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Indoor play areas for kids in Thunder Bay: Updated for 2019/20

thunder bay kids

Too cold, too hot or too stormy to play outside? Check out an indoor play centre in Thunder Bay. These five centres all have drop-in options that are ideal if you want to shake up your usual routine, you’re here visiting family or are in town for a sports tourney or another event.

Indoor Active PlaySpace, Northwood Plaza, 425 Edward Street North Climb through tunnels, ride a trike, play basketball, run and have active fun at this big, popular space by EarlyON Child and Family Centres. It's free and open seven days a week (check current schedule for times) and also offers theme times, such as those geared to dads and kids, or families living with autism. More info Communities Together for Children on Facebook Sprouting Seeds drop-in, Baggage Building Arts Centre, 2200 Marina Park Drive

This drop-in program features nature-based indoor and outdoor play, including free play at various centres, and guided activities like kid-friendly circle time meditation. Monday mornings, admission required. More info Roots and Branches Forest School on Facebook Maple Tops Activity Centre, 24 Court Street South

Formerly a movie theatre, this indoor playground is home to a 2,500-square-foot, three-storey Canadian-made play structure that looks like a tree fort with tunnels, tube slides, ramps and stairs, designed for kids 5 to 12. It’s enclosed and has lots of padding on corners and edges. There’s also a creative play area. A separate infant and toddler area (4 and under) means little ones can roll and toddle. You can also grab a snack at the on-site café. Admission required, closed Mondays.

More info Maple Tops on Facebook

Rural Family Centre, Oliver Road, Murillo

One of several EarlyON Child and Family Centres for preschoolers in the area, the Murillo site is open weekday mornings plus Wednesday afternoon. It’s a bright, well-run, cheerful space with lots of wooden play structures, activity centres and opportunities for pretend play. Free.

More info Rural Family Centre on Facebook

Canada Games Complex Aquatics, 420 Winnipeg Avenue

Ker-splash! Sometimes only the pool will do, so head to the Canada Games Complex (check the website for public/family swim and slide hours and prices.) There are handy poolside family change rooms right on deck, as well as regular change rooms with lockers too. The Olympic-size pool is 77 metres long, divided into three sections, and the depth ranges from just under 1 metre to just under 5 metres. Or, kick back in the Swirlpool, which offers hydrojets and warmer temperatures. If your kiddo is 7 or older and passes an on-site swim test, the main attraction will likely be the Thunder Slide: 73 see-through metres of twisty, fast-moving fun. Zoom! Admission fee or membership required.

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