7 indoor play spaces to entertain young kids


By Nutsuda Edens

Oh the weather outside has indeed been frightful these past few weeks! With temperatures set to remain low, indoor play spaces offer the perfect solution for families with young kids. Let those little ones unleash their energy and imagination in a safe and creative environment that even adults will enjoy, too. We’ve done the heavy lifting and compiled a list of some of Shanghai’s best indoor play spaces for the little ones.

Suitable for: 6 years and above

Average time spent: 2-3 hours


Photograph: courtesy NEOBIO Museum

Show your kids that science can also be fun by visiting the latest addition to the NEOBIO family, the NEOBIO Museum. Recently opened on December 15, this museum steers away from display-style exhibition, instead integrating knowledge, art, and hands-on experience, bringing to life a full sensory scientific experience.


Photograph: courtesy NEOBIO Museum

Divided into 5 exhibitions, kids can journey through space, learn about the wonders of human life and body, conduct a symphony using art and technology, become an innovator, and play around with nature and energy. Themed science activities and parent-child sessions are also held throughout the year. One visit to this one-of-a-kind science museum/playspace will surely leave your kids asking plenty of questions and instill a much-needed curiosity about the world around them.

NEOBIO Museum, First Floor, AI PLAZA, 683 Yunjin Lu. 10am-9pm daily from Jan 7. From 248RMB; from 168RMB (early birds). Book your visit on 奈尔宝 WeChat official account.

Suitable for: 12 months – 7 years

Average time spent: 2-3 hours


Photograph: Nutsuda Edens

If you’re a toddler mom like me, you’ve probably been here more than once and enjoyed it as much as your little one did! Mini Mars is a miniature world where kids can basically be whatever they want, whether it’s a shopper or clerk at the supermarket, a vet that treats cute stuffed animals or just an ordinary kid who wants to play house. The space is airy, clean, and gargantuan in size.


Photograph: Nutsuda Edens

One of the best things about Mini Mars is there are toys and play areas for all ages. Its Pudong branch includes a baby room with age-appropriate toys for kids under 2, a bounce house, a climbing wall, a massive ball pit, a princess dress-up station, and not to mention countless slides. The playground is equipped with lots of staff standing by to ensure kids play safely and to help put toys away. They also have a restaurant just in case your little one needs a recharge after all those hours running around.

Mini Mars (Pudong Jinqiao), 518 Lantian Lu. 9:30am-8pm daily. 328RMB (2 adults and 1 child). Various branches.

Suitable for: 18 months – 7 years

Average time spent: 2-3 hours


Photograph: Nutsuda Edens

You know it’s a popular place when you see 10 strollers parked near the entrance and it’s just 10 minutes after opening time. Behold Meland, probably the most colorful indoor playground in all of Shanghai. At its Hongkou branch, which is set across 3 floors, one visit might not be enough to cover all its grounds because it has EVERYTHING – an enormous ball pit, a sand box, a never-ending jungle gym, climbing structures, a miniature supermarket and so on. Then you have the special play areas you normally don’t see elsewhere such as a “water room”, where kids can have fun experimenting with water (raincoats and wellies available to prevent wet clothes), a cooking studio, and a mini arcade for the older kids.


Photograph: Nutsuda Edens

Meland (Hongkou), Third Floor, Ruihong Tiandi Sun Palace, 181 Ruihong Lu. 10am-6pm (Mon); 10am-9pm (Tue to Sun). 298RMB (3 hours); 398RMB (all day, 1 adult and 1 child). Various branches.

Suitable for: 18 months – 13 years

Average time spent: 1 hour for toddlers


Photograph: Nutsuda Edens

Nestled on the 4th floor of Kerry Hotel Pudong is Adventure Zone, a 700sqm haven for the older kids who yearn for more challenging jungle gyms and thrilling slides. The playground consists of 2 zones for toddlers and big kids respectively. The toddler area boasts its own jungle gym and 2 slides as well as a colorful miniature town (kiddie bank, café, police station, etc). Moving over to the big kids zone, the jungle gym here is gigantic and takes up 4 floors. Even adults can feel a bit nervous standing over their steep slides, which are Adventure Zone’s main attractions. One (nicknamed “the demon drop”) even seems to be dropping at 90 degrees! Keep in mind that there is a minimum height for some of these slides. Overall, the big kids zone is a must-try if you are brave enough that is.


