Indoor adventure parks for big kids – even adults

Back in the day, there was nothing I loved more than finding new indoor play places for little Xage to explore and wear themself out.

All winter long – and sometimes on rainy or too-hot days, too – we would seek out indoor play areas for the kiddo and their pals to run, climb and play.

The goal, of course, was hours of fun for the kids but also a well-earned and long nap for them afterward. That’s the only way we moms could catch a break to get some work or blogging done. Or, sometimes even a little nap ourselves.

Isn’t it crazy how much parents long for kids to nap when they are little?

Actually, not that much has changed – I still love finding new indoor play places for Xage and their friends.

The key is that now the play places have to be much larger and involve more risk and danger. That’s what keeps the kiddos’ interest these days.

Fortunately, indoor adventure parks for big kids and adults are popping up all over like mushrooms after a rain.

And, they’re all in giant warehouses with good air flow – and never overly crowded – so it feels like a safer indoor activity than anything else I can think of during these Covid times.

Here’s a sampling of recent places we’ve checked out and loved:

  • Ninja Citi in Dublin – we first discovered Ninja Citi in early 2020 when it was brand new and hardly anyone knew about it yet. We used to have the whole place to ourselves and it rocked! Kids of all ages love Ninja Citi, and even adults could spend hours here rock climbing, doing the various American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle courses and finding physical challenges galore. My favorite thing to do here is photograph Xage climbing, swinging, hanging and just being a kid again. No one leaves here without rosy cheeks and a good sweaty glow!
  • Airhouse at Polaris – relative newcomer Airhouse has a few things Ninja Citi doesn’t: namely, a high ropes course and zip lines. Airhouse is great for kids and adults who aren’t afraid of heights and love physical adventures! We were fortunate enough to have a party there in October for Xage and their friends. Everyone had a blast and every single kiddo got up there and did the ropes course high over my head. I was so impressed – especially since heights are my nemesis. There are things here to keep kids of all ages happy and active, as well as adventurous and fit adults.
  • Play Cbus in Worthington – I haven’t blogged about Play Cbus before but it’s pretty wild. Billing itself as an indoor adventure park, they have an extremely rigorous high ropes course, zip lines and a smaller set of American Ninja Warrior-style obstacles in the back. There are also a few activities for younger kids (like giant Jenga and Connect 4) but I’d say this place is more for older kids and adults based on the difficulty level of the ropes courses. They also have multiple climbing walls and it looked like some pretty serious climbers were there practicing on the day we went.
  • Scene 75 at Tuttle – I’d actually include Scene 75 on this list even though it’s not focused on physical adventure and play like the others. Scene 75 is more about go-karts, glow mini-golf, amusement park-type rides and arcade play. Still, it’s a lot of fun and kids can spend hours there wearing themselves out. It’s another nice antidote to the boredom of winter and not being able to spend much time outside. That said, it’s pretty loud and hectic in here so it may not be the ticket for neurodiverse or sensory-sensitive kiddos.

Have you ventured out to any of these indoor adventure parks yet – and do you know of others in the Columbus area? I think it’s so great that we have so many to choose from. Hopefully, winter won’t seem quite so long and boring anymore!

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat, snake and guinea pig mom. Travel nut. Writer since birth. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.

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