The Complete List of Columbus Play Cafes

This list of Columbus’ indoor play areas and play cafes will keep you sane this winter!

I can’t remember anything like play cafes existing when I was a kid! And mostly I know, deep down inside, these places were invented for the adults more than the kids. 😉 Play cafes offer everything that’s good about an at-home play date minus everything that could go wrong. Nothing can get broken, there’s room to run, you don’t have to prepare a meal and you get to have a half-way decent conversation with your mom-friend while the kids are entertained! Here’s a list of Columbus’ Play Cafes and Indoor Play Areas. After reading this list, don’t forget to check out 6 Free or Cheap Indoor Places for Kids to Run Wild in Columbus or my list of 20 Free Indoor Play Areas in Columbus (it’s technically 21 because I keep it updated! 🙂 ).

Disclaimer: several of the play cafes listed here hosted my family to aid in the completion of this list. *Please make sure to check individual website links as hours of operation, special features and pricing may change with the seasons!*

1. Firefly Play Cafe

Location: 4822 N. High St., Columbus OH, 43214
Phone: 614-230-2375
Features: Indoor play area, coffee and snacks, birthday parties and special guests like Mr. Eric’s Music

Price: Kids age 12-24 months: $5, Kids 24 months and up: $8, Adults and children under 12 months: free

How to Save: Monthly and Quarterly Memberships are available

2. piccadilly

Location: 2501 E. Main St., Bexley, OH 43209
Phone: 614-725-0204
Features: Play area plus programs like toddler art classes, little sprouts yoga, culinary institute of piccadilly, and more. Also hosts parent’s play date where you can drop your kids off and have a night out. Cafe on site.

Price: Day Pass: $8 for first child, $5 for each additional sibling. Piccadilly Express Pass (35 min play): $4, Children up to 12 months are FREE, Kids ages 11 years and up are FREE.

How to Save: Happy Hours Special: $5 per child from 2:00-5:00 PM, purchase a membership for unlimited play and discounts on programming.

3. peapod play cafe

Location: 4874 Thompson Rd., Columbus, OH 43230
Phone: 614-855-2517
Features: Indoor play area for kids 7 and under, coffee bar, art classes and special events, birthday parties

Price: Walkers through age 7: $10.00 per child, $6.00 for each additional child, Three or more children: $4.00 each additional child, Adults and sibling age 8 and up: Free

How to Save: Happy Hour happens the last hour of each day and cost is just $5 per kid! You can also purchase a 10 visit punch card for $70.

More Details: See 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Julie Borm

4. Tree of Life Play + Cafe

Location: 3708 Fishinger Blvd., Hilliard OH 43026
Phone: 614-363-4041
Features: Indoor play area, cafe with full menu, birthday parties, coffee, special events

Price: $6.99 per child

How to Save: On Mondays and Tuesdays $9.99 admission includes a kids meal. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, $10 admission includes an hour of jump time at Get Air (next door) from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM.

More Details: See 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Helen Bosacki 

5. Fun in the Jungle

Location: 345 McGill St., Sunbury, OH 43074
Phone: 740-913-0692
Features: large indoor play area, toddler soft play zone, mini bowling, virtual reality games, cafe with food and drinks, arcade games, parties, special needs sensory hours on the first Sunday of each month.

Price: Play place: $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.

How to Save: Toddler Hours for ages 4 and under happen on Saturday from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM and are $2/child, Weekday special is $5 for play place and $5 for arcade Tuesday-Thursday.

6. Recreations Outlet

Location: 484 W. Olentangy/Powell Rd., Powell, Ohio 43065
Phone: 614-792-3700
Features: 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

How to Save: 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!

7. KidsGym Playland at Magic Mountain

Location: Polaris: 8350 Lyra Drive, Columbus, OH 43240, East: 5890 Scarborough Blvd., Columbus, OH 43232
Phone: Polaris: 614-840-9600 East: 614-892-3335
Features: Playland for kids 58 inches and under, includes a climbing gym with interactive elements

Price: Ages 3 and up: $5 on weekdays and $6.50 on weekends Kids under age 3: $3

How to Save: 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.

8. Blue Monkey Parties and Events

Location: 591 Hill Rd. N., Pickerington, OH 43147
Phone: 614-828-8236
Features: Mostly available for parties, the center offers 5 inflatable areas, green screen and carnival games for birthday parties and events, however open play hours are available throughout the week. Visit their calendar for details.