Photograph: courtesy Kerry Hotel Pudong

Kerry Parkside Adventure Zone, Fourth Floor, Kerry Hotel Pudong, 1388 Huamu Lu. 11am-7pm (Mon & Tue); 10am-8pm (Fri & Sat). 300RMB (1 adult and 1 child).

Suitable for: 5 years and above

Average time spent: 1-1.5 hours


Photograph: courtesy Museum of Ice Cream

For those new to the sweetest place on earth, MOIC is an interactive experience dedicated to all things ice-cream. Think massive popsicles, a life-size ice cream spoon/ seesaw, and a slide that drops right into a pool of sprinkles. Be sure to catch the last few days of its annual Pinkmas celebration. This year, it features a giant life-size snow globe, a scoop wall showcasing flavors from around the world, and a pink Christmas tree forest giving visitors all the Christmas feels. Kids also get to take home their own DIY paper gingerbread house. Although the interactive features and games of the museum are more suitable for kids ages 5 and above, the younger ones will still be dazzled by the colorful installations in-store and can without a doubt spend hours wandering around this pink fantasy land.


Photograph: courtesy Museum of Ice Cream

Museum of Ice Cream, First and Second Floors, Taikoo Li Qiantan, 500 Dongyu Lu. 11:30am-8pm (Tue to Sun). Pinkmas runs till Jan 8. 98RMB (youth); 118RMB (weekday adult); 148RMB (weekend adult).

Suitable for: 2 years – 5 years

Average time spent: 2 hours


Photograph: Nutsuda Edens

This 3-storey, Care Bears-themed indoor play space based on the beloved franchise is a win-win for the whole family. The décor is gorgeous and stays true to the Care Bears (think bright neon lights, rainbow-colored décor, and lots and lots of bears). For the little ones, they’ve got ball pits, a kiddie slide, a sandbox, and a mini kitchen/ supermarket. For the older kids, there is a dress-up station, a reading room, a music area, and a big kids slide (super long that it starts from the third floor and finishes on the first). Even if your kids are not die-hard care bears fans, they will still have a blast and might even go home as one. Do prepare for the many stairs and split levels inside and make sure you have eyes on your little ones at all times if they are still pretty new to walking.


Photograph: Nutsuda Edens

Kalidico, Third Floor, Sinar Mas Plaza, 501 Dongdaming Lu. 10am-7:30pm (Mon to Fri); 10am-8:30pm (Sat & Sun). 168RMB (child); 188RMB (1 adult and 1 child).

Suitable for: 3 years and above

Average time spent: 1.5 hours


Photograph: courtesy Joy Skating Dream

Gone are the days when you had to ice skate in the freezing cold. Joy Skating Dream, a leading ice-skating rink operator in China, seems to have found the perfect recipe in generating more interest in this classic sport/ hobby especially amongst families with children. Even if your kids don’t know how to ice-skate, Joy Skating Dream exudes a warm vibe that anyone is welcomed to try and will have fun regardless.


Photograph: courtesy Joy Skating Dream

At the Changfeng Joy City branch, the rink is conveniently located right at the center of the shopping mall. Although not 100% indoor, the glass structure above and surrounding buildings provide a nice refuge from the strong winds and rain. On some occasions, there are even special shows by professionals. If you’re looking for an activity for your little one that involves some exercise and fun, this might be the perfect place for you.

Joy Skating Dream (Changfeng Joy City), Fourth Floor, Changfeng Joy City, 196 Daduhe Lu. 10am-10pm daily. From 68RMB (weekdays); from 96RMB (weekends and holidays). Various branches.

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