When my husband and I decided to move to California, I instantly imagined sunny weather with little rain. Upon arrival, one couldn’t miss the “brown is the new green” signs, the lack of flowing fountains, and threatening messages from the water company. California is in a drought, take heed! …and then it rained for three weeks. Needless to say, this winter has been one of our wettest to date. Lucky for us, there are no shortage of indoor play spaces to keep our little ones occupied. Here are my top five favorite indoor play spaces in the Bay Area, sure to please!
Jumpity Bumpity (31169 Mission Blvd, Hayward) – An ocean themed indoor recreation center for ages 12 and under. The entire play space is essentially a gigantic jungle gym, complete with slides, obstacle courses, tunnels, and swings. A separate toddler area includes merry go rounds, a rocking boat, age-appropriate slides, and piano mat. A train table, play kitchen, and arcade games complete this amazing space.
Mel’s Play Place (20994 Redwood Rd, Castro Valley) – For sitters, crawlers, and new walkers, there is a padded gym area with mirrors surrounding the perimeter and toys, including activity tables. For toddlers, you will find three play houses, ride on toys, play structures with slides, and two bounce houses. Additional play areas include a basketball net, air hockey table, lego tables, and chalk board.
Kid’s Gym (2920 Seventh Street, Berkeley) – You begin in a room filled with puzzles, arts & crafts, and a massive chalk wall. The next room has gym equipment, including tunnels, slides, just about every swing imaginable, and even a zip line! An alternate room offers two large trampolines, a rock climbing wall, and basketball net. Additional rooms include train tables, building blocks, books, baby toys, you name it – there’s a good chance Kids Gym has it. They even have a nap room and sensory calming room.
Twirl (1424 Park St, Alameda) – Alameda’s local play space boasts many imaginative play areas (kitchen, cash registers, dress up, tool bench, etc.) as well as a play structure with slide, lego wall, ride on toys, train table, books, baby toys, and so much more. The large arts and crafts area with rotating projects such as painting, sensory bins, play-doh, and seasonal collages sets this apart from the rest.
Small Talk Family Cafe (1536 Newell Ave, Walnut Creek) – A cafe and meeting place, a safe play area for children, plus additional, daily activities such as art projects, storytime, and even massages? Sign me up! Here you’ll find separate play areas for babies versus small children. They have a large selection of baby toys, as well as kitchens, puzzles, train table, slide, and dress up clothes. They serve numerous lattes, teas, and snacks, so bring your appetite.
There you have it. What are your favorite places to escape the rain? Let us know in the comments!