50+ Fantastic Indoor Play Ideas for Kids in Maryland (updated for 2020)
When the weather is horrible outside, come play at these top Indoor Play Areas for Kids in Baltimore and have a boatload of family fun! Updated for Winter 2020!
Baby, it’s cold outside! Ok, even if it hasn’t been that cold this year, at some point the weather will likely become gross and you and your kids will not want to play outside.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a go-to list of play options that both you and your kids will love?
Well, lucky for you, there are so many great options for indoor fun when the weather is too cold, rainy, or even hot. Sweet Pea and I have been to many of these places and we can recommend all of them. So, don’t let the weather get you down. Go forth and have a blast with these indoor play ideas for Fun Things to Do With Kids in Maryland.
And check out the Kid Friendly Maryland comprehensive resource for parents: Things To Do In Maryland With Kids!
Note: The hours vary between weekend and weekday play times. I tried to note if there was a significant difference for weekend play times.
The Baltimore County Public Library has two branches of this amazing children’s library, one in Woodlawn and the other is Rosedale. If your child is under 5 years old, you have to check out Storyville. Your kids could easily spend a few hours playing here. Check out my blog post about our experience here.
A new location opened in Annapolis in late fall 2018. Here is my review of this amazing play space! The original location of the Playseum is in Bethesda, this children’s museum is billed as a place where ‘kids create and parents relate.’ There are numerous city shop rooms where kids can get involved with hands on activities (some with additional fees) like decorating a cupcake, paint on a plexi-glass wall, or get a kid manicure. Also, the Playseum boasts one of the best Storytelling hours in the area.
Howard County’s amazing nature center is a great place to visit when the weather is ‘not nice’ outside. We have enjoyed visiting numerous times throughout the year. Click here for my review of the nature center.
There are tons of hands-on activities for young children including many hands-on nature exhibits, an interactive Forest Canopy walk through, and a Children’s Discovery Room that is complete with aquariums, books and puzzles, pretend play opportunities, and other opportunities to get interactive with nature.
Additionally, there are a number of upcoming family friendly events you will not want to miss. Check the website for more information on special events.
4. Other area nature centers that are totally wonderful include:
This fantastic nature center in Prince Georges County has a lot of fantastic activities that would appeal to young children. There is an indoor pond, many live animal exhibits, puppets, and other interactive exhibits. The center also has a number of great events including:
- Seasonal puppet shows
- Live animal shows
- Nature craft
There are two locations for this indoor playground showroom. However, at the one in Columbia, MD, kids can play for up to 2 hours on the weekends for $8. You can read about our experience here. This is a great option for burning energy on a rainy day.
7. Port Discovery–
Talk about bringing out the big guns. It is hard to beat Port Discovery for best indoor play venues in the area. In 2019, Port Discovery underwent major renovations. And they are amazing! You can read my in-depth review here.
Not to be overshadowed by its neighbor down the road (Port Discovery), the Maryland Science Center is one of the two ‘crown jewels’ of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. You can read my review here.
However, the bottom line is that I hesitated going to the Science Center because I thought it wasn’t age appropriate. Boy was I wrong. This museum can easily entertain a preschooler for an entire day. There is an area especially for young children, a planetarium that shows kid-friendly shows, and many other great, interactive exhibits.
Are you intimidated by the idea of bringing your child to an art museum? Well, the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore makes it an easy choice. Not only is the museum free (so, no big investment), but on the weekends, they host Drop-in Art Activities for Children, where kids can create art.
Additionally, most weekends the museum hold ArtKids Preschool programs that feature an interactive art, storytime, and hands-on session.
Speaking of kid-friendly art museums, AVAM is quirky and fun for kids of all ages (there is actually an exhibit where kids can push a fart button.. no lie). However, on select weekends this season, they will host Weekend Walk-In, a hands-on art exhibit where you get to make (and keep) art. Check back on their website for details.
This art museum in the heart of Baltimore really tries to cater to families. There is a family audio tour and family activity guides you can pick up. Also, the BMA holds Free Family Sunday events pretty much every Sunday afternoon. Upcoming events will give kids the chance to make paper crowns, sculpt animals, create a collage, and much more!
This totally awesome indoor playspace is located in Glen Burnie, MD. There are a lot of great features for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and grade school aged children. The best feature? The HUGE indoor sandbox!
Speaking of kid friendly AND Mom and Dad friendly, if you haven’t checked out Peace a Pizza in Catonsville, they are fantastic. Other than a chalkboard corner, there isn’t much by way of kid activities– even though the pizza is great, as is the ice cream from the adjoining bakery and ice cream shoppe.
However, Peace A Pizza regularly hosts special event nights like Pizza and Pajamas or craft nights. Other restaurants that are super fun for kids include:
14. Artsy Partsy–
Located in Pasadena, MD, Artsy Partsy is possibly the most fun art-related venue in Maryland. Artsy Partsy has Family Paint Night every Friday evening, drop in art activities most weekend afternoons, sewing classes, loads of art classes, special paint events, and more.
Part performance, part sheer awesomeness. Tickets to Medieval Times will definitely wow your kids, especially if they like horses, huge turkey legs, and lots of noise (I would not recommend for kids with sensory issues).
16. Paint Your Own Pottery Studios in Maryland:
Trust me. It’s a thing. And it isn’t just a thing for adults either. Kid-friendly walk-in pottery painting places are all over Maryland. Here are the ones that are highly recommended:
17. National Aquarium–
This amazing aquarium is a bit pricey, but if you are looking for a nice way to treat your kids and educate them at the same time, they will be mesmerized here. There are hands-on touch pools, a HUGE tank which houses tons of marine wildlife, a dolphin habitat, and the super cool buy super spooky black tip reef (Sharks!). You can read my review of the Aquarium here.
18. Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (Dulles Air and Space Museum)-
Talk about HUGE! Ok, seriously… your kids, even your young kids, will be absolutely enthralled by a visit to this museum. It is a bit of a hike from the Baltimore area (about an hour on a Saturday morning), but totally worth it. Your kids will get to see a space shuttle, as well as hundreds of other airplanes. These hangars are enormous. To read my review click here.
19. Badlands Playspace in Rockville, MD-
This amazing indoor playspace opened earlier this year and it has consistently been jam-packed ever since. Why? Because there are so many super fun play features! Kids can climb a mountain, experiment with tools, use large scale building materials to nurture their budding engineering interest, and more! Read our review about why you absolutely have to visit here.
20. Trampoline Parks
Trampoline parks are great fun for kids of all ages. There are toddler specific jump times during the week, but even on the weekends, the staff segregates jumpers based on height and weight. Here are a few area trampoline parks to check out:
21. Bounce Houses
A no-brainer for indoor fun. Get on the email list for these very popular bounce houses to be informed about when they have weekend open bounce availability.
If your kids are itching for the summer fun of pool play, why not take them to this indoor Water Park? Here is the catch– the North Arundel Aquatic Center does not allow swim diapers at all. Your kids have to be fully potty trained. So, this option is better for kids about age 3 and up.
23. B&O Railroad Museum–
Ok, I am just going to come out and say it. This is the PERFECT time to visit the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. Forget about Thomas the Train. If you want to have a low stress, high fun experience with your kids, check out this great museum now. You can read more about the museum here.
24. Kiddie Crusoe–
There are two locations for this amazingly kid-friendly indoor playground– Timonium and Belcamp. Indoor fun activities include a Kiddie City Play Arena, Inflatable Bounce Area, Ultimate Playset Arena, and Gaming Stations. Additionally, Monday and Tuesdays are specifically designed to cater to toddlers and preschoolers.
