The Go-To Guide: Top Central Ohio Play Places
Editor's note: Hoot Studio in Powell, which was included on the original version of this list, has closed. We have removed the listing from the online version of The Go-To Guide.
Playing outdoors is a great way to burn off energy. But there are going to be times during the winter months when your kids are going to profess they’re both bored and too cold, and they start climbing the walls.
Fortunately, Central Ohio offers an abundance of fun places for children to play and for parents to watch—or participate. And many are year-round destinations.
We’ve put together a list of some of the most popular play places in the region. Many have separate areas for preschool-aged children, and some offer classes and other programming. You’ll also find amenities such as parent seating, separate café or lounge areas, and food and drink menus.
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Before planning a visit, call or check online to verify prices, hours and other details, such as age and height restrictions. For venues that offer classes as well as public sessions, hours listed are “open play” times.
To suggest a location we should consider adding to our list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4050 W. Broad St., Columbus; 614-272-7888;buckeyeraceway.com
It sounds like a go-kart course, and it is. But Buckeye Raceway also offers laser tag, ax throwing and footbowl (which blends football and bowling). Go-karts come in two speeds. Adult riders must be at least 56” tall and 12 years old, while juniors must be over 48” tall and 8 years old. A single race is $19. Laser tag is $10 per mission. Footbowl is $10 per person per hour.
Hours: 2-10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays; and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays
Galaxy Games & Golf
3700 Interchange Road, Columbus; 614-351-8400;galaxygamesandgolf.com
Galaxy’s two miniature golf courses are open year-round, conditions permitting, and there’s other fun to be had in a three-level indoor FunGym and an arcade. Admission, based on age, is $2.99 to $5.99 for the FunGym and $5.99 to $6.99 for golf.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays
Grand Prix Karting
1300 Alum Creek Drive, Columbus; 614-246-3278;gpkcolumbus.com
Kids can race on quarter-mile indoor tracks, compete in tactical laser tag or find their way out of an escape room. There’s also a Kid Zone for ages 4-7 with smaller carts, mini golf and a play area. Races cost $19.99 for one race ($54.99 for three); laser tag is $16 for two games; and escape rooms are $30 per player on weekends. Kid Zone races are $6; mini golf games are $2; and access to the play area is $6.
Hours: Varies between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. based on days and attractions.
459 Orange Point Drive, Suite B, Lewis Center; 740-548-7788; 5524 N. Hamilton Road, Gahanna; 614-656-8216;lazerkraze.com
In addition to laser tag, kids and adults alike can play in the arcade as well as on inflatables at the Lewis Center location, or a trampoline park and Cyber Sport area (think: lacrosse mixed with bumper cars) in Gahanna. For parents, there’s a bar area with craft (and macro) brews available. Laser tag is $8 per person; access to inflatables is $8; 30 minutes of trampoline park access is $9.50; and Cyber Sport is $12 per game.
Hours: Lewis Center: 4-8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 4-11 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays (11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Munchkin Madness, with laser tag reserved for younger players); noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. Gahanna: noon to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; noon to midnight Fridays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays
Magic Mountain Fun Center
8350 Lyra Drive, Columbus; 614-840-9600;magicmountainfuncenter.com/polaris
5890 Scarborough Blvd., Columbus; 614-892-3335;magicmountainfuncenter.com/east
Both Magic Mountain locations have a mix of indoor and outdoor attractions, including arcade games, go-kart racing and mini golf. East also has batting cages, bumper cars and a laser maze, while Polaris offers laser tag, climbing areas and bumper boats. Prices vary by location and attraction; note that ticket prices are reduced if bought online.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays
Putt N Play
4021 Thistlewood Drive, Grove City; 614-594-0077;puttnplayfuncenter.com
Mini golf is a main attraction at Putt N Play, but there’s also an arcade, batting cages and soccer cages in this mostly outdoor family fun center, open seasonally. Golf is $7.50 for adults and $6.50 for kids; batting and soccer cage tokens are $2.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Generally operates Memorial Day through Labor Day.
