Having a toddler can be stressful. Especially when it’s pouring down rain outside and they are starting to get bored at home.
Don’t fret though. Columbus has your back. The capital city is extremely family friendly, which means there are plenty of places to escape to when your play room feels too small on dreary days.
Enjoy storytime, special guests, and the joy of reading with your child at the Columbus Metropolitan Libraries. Events that take place at the library are free, and you can take your kiddos favorite books home with a valid library card.
The nature center at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park is a great place for toddlers to explore. There are often classes and events scheduled, so be sure to visit their website above while planning your trip!
This may come as a shock, but IKEA at Polaris has a pretty sweet kids area! Let the toddlers blow off some steam in the ball pit, and they’ll be ready for a nap before you even leave the parking lot.
Imagine a day of climbing, crawling, sliding, and fun. That’s what awaits your kids at Recreations Outlet. Their indoor playground will keep your kids busy. Visits are just $6 Monday through Friday, and $8 on weekends. Children must be at least one-years-old to play.
At Picadilly, your toddler can paint, play, and make friends… all while avoiding the rain! There is even a soft-padded play area designed specifically for children who are still crawling. Picadilly also offers “Drop-Off Days”, for children 18 months and older, as well as “Happy Hour” events where playtime is just $5 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Firefly Play Cafe offers open play for kids 12 months and older, Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is $5 for kiddos aged 12-24 months and $8 for those 2+.
Toddler Time at Get Air Columbus happens every Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Although parents and guardians cannot jump on the same trampoline as the kiddos, they can jump nearby, which means it’s great exercise for both of you! During this time, jumpers under 46″ are the only children allowed to jump. Prices are $9 for one hour, $14 for two hours, and $3 for jump socks.
Does your little one love Legos? Then the next rainy day should definitely be spent at Brick of Dreams. For just $7 per hour, your kiddo can build to his or her heart’s content. They’ll be applying for their architecture license before you know it.
Is your child full of curiosity? Inspire imaginative play in your kiddo at COSI in their Kid Space. Toddlers can explore a tree house, a health clinic, a light and shadow workshop, and a farm-to-table themed area. There’s even an awesome, interactive water area. The best part? Kids 2 and under are free at COSI!
It may seem like an unconventional choice for a way to spend a rainy day, but the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium actually has plenty of indoor areas. From the touch pool and interactive learning areas in Discovery Reef to the up close and personal viewing area of Manatee Coast, your kids can have a blast and stay out of the rain, all at the same time. Children 3 and under are free.
If obstacle courses, life size play sets, and play kitchens sound like something your little one would love, then get your booty to Peapod Play Cafe. Peapod costs just $10 for kiddos up to 7 years old, with discounts for families that have multiples!
Grab a coffee or a bite to eat while your kids have a blast at Tree of Life Play + Cafe. The play space is multi-level with tunnels, a slide, and ball pit great for friends 46″ and under. Tree of Life even offers special deals, partnered with Get Air, that include a day of play and an hour of trampoline time for just $10! Tree of Life Play Cafe is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 12:45 p.m.
This shoe free zone is waiting to be explored by your kiddo. Open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Little Green House offers a tiny town, including a firehouse, animal clinic, market and a bridge with a slide. Let your kid’s imagination run free at Little Green House! Admission is just $7 per child.
Embrace the rain in your own backyard!
Does loading the kids up in the car feel like a monumental task? It’s okay! There are plenty of ways to embrace the rain. Get out some rain coats, boots, and umbrellas and make your own fun in the rain. Just make sure there isn’t lightening and you should be good to go!
A daily Columbus email you'll actually love. ❤️
Every morning we compile the best of Columbus news & events and deliver it in a quick 5 minute read that sets you up with everything you need to be a well informed Columbusian. Columbusite. Cbussian? Whatever, give it a try, you'll love it.