As parents, we all know the benefits of large muscle play for small children. It creates healthy exercise habits for life, allows small ones to practice gross motor, social, problem solving and fine motor skills as well as giving parents some nap insurance later in the afternoon.

During the school year there are set times for classes or activities, but summer can be a long stretch where everybody in the family needs a place to escape. Too much TV, too many sunburns and too hot for littles means the time has come for some indoor fun.

More:5 tips for indoor play success

As it always does, the Upstate has the answer for parents who need to get out of the house with their little ones when the summer doldrums set in. Sprinkled all over are fabulous indoor trampoline parks, bounce houses and indoor play areas that are the air-conditioned answers to parent prayers for something to do.

Ranging in price and varying times, the variety of physical indoor entertainment facilities for families is astounding. All of the indoor facilities have restroom facilities and places to eat snacks. Depending on how crowded, Littles can meet a variety of new friends each day while parents have a place to sit and let them safely explore their own independence.

USA Play is an indoor playground facility with slides and climber and swings all set on a safe rubberized play area. While technically a sales staging area for their playsets, this facility has open play hours that fit right in with an after-nap playtime. They even have a separate room with table for eating lunches and snacks.

There are of course the multiple trampoline parks in the Upstate. Each offer enough of a variety in times that you could spend several days in a row exploring each gym. Andrea Hill, owner of Pump It Up in Greenville and Spartanburg, believes the summer is a great time for families to come out together.

“It is a great workout for both kids and parents and everyone benefits because they are exhausted in the end,” she says. “Kids are getting healthy while playing.”

One of the favorite activities for small ones are the extra-large Imagination Play Blocks. There are benches for parents to sit while Little Ones explore or they can join in the fun. It is carpeted and safe for new walkers and crawlers.

Melissa Griffith at Kangaroo Jax has specific Pre-K jump times for Little Ones to maintain safety and encourage confidence in the small kiddos.

“We have seen children learn how to master eye and hand coordination when climbing up inflatables,” she says. “Children benefit from movement.”

Not to be forgotten, Greenville County has the Pavilion, which offers the coldest option of all with a bounce house and an ice rink. There they also have tables and bleachers to eat snacks and change shoes.

Read or Share this story: