Mountain Play Lodge

Mountain Play Lodge: Good, Clean Fun
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

If less-than-ideal weather puts your plans on hold, the Mountain Play Lodge is the perfect play to spend part of the day. Kids can play til they drop from exhaustion; parents can talk, snack and even sip an adult beverage. The best part? The facility, even the bathrooms, is spotless.

- The Local Expert Team

There comes a time in every vacation when the kids just need to burn off some energy. When that happens, head straight for the Mountain Play Lodge located south of Asheville in Arden.

Kids love the indoor play areas, complete with a miniature Biltmore Village and a massive jungle gym climbing structure with slides. Not only can they climb, run, explore and jump til their hearts’ content, but the varied themes allow kids to exercise their imaginations, too.

Parents love Mountain Play Lodge almost as much as their kids.

First, Mountain Play Lodge is clean. Like sparkling clean. So clean you won’t be tempted to give your kiddos a Lysol bath before letting them get in your car.

Second, it’s safe. The indoor play area is completely contained. There’s a single point of entry secured with a child-safety gate, so parents don’t have to worry about losing track of a child. The play areas are also highly visible, so you can keep at least one eye on your kids while they’re playing. The floors are padded for safety and comfort.

Third, parents can lounge in comfy chairs while enjoying snacks and adult beverages from the cafe. Will you find a fancy pants craft cocktail made using only locally sourced ingredients on the menu? Probably not. But hey, a beer works just fine in this environment,

Mountain Play Lodge strictly enforces a couple of rule. Kids (and adults) must wear socks while on the play floor, and you can’t bring in your own food. If you do, employees will ask you to toss it out or leave without a refund. They obviously want guests to buy pizza, popcorn and drinks from the snack bar. But since your admission ticket provides all-day access, there’s no reason you can’t leave for lunch and return.

And while kids up to 12 are welcome, Mountain Play Lodge is more attractive to younger kids. It’s probably best for preschoolers through second or third graders. There is a separate area for children under the age of 3. Admission is reasonable, but be aware the venue charges a bit more during premium play times, such as when local schools are out for summer vacation. Therefore, admission is $13 in the summer and $12 when school is in session. Kids under 2 are $9 and $8. Parents are free.

Insider Tip:
– You can book the Mountain Play Lodge for a private morning play date for $100. You’ll get the entire area completely to yourself from 8:30-10 a.m. Private bookings include admission for 10 kids; parents are free.