It’s a scorcher out there in Southwest Ohio, making it almost impossible to enjoy a day at the park in the sun. Unless you’re hitting up the community pool or splash park, play inside for free at one of these (air-conditioned!) top spots.
Top places to play inside for free in Southwest Ohio:
8167 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati OH 45236 or 8533 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45255
The Lil’ Pints Play Room at Graeters is a free, baby/toddler/little kid friendly play space with soft floors and interactive play features throughout. Designed for children ages 9 and younger, babies have their very own space to crawl freely between bites of Graeter’s deliciously creamy ice cream. Socks are required and are available for $1 with the most adorable ice cream prints.
3040 Madison Road, Oakley, OH 45209
The Dungeon at King Arthur’s Court is a fun and free indoor play area that truly transforms this store into a land of imagination. The Dungeon at King Arthur’s Court is comprised of three areas. There’s a small jungle gym, hanging swings, books, toys and comfy couches in the front space. It’s the perfect place to play inside for free.
44 E 6th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Located on the 6th floor of the famous contemporary Zaha Hadid-designed building, the Creativity Center at the CAC opened in October 2022 and is free for all. Welcoming families of all ages, fun at the Creativity Center ranges from toddler-sized squishy balls to a working record player, meant to be turned and explored.
7100 Foundry Row, Liberty Township, OH 45069. 513-644-0900
The Cincinnati Children’s Discovery Center is an amazing indoor play area where kids can get their energy out while parents watch on. Located in the Foundry, the Discovery Center is designed for kids aged 2 to 12 to run, climb (inside a huge Flying Pig) and slide (down the Pigtail Slide)! Kids will delight in sending foam balls zipping on a journey they create in the gigantic Magnetic Ball Maze. This mall play area is a genius idea and needs to be incorporated by every shopping center! Oh — and it’s FREE.
953 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202
The Rosenthal Education Center is a space for families to discover the Cincinnati Art Museum’s collection in a fun and safe manner. Open during specific museum hours, the REC is located on the first floor, just off of the Great Hall. The REC has a dedicated interactive space that changes twice a year. Themes for the interactive space are based on the permanent collection, special exhibitions, and/or elements of art and world cultures.
316 Pike St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Restored and reinterpreted for the next century, visitors can enjoy special exhibitions, our beautiful outdoor garden, our Museum Shop and Lindner Family Café, events and programming for all ages—and so much more. Within the galleries and beyond the walls, the Taft Museum of Art is a one-of-a-kind, multi-sensory experience that puts you at the center of art and history. Kids under 18 are free, adults $12.
Anderson and Price Hill
- Anderson Township Branch—The entire branch just experienced a major refresh. There’s now a cool playhouse and large play car with an “engine” that kids can take apart. The area is designed around a whimsical cityscape theme complete with a train mural and road-striped carpeting down the middle of the room. One of our top spots to play inside for free!
- Price Hill Branch— This library recently reopened after a major renovation and expansion as one of our first Next Generation Libraries. Thanks to community input, this bright and airy space now includes designated quiet areas, a play kitchen and playhouse, a bilingual approach, and neat kid-sized doorways. Bringing older kids, too? There‘s comfortable bench seating designed for tweens and teens to sit close to each other as they share computers.
2700 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd., Dayton, OH 45459
Located inside the Dayton Mall, the flight zone is covered with soft play in the shapes of a hot air balloon, airplane and rocket ship. Better for little kids, the squishy foam helps absorb the energy from their huge jumps and leaps. Dayton Mall also offers fun kids events and a free Kids Club for kids under 10, sign up here!
1100 Spaatz St, Dayton, OH 45433
Happy 100th Anniversary to the USAF museum! Kids will love climbing in and out of several planes while exploring big jets in the USAF hangars. The museum is home to countless one-of-a-kind objects. The once small engine collection now includes more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles, thousands of artifacts, and spans 20 indoor acres with additional outdoor Air and Memorial Parks that continue to grow every year.
637 E. Whipp Rd. Centerville, OH 45459
Fairhaven’s indoor children’s play area provides a free, safe, clean place for children ages 0-6 to play, while allowing parents and caregivers the opportunity to connect with friends and other families. The soft play area is only for children ages 0-2. The tube play area is recommended for children ages 3-6. All children must be under adult supervision. FREE The Play Area is open to the public with reservations. Southwest Ohio Parent Tip– No food and drink allowed.
6911 Frederick Pike, Dayton
The Playland (located at the north end of the Frederick Pike campus) is an exclamation point on the premium that Stillwater places on kids! It’s open & FREE to the public Monday-Thursday from 1p – 4p. Need a party place? The Indoor Cafe & Playland is a great place to celebrate birthday parties & special occasions.