Rainy days can seem soooo long with children. The idea of snuggling under a blanket with my other half and binge watching movies or going out and enjoying a good meal with a few drinks is a thing of the past. Now we are on the hunt for indoor play areas, family-friendly museums and pretty much any other child-friendly spaces where we can let our kids run off a bit of steam. Here are a few favourites in and around Innsbruck that we tend to fall back on 🙂
Joy soft play centre
Joy  is a big indoor soft play centre and a great place for kids of all ages. There is a small baby/toddler area that has a nice forgiving floor, a little slide, giant Lego building blocks and other fun soft play stuff. There is also a bouncy castle that is great for little ones and several small trampolines. Even at times when Joy gets packed (after school or at the weekend when the weather is bad), the older children tend to stay on the bigger, bouncier, faster slides and equipment so the little ones have plenty of space to roam. A bonus – there is also a restaurant with great food.
Joy is based at the Cyta shopping complex in Völs just outside Innsbruck so it’s very easy to get to from the city (by car or on public transport). This really is a firm favourite.
Kids Café in Thaur
The Kids Café  in Thaur is basically an outdoor playground inside. There are swings, wooden play equipment to clamber around on and several slides. There is also a selection of bobby cars, other ride-ons and balls. For the grownups – there is a small café with several tables that all have a good view of the play equipment. Everything is in one big room so you may even manage to enjoy a coffee while your child plays.
The Kids Café is just a 15 minute drive from Innsbruck and well worth the trip. One downside – it’s up several flights of steps and there is no lift so buggies are not an option.
Innsbruck is full of museums. My personal favourite with young children is the Audioversum . There are lots of exhibits that kids can touch and interact with and not much that they can destroy! It even keeps my 15 month old entertained and there is plenty of space for children to run around so they will be exhausted by the end – another major plus!
My favourite swimming pool for a rainy day with kids in Innsbruck is the Olympic Village indoor pool . There are some great waterslides for bigger kids (and not-so-grown-up grownups) and a toddler pool with bubbles, a little slide and other water features for the little ones. There is also an outdoor pool that is open year round with a lazy river and bubble loungers. You can go by car (there is plenty of parking) or take the “O” tram.
Swarovski Crystal Worlds
Swarovski  is actually not such a great rainy day activity for my two yet because children have to be at least four years old to go into the playtower – a huge indoor play area with four floors. I couldn’t leave Swarovski off this list though because my friends with older kids rave about it. Plus the Chamber of Wonders is fun for kids of all ages with 16 shimmering and sparkling exhibits designed by various artists, designers and architects.
Embrace the weather
Nobody is forcing you to stay inside just because it’s raining. Why not embrace the bad weather? Pull on those wellies, throw on a coat and head out into the rain. Puddle jumping is our favourite rainy day activity. The Hofgarten is a great place for it and afterwards we like to pick up hot chocolates from one of the Ruetz bakeries to warm us up on our walk home.
I have a few favourite restaurants in Innsbruck for rainy day lunches with small children:
Cammerlander is very family friendly and even has a children’s play corner that you can see from the tables – a rarity in Innsbruck! There is also a children’s menu, highchairs and baby changing facilities.
L’Osteria  is a big Italian restaurant in the centre of Innsbruck (just behind Kaufhaus Tirol shopping centre) with a children’s menu, highchairs and a nappy changing room. I never feel like my kids are being too noisy here – and my kids can be very noisy…
KIKA  and XXXLutz  – OK so these are technically furniture stores but they both have restaurants with play areas that are great for children. The food at XXXLutz is surprisingly excellent (I highly recommend the “Schweinefiletpfandl”) and the play area is great. The food at KIKA is good, there is a decent selection and the play area is amazing – it’s small, so great for little kids, and fully enclosed in a glass box so you can see your children from the table but they can’t escape without first getting through a glass door unnoticed 🙂
These are a few of our favourite ways to spend rainy days with young children in Innsbruck. If we’ve missed one of your favourites, share it with us in the comments 🙂
All photos © Jenny Bartholomew / BarLinn Translations unless otherwise stated.