The indoor play area at Copper Creek Church in southwest Champaign is a new hidden gem
There’s a new indoor playground on the block — and it’s at Copper Creek Church on Curtis Road in southwest Champaign. Copper Creek’s building is almost brand-new, completed right as the pandemic hit in 2020. That’s why you might not know about a C-U best-kept secret: the indoor playground and nursery, completely free and open to the public Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-noon.
When You Arrive
To access the indoor play area, just head through the front doors and hang a right. A staff person is usually there to greet you and show you to the playground (and offer you a latte, if you’re lucky!). Church staff are working during the playground’s open hours but are happy to take time to show you around.
The indoor playground may be smaller than others you’ll find in area churches, but it’s packed with fun. The room resembles an indoor climbing area reminiscent of those that were once found in fast food places. Kids are invited to take off their shoes (make sure to wear socks) and climb to their hearts’ content.
Nestled under the climbing structure is a dedicated toddler zone. Tots will enjoy the play kitchen, table and chairs, and kid-sized cleaning supplies. To the left of the climbing structure is a play house and plenty of soft blocks that kids can move around, build, and climb. A few benches offer seating for caregivers and a cubby gives kids a place to keep shoes while they play.
Have a very little one? Bring them along, because right next door to the indoor play area is a baby and toddler nursery, also open to community members. The nursery has plenty of baby- and toddler-friendly toys and books. Keep in mind that neither play room is staffed, so parents must stay with their little ones.
All in all, Copper Creek Church’s indoor play area is a hidden gem in the Champaign-Urbana community. While smaller than some other indoor playgrounds, the welcoming staffers and unique climbing structure more than make up for the size of the rooms. Next time the weather is too hot, too wet, too chilly, or you just want to try something else, make sure this new indoor playground is on your list.