When the weather outside is frightful (I’ve got you humming now don’t I), and your kids are less than delightful…don’t fret. There are still many places you can go to keep them occupied! Find out where by reading this extensive list of the best indoor activities one can find in Nanaimo.

The following list was updated January 2021

Best indoor activities for kids when the weather is less than ideal

Romper Room

Activity: Indoor rock climbing

Location: 4385-B Boban Drive

Suitable Age: 6 – 12

Do you often see your child climb to the very top of the monkey bars or play structures? If so, then head to the Romper Room for a great indoor activity. They have a Little Rockers Kids Club that is suitable for children ages 6 – 12. Your child will join other kids who also enjoy climbing (and possibly meet new friends!) and learn new skills.

  • Saturday’s from 12:00 – 2:00 pm
  • Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s from 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Cost: $20.00 per session, or save big and purchase a 10-day punch card for $150.00.

Important: This is NOT a drop-in activity. You must pre-register by calling ahead. Click on the link above for further information.

Romper Room’s: COVID Safety Plan


Airhouse

Activity: Indoor trampoline

Location: 4381 Boban Drive

Suitable Age: 3+

This is a great place to bring the kids when they are bursting with energy. At Airhouse they can jump to their heart’s content for a 1.5-hour session. There are several options available to you depending on your child’s age and interest.

Including open drop-in sessions, Airhouse now offers the following at various times:

  • Trampoline lessons
  • Skateboarding lessons
  • Gymnastics lessons
  • Parkour lessons
  • Mountain Biking
  • Homeschool PE
  • Camps

There’s even an option to create your own type of lesson with your own ‘bubble’.

You can view their full monthly/weekly/daily schedule here: Airhouse Schedule

If you plan on being a regular and want to keep the cost down, they have monthly and annual passes available.

Important:

  • You must sign a waiver for your child to jump at Airhouse and it is highly recommended you do this prior to attending (
  • All participants must wear grippy socks (you can bring your own or purchase them at the front desk)
  • Pre-booking is required

Airhouse Safety Plan: COVID PLAN


Jumping Jiminy’s

Activity: Multi-purpose indoor playground

Location: #400 – 2980 Island Hwy North (Rock City area)

Suitable Age: The website says 0 – 15 years of age, but I feel it is most suitable for children under 10.

Over 8000 square feet of fun! Enjoy a massive indoor play structure, air hockey, foosball, games room, climbing room, craft area, toddler area, gift shop, birthday party room, and an onsite cafe. You can spend all day here if you like!

Cost:

  • 0 – 9 months: Free (with paid sibling)
  • Adults: Free (with paid child)
  • 10 – 23 months: $9.95
  • 2 – 3 years: $12.95
  • 4 – 15 years: $15.95
  • Group rates are available
  • Frequent visitor passes are also available

Important:

  • Socks are required (you leave your shoes in a cubby)
  • No outside food or beverages are allowed
  • Adults must remain on the premise (it’s NOT a drop-off situation)
  • Several other rules that apply

Please visit Jumping Jiminy’s website for hours of operation and further information.

Jumping Jiminy’s: COVID Safety Plan



Drop in gymnastics is one of those great indoor activities one can do in Nanaimo. Vancouver Island View

Drop-In Gymnastics

Activity: Gymnastics

Location: Flipside Gymnastics – 1911 Wilfert Road

Suitable Age: 1.5 – 19

Your children will have the opportunity to explore all of the equipment and try new skills, or just have fun in a safe and supervised environment. Everyone is welcome (no membership required). You are free to leave your child in the capable hands of staff while you run errands or just relax!

Times:

  • Parent/Tot (ages 1.5 – 3.5) – Thursday’s 12:00 – 1:00 pm
  • Preschool (ages 3.5 – 5) – Thursday’s from 12:00 – 1:00 pm
  • Pre-Teen (6 – 12 years) – Friday’s from 7:00 – 8:30 pm
  • Teens (13 – 19 years) – Friday’s from 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Cost: $10 per participant

Important:

  • Register online or at the front desk to reserve your spot.
  • Space is limited so they take participants on a first come first serve basis.
  • A legal guardian must complete a release form online or at the front desk for all participants under the age of 19.
  • Payments are to be made at the door before drop-in time begins, or you can purchase a drop-in punchcard that holds 10 classes (prepaid).