650 Windmiller Drive, Pickerington; 614-864-7853;rule3.com
Families can bowl, play volleyball (seasonally) and tackle one of the area’s most unique arcades. There is also a full-service bar and grill with beer and wine. Bowling lanes are $20 per hour; minibowling is $2 to $3 per game at certain times of the week.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays
5033 Tuttle Crossing Blvd., Dublin; 614-495-8660;scene75.com/columbus
This new mega-sized indoor gaming, play and activity destination opened in the fall at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing. Go-karting, a laser maze, drop tower, archery tag, karaoke booth and 4D motion theater are among more than 20 attractions, plus there’s an arcade with more than 200 games. Pricing is by attraction; a SuperPass includes five attractions plus the arcade for $39.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays
6314 Cosgray Road, Dublin; 614-791-3003;sportsohio.org
SportsOhio’s 100-acre complex offers a variety of activities including baseball, kickball, volleyball, FootGolf, mini golf and go-karts.
Hours: Activities and hours vary seasonally.
Ten Pin Alley
5499 Ten Pin Alley, Hilliard; 614-876-2475;tenpinalley.com
Ten Pin Alley has bowling, but also bocce ball, an arcade and an underwater- steampunk-themed laser tag arena. It also offers a full-service restaurant with a respectable craft beer list. Bowling lanes are $26 to $38 per hour; bocce courts are free of charge during open play; and laser tag is $5 to $7 per game.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays
PLAY GYMS AND MORE
Central Park at Westerville Christian Church
471 E. College Ave., Westerville; 614-682-6472;wcchurch.life/centralpark
Hosted by Westerville Christian Church, this play place for ages 2-12 offers an enclosed tunnels-and-nets area and a place for kids to socialize. The area is free and open to the public during scheduled times. Socks are required.
Hours: 10-11:30 a.m. the first, third and fourth Tuesdays and Thursdays of the month, as well as the first, second and third Saturdays. The schedule follows that of the Westerville City School District, so the venue is closed when there’s no school.
Fun in the Jungle
345 McGill St., Sunbury; 740-913-0692;funinthejungle.com
There’s plenty for little animals to do, including a play area, arcade, minibowling, Nerf wars and more. Separate jungle gyms are available for toddlers and older children. The arcade is $8 per person (all day); jungle gyms are $7 per child (all day); minibowling is $2.25 per person per game; and mini roller skating is $4.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays; and 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sundays
710 Cross Pointe Blvd., Gahanna; 614-571-1220;gymskills.com
Families can get physical at this gymnastics-centered facility offering balance beams, bars and a foam pit during open gym hours. Toddler-specific hours and classes also are available. Open gym rates are $15 for nonmembers. Toddler open gym is $12.
Hours: 7-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Toddler hours are 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, and 9:30 a.m. to noon and 5:30-7 p.m. Fridays.
7708 Green Meadows Drive, Suite A, Lewis Center; 740-549-3547;gymx-treme.com
Gym X-Treme offers gymnastics classes, but you don’t have to tumble to have fun here. During open gym time, kids have access to a foam pit, in-ground trampoline, rock climbing wall and various mats, bars and balance beams to practice cartwheels or create an obstacle course. There is a separate area for preschoolers. Admission is $10.
Hours: 8-10 p.m. Fridays, with daytime sessions from noon to 1 p.m. select Wednesdays and Thursdays during the school year
The Jungle Gymnastics Adventure Center
325 S. Sandusky St., Delaware; 740-363-7552;thejunglegym.biz
This longstanding venue teaches gymnastics as a building block for all sports and also offers parkour. The gym has an indoor climbing wall, balance beam, zip line and other obstacles. Open gym sessions are $10 for ages 3 and older, $5 for ages 1-2.
Hours: 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Saturdays
704 Radio Drive, Lewis Center; 740-201-8764;momiland.com
This indoor playspace opened earlier in 2019. The 5,690-square-foot indoor playground features a slide, ball pit, foam pit, trampolines, a climbing wall and more. There’s also a motion-sensor interactive area. Admission is $15 for the first child, $10 for each additional child. Children younger than age 2 are $10, and those under 12 months are free with a paid sibling. Memberships and other activities are offered.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays
2620 Sawmill Place Blvd., Columbus; 614-537-09441;ninjaciti.com
This new ninja warrior-themed indoor fitness and play space was scheduled to open in late November. Ninja Citi boasts more than 100 obstacles and 12 courses, plus parkour and a rock wall. The business has open gym times as well as classes for children and adults. Open gym rate is $15 for the first hour; family specials and memberships are available.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays
484 W. Olentangy St., Powell; 614-792-3700;recreationsoutlet.com
Yes, Recreations Outlet is a playset retailer, but it also offers a large indoor play area with basketball hoops, trampolines, swing sets and an Amish-built playhouse. Kids can play for $6 on weekdays and $8 on weekends and school holidays, or for $2 during charitable play hours, when a portion of proceeds are donated to a nonprofit.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Charitable play hours are 9-11 a.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays.
