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Looking up, a view of Adventuredome's glass-enclosed space, and indoor amusement park in  Las Vegas
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best indoor amusement parks in America for family vacation

From record-breaking roller coasters to classic arcade games, these indoor amusement parks are fun for the whole family

Written by
Tolly Wright
&
Jen Woo
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If you’re one of those hyper-active families that’s done all the outdoorsy stuff already — from camping at the best national parks in the US, to cycling along the most scenic bike trails across America — might we recommend heading inside this season? The best indoor amusement parks in America are looking particularly family-friendly this year: as temperatures drop, you’ll have zero concerns over weather, and it’s the type of family vacation that’s ridiculously easy to plan.

From Texas to Wisconsin and New Jersey, the best parks are all fun and games all the time. You’ll find roller coaster rides for tiny tikes and big kids alike, classic arcade games (think skee-ball and air hockey), and even black light mini golf. The best part? A full day of thrilling activities is sure to tucker the kids out, and some parks even have on-site bars for parents who need a quick break. Jump into our list of America’s best indoor amusement parks, and get going!

RECOMMENDED: the best family vacations in the US

Best indoor amusement parks in America

Nickelodeon Universe in Bloomington, MN
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Nickelodeon Universe in Bloomington, MN

  • 5 out of 5 stars

Everything's bigger in Bloomington, including America’s largest indoor theme park, the 7-acre Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America. Here, your family can enjoy 27 rides that range from the tot-friendly Blue’s Skidoo to the big-kids-only Avatar Airbender. Make sure there’s room on your camera roll for pictures—your kids will want to remember meeting their favorite cartoon characters, including Aang, Blue, Diego, and  the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Mall of America, 5000 Center Court, Bloomington, MN. Pay-per-ride tickets cost $4.05-$76.99; all-day wristbands cost $34.99 for one day, and $48.99 for two days.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Attractions
  • Theme parks
  • North Las Vegas
  • price 2 of 4

Turn your Sin City trip into a family retreat at Circus Circus’s Adventuredome. The five-acre indoor park has a distinct desert theme (plus a pretty and pink-glass enclosure) that’s jam-packed with entertainment. The little ones can take their turn on the carousel or the gentle Miner Mike train ride, while family members with a need for speed can go wild with vertical drops on El Loco or the Canyon Blaster: it's the world's only indoor double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster. Ready for family bonding? Get into some friendly competition with a round of laser tag, mini golf, or mini bowling. 

2880 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV. Ride-all-day wristbands cost $20 for guests shorter than 48”, and $40 for guests taller than 48”.

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iPlay America in Freehold, NJ
Photograph: Courtesy iPlay America

3. iPlay America in Freehold, NJ

  • 4 out of 5 stars

Although iPlay America is a full half-hour drive from the Jersey Shore, visitors can enjoy beachy vibes year-round at this boardwalk-themed park. Spanning 115,000 square feet, the park offers an abundance of activities for the whole family like a carousel, happy swing, and dizzy dragons. Get behind the wheel of go-karts or bumper cars, go for an immersive experience in the 4D Theater, or enjoy classic games like whack-a-mole, balloon darts, and skee-ball. Stick around for dinner on Saturdays to also enjoy free live music.

110 Schanck Rd, Freehold, NJ; Pay-per-ride ticket deals from $10-$100; all-day wristband packages from $27.99-$34.99.

4. Kalahari Indoor Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells, WI

  • 3 out of 5 stars

Nestled in Wisconsin Dells, the waterpark capital of the world, this indoor park is an added bonus to the already fantastic Kalahari Waterpark and Resort. At 220,000 square feet, the waterpark is packed with thrills that include a six-story Ferris wheel, ropes course, climbing wall, go-karts, and even laser tag. There’s also a sports bar on the premises for parents to wind down while the kids rack up points at the arcade. Stay at the resort for a discount on the entrance fees.

1305 Kalahari Dr, Wisconsin Dells, WI; wristbands for Kalahari Resort guests cost $16.99 for those under 42” and $39.99 for guests over 42”; one-day wristbands for outside guests coast $19.99 for those under 42” and $44.99 for those over 42”.

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5. Mt. Olympus in Wisconsin Dells, WI

  • 3 out of 5 stars

Mt. Olympus, yet another worthy stop in Wisconsin Dells, is a paradise for the little ones. There are plenty of rides for tots including mini hot air balloons, bi-planes, tea cups, and a trolley. The alien ball pit is a must, along with more classic options like climbing walls, bumper cars, and an arcade that includes mini bowling. Open only during the colder months, admission is free if you stay at the resort. 

1701 Wisconsin Dells Parkway, Wisconsin Dells, WI. During special deals, guest stays can be up to 50% off.

 

Spooky Nook Sports Center in Lancaster, PA
Photograph: courtesy Spooky Nook

6. Spooky Nook Sports Center in Lancaster, PA

  • 3 out of 5 stars

Though most visitors to Spooky Nook, the country’s largest indoor sports center, are certainly interested in taking advantage of the huge array of fields and courts, there’s plenty of sporty fun to be had. The sprawling pay-as-you-go arcade alone is enough to keep guests occupied for hours with over 60 games (think classic carnival selections with prizes). The Clip ‘N Climb climbing walls alone ($15 for one hour, $8 for a half hour) will have kids wanting to return again and again.

75 Champ Blvd. Manheim PA 17545

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7. Scene 75 Entertainment Center in Dayton, OH

Fly high in Dayton (where the world’s first airplane factory was built) at Scene 75, an indoor entertainment center. Enjoy plenty of twists and turns on the Tsunami Roller Coaster, or head to the drop tower to feel your heart hit your stomach. Looking for a more grounded experience? Try the mini-golf course and putt under black lights, or play a round of laser tag. There are also three full-service bars on-site for parents who need a little down time. 

6196 Poe Avenue Dayton, OH 45414; admission is free, but attractions range from $2-$10 an hour and arcade games range from $0.25-$3.00 per play.

8. Funplex in Houston, TX

When in Texas, go big or go home. The Funplex boasts over 200 activities and attractions for kids of all ages. Tiny tikes will love the ladybug and airplane-themed rides, but they’ll also run wild in the Playport, the park’s two-story indoor playground. Older kids and teens will be mesmerized by the VR roller coaster and car simulators, while the inflatable laser maze is also a park favorite.

13700 Beechnut St, Houston TX 77083

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9. Great Wolf Lodge in Pocono Mountains, PA

Beat the heat with a dizzying array of attractions at Great Wolf Lodge. Little ones can splash around Fort Mackenzie, the interactive water treehouse fort, or slide down Whooping Hollow for some pint-sized fun. Bigger kids and adults can brave the Hydro Plunge, a roller coaster slide that sends you down an exhilarating 52-foot drop aboard a raft. There’s also a ropes course, mini bowling alley, and arcade on the grounds, plus interactive mining experiences and live-action games.

1 Great Wolf Dr, Scotrun, PA 18355. Admission is free with a hotel package, which starts at $250 per night; half-day passes are $48, and full-day passes are $60.

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