Open Play at TimberGyms

This winter has been brutally cold.  It’s been difficult to get outside and play when the ground is covered in snow and it’s negative ten degrees.  Yet, the energy balling up inside a three year old must come out

Fortunately, we live in a state with a plethora of indoor play options.   Earlier this month, we explored a popular spot in Newington: TimberGyms!

TimberGyms is located right off of the Berlin Turnpike (Rte. 15), on Pane Road. 

(from Google maps)

We visited TimberGyms on a Wednesday afternoon, right around 1 p.m. It was pretty quiet at the time since school was in session for most local towns. We just happened to have a half day that day! 

TimberGyms is actually a retailer that sells outdoor play equipment including wooden swingsets and playsets. They also rent out inflatables (like bounce houses) and other outdoor party equipment.  

At their store in Newington, they offer open play.  Open play includes the use of four playscapes, a wooden ship, a castle, a bounce houses, play kitchens and houses, riding toys and much more! They hold open play on Monday through Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sometimes they will extend play until 6 p.m. if there are no booked parties; and sometimes they also end open play early for the same reason.  You may want to call before heading down to confirm their open play hours.   

Open play is only $7 per child for the ENTIRE time they are open. So if you have the energy, you can arrive at 10 a.m. and pay just $7 per child to play until they close.  I do not have that kind of energy, but even staying almost 2 hours was absolutely worth it. 

You’ll want to stop by the front counter before you start playing to check in and pay for admission.   You only have to pay for the children; adults are free.  

Make sure to read the rules before heading out to play.  The big rules are that you must wear shoes while playing (except in the moonbounce) and parents must supervise at all times.  

The play area at TimberGyms is pretty large. From the front desk, you can either head to the left or the right to find the playscapes and other equipment. 

There are two playscapes with slides towards the left.  These had traditional steps up to the top and curvy slides.  The bigger one had a second level, that my son had fun climbing up to and then waving at the man at the front desk! 

The large wooden boat is also on this side – and it’s pretty impressive to see indoors! I always love these wooden boats! Little jealous that we didn’t have one when I was a kid.  I mean, seriously, it has multiple levels, a “plank”, a slide, and a hiding area underneath. 

On this side, you’ll also find a few plastic play houses (they are on both sides actually), as well as plasma cars and a quarter-operated riding car. 

You’ll also find the restroom (with a changing table) over on this side.  

There are also picnic tables where you can sit and watch the kids play; and even stop for snacks or lunch.  They just ask that you keep the food at the tables, and not bring them into the play area.   

Along with the picnic tables, they also have a small kitchen area which can be used during a party; but they do have (free) coffee and water available during open play. 

I also spotted some hand sanitizer, by the gallon, over near the kitchen area. Much appreciated… much appreciated. 

As you head to the other side, you’ll either want to stop and check out their small store with Melissa & Doug products, or you’ll want to deflect and distract.  I was doing a lot of the latter.  He was very interested in everything they had for sale, despite being in a building with all these playscapes! Such one-track minds these kids have! 

The first thing he spotted when we headed into the play area on this side? I’ll let you guess… 

Yes, he even pulled up a seat. We weren’t going anywhere. 

Seriously, all these playscapes and a bouncehouse.  I don’t understand him sometimes. 

It took some coaxing, but I did get him to check out the other play equipment. 

They had a huge castle with a rock wall, a hideaway, a ladder to the top and a pole to the bottom, and a slide.  

There was also two other wooden playscapes.  One had a ladder and slide; and the other had a rope wall, rock wall, ladder and slide. 

In the back corner was the bouncehouse.  This was the only equipment where shoes were NOT allowed.  You do have to wear socks for it though! He had a fun time in here especially when he discovered the other kids playing in it! 

There were a few coin operated games on this side. He was enjoying skee-ball even though he was totally not grasping the concept… 

There was a small play house on this side along with a huge variety of play kitchens! I’ve never seen so many pretend kitchens in my life! 

The open play here at TimberGyms is really fun. The price is also great – you don’t find too many places that are under $10 for unlimited play.  

In addition to open play, TimberGyms also offers party rentals of their facility.  You can find more information about their party packages on their website

Of course, since we were in Newington and on the Berlin Turnpike, we had to make a quick stop at Stew Leonard’s.  They are literally right around the corner from TimberGyms.  Like I need an excuse to walk around that grocery store! 

I keep hearing that our winter is not over yet. We may be in for more cold, snowy weather that keeps us from enjoying the outdoors.  I mean, it is only January, and February is notoriously tough.  So, if you are looking for ways to burn off the kid’s energy, add TimberGyms to your list!  

This about sums it up…

94 Pane Road – Newington, Connecticut

 Website

Hours: Open Play is held on Monday- Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (some days until 6 p.m. depending on party schedules).  Parties may affect the schedule, so always call to confirm their open play hours. 

Cost:        $7 per child, unlimited play

Frequent Play Discount cards available 

Features:

  • Open play area with lots to climb and slide!
  • Open Play is first come first serve. During peak hours/busy holidays, once capacity is reached, a wait list will be started
  • For infants to age 10 
  • Parents must supervise at all times
  • No food or drinks in play area (keep at the picnic table area)
  • Socks and Shoes required (except in bouncehouse) 
  • Carpeted flooring
  • Plenty of seating for the parents throughout the play area
  • Bathroom with changing table available
  • Front door opens directly to parking lot – be mindful!
  • Birthday Party Packages available

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