Price: $10/child during open play hours

How to Save: Toddler hours for ages 1-4 are Thursdays from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM and are $7 for the first child, $5 for each additional child.

More Details: See: 3 Things to Do With Your Kids in Pickerington

9. little kidspace at COSI

Location: 333 West Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674
Features: Within COSI, kids 1st grade and under can play in the little kidspace on the second floor. This huge space includes water play, an art studio, imaginative play area including farm stand, house, barn and truck. Other play area features a medical theme with a doctor’s office, ambulance, helicopter and more!

Price: $25 for those age 13 and up, $20 for kids age 2-12, kids under 2 are free. Price includes admission to the entire museum.

How to Save: A membership is a must here to save money. While there are several membership levels, the Basic Family membership is $149/year. If you live in or relatively near Columbus, you could conceivably come here once a week, making your cost per visit less than $3 for the whole family!

10. The FunGym at Galaxy Golf and Games

Location: 3700 Interchange Rd., Columbus, OH 43204
Phone: 614-351-8400
Features: The whole facility includes mini-golf, an arcade, party rooms and a FunGym. The FunGym includes ball pits, climbing, slides, tunnels and more. There is also a toddler area with a play house, ball pit and ride-on toys.

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

How to Save: Combos are available to include golf (seasonal) and the arcade. A Pizza Fun Deal features a large cheese pizza, pitcher, 15 tokens and a choice of two admissions to FunGym or Golf.

*Please make sure to check individual website links as hours of operation, special features and pricing may change with the seasons!


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ICYMI: 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Malini Swank




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What Should We Do This Weekend? December 8-10, 2017 Holiday Edition!

Tons of holiday events continue this weekend! Happy Weekend and Happy Holidays!


Wildlights – see fantastic light displays, special visitors and performances from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM each night through January 1, 2018.

Twelve Elves of Dublin – during the month of December your family can go on the 12 Elves of Dublin scavenger hunt! Pick up your 12 Elves Card and hunt for an elf at each of the participating locations. At each stop your kids will receive a prize when they find it!

Gardens Aglow – Gardens Aglow offers special holiday decorations, performances and evening hours at Franklin Park Conservatory. Throughout the season live music and special events are scheduled and the Conservatory is decorated for the holidays. From December 1-31 (except for the 24th and 25th) they are open until 9:00 PM. There will be special family-friendly activities happening all through the season!

Christmas Corner at State Auto Insurance – walk through a life-sized nativity following the Christmas story! Choirs are scheduled on Friday and Saturday evenings through December 23rd and free hot chocolate (donations accepted!) will be available on those evenings!

Think Outside the Brick – visit the Columbus Museum of Art for a huge LEGO display, special LEGO open build hours on Saturdays and LEGO Holiday decorations!

Downtown Lights – visit Columbus Commons and Bicentennial Park for festive light displays!

Holiday Parties at Columbus Recreation and Parks – check the link for all the dates for the Holiday Parties at each Columbus Recreation Center!


  • 9:30 AM – Toddler Time with Santa Claus at Sky Zone Columbus – Enjoy stories and songs with Mrs. Claus and a visit from Santa! Purchase tickets online!
  • 4:00 PM – Make & Take Ornaments at The Smithery – Make and take your own hand stamped ornaments! All ages are welcome!
  • 5:00 PM – Pictures with SANTA, Horses & Pony Rides

 in Grove City, Ohio – take pictures with Santa and take pony rides. Several times all weekend. Check the link for details on how to reserve a spot!
  • 5:30 PM – Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village  – this event takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday and includes a world inspired by Charles Dickens! There will be carols, holiday decorations, craft and cooking demonstrations and more!
  • 6:00 PM – Festivus 2017

 at 400 West Rich – this event goes on all weekend and includes music, open studios, food trucks, vendors and more!
  • 7:00 PM – It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

 at Westerville South High School – this holiday favorite is going on all weekend at Westerville South HS.
  • 7:30 PM – 

Polar Express Weekend at COSI – this weekend and next you can watch Polar Express on the big screen at COSI. Several times available throughout the weekend.
  • 7:30 PM – Messiah Sing-ALong with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra at Southern Theatre – sing along with selections from Handel’s Messiah!


