History of Ann Arbor Indoor Play Options
The Indoor Play Scene in Ann Arbor has claimed another victim in 2016. Jungle Java Ann Arbor has closed again. The Canton location is still open and will accept all coupons, punch cards, Groupons, and more.
When My Urban Toddler closed announced their closing in April, a reader commented about being surprised about the lack of indoor play options in the Ann Arbor area. It has definitely not been for a lack of attempts. At the time, I put together a history of indoor play areas in Ann Arbor and surrounding communities (over the last 10 years). I started with the current indoor playgrounds, a history of closed playgrounds, and some less traditional options for indoor play.
Current Ann Arbor Indoor Play Options
The new Kidopolis which opened in February is very similar to My Urban Toddler. With a location just south of 94 on State St, it is well positioned to attract families from around the area particularly Ann Arbor and Saline.
Metropolitan Speech, Sensory, & ABA Centers
Metropolitan Speech, Sensory, & ABA Centers has purchased the former My Urban Toddler location. In addition to their therapy and tutoring services, they have reopened the play space. The Play Space is is open 9-11:30a Mondays through Fridays and costs $5/child.
Tot Time at Ypsilanti Township Community Center
The Ypsilanti Township Community Center holds Tot Time play time from 9a-noon on weekdays through June. Tot Time is for kids up to age 4 with a parent.
Chelsea Treehouse is in their second location in Chelsea. When we first visited, they were located in downtown Chelsea. They relocated in late 2011 to 110 S. Main St and are now closer to I-94. One thing that I liked about their original location was that they offered options besides the play structure. My daughter wasn’t always a fan of the big structures, but she was able to find trains to play with.
Fantastic Play Center Canton
Fantastic Play Center in Canton opened recently. They offer open play on weekdays from 9a-8p. Weekends are reserved for private parties.
Pump It Up Canton
The only inflatable bounce house in the area is at Pump It Up in Canton. Pump It Up offers frequent jump times, parents night outs, and camp sessions. They also host birthday parties.
Jungle Java Canton
While the Ann Arbor Jungle Java location has closed, the Canton location is still open and will be accepting all coupons, punch cards, Groupons, etc.
Closed Ann Arbor Indoor Play Options
Jungle Java Ann Arbor
Jungle Java closed in August 2016. They were a great indoor playground option on Jackson Rd offering both a large play structure and a smaller one just for younger kids. There was also a laser cave available for an added fee.
They first opened as an independently owned franchise. Then after some financial trouble in May 2011, one of the co-owners reopened the facility as Mocha Mountain in violation of the franchise agreement. On November 1, 2011, Jungle Java reopened under corporate ownership.
After 5 years, Jungle Java has closed again in August 2016. The building owner sold the land and building to a car dealer. Jungle Java was the last remaining business and has been forced to vacate. Shortly after they closed, their building was demolished. They are looking for a new location in Ann Arbor.
My Urban Toddler
In April 2016, My Urban Toddler announced that they would be closing their indoor play facility in Saline. Instead the owners will be focusing on the Ann Arbor retail store and a new toy line – Peas and Carrots, LLC.
They closed at the end of May/beginning of June.
Zoobilee/New Zoo/The Jungle Gym
Zoobilee was an indoor playground that opened in Ypsilanti’s Paint Creek Shopping Center in 2007. They were open until mid-2011. It was then relaunched by a new owner as New Zoo in December 2011, unfortunately they closed only 5 months later in May 2012. Finally, the location had one last re-incarnation as The Jungle Gym which was co-operated with Master Lockman’s Black Belt Academy. The Jungle Gym closed a couple of years ago and the location operates only as a karate studio now. The play structure remained in place for a year or so, but has since been removed for additional karate facilities.
Xtreme Bounce Zone
Xtreme Bounce Zone was located off of Jackson Rd. In 2015 they lost their space due to an expansion by Planet Rock. They did mention possibly reopening in a new location, but it has been over a year, so I doubt they will be reopening. When they closed, they said that they would still do inflatable rentals for your location. However, their website is no longer functional, so I am guessing that they are no longer in business.
Jump City was located on Boardwalk. They closed in March 2014 with the intention of finding a new location. Since it has been 2 years, I assume they will not be reopening.
Saline’s Stone Arch Church is now a brew pub. Before that it was an events space, but even before that it housed an indoor play space called Beanstalks which had a fairy tale/castle theme. My daughter was 2 when they opened in 2008 at the time and loved their padded toddler area, but wasn’t a big fan of their play area – at that time she felt that way about all indoor play areas. I also remember that they had video games and mechanical rides in the basement including a motor cycle. They closed in January 2009.
There was also an indoor playground on Washtenaw called Fantasy Forest (I believe it was in the same shopping center as Once Upon a Child and Ichiban). We never visited since my daughter was still a baby and I was unable to find much information about it with a web search. I did find enough references to confirm the name and location from 2007 or so. My guess is that it closed shortly after those references
Other Active Ann Arbor Indoor Play Options
Of course there are plenty of other options for active indoor play. I’ve provided a few suggestions here, but I’d love to hear your suggestions below.
Preschool/Toddler Gymnastics Time
Several local gymnastics gyms offer open toddler/preschool playtime. GymAmerica offers their Preschool Playtime at 9:45-10:45a on Mondays and Fridays during the school year. Michigan Academy of Gymnastics offers Kids Play time for ages 2-10 on Monday afternoons at 1-2p. Champion Gymnastics offers Toddler Time (18 months-5 years) on each weekday except Wednesday. They also offer Open Gym for ages 6+ on Saturdays.
AAHOM Preschool Room
The Preschool Room at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum offers active play year-round. With a water table, two story “house” and the engineer on a roll, there are plenty of stairs and other activities to tire out little legs.
There are several indoor swimming options. Mack Pool (closed in summer) and Goldfish Swim School both offer open swim times. There are also water parks at Splash Universe (Dundee) and Splash Village (Frankenmuth) that offer day passes. The water parks are more expensive and better for a special occasion day trip than a short visit.
My daughter loves visiting Zap Zone and playing laser tag, bumper cars, and their video games. I recommend it for kids who are at least 7 because of the weight of the vest. On your visit, I definitely suggest having coins for the video games while waiting for laser tag games.
Chuck E Cheese is always fun for the kids to play video games. While not as active as some of the others, my daughter was always running between games and they do have play areas – both a climbing structure and a smaller option for younger kids. It has been a few years since we have been to Chuck E Cheese, but I assume there haven’t been major changes.
Another active place to bounce the day away is Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Canton. We have never visited Sky Zone, so I can’t give a personal recommendation, but I have heard good things about it.
AirTime Trampoline is another trampoline play place located in Canton/Westland.
Another location that we have yet to visit is Planet Rock.