8 Play Areas Where Kids Can Unplug and Enjoy Family Time
Your kids are either plugged in or tuned out most of the time—or so it seems these days. Luckily, kids of every age naturally gravitate towards a cool playroom to chill and unplug. We went all out to find crazy-awesome kids’ play areas in homes for sale right now, from coastal New Hampshire to star-studded Studio City, California. We hope they inspire your own family to spread out, swing high, get messy, ditch technology, and flex some muscle.
1. For the Craftiest Kids
201 Ferson Ave, Iowa City, IA 52246
Families who enjoy crafts—including the messiest hobbies, like making slime and building skyscrapers out of glue and popsicle sticks—should check out this 5-bedroom, 5.5-bath Iowa City home. It comes complete with a spacious craft room and a place to wash up—pretty close to a parents’ dream come true. The long work table, bulletin board, built-ins, and white board allow imaginations of all ages to run free.
This home’s prime location in the Manville Heights subdivision of Iowa City will make you a member of a family-friendly community with 23 schools and neighbors—64% of whom are homeowners and 61% of whom are college graduates. Your family will be a short drive from the Devonian Fossil Gorge and the Iowa Avenue Literary Walk, a fitting landmark in the only UNESCO “City of Literature” in North America.
2. For Movers and Makers
3961 Sunswept Dr, Studio City, CA 91604
It’s a maker-space with a complete set of power tools. It’s a gym with the newest strength machines, padded floors, and a punching bag. Fun fills this enormous space in the star studded L.A. neighborhood of Studio City. This 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath estate also has a secret bookshelf door and a backyard tree swing.
Any kid would feel like a star—maybe George Clooney or Bruno Mars? They’re just two famous names that have gotten ready for the spotlight in nearby homes. While it’s far from your average “starter neighborhood,” locals say Studio City is a coveted spot for jet-set young families with school-age children.
3. For Happy Campers
8601 N County Road 1050, East, Brownsburg, IN, 46112
How cool would it be if the closest campground was … your backyard! Check out this 6-bedroom, 6-bath home, which is located a mere five miles from the 3,900-acre Eagle Creek Park, a popular campsite for Hoosier families. The fire pit and log benches are just Part One of this storybook home, which has a secluded treehouse and over four acres of land to explore. This 5,784-square-foot home is located in Brownsburg, which was once named the best place to live in Indiana by CNN’s Money Magazine. Its zip code also has the lowest rates of crime in the county and a 92% homeownership rate.
4. For Social Climbers
763 S Chatham Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126
Got a little thrill seeker who literally loves climbing the walls? This 5-bedroom, 4.5-bath property has a wooden, floor-to-ceiling climbing area in the basement. But that’s just the warm up. A trampoline and a playhouse decked out with swings and slides in the backyard can entertain friends for hours (Bonus: They’re close enough to an elegant brick patio that adults can enjoy company while keeping one eye on the kids.) Cricket Creek Forest Preserve and Eldridge Park are within a 15-minute drive of Elmhurst and public transportation makes it easy to plan car-free days out.
5. For Water Park Fans
3000 Morning Glory St, Moore, OK 73160
If you’ve got a kid who must be dragged—red-eyed and wrinkly fingered—out of the pool when the mercury rises, this 3-bedroom, 3.5 bath estate, located in Moore, 11 miles from Oklahoma City, will feel like a dream come true even before you see the fire pit and outdoor cabana. The private waterpark—tricked out with snaking water slides and neon lights—is part of a gated community in Cleveland county. When the kids dry off, head out of the house to the nearby Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark or the Oklahoma City Zoo.
6. For Big Dreamers
421 & 451 Northwood Way, Ketchum, ID 83340
The only thing missing from this log-clad bedroom with a barn-door-style closet and wagon-wheel lighting are birds, trees, and maybe an open-fire kitchen—but you can leave that to your kids’ imagination. This bedroom for two, part of a palatial 7-bedroom, 7.5-bath estate—has more of a “little bit country, whole lot of luxury”‘ feel. Fittingly, it’s located in a community where the motto is “small town, big life.” Despite its humble population of around 2,720, the Ketchum area draws families and college-grads nationwide and has an impressive 71% homeownership rate. Nearby attractions like Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Sun Valley Center for the Arts can fill your kids’ entire weekend with entertainment before they drift off to sleep in their own private Lincoln Log landing pad.
7. For Old School Gamers
12 Stony Brook Place, Armonk, NY 10504
Game nights without screens? Yes! This throwback is a true escape for game lovers, especially older kids who need to be reminded more than a few time to stay off their screens. The 1,546-square-foot entertainment level of this 4-bedroom, 7.5-bath New York home has billiard and other game tables, and an arcade with everything from pinball to air hockey. The low-crime community of Armonk, less than a half hour from New York City, is a haven for families (91% are homeowners here) who want to spread out in the suburbs.
8. For the Captain of Her Own Ship
19 Smith Cove Rd, Gilford, NH 03249
This is some serious pirate booty. The indoor play ship—complete with a pirate flag, Jacob’s ladder, and a realistic maritime mural surrounding it all—gives young swashbucklers an outlet to unleash their pent-up energy after school. This 3-bedroom, 4-bath shorefront home is located mere steps from fishing-friendly Lake Winnipesaukee (the largest in the state), but kids don’t have to leave the 2,135-square-foot home to set off on a nautical adventure. Parents can choose from seven schools in the 52% college-educated area of Gilford, including the top-rated Gilford Elementary School. Keep making waves at nearby Weirs Beach or enjoy seasonal outdoor concerts at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, a local amphitheater.