If you're looking for a way to keep your little one entertained, the best baby activity centers will captivate them with toys, music, sounds, and other sensory experiences — and good ones will be safe and easy to clean, too. Activity centers tend to be pricey, so to ensure your baby gets plenty of use out of it, look for one that has adjustable heights to grow with your child or that’s convertible for other uses like a play table.
As with all baby products, safety is of the utmost importance, so you'll want to choose an activity center designed for your baby’s age (though federal safety standards indicate these kinds of products are for children who cannot yet walk, but are able to hold their heads up on their own), height, and weight. While each product may not list each of those, you can expect to see some minimum and maximum specifications. You’ll also want to look for a product that is stationary, since wheeled walkers can potentially be dangerous. While baby activity centers are deemed safe so long as you follow the aforementioned guidelines, you’ll still want to limit the amount of time your baby spends in them per day since the fabric seat can put stress on your baby’s hip joints causing potential issues so it's a good idea to stick with 10- to 15-minute sessions, no more than twice a day, according to a blog post from Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Beyond choosing an activity center that’s entertaining and safe, look for an easy-to-clean one with a removable seat pad that can be tossed into the washing machine since, real talk, babies are incredibly messy. Foldable or collapsible legs are helpful for compact storage, and a lightweight, easy-to-carry design is essential if you plan to take it on the go. If you want to use the activity center outdoors, a protective sun canopy is a plus. And since activity centers are designed to entertain, keep an eye out for any features (like a rotating or bouncing seat) that your little one might enjoy.
These five activity centers are the best of the best according to parents on Amazon. They’re all safe when used correctly, wildly entertaining, and a total breeze to clean.
1. A Fan-Favorite Activity Center
With more than 14,000 reviews on Amazon and a knockout 4.8-star rating overall, it’s clear that parents on the site are totally wild about this rainforest-themed Jumperoo from Fisher-Price, which has all of the bells and whistles to keep your little one entertained. The activity center features exciting lights, sounds, and music to hold your baby’s attention (note that this requires three AA batteries), and it even bounces for added fun. A rotating seat means your baby can twist and turn as they desire. But it doesn’t end there — this pick also has a bunch of toys for your baby to explore, including a peek-a-boo tiger, a rattle lizard, and two soft leaves that extend from the frame to create an overhead canopy for bat-at play.
This activity center has three adjustable height positions to grow with your baby, allowing you to get the most bang for your buck. The soft, comfy seat pad is machine washable and dryer safe. When not in use, the frame pivots to a nested position, making it a bit more compact for storage.
Who can use it: This product should only be used by a child who can hold head his or her head up unassisted and who is not able to climb out or walk. The child should have a maximum height of 32 inches and a maximum weight of 25 pounds.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I've lost track of the times my husband and I have said how much we love this thing! It miraculously contains our energetic 3 month old who wants to stand up all the time. It has all of the elements of a regular activity center but the "bouncing" part is what really makes this a homerun. The music is fun (though will definitely get stuck in your head) and is motion activated on one of the settings, which encourages him to bounce even more! Only thing I was iffy on was the design of the set seemed a little older and not as contemporary as some others we looked at. But our kid is enamored and contained and gets all his energy out (he never gets bored in it!) so we couldn't be more happy with our purchase."
2. A Budget-Friendly Activity Center
For those on a budget, you really can’t beat the ultra-low price tag of this activity center from Fisher-Price — it's less than $60! While it may not have quite as many ways to entertain your sweet babe as the Fisher-Price Jumperoo above (it doesn't play music or bounce), it's still loaded with fun features, including a variety of textures, bright colors, and rattle sounds to interact with. The seat rotates 360 degrees, and four movable activity pods give your baby plenty of ways to play.
As if the price tag wasn’t already a reason to click "add to cart" on this pick, you’ll also totally adore the fact that this activity center is convertible; once your little one is too big to sit in the activity center, the shape sorter plate can be played with on the floor, and the whole thing also converts to a toddler play table so it can be enjoyed for years to come.
This pick features a machine washable seat pad, and the activity center's legs can be removed for storage.