Urban Air Adventure Park
6314 E. Livingston Ave., Reynoldsburg; 614-739-1654;urbanairtrampolinepark.com
Urban Air Adventure Park, which opened this fall, offers jumping, climbing, bouncing and dropping in ninja-themed, gladiator-themed and fun-themed areas. Admission begins at $13.99; $29.99 provides full access. Customers must purchase socks for $3.
Hours: 3-8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 3-10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays
We Rock the Spectrum Gym
1250 E. Powell Road, Lewis Center; 614-396-8773;werockthespectrumcolumbus.com
We Rock the Spectrum Gym offers a specialized place for kids with special needs to play with other children. During open play, all equipment and activities are available for supervised use, including a zip line, sensory-based toys and an arts and crafts area. Open play is $12 per child.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. (Call to confirm availability on weekends.)
The Mall at Tuttle Crossing
5043 Tuttle Crossing Blvd., Dublin; 614-798-3023;
The STEAM-themed (science, technology, engineering, art and math) play area in the middle of the mall gives kids a place to let off some steam during long shopping trips. Stations feature topical activities, including an art gallery and an engineering wall, and there’s also an area for toddlers.
Hours: Open during mall hours, typically 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Polaris Fashion Place
1500 Polaris Parkway, Columbus; 614-456-0120;polarisfashionplace.com
The mall’s zoo-themed play area means that shoppers can get a taste of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in the midst of a host of stores and eateries. Open to children under 48 inches tall, the play space features a large tree with a slide, as well as plenty of other animals to climb on, under and around. Parents can watch from an outer ring of seats.
Hours: Open during mall hours, typically 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.
The Shops at Worthington Place
7227 N. High St., Worthington; 614-841-1110;shopworthingtonplace.com
There are two play areas at The Shops at Worthington Place: one inside and one outside. The smallish indoor play area is designed to look like an outdoor park with trees and grass. Outdoors, the Johnny Appleseed Garden offers a place to play and explore and learn about this Ohio icon.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The outdoor play area closes at dusk.
Småland at IKEA
1900 IKEA Way, Columbus; 888-888-4532;ikea.com/us/en
If for some reason your kids aren’t as interested as you in exploring the cool stuff at IKEA, the store offers Småland, a free, supervised play area. Parents can check kids in for up to 90 minutes; children must be fully potty-trained and 37-54 inches tall. Admission is first-come, first-served.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sundays. (Småland closes before the store.)
1645 Gateway Circle, Grove City; 614-957-5382;bigbouncegrovecity.com
Big Bounce caters to the whole family with open and age-specific jump times, as well as classes for adults, kids and children with special needs. All jumpers must wear bounce socks ($3). Admission is priced by the hour, generally $10 to $12 on weekdays and $14 on weekends.
Hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Sundays and Mondays; 3-8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays. Preschool open jumps are offered from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesdays through Thursdays. A Toddler Time open jump takes place at 10 a.m. Saturdays.
The Bounce Club
3967 Presidential Parkway, Powell; 614-792-2582;thebounceclub.com
Lessons in a variety of skills are offered by appointment, but the whole family can bounce during open jump times, with separate sessions for preschoolers. Bounce socks ($3) are required. Open jumps are priced by the hour, generally $10 to $12 on weekdays and $14 on weekends.
Hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Sundays and Mondays; 3-8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays. Preschool open jumps are 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesdays through Thursdays, with a special Toddler Time at 10 a.m. Saturdays.
3708A Fishinger Blvd., Hilliard; 614-335-9864;getairsports.com/columbus
1075 Hill Road N., Pickerington; 614-490-1286;getairsports.com/pickerington
Trampolines, foam pits, dodgeball, ninja obstacles and more await at Get Air, which recently opened a second Central Ohio location in Pickerington. A separate “Little Air” area with a foam pit is for children under 46 inches tall. Parents can watch from benches or massage chairs. Open jump rates are $14 for the first hour, $9 for kids under 46 inches tall. Jump socks ($3) are required.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; noon to 9 p.m. Tuesdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Toddler Time is 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 9 to 11 a.m. Sundays.
