For families, summers in Miami can mean lots of things. They can mean trips with your kids to the beach, splash pad, or park and weekday cookouts in the backyard. But they can also mean stormy weather, insufferable heat, and the ever-dreaded mosquitoes, all of which result in plenty of kids whining, “I’m bored!”
Fortunately, there are plenty of fun indoor playgrounds where little ones can burn up all that energy, saving your sanity. And if you’re looking for the best ones in town, look no further than this list.
1. Pod 22
Pod 22 is a tired mama’s dream come true. It’s not just an indoor playground. It’s a nail spa and Wi-Fi lounge disguised as a kids' play place. Let your children (up to age 9) roam about, climb, run, jump, and explore while Pod 22 employees supervise. At the same time, you can use your laptop, spend some time reading, get a manicure, and enjoy some healthy snacks while watching your kiddos from afar. It’s the perfect place for parents who need to get a little work or rest while their children play.
8101 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 102, Miami; 305-456-4791.
2. Silly Monkeys Playhouse
This membership-based indoor playground offers plenty of activities for babies and toddlers to enjoy, especially in the realms of music and art. Open play is available Thursday afternoon, but kids are encouraged to sign up for classes any day of the week, many of which are offered in Spanish as well as English. Monkey See and Monkey Do classes allow your child to enjoy sensory play as well as time to roam the playground. Silly Monkeys also offers slightly more academic classes that involve learning numbers, letters, colors, and other subjects with the use of props and puppets. It's certainly a fun alternative to daycare or preschool.
3310 Virginia St., Coconut Grove; 305-444-4448.
3. Planet Kids
Located just a hop, skip, and jump from Wynwood, Planet Kids is a great spot for children to play and parents to caffeinate. There are two play sections, one for babies and young toddlers, and one for older kids. The youngsters' side offers soft toys, books, rocking horses, a little slide, a playhouse, and other age-appropriate activities. But for the 3-to-7 set, there’s a three-story play area with a slide, tunnels, ball pits, and other fun. And for parents, there’s the café, serving Nespresso coffee and tasty snacks.
2403 NE Second Ave., Suite 108, Miami; 305-573-1379.
4. My Gym
For your active tots, there’s always the ever-popular My Gym. If you’re a mom or know any, you’ve already heard of it. But if you’ve never gone, you might want to take My Gym up on its Free First Class offer. My Gym is essentially the gym for babies and youngsters. Instead of free weights and treadmills, though, there are tumbling mats, balance beams, slides, basketball hoops, and other equipment. Plus they offer tons of fun instructional classes, from pre-ballet to preschool prep to “kickers” (martial arts) and even Zumba.
Locations in Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, and Kendall.
5. Ninja Lounge
Chances are you won’t have much trouble persuading your kids to go to a place called Ninja Lounge. This North Miami indoor rec center is definitely not for babies. Still, it offers activities for toddlers and older kids and even adults that range from soft play jungle gyms, dodgeball courts, and a gymnastics obstacle course to trampolines, slides, building blocks, toy cars, arts and crafts, and a rock-climbing wall. You can buy single-attraction passes or monthly memberships. It’s definitely a great place to get a workout with your kids.
14401 NE 20th Ln., North Miami; 888-682-4318.