PlayGround: An Indoor Play Center in Castro Valley - 510 Families
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PlayGround: An Indoor Play Center in Castro Valley

PlayGround is a newer indoor play center in Castro Valley with a flurry of programs beyond normal open play sessions—such as birthday parties, kids camps, and Friday (parentless!?) movie nights. We visited PlayGround and explored the two-storied play structure for about an hour in the late afternoon— perfect to get my daughter to burn off some energy before dinner.

Located about 25 minutes away from Oakland, PlayGround is a good indoor playtime option for children from one year up to about eight years old (but we think older siblings up to 12 will have fun in the Ninja School)— especially if you opt to pair it with some nearby good eats.

playground in castro valley indoor play center front
Entrance of PlayGround — a new indoor play center located in Castro Valley | Photo: Michele Yuen

PlayGround’s main feature is a large two-storied play structure broken up into two sections: (1) Children (four through twelve years old) and (2) Toddlers (one through three years old). My four-year-old daughter was just the perfect age to have a blast exploring both areas.

two tiered indoor play center
Two-tiered indoor play structure with toddler and children’s sections | Photo: Michele Yuen

The Children’s area includes a variety of features such as multiple slides, bridges, soft wrecking balls to swing on, and even a soft play rock climbing wall. I had a mini-heart attack when my daughter quickly climbed to the top of the rock climbing wall and then proceeded to fall straight to the ground. The soft flooring thankfully lessened the blow so she ended up being fine and got right back up to play.

indoor soft rock climbing
Indoor soft-play rock climbing at PlayGround in Castro Valley | Photo: Michele Yuen

The toddler section is full of a variety of soft play items that my daughter had fun climbing over— even though she’s technically not a toddler. She also liked to scoot on a few of the ride-on vehicles around the room.

indoor toddler soft play
The toddler section is full of soft play items and ride-on vehicles | Photo: Michele Yuen

I think older kids will appreciate the Ninja School— a mini obstacle course where you can press a button at the beginning to keep time. The obstacle course was a bit too advanced for my daughter, but she still had a go. She ended up walking under the swinging ropes instead of actually swinging on them to get across (cheater).

ninja obstacle course indoor play
Press the buttons to keep time while completing the Ninja School obstacle course | Photo: Michele Yuen

The check-in process at PlayGround

Once we entered the facility for drop-in open play, PlayGround staff had me sign a waiver for my daughter and then pay for our playtime. The waiver is also available on PlayGround’s website and can be filled out in advance. I paid for an hour at first and figured I could add on more time if I needed. We then put my daughter’s shoes in one of the shoe cubbies and she was off. Easy peasy.

girl putting shoes in cubby
Putting shoes in cubbies | Photo: Michele Yuen

Was the indoor play center at PlayGround clean? 

This was our first indoor play center visit in a while and I was a tad nervous. I went in armed with a fanny pack (don’t judge) full of hand sanitizer, masks, and wipes. I was also prepared to abruptly leave if the center seemed too crowded. I, however, was pleasantly surprised at how clean everything was, including the bathrooms.

I asked about their sanitation procedures and was told that they use a disinfectant fogger for the play structure 2x a day. I still had my daughter wash her hands before we left and there is a large jug of hand sanitizer at the front desk.

Other program offerings at PlayGround

PlayGround offers a variety of programs beyond open play including birthday parties, fundraising events, and kid camps. Camp activities vary and include ballet, hip hop, painting, calligraphy, and craft activities. It doesn’t seem like they have all their camp activities listed on their website, but you can get more information by calling PlayGround or sending an email to [email protected].

For birthday parties, PlayGround has two large event rooms—one of which is tea party-themed. I thought the tea-themed party area was cute and had a few fun photo backdrops.

tea party room
Tea party room at PlayGround in Castro Valley | Photo: Michele Yuen

PlayGround also offers Friday movie nights (aka Parents Night Out) for kids five and up from 5 pm – 8 pm that can be parent-free. The cost is $60 per child; it includes a movie, playtime, pizza, and 2 drinks. The price seems steep and I, personally, am not quite ready to use it, but it could be a good opportunity to sneak in a date night. More info here>

Good eats near PlayGround in Castro Valley

Whenever we are in Castro Valley, we always make a stop at Te’Amo Boba Tea x Mochi Donut to snag a few delicious mochi donuts and boba tea drinks. We also sometimes grab lunch or dinner at the Lake Chabot Public Market where we can choose between Korean BBQ, poke bowls, ramen, and ice cream. The Lake Chabot Public Market also has a mini supermarket and indoor + outdoor seating.

mochi donuts
Mochi donuts from Te’Amo Boba Tea x Mochi Donut | Photo: Michele Yuen

Plan your visit to PlayGround

Price for Open Play (drop-in only): $16.50 for each hour. Siblings also receive a 10% discount. They also have half price for Open Play Tuesdays

Hours: Closed Monday, Weekdays 2 to 8 pm, Weekends 10 am to 8 pm.

Fees: Adult companions are free, fees apply to ages 1 to 12. $16.50 for unlimited drop-in play on non-busy days. $25 for the first hour of drop-off play, additional hours are $12.50 (limit 4 hours). Siblings save 10%. They also have special events and drop-off movie nights for kids for $60.

Ages: one year up to twelve years old

Socks Required: socks are required to go into the play structure. Parents are allowed in the play structure but they also need to have socks on. PlayGround sells socks if you forget yours.

No outside food or drinks: while PlayGround doesn’t allow outside food and drinks, they sell some snacks (apple sauces, crackers, etc.) and some cold drinks at the front desk.

Parking: I ended up using free street parking and had no issues, but there also appears to be a parking lot in the back of the building.

Location: PlayGround is located at 3169 Castro Valley Blvd, Castro Valley.

Phone: 510.363.9231.

Website for more info >>

The bottom line for indoor play at PlayGround in Castro Valley

PlayGround in Castro Valley is a good option for an hour or two of playtime for kids ages one through eight years old. It may be hard (and get a bit pricey) to get more than a few hours of playtime out of one visit so I’d suggest pairing it with a food option or another activity (such as a visit to Golfland in Castro Valley to go mini-golfing) if you’re looking for a longer day outing. Otherwise, it’s a great option to get kids to burn off all that energy! We had lots of fun.

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