  • 8:00 AM – Holiday Character Breakfast presented by Meijer at CenterPoint Gahanna – this event includes breakfast, face painting, crafts, Santa, story time, and holiday characters! Purchase tickets online.
  • 8:45 AM – Breakfast with Santa!

 at Dave & Buster’s, Hilliard – your ticket includes breakfast, a $10 Power Card and unlimited video games, crafts, cookie decorating and the opportunity to take your own photos with Santa. Ticket sales end at 8:00 PM on Friday.
  • 9:00 AM – Family Gingerbread House Decorating at Young Chef’s Academy of Gahanna – the whole family can decorate their own Gingerbread House in a festive environment!
  • 9:00 AM – Breakfast with Santa Cow

 at Chick-Fil-A, Grove City – have breakfast with Santa Cow and enjoy a hot chocolate bar and crafts!
  • 9:00 AM – Breakfast with Santa at the Hilliard/Ray Patch Family YMCA – register for your seating time online and enjoy a warm breakfast and a meet and greet with Santa!
  • 9:00 AM – Holiday Open House

 at Hoover Gardens & Gift Center – enjoy hot apple cider and cookies and enjoy the gardens while you pick out your Christmas Tree. Happening on Sunday, too!
  • 9:00 AM – Free Breakfast with Santa

 at CrossLink Community Church – enjoy a free breakfast and pictures with Santa! You can also put a letter in Santa’s mailbox and enjoy live jazz music!
  • 9:00 AM – Visit with Santa at the Herb Center – visit with Santa and his elves, write a letter to Santa and make a gift with Mrs. Claus!
  • 10:00 AM – Holiday Toy Drive at Nationwide Children’s Hospital – literally drive through to drop off a donation for the patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital! See the top 10 Wish List at the link.
  • 10:00 AM – 

Jack Hanna’s Home for the Holidays, featuring Santa Paws

 at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – bring an approved enrichment gift for the animals and get one free admission to Wildlights. The animals will be given special treats and Jack Hanna will take the Animals on Safari Stage for 3 shows that evening.
  • 10:00 AM – Storytelling Childhood Memories

 at Coffee Connections of Hilliard, LLC – join Hilliard community members as they tell stories from their childhood. There will be hot cocoa, pastries and each kid will get a small gift. RSVP at the link.
  • 10:00 AM – Saturday Morning Cartoons – December Edition

 – for $5/person you can watch retro TV cartoons and enjoy a bowl of cereal!
  •  10:00 AM – Christmas Open House at Hanby House – enjoy hot cider and Christmas music at the home of the composer of “Up on the Housetop”.
  • 10:00 AM – Family Day at Pizzuti Collection – experience art in a family-friendly environment that includes activity books, crafts and Gallery Journeys. See our visit to Pizzuti Collection here.
  • 11:00 AM – Holiday Ornament Craft at Franklin Park Conservatory – fill an ornament with your choice of decorations! $2/ornament.
  • 11:00 AM –The Royals Project Holiday Gala at Aladdin Shrine Center – join The Royals Project for their Holiday Gala! The event includes professional photos, Santa Claus, over 30 princesses, princes and superheroes and your ticket price goes toward helping families in need.
  • 11:00 AM – Home for the Holidays – Family Fun Day

 in Uptown Westerville – the shops of Uptown Westerville will offer crafts, cookie decorating, letters to Santa and more!
  • 12:00 PM – Letters To Santa 2017 – Day 1

 at Ohio Railway Museum – Kids can write a letter to Santa and mail it in the Railway Post Office Car, visit with Mrs. Claus, make christmas crafts and ornaments and take a train ride!
  • 12:30 PM – Uptown Scrooge – this walking tour of Uptown Westerville takes place on Saturday and Sunday and includes a performance of Dicken’s The Christmas Carol.
  • 1:00 PM – Holiday Trolley Hop in The Discovery District – free trolley rides will be given through the Discovery District and there will be activities, crafts and special tours at the various stops! Bring a donation for local non-profits!
  • 1:00 PM – Free Shamrock Ornament Craft at Terra Gallery – kids can paint a shamrock ornament for free! Stop in to do this activity while you’re hunting for the 12 Elves of Dublin!
  • 1:00 PM – 

Kid’s Cookie Decorating

 at Lucky’s Market Columbus – at this free event, kids can decorate freshly baked cookies! See the link for instructions on how to RSVP.
  • 2:00 PM – Grand Opening at Musicologie Westerville – the grand opening of Musicologie in Westerville includes cookies and cocoa, faceprinting, mini-lessons, a visit from Santa, music from The Shazzbots and beer from The Daily Growler!

4:00 PM – Historic Christmas Tour

 in Grove City – this event involves several locations throughout Grove City! There will be a model train display, live music, holiday displays, visits from Santa and more!


  • 11:00 AM – Pictures with Santa Claus

 at Tractor Supply Co., Pickerington – bring your family and your pets for pictures with Santa. $10/picture.
  • 11:00 AM – Pizza School to benefit RMHC

 at Dewey’s Pizza – Grandview – make a reservation for a fun day at Dewey’s Pizza which includes mimosas, pizza and salad buffet and lessons on how to toss, top and cook your own pizza. All of the proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio.
  • 1:00 PM – 

Frozen Adventure CAMP – Meet The Snow Queen, Snow Princesses and Star Smiling Snowman! There will be songs, dance, a craft, story time, dress up and more! For ages 4 1/2 to 7.
  • 1:00 PM – Cookies with Santa!

 at Coffee Connections of Hilliard – visit with Santa and decorate a cookie! $1.50/cookie
  • 2:00 PM – Christmas Open House

 at Orange Johnson House – Enjoy “An Old Time Christmas” at the Orange Johnson House which includes a musical ensemble and light refreshments.
  • 3:00 PM – Santa in the Caboose at the Historical Village at Weaver Park – at this event you can take your own picture with Santa, take a horse drawn wagon ride, enjoy live music, activities and refreshments!
  • 3:00 PM – 

Sensory Friendly Visit with Santa!

 at Ohio Herb Education Center – children who need a more relaxed environment can visit Santa in a low-key environment. A photo is included in the price. Check online for ticket availability.
  • 3:00 PM – Free Family-friendly Library Concert w/ ProMusica String Quartet

 at Columbus Metropolitan Library – enjoy music inspired by the ocean! This is a free, family-friendly concert.

A big thank you to Musicologie for sponsoring this post!

Musicologie provides simply delightful music lessons for any age and ability on virtually every instrument. Our teachers are friendly and experienced music explorers who create a comfortable and positive community through private instruction, group classes, and concerts. Locations in Grandview Heights, and now in Westerville! Visit Check out the Grand Opening event this Saturday at the Westerville location!

Want to sponsor What Should We Do This Weekend? Click here!


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ICYMI: How to Rock the 12 Elves of Dublin Scavenger Hunt

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5 on Friday: Holiday Trains

Here are trains and train related events going on around Columbus during the holiday season! Your train lovers will be in heaven!

1. Holiday Train at Ohio History Connection

There is a Lionel Model Railroad set up at the Ohio History Center during their holiday season. Kids can interact with the train set, pressing buttons to make the trains go!

When: Late November – Early January
Where: 800 E. 17th. Ave., Columbus OH 43211

2. Holiday Train at Main Library

Main Library is home to the Huntington Holiday Train and every year this amazing display is set up during the holiday season! The train is usually on display through New Years!

When: November 24, 2017 – Early January, 2017
Where: 96 S. Grant Ave. Columbus, OH 43215

3. Holiday Open House at Central Ohio Model Railroad Club

Every Saturday and Sunday in December you can visit Central Ohio Model Railroad Club during their Holiday Open House. They have an extensive lay out including an interactive Thomas the Train set up. Admission is free!

When: Each Saturday and Sunday in December from 12:00-4:00 PM.
Where: 6471 Proprietors Rd., Worthington, OH 43085

4. Paul Busse Railway at Franklin Park Conservatory

Gardens Aglow offers special holiday decorations, performances and evening hours at Franklin Park Conservatory. There is always a beautiful train display created from natural materials!

When: November 11, 2017 – January 3, 2018: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, December: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Where: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203

5. Letters to Santa at Ohio Railway Museum

Photo provided by Ohio Railway Museum

Kids can write a letter to santa and mail it in the Railroad Post office Car. The event includes a free photo with Mrs. Claus, ornament and craft making and a train ride!

When: December 9 & 10,16 & 17, 2017
Where: 990 Proprieters Rd., Worthington, OH 43085


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ICYMI: 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions

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