Kids can bounce on the trampolines, put that jumping to use in the Slam Dunk Zone, or compete in the dodgeball or Vertical Ops areas. Parents can exercise with their kids or watch from the sidelines, perhaps with a snack from the in-house café. There are designated times for toddlers. Jump socks ($2.50) are required. An hour of open jump time is $10 for ages 6 and younger, $15 for ages 7 and older. Rockin’ Tots is $12 for one parent and child.
Hours: Open jump and Rockin’ Tots hours vary by location.
459 Orange Point Drive, Suite E, Lewis Center; 740-548-4004;skyzone.com/columbus
Kids of all ages can jump on trampolines, dive into a foam pit or compete in Ultimate Dodgeball. Sky Zone also offers toddler-specific jump hours, fitness classes and special times for individuals with special needs. Jump socks ($2) are required. The hourly open jump rate is $15. Toddler Time is $10 per child, and one parent jumps for free. Wacky Wednesdays offers unlimited jumping for $25 every week.
Hours: 4-8 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 4-9 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. Toddler time is 11 a.m. to noon Sundays and 9:30-11 a.m. Fridays.
5745 Chantry Drive, Columbus; 614-845-8970;trampolinextreme.com
In addition to trampolines, this venue also has inflatables and other activities for children and adults, including dodgeball, basketball, battle ball, freefalling and more. A half-hour of jump time is $10 for ages 7 and older, $8 for ages 6 and younger. Hourly rates are $14 and $10, respectively.
Hours: 4-9 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays
Firefly Play Cafe
4822 N. High St. (Clintonville), Columbus; 614-230-2375;fireflyplaycafe.com
Firefly Play Cafe has been open since 2010, offering kids a place to play while their parents hang out. There’s no shortage of things to do, including riding, climbing, playing and learning. Special activities are included with admission; check their Facebook page for dates and times. Admission is $10 for children 24 months and older, $6 for ages 12-24 months and free for infants. Memberships are available.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (to 8 p.m. the first Friday of each month); 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays
Fun Town Play and Learn Café
2000 Hard Road, Columbus; 614-285-7503;facebook.com/funtowncafe
Organized activities and free play to get little ones’ minds and bodies going is the focus at Fun Town. Zumba, language classes and music programs are offered alongside toys and games for younger kids. Admission is $7, $12 for two children, $15 for three.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays
The Naz Playplace
Grove City Church of the Nazarene, 4770 Hoover Road, Grove City; 614-305-2034;thenaz.tv
The Naz Playplace is part of the Naz Commons at Grove City Church of the Nazarene, which also includes a café and a bookstore. This indoor play area features a multilevel play structure with tunnels and slides. Socks and registration are required. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays; and 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays
Pea Pod Play Cafe
4874 Thompson Road, Gahanna; 614-855-2517;peapodplaycafe.com
Pea Pod Play Cafe features unique, interactive toys, an obstacle course and play sets depicting an ice cream truck, kitchen and teahouse for those 7 and younger. Coffee is local from Stauf’s. Admission is $10, $4 for crawlers. Discounts are offered for two or more children. Classes are available.
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
Piccadilly Modern Play & Creative Cafe
2501 E. Main St., Bexley; 614-725-0204;piccadillydally.com
Piccadilly offers a variety of classes for children and adults, and drop-off play is available on certain dates (check the website). There is a separate area for smaller children and a café that sells food and drinks. Admission is $9 for the first child ages 2 and older, $7 ages 12-24 months and $5 for siblings. Happy hours and other discounts are offered. Children younger than 12 months are admitted free. Memberships are available.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays; and 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays
Tree of Life Play + Cafe
3708 Fishinger Blvd., Hilliard; 614-363-4041;treeoflifeplaycafe.com
Tree of Life features a multilevel play area with tunnels, a slide and a ball pit designed for kids up to 46 inches tall or ages 5 and younger. Food and drinks, including Saving Grace Coffee, are available for purchase. The shop also offers classes on various topics. Admission is $8.99, $1 off for siblings. All admission is $7 after 5 p.m.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; and 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturdays