor play area features play equipment like slides, swings, climbing, etc., small soccer field, basketball hoops, play houses, trampolines and more.

Price: Monday-Friday: $6/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play, Weekends: $8/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play, School Holidays: $8/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play. Charitable play happens on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM for a donation of $2/child. Donations are given to local non-profit organizations.

More Details: See $2 Tuesdays: Recreations Outlet, Columbus Zoo and Tacos!

 Recreations Outlet in Powell, Ohio Recreations Outlet in Powell, Ohio

2. Galaxy Games and Golf

Galaxy Golf and Games in Columbus, Ohio

3700 Interchange Rd., Columbus, OH 43204, 614-351-8400

The FunGym at Galaxy Games and Golf includes ball pits, climbing, slides, tunnels and more. There is also a toddler area with a play house, ball pit and ride-on toys. The whole facility also includes mini-golf, an arcade and party rooms.

Price: Ages 1-2: $2.99, Ages 3-10: $4.99

  Galaxy Golf and Games in Columbus, Ohio Galaxy Golf and Games in Columbus, Ohio

3. Central Park at Westerville Christian Church

Central Park at Westerville Christian Church, Westerville, Ohio

471 E. College Ave., Westerville, OH 43081, 614-891-6842

This play area is open mid September through May: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM – 11:25 AM, Saturdays 10:00 AM – 11:30AM. It has an indoor climbing area including slides and a rock climbing area. Shoes must be removed for play!

Price: Free!

Central Park at Westerville Christian Church

Central Park at Westerville Christian Church

4. The Naz Playplace

The Naz Playplace in Grove City, Ohio

4770 Hoover Rd, Grove City, OH 43123, 614-305-2034

This indoor play area has lots of opportunity for climbing, sliding and large muscle movement! Shoes must be removed and socks worn for play. Socks can be purchased for $1. There is a story time with crafts on Tuesday mornings! You can also register online before your first visit to save time! Outside the play area there is a cafe where you can purchase food and lots of seating!

Hours are: Sun: 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM

Price: Free!

The Naz Play place in Grove City, Ohio

The Naz Playplace in Grove City, Ohio

5. KidsGym Playland at Magic Mountain

Kids Gym at Magic Mountain Polaris, Ohio

Polaris: 8350 Lyra Drive, Columbus, OH 43240, East: 5890 Scarborough Blvd., Columbus, OH 43232, Polaris: 614-840-9600 East: 614-892-3335

Besides all of the outdoor activities and arcade, Magic Mountain offers an indoor KidsGym Playland. (These pictures are from the Polaris location.) The Playland is for kids 58 inches and under and includes a climbing gym with interactive elements and smaller climbing elements for toddlers.

Price: Ages 3 and up: $5 on weekdays and $6.50 on weekends Kids under age 3: $3 Toddler Thursdays: $2.50/child from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Labor Day through Memorial Day you can purchase a season pass for $35/person ($15 for additional siblings). Pass offers admission 7 days a week plus special discounts on additional add ons such as $1 off a kids combo meal.

KidsGym at Magic Mountain Polaris, Ohio

Kids Gym at Magic Mountain, Polaris, Ohio

6. Fun in the Jungle

Fun in the Jungle, Sunbury, Ohio

345 McGill St., Sunbury, OH 43074, 740-913-0692

Inside Fun in the Jungle there is a large indoor play area, toddler soft play zone, mini bowling, virtual reality games, cafe with food and drinks, arcade games and room for parties. There are special needs sensory hours on the first Sunday of each month.

Price: Play place (for ages 0-10): $7/child for all day, Kids 2 and under are $2 during the week and $4 on the weekend, Additional costs for bowling, arcade  and virtual reality. Keep an eye on their social media pages for specials throughout the week!

Fun in the Jungle, Sunbury, Ohio

Fun in the Jungle, Sunbury, Ohio

Save this post!

Indoor Play Place Columbus, Ohio


Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!
bowl of brownies

Click the brownies to read!

ICYMI: Fight Human Trafficking one Delicious Brownie at a Time









  • 5

10 Life Hacks for Columbus Parents

Parent life is hard, amirite?! Here are 10 ways to save money, make life a little easier and enjoy Columbus!

1. Columbus Member Advantage Program

Through the Columbus Member Advantage program, you can show your membership card from one of the participating partners to buy one admission and get the second one free – up to two free admissions per visit. Columbus Member Advantage partners include:

  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
  • COSI
  • Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
  • Ohio History Center & Ohio Village
  • Wexner Center for the Arts

2. Free Child Care at Eagle’s Nest

Grocery shopping is the new Friday night date, have you noticed? In addition to great in-store dinner options and wine tastings, you can take advantage of the Eagle’s Nest Child Care at four Giant Eagle Market District locations around Columbus. This is a free child care service for kids ages 3-9 for up to 2 hours. (And yes, you have to remain in the store! 😉 )

3. Half Price Pizza from Papa John’s

When the Columbus Blue Jackets score two goals (win or lose) Papa John’s locations in Central Ohio offer 50% off large pizzas with the code JACKETS50 the very next day! With the awesome season the Blue Jackets are having, that means a lot of cheap pizza! Everybody wins! See their schedule here.

4. Free Magazine Downloads

Children’s (and adult’s) digital magazines are available from Columbus Metropolitan Library and can be checked out on your device and kept FOREVER! See the link here for the titles that are available! You can also check out adult coloring books!

5. Free Rides on the CBUS

If you’d like to take your kids to the Short North, Downtown or German Village but aren’t sure about how far they can walk, take the CBUS! The CBUS is a FREE circulating bus with a route that circles from the Short North, through Downtown to German Village and the Brewery District and back again. Riding the bus is fun in itself for a lot of kids! Click here for the route map.

6. Mom’s Valet at Chic-fil-A

If the thought of taking the kids into a restaurant by yourself, waiting in line to order and carrying your food to your seat seems like an impossible feat, head through the Drive Thru at Chic-fil-A at Sawmill, place your order and tell them you’re coming inside. They’ll have your order ready and at a table for you by the time you park and get inside!

7. Mini-Me Weekends at Level 1 Arcade

Level 1 Arcade welcomes kids every Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM. All ages are welcome to play arcade games and skeeball for free with the purchase of a beverage (kids’ beverages available)! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

8. Franklin County Days at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Franklin County residents receive half price admission to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. You need to show a valid ID or utility bill to prove your residency and receive the discount. See the details here.

9. Charitable Play at Recreations Outlet

If we still have a few more weeks of Winter ahead of us, you may want to take your energetic preschoolers to Recreation’s Outlet to get out all that excess energy! Regular price for indoor play is normally $6 or $8 per child for up to two hours, depending on the day. If you take advantage of Charitable Play hours (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM) not only can your kids can play for a donation of only $2/child, but also 50% of the proceeds on those days are donated to charity!

10. Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Kids 5 and under in certain zip codes in Franklin County are eligible to receive one free book a month through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program. Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio are partnering to administer the program here in Central Ohio. You can get an application at local libraries or check your eligibility and enroll online. Check the link for all the details!

**What are you favorite Columbus Life Hacks? I’d love to hear them! Click here to tell me your favorites!**


Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

ICYMI: Indoor Fun Around Columbus: 6 Things to do Before Spring

*Please be aware,  information is gathered from multiple community sources.  Times, dates and locations are subject to change. There may be a fee to participate in a featured activity.  Please call ahead or check links to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*

  • 5

Save Money on LEGO® Sets with BrickSmarts

If you’ve followed my Instagram account for more than 2 seconds, you probably already know that my oldest son lives and breathes LEGO® bricks! I can vividly remember the time I walked through the LEGO store when he was just a toddler and thought to myself, “These sets are so cool! I can’t wait until he’s into LEGO!” And then I looked at the price tag and said, “just kidding!” Well, that day is here, and now he’s the one drooling over the amazing sets at the LEGO store!

Since the first moment my son locked eyes with those multi-colored bricks, I have been on the prowl for used LEGO sets! Whether it be at consignment sales, second hand stores or directly from friends and relatives, I have made it my mission to save as much money as I can because let’s be honest, they’re not cheap! When I was offered the opportunity to partner with BrickSmarts, it was a no-brainer! In full disclosure, I received a free LEGO set from BrickSmarts in exchange for this blog post, but the story of my experience and any opinions are my own! While we’re talking disclaimers, here’s another one: LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site. Okay, now on to the details!

(Make sure to read to the end for a special discount for my readers!!)

Mandy Gandhi is a mom, just like us, who has boys with a LEGO brick obsession! When her sons stopped playing with certain sets, she would resell them online and use the money to buy new sets! Like mine, her sons didn’t care if the LEGO sets they were playing with were used or not! Mandy turned this practice into an awesome online business called BrickSmarts. By taking used LEGO sets, finding missing pieces and manuals, cleaning them and packaging them up in reusable pouches, she can provide you with a “like-new” LEGO set at a fraction of the cost! You can read her story here!

Honestly, I don’t know how she does it! My son’s manuals look like they went through the washer, dryer and then a paper shredder. The manuals we received looked brand new! The bricks were completely clean and looked brand new as well! I’ve had to clean some used LEGO blocks in my lifetime, and this was not the case with BrickSmarts! BrickSmarts LEGO sets are cleaned without any harsh chemicals. The best part is the price! Most of the sets on BrickSmarts are sold for 40% off the retail price and some are at an even greater discount! There is even a page for sets that are selling for under $10!

The set I chose for my son was #76005 Daily Bugle Showdown featuring Spider Man! The pieces were in excellent condition and there wasn’t a single piece missing from the set!

The set came packaged in a resealable plastic bag. The only one issue I had in this entire process is that the bag had a tear in it. No pieces fell out in the process, but I’m guessing that one of the LEGO bricks tore a hole in it during transport. Mandy let me know that they are looking into a different option for bags. This wasn’t a big deal to me because I knew we were ultimately not going to store the LEGO bricks in the bag (sounds nice, but it’s just not going to happen at my house (yet!)).

My son loves this set and has taken it apart and put it back together more times than I can count!

I will be checking BrickSmarts first before every birthday and holiday!

Thanks to BrickSmarts for offering my readers a special discount! On top of the already reduced prices, through the end of February, BrickSmarts is offering my readers a 10% discount on their online purchases! By using the code BLOG10, you will receive an extra 10% off at check out! You can shop the current inventory here! Please share this opportunity with your friends whose kids are into LEGO bricks!


Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

ICYMI: 5 on Friday: Columbus Bakeries

  • 5