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Explore the great indoors

By Emily Wielgosz

We all know play is so important for kids — not only for fun, but also for learning, development and socialization. It builds curiosity, challenges perspectives and sets your child up for a lifetime of learning. 

As a family, we try to get outside and enjoy where we live as much as possible. I love to see my kids playing in nature, but when the weather isn’t ideal, or their interest in at-home activities is dwindling, we take them to an indoor play area. 

It’s so fun to see them get excited about a change in setting, about different toys or games, and watch their little neurons fire with excitement navigating the newness. 

The Coast has so much to offer in terms of indoor play areas. I recommend calling or checking websites before planning a trip to verify hours and any COVID-19 restrictions. 



Check out the engineer workshop at Infinity Space Center, and let your child build his or her own invention before soaking in the full space exhibit. For those of you doing virtual learning this year, there are special events just for you on Homeschool Mondays! ( 


Stop by Sweet Escape and grab dinner and an ice cream while your kids enjoy arcade games! ( 


Catch some air at Altitude Trampoline Park ( 

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center has lots of fun and educational indoor exhibits and activities kids will love ( 

The Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum houses the largest Lego railroad display in Mississippi, multiple scale model train displays and interactive layouts for kids to operate and enjoy ( 

Ocean Adventures (or Institute for Marine and Mammal Studies) has an incredible indoor dolphin show, stingray exhibit and aviary experience. Catch the festive train to experience what the whole property has to offer ( 


Big Play Entertainment Center has an arcade, bowling, laser maze, mini-golf, go-karts, bumper cars, laser tag and a full restaurant. There are hours of family fun to be had right off of the beach! Also good to know — kid’s eat free on Sundays ( 

The Salvation Army Kroc Center offers an indoor aquatic center, sports and recreation facilities, performing and visual arts programs and much more ( 


The D’Iberville Family Fun Center has fun for all ages, including the Mullet Hop Trampoline Park and Cypress Lanes Bowling Alley ( 

Hint Hunter Puzzle Rooms lets you travel to different places and times, where you can complete missions and solve mysteries. Hint Hunters’ escape games are ideal for parents with kids, a team of friends and even private parties ( 


The Aaron Jones Family Interactive Center is now closed, but keep an eye on the center’s Facebook page for a reopen date ( 


If you’re further east, try the indoor inflatable playground at Pump It Up in Mobile. Pump It Up has so many indoor play spaces for you and your family to enjoy within an easy distance ( 


If you’re still limiting outings due to COVID, check out these fun family board games to mix things up for family game night:

Wielgosz is a wife, mom to two toddlers, speech-language pathologist, writer, wellness enthusiast, cleaner living advocate and Gulf Coast Moms Blog contributor. Reach her at 

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