Who can use it: As an infant activity center, this pick should only be used by a child who can hold their own head up unassisted and who won't be able to climb out or walk. It has a maximum weight limit of 25 pounds, but children above 25 pounds can use it as a floor toy or toddler play table.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "My son loves this!! I was going to purchase something with more bells and whistles, but I’m so glad I didn’t. We started using this when he was 4 months old. He has had colic since 2 weeks old and with reflux issues so this was a blessing to have him upright. This made him so happy and he’s obsessed with playing with all the toys. He really pulls hard on them and still everything is durable and in place. Love that the toys can rotate around and he has mastered spinning in the seat. Super happy about this purchase and the price!"
3. A Compact Baby Activity Center That Folds For Easy Storage
Tight on space? This activity center from Infantino is your best bet since it has a smaller footprint than most of the other picks on this list and also foldable legs that make it super compact for storage. Beyond its space-saving capabilities, though, this activity center is totally entertaining for little ones, with music, lights, and multiple animal toys for plenty of fun. The seat even rotates 360 degrees. Three different height positions mean this pick will grow with your child. But once your sweet babe gets too big for it, the activity center converts to a stand-and-play activity table.
The entire activity center is easy to clean, and it has a removable seat pad that's machine washable. It requires three AA batteries.
Who can use it: This pick is suitable for kids ages 4 months to 5 years since it is convertible, but the seated portion of the product is meant for babies that can sit upright unassisted, but are under 25 pounds and less than 30 inches tall.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This is incredibly easy to assemble, and folds up very easy and flat. We have a small space and twins so it was important to find a space saving solution. This toy is perfect. Both my girls love it and would play in it all day if I’d let them. The toys are fun, easy to clean and offer fun for a range of interests/development abilities. My girls are 8 months and have been playing in it for about 2 months now. Worth the money!"
4. An Activity Center That Introduces Different Languages
If you’d like to introduce your baby to multiple languages at an early age, this activity center from Baby Einstein is the way to do it since it recites words in English, Spanish, and French. The activity center has 12 different interactive activities with eye-catching lights and sounds, and a 360-degree rotatable seat for plenty of fun. It also has five different heigh positions so it can grow with your child.
Amazon reviewers love this pick, giving it a whopping 4.7-star rating overall on the site, after 2,900 and growing reviews. It runs on three AA batteries and can be cleaned by wiping it down with a damp cloth, though the removable seat cover is machine washable.
Who can use it: Though this product has different height positions to grow with your baby, your child must be between 15 and 25 pounds to use it.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Our twins love this thing!! They love jumping and there are so many activities. They enjoy twisting the seat around while grasping everything in sight. The bright colors are appealing and I love the music and the numbers in different languages are a nice touch."
5. An Activity Center With A Canopy For Outdoor Use
When it comes to portability and outdoor fun, it really doesn’t get much better than this activity center from Summer Infant. And it’s clear that Amazon reviewers agree, hence the standout 4.8-star rating overall after more than 4,500 reviews. The activity center is super lightweight — it only weighs 1 pound! — and it folds down into a compact design that'll fit in the included bag for easy carrying.
In terms of entertaining your baby, this pick has plenty of features to do so. The activity center comes with a range of toys, and it even has a fun jumping feature for added entertainment. Three different heights mean that this pick will grow with your baby. A removable seat cover can be cleaned in the washing machine. And the activity center can be used indoors or outdoors as it has a removable canopy to protect your little one from the sun.
Choose from two themes — Sweets & Treats and Outdoor Animals.
Who can use it: This pick is designed for babies that can hold their head up unassisted, but not climb out. The maximum weight capacity is 25 pounds.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "[Got] this for our vacations and trips to family. This is a great way to easily park baby so that you don't have to constantly worry who is holding baby. Lightweight but sturdy, it has lots of activities to keep baby entertained or to simply just keep baby in a safe place for a bit of time while you unpack and gives you peace of mind that the baby is not crawling over yucky hotel room any getting into things they shouldn't be. The sun canopy is a great feature if you want to have baby outside. The legs are easily adjustable to 3 different height settings and I really like that the inner seat can be removed and washed. The whole fabric cover makes it easy to wipe any spills."