The Six Best Places to Bounce off the Wall
There is no such thing as winter doldrums for kids. They have energy to burn each day of the year, regardless of weather or season. So, if you're ready for a few hours of active – and I mean active – play, we have some ideas for you. Adult participation is recommended.
Highland Ice Arena
For some old-fashioned fun, take a jaunt to the Highland Ice Arena in Shoreline, open year-round. The arena is open daily, with drop-in youth hockey lessons on Thursdays and family sessions on Sundays. Boot sizes go as small as size seven, so little ones are welcome, too. Cost: $6-$7, free for kids 5 and younger, $3 skate rental. 206-546-2431; www.highlandice.com.
Pump It Up
Thoroughly wear out your kids with a visit to one of three Pump It Up locations in Kirkland, Lynnwood or Tacoma. Pop-in play sessions for children ages 6 and younger are held on weekday mornings and feature bounce houses, slides, obstacle courses and inflatable games. Cost: $4.50-$7 per hour; parents jump free. 1-866-977-5867; www.pumpitupparty.com.
Seattle Gymnastics Academy
Parents in the south end jump for joy: A new Seattle Gymnastics Academy just opened in the Columbia City neighborhood. Patterned after the academy's locations in Lake City and Ballard, open play sessions every day but Sunday give children ages 5 and younger access to most of the gymnastics equipment. It's a fantastic way to get little ones climbing, balancing, swinging and jumping. Cost: $4-$6. 206-708-7497; www.seattlegymnastics.com.
Sky High Sports
Sky High Sports, the new hot spot in Bellevue, is a 35,000-square-foot warehouse with vast floors and walls made of trampolines. What more could a kid ask for? There are nearly 150 trampolines, a dodge ball court where people can participate in short pick-up games, foam pits and a special area where jumpers ages 8 and younger can participate safely. Weekends often sell out, so parents are advised to register online ahead of time. "Munchkin Mondays" offer an afternoon of jumping for kids ages 5 and younger for $7. Cost: $8-$11 per hour. 425-990-5867; http://sea.jumpskyhigh.com.
Sport Tyke Gym Time
Visit the Sport Tyke Gym Time for toddlers and preschoolers at Woodinville's Home Court and watch them go wild. This playtime on Friday mornings gives the younger set a destination on blustery days. The set-up includes ride-on toys and tricycles, a soccer goal and balls, a mini baseball field, and lowered hoops with basketballs. Cost: $5, $3 for siblings, free for crawlers. 425-487-1030; www.homecourtnw.com/sporttykes.html.
Topping the “coolness” category, venture to Vertical World in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood and test your strength on the climbing wall. Families can drop in during open hours, any day of the week, and boulder (low-level climb up to 15 feet without ropes) as long as they like. If you are certified to belay, the whole place is your domain. Not in Seattle? Check out the Vertical World locations in Redmond, Everett or Tacoma. Cost: $10 for youth and $15 for adults. 206-283-4497; www.verticalworld.com.
Taryn Zier is a freelance writer, mother of two, and indoor play space adventurer based in Lake Forest Park.