1990s Indoor Playground on Steroids Discovery Zone Set to Open This February in Cincinnati's Eastgate Mall

A nostalgic treat for all you 1980s and '90s kids

Feb 4, 2020 at 10:42 am

click to enlarge Discovery Zone - Photo via Discovery Zone Facebook
Photo via Discovery Zone Facebook
Discovery Zone

If you didn't break a bone or catch Hand, Foot and Mouth disease from the primary-colored McDonald's PlayPlace on steroids that was the Discovery Zone, were you ever even a child?

If you weren't born in the 1980s or '90s and have never heard of the Discovery Zone, well, I'm sorry for your lost youth. And here's the basic scoop: "DZ" — as the cool kids called it — was founded in Kansas City, Missouri in 1989 as a chain of "entertainment facilities featuring games and elaborate indoor mazes designed for young children, including roller slides, climbing play structures and ball pits," says Wikipedia.

An accurate description. 

It was also a place inside a strip mall where your parents let you run wild sans supervision to basically get stuck in plastic tubes with other kids, barf in aforementioned ball pits and host myriad birthday parties with crappy pizza. It was a golden era of Blockbuster Video, indoor malls and unironic Umbros. 

And that golden era is returning to Eastgate Mall on Feb. 7. Yes, Discovery Zone is back. In a mall.

According to its Facebook page, "The largest indoor softplay playground in Cincinnati" is slated to return with a similar ethos to the first DZ. (We're unclear as to whether or not it has anything to do with the original parent company and have reached out for confirmation but have not heard back; we'll update this story when we do.)

Based on this video, looked like they have the iconic DZ side, but it doesn't look like there's a ball pit?

Thankfully, you can still host birthday parties here, with pizza:

Discovery Zone will be located at 4601 Eastgate Blvd., Eastgate Mall. More info here.