Flipside’s: COVID SAFETY PLAN


Escape Rooms

Activity: A mental challenge

Locations: Various locations across Nanaimo (see below)

Suitable Age: All ages are welcome to most (room dependent), but I’d say age 8 or older in order to be a contributing puzzle solver.

This is a fun family activity. You will be locked in a selected room for no more than one hour. During this time you must search the room and work as a team to solve the puzzles and escape before the clock hits zero! It tests your ability to work together as a team, as well as your use of common sense.

Cost: Price varies depending on the number of players. Your chances of success greatly increase with more players, and they recommend at least 4 for optimal results.

Locations

All three have their own COVID safety plans in place. Please read updates on the individual websites (links provided above).


StrongStart Live Virtual Circle Time

Activity: Early learning

Suitable Age: 5 and under

Currently, StrongStart Early Learning Centres aren’t being held in person, but they do have virtual classes now available. Join them on Wednesday’s and Friday’s at 9:30 or 10:30 to sing songs, listen to stories, dance, and more.

Each online class is a half-hour in length, and you have the option of joining both classes.

Pre-registration is required. Learn more at NLPS StrongStart


Nanaimo Museum

Activity: A history lesson

Location: 100 Museum Way

Suitable Age: All ages

The Nanaimo Museum hosts informative and interactive exhibits that tell the story of Nanaimo’s history. You will find award-winning exhibits (The Coal Mine) as well as ones loved by all ages (a replica of a 1920’s schoolroom). It’s a great way to while away an afternoon, and it’s extremely easy on the wallet!

NEW!: Bubble Buddies

The Nanaimo Museum is excited to offer a new in-depth museum visitor experience – the Bubble Buddies program. You will be met by a staff member who will accompany you throughout your visit for a special one-on-one museum experience. This is a unique experience to explore the museum with an exclusive guide who can answer your history questions; show you items not normally on display; and/or, share behind the scenes stories. 

  • There is one Bubble Buddies slot available each day, Tuesday – Saturday starting in January at 10:00 am
  • The museum will be closed to general admission during your visit and you will only share the gallery with other Bubble Buddy program participants. 
  • You can visit alone, or with any other members of your “bubble”
  • Group size can be up to 6 people. At this time there is only (1) group ticket per time slot.
  • Your experience will be 45 minutes long.
  • Admission is by donation; book your ticket online or by phone and then make a donation in cash or by card when you arrive.

COVID SAFTEY PLAN:

  • The public washrooms are closed for the time being.
  • All guests are to wear a mask for their visit.
  • Your guide will remain 6 feet away from you at all times and will be wearing a mask.
  • Extended Saftey Plan

Library

Activity: Virtual Story Time

Location(s): There are three public libraries in Nanaimo, and all branches are offering virtual storytime. I’ll leave the locations here as well, for the libraries are still open to select books, etc.

  • The largest (and oldest) is located in the heart of the city on Diana Krall Plaza (90 Commercial Street)
  • The newest one is located inside Country Club Centre near Shoppers Drug Mart (3200 N. Island Hwy)
  • The most kid-friendly (and nicest) one is located in North Nanaimo at 6250 Hammond Bay Road

Suitable Age: Any age, but the virtual storytimes offered by the library are most suitable for Preschool-aged children.

Songs, stories, fingerplay, puppets and more!  Preschoolers (and their families) are invited to join the online Storytime Corner Facebook Group for virtual storytime at 10:30 am every Monday and Friday morning.


Take a Dip

Activity: Swimming

Location(s): There are two indoor pools to choose from. (Nanaimo also has an outdoor pool that is operational in the summer).

  • The Aquatic Centre – 741 Third Street
  • Beban Pool – 2300 Bowen Road (Currently closed)

Suitable Age: All ages

NEW: Pre-registration is required for swimming drop-in sessions! Updated information can be found here: Pool Registration

The Nanaimo Aquatic Centre is home to one of the largest wave pools in Western Canada. It houses three water slides, a lazy river, and a fun, interactive fishing boat water feature with a slide and climbing net. There is also a separate pool designated for length swimming and diving. You will also find a large hot tub, sauna and steam room, a great swim shop, a large gym, and a cafe where you can buy everything from burgers to sushi.


Skating is one of those great indoor activities you can do in Nanaimo.

Head to the Ice Arena

Activity: Skating

Location(s): Nanaimo has three ice arena’s to choose from.

  • The Nanaimo Ice Centre is located at 750 Third Street and features two NHL-size ice rinks.
  • Centrally located within the Beban Park complex (2300 Bowen Road) you will find both the Cliff McNabb Arena as well as the Frank Crane Arena.

Suitable Age: All ages (as long as they can skate)

Between the three ice arena’s in Nanaimo, there are plenty of opportunities for public skating.

NEW Update!: You must pre-register and pre-pay for all skating activities. All updates can be found here: City of Nanaimo

For a full schedule, please head to the Arena schedule.


Bowling is one of those great indoor activities you can do in Nanaimo. Vancouver Island View

Knock those Pins Down

Activity: Bowling

Location(s): There are two locations to choose from in Nanaimo. Both are currently in operation, but with reduced hours. Please click on the links below to learn more about each location.

  • Brechin Lanes – 1870 E Wellington Road
  • Splitsville – 171 Calder Road

Suitable Age: 4+

Brechin Lanes is a modern bowling centre that has kid-friendly bumper lanes available. The 5-pin bowling balls are lightweight and easy for kids to use. They have shoes for all sizes, from kids’ 7 to men’s size 20! They offer Glow Bowling, where you bowl in the dark with the special effects lighting. There is an onsite snack bar where you can purchase a few hot food items (pizza, nachos, hot dogs, etc.).

Splitsville offers 16 lanes, cosmic bowling, an arcade games room, a large redemption prize store, and a full-service restaurant and lounge. This bowling alley uses the larger bowling balls, however, they stock lightweight balls in-house to make bowling easier for children. They also have bumpers so kids can score on every shot, and have ramps available for the really small ones.

Both bowling alleys offer open (public) bowling opportunities on almost every day of the week as well as throughout the majority of the day.

Please click on the links above for admission rates at each bowling alley.


A virtual reality room is one of the best indoor activities in Nanaimo. Vancouver Island View.

Virtual Reality Arcade Room

Activity: Virtual Reality Games

Location: 2-1585 Bowen Rd

Suitable Age: There is no age limit but you must be at least 48” (4’) tall to enjoy the spaces properly.

Welcome to the greatest location of VRKADE! Boasting 10 bays and includes a lounge area / party room available, as well as some old school video games. Many different games and experiences are available to choose from.

Price depends on which activity/experience you choose, as well as the day you attend.

For further information, please visit: VRKADE Nanaimo

COVID safety protocols are in place: COVID PLAN


So there you have it, Nanaimo’s best indoor activities! As you can see, there are still plenty of opportunities to keep your kids busy when the weather is not to your liking – even during these unprecedented times!

Did we miss anything? Feel free to leave a comment below with your favourite indoor activities.

*Please note, all prices, information, and hours of operation mentioned above are based on a web search as of January 2021. Changes may occur. It is always best to click on any links provided for up-to-date information.

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Best indoor activities in Nanaimo. Vancouver Island View

6 Comments

    • Thank you, Eleonora! I completely forgot about the Strong Start centres. I’ll see if I can get some more information on them to add to the list.

  1. Elaine Parker Reply

    Look up the Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society – NS3! Great drop in times including special events. Perfect for preschool to high school students!

    • Oh my goodness, how could I have forgotten NS3!? Thank you so much for the reminder, Elaine. I have added them to the list above.

  2. Great list! A guilty favourite is also the McDonald’s play area off Rutherford 🙂 It’s like a mini Jumping Jiminy’s!

    • Thanks, Steve! Ah yes, I totally forgot about the play area at the Rutherford McDonald’s. Thanks for the suggestion!

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