25. Go Bowling With Your Kids!-
I didn’t even consider this possibility until my daughter was invited to a birthday party at a bowling alley. Bowling alley’s can cater to younger kids, but you will have to check with the specific bowling alley near you. Some area bowling alley’s include:
- Greenway Bowl in Odenton,
- Brunswick Zone in Columbia and Ellicott City,
- Stoneleigh Lanes in Baltimore (Duck Pin Bowling), and
- AMF with locations in Timonium, Dundalk, College Park, Linthicum Heights, Laurel.
If your child is more preschool than toddler, rollerskating could also be a fun option. I have not been brave enough to try this with my daughter yet, but when I do I will likely go to Skate Zone in Crofton. Skate Zone has a special Tot Rock ‘n Roll public skating session every Monday from 10AM-12PM. It is designed for kids age 6 and under.
This sweet little play museum is perfect for an afternoon of imaginative play! The museum is not open for play on Saturdays, but it is open on Sunday afternoons. It features art, engineering, water play, nature play, pretend play, and reading areas.
28. The Building Museum–
There is a lot for young children to do at this DC museum. Young kids will really get into the Building Zone. Museum goers can also build an arch in the Amazing Arches exhibit, and can sign out Family Tool Kits with fun family activities. February 17th is their not-to-be-missed Family Engineering Day. We went last year and it was absolutely a blast! You can read my review of the museum here.
29. Children’s Music Concerts-
There are a number of local orchestras that offer children’s/young people’s concerts in the upcoming months. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Columbia Orchestra Young People’s Concert: Peter and the Wolf; March 28th
- Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Box Concert Series: Aimed at ages 3 and younger. Various dates and locations
- Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Family Concerts: for kids age 4 and up. February 22nd (Classical Mash up), April 4th (Through the Telescope)
30. Glen Echo Park-
There are a few options for kid-friendly indoor fun at Glen Echo Park. You can see a show at their renowned Puppet Co. or at the awesome children’s Adventure Theatre. Upcoming shows at the Puppet Co. include , Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, and Peter and the Wolf. Upcoming shows at the Adventure Theatre include The Snowy Day, Lyle the Crocodile, and Madagascar The Musical Adenture . Don’t miss the Aquarium, which features touch tanks and other live animal exhibits.
Out of all the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall, I think the Natural History Museum is the most fun for kids. It is worth a trip for the Hall of Mammals and Ocean Hall alone. AND with the grand re-opening of The National Fossil Hall, your family could literally spend all day here!
If you are planning a trip to DC, you have to consider a trip to this great kid-friendly museum on the National Mall as well! It is smaller than the Air and Space Museum by the Dulles Airport, but it is completely full iconic American aerospace treasures.
33. Busy Bees–
I seriously cannot wait to take Sweet Pea to this indoor playground with locations in Falls Church, VA and Chevy Chase, MD. It looks like so much fun! I heard about it via a review from Capitol Momma. You can read her review here.
34. Hyper Kidz–
This indoor play space recently expanded its footprint; doubling the size of the playspace. It is still utterly amazing (and crazy… but the name fits). If your kids have energy to burn this is THE place to burn it. We love this place and here is our review.
35. Zava Zone–
Another amazing indoor play space, more for older than younger kids.. although younger kids would have plenty to keep them busy too. There are high and low ropes courses, zipline, ninja warrior course, drop slide, pole walking, rock climbing walls and more.
With Maryland locations in the Inner Harbor and Ocean City, this place is off the hook. It is really very funny and quirky and everything you would expect it to be. It is also super fun and would make a great filler activity if you are hanging out in Baltimore.
37. Kidz City (new for 2020!!!)
This new play space looks so amazing! From their website: Kidz City is an indoor high-level family recreation center that offers quality entertainment for children ages 1-12! Kidz City, blends entertainment and interactive education to create an imaginative, creative, and active environment for children and their families.
Their facility is an open floor plan where your child can fully explore their creativity and immerse themselves in imagination in a safe environment under parent supervision or under the eye of our specially trained staff.
38. Chuck E Cheeses–
Don’t knock the mouse (not that mouse.. this mouse). Chuck E. Cheeses is great for early elementary aged kids because you can buy time and they get unlimited play on a wide variety of carnival type games, earning tickets the whole time. After you have played and had a few slices of pizza, your kids will love redeeming the coupons for treasures (cheap toys). Pretty fun place!
39. Adventure Park USA–
Don’t let the roller coaster fool you. Adventure Park USA has loads of indoor play options too. Indoor attractions include virtual reality, laser tag, ropes course, an arcade with over 100 games, a rock wall, and bumper cars. How could you go wrong with that?
40. The Wiggle Room–
The Wiggle Room opened in 2018 and it is perfect for younger kids. It is an all day, indoor play center located in Crofton, MD that is designed by parents for parents.
41. The Kid Museum–
There are so many new indoor play options for Maryland this year. The Kid Museum is geared more for older kids, with tons of opportunities to design, invent, and build.
This lovely new play room in Damascus, MD features 20 exhibits for kids to learn through open play opportunities. This is a highly rated indoor play space with both open play times and special events!
43. Laser Tag-
There are quite a few places to play laser tag in the Maryland area. Here are a few:
Located in Middle River/White Marsh, this is way more than just a trampoline park. Urban Air has trampolines for sure, but they also have go karts, Sky Rider, Indoor Skydiving, Bowling, and Laser Tag
This place is great for all ages but tween and teens will get the most out of this gem at the Inner Harbor. The big draw for 2020 will continue to be the Video Game Wizard exhibit, where kids can actually try their hand at designing a video game. How cool is that?
I have it on good authority that this place rocks! Not only that, but apparently there is plenty to do for kids of all ages and even relatively young kids (age 2 and up) can climb safely here. This is a popular destination and I would highly recommend making a reservation if you plan to play here. There are locations in Laurel and White Marsh.
Maryland locations in Fulton, Pikesville, and Sykesville. Bubala is an indoor, fun-filled playground designed for all children up to 7 years of age. Bubala was created to not only be fun but also safe and is full of appropriate activities which aspire children to learn independence and social skills while having the time of their lives!
a Creative workshop space in Baltimore where both kids and adults can make art! On weekends they hold Kid Stidios– basically themed drop in art activities.
49. The Imaginarium in Solomons, MD
A fantastic new indoor play space in Southern MD. The Imaginarium boasts an Imagination playground, an indoor playhouse, and Creation Station craft area.
50. Social Studio Art Classes
This fantastic Baltimore art studio hold classes and every weekend a weekend workshop for kids. Each week there will be a different “Make & Take” art activity. Each month there will be a different theme.
51. NinjaBe in Columbia, MD
A great indoor ninja course play space for kids age 5 and older (42″ and 40 lbs). NinjaBE delivers 10 FitGames to our Ninja family. Two of the ten FitGames are truss-based Ninja Warrior Obstacle Courses. Each course has 15-20 elements. Physical strength, span of arms, span of legs, all factor in to how many elements are doable by each of our Guest Ninja’s.
52. The Playroom in Bel Air
Such a cool place in Harford County. There is StoryPlay– a one of a kind, action packed 50-minute class is filled with hands-on activities geared for toddlers and preschoolers along with an accompanying adult. Toddlers use thematic pictures to guide them through play and movement activities. Preschoolers follow a weekly theme where storybooks come to life as the storyteller acts them out.
There are also regular cupcake decorating classes for kids, dance classes, and a drop in play room.
So, there you go! I hope you have a great time exploring all the fantastic indoor play areas in the Baltimore and DC area!
And who knows, maybe there will be a snow day at some point as well.
Apparently many of the branches of this county library have awesome play areas, not unlike Storyville! Such a great space for kids to learn to use their imagination while surrounded by books!