It’s nice to get outside and play in the snow, but there are plenty of days – no matter the season – when indoor play is called for. We’ve cast a wide net to give you ideas of where to take your kids when they need to release that pent-up energy all parents know and love. These are places where you can drop in anytime and have some fun – no registration required.
We’ve broken up this guide by type of location, but all of these play areas are FREE and do not charge admission; For places you need to pay admission to play, check out our post here. Just a reminder — these places are not babysitters! Supervise your kids at all times.
Free indoor play areas
Libraries, Churches, Museums:
Champaign Public Library – computers, puzzles, Lego table, puppet showplace, activity tables.
Urbana Free Library – puzzles, train table, games, playhouse, computers.
First Christian Church — the indoor playground of all indoor playgrounds. Slides, climbing equipment, indoor track, lots more. Click for our full review.
Windsor Road Christian Church– New in 2015, this indoor playground is geared to children 4th grade and under.
Anita Purves Nature Center: Interactive exhibits about nature. See owls and turtles too.
Homer Lake Interpretive Center- Open year-long, the Homer Lake Interpretive Center located in the Homer Lake Forest Preserve, features a variety of interactive exhibits, displays, live animals and a wildlife viewing area. See our review of the Homer Lake Forest Preserve here.
Tolono Public Library – Check out the small gem of a library and find a great indoor play area (but small) geared towards children 5 and under. A puppet theater, toys, and a unique structure await.
Art Mart Toys, Champaign: Train table, Magnatiles table.
Market Place Mall, Champaign: Children’s soft play area, for kids 42 inches and under.
Barnes and Noble, Champaign: Train table and stage.
The following area McDonalds have PlayPlaces:
McDonalds, 1812 N. Neil St., Champaign
McDonald’s, Kirby and Duncan, Champaign
McDonald’s, 601 N. Cunningham, Urbana (this is not a traditional PlayPlace, but it has a room with touch screen computer games for children)
McDonald’s, 711 W. Champaign, Rantoul
McDonald’s, 109 South Gilbert Street, Danville
What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.