5 Indoor Spots to Get Your Play On

Punxsutawney Phil might have predicted an early spring, but with chilly temps and plenty of rain in the forecast, indoor play spaces are a must for beating a city dwelling kid’s cabin fever. We’ve rounded up five of the most amazing spots for kids to play inside and burn off energy so you can stay sane until the sun and shorts come out.

City Treehouse
For kids who love water, check out the City Treehouse in Chelsea. It has play areas appropriate for kids kids aged 2 months to 8 years, and is open seven days a week from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. The playspace is made up of three main areas, the most popular being the treehouse and the multi-tiered water table. Active kids adore climbing up and sliding out of the two-story treehouse and crawling into a secret cave filled with hundreds of twinkly lights. Wouldn’t we all? The water table is a genius indoor activity – it’s full of sprinklers, water wheels, dump buckets, tools for kids to build their own dams, water jets to spin propellers and water hoses to point at targets.

Bring waterproof shoes (like Natives or Crocs) and an extra set of clothes, just in case. Not sure about water play in the winter? They’ve got it covered with waterproof smocks and shoes you can borrow, as well as hand dryers in the playroom for warming wet little hands and feet.

Babies and young toddlers are catered to as well with a cushy play room filled with soft blocks, musical toys and fabric tunnels. The City Treehouse will set you back $10 for one hour for first-timers, then $20 per hour or $40 for an unlimited day pass. Reservations are recommended for this indoor play space as they limit the amount of kids playing at once.

City Treehouse
129A West 20 Street
New York, Ny
Phone: 212-255-2050
Online: citytreehouse.com

Little Athletes Exploration Center
The Little Athletes Exploration Center is another great Chelsea indoor play space. Located at Chelsea Piers, the center has drop-in play for kids ages 6 months to 4 years. We love the two-story climbing gym filled with sensory play items, and the ball pit that we so wish we could dive into ourselves. Everything is padded and soft, so your kiddos can go wild without hurting themselves. The price is $12 per session and the center is generally open Monday to Friday, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm; Saturdays 9:00 am – 2:30 pm and Sundays 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm-5:00 pm. But we suggest you call in advance for the daily schedule as times often change.

Little Athletes Exploration Center
Chelsea Piers, Pier 62
23rd Street and Hudson River Park
New York, Ny
Phone: 212-336-6500
Online: chelseapiers.com

Heimbold Family Children’s Playing & Learning Center
For an afternoon in Scandinavia without leaving New York, check out the Heimbold Family Children’s Playing & Learning Center in Murray Hill. This new indoor play space is only open to the public for drop-in play on Saturdays from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, but it’s well worth a weekend trip. They charge $15 per child and while they don’t have a recommended age range, we think it looks best for kids ages 15 months to 3 years. The space features an activity room and a sensory room. Most kids flock to the train table, custom LEGO corner and the little indoor climbing space. We love the Scandinavian features like Moomin chairs and stuffed toys, the mushroom house and a well-stocked play kitchen.

Heimbold Family Children’s Playing & Learning Center
Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue at 38th Street
New York, Ny
Phone: 212-779-3587
Online: scandinaviahouse.org

Frolic! Play Space
Hipster parents in Williamsburg already know about Frolic!, a 1,500 square foot indoor play space that is heaven for little rockers (newborn to age six). The membership-based spot is a bit on the pricier side, but gives you value for money if you use all of the benefits, like unlimited use of the play space (we’d be there every single day in winter if we could!), free special members’ events and class discounts. What makes it worth the hefty entrance price? For a start, it’s the only rock ‘n’ roll music-themed play space in New York and it features a 1970s interactive VB bus that kids can climb all over, as well as a Rolling Stones-inspired tongue double slide. As you’d expect there are musical instruments for kids to jam on and a stage for them to rock out in a pretend play concert. We think this unique indoor play space is one that you will enjoy as well as your kids.

Frolic! Play Space
34 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, Ny
Phone: 718-388-3100
Online: frolicplayspace.com

New York Kids Clubs
You may have noticed New York Kids Clubs popping up all over the city. They’ve opened eight locations and have a huge variety classes for kids ages 2 months to 12 years, covering fitness, art, music, language and more. What we love about the New York Kids Club is their huge gym with padded obstacle courses that are changed for every session, a balance beam, trampoline and sets of bars. They also have special events on Friday afternoons and weekends for kids to party with their classmates – kids play in the gym, make crafts and dance to live performers, followed by pizza served on pint-sized tables. You’ll need to enroll in a class to use the open play passes, but it’s well worth it, and if you enroll early enough you’ll score a great deal like 20 open play passes and four special events for the semester. Parents who enroll their kids in this indoor play space say it’s a lifesaver during the long, cold winter, and also during scorching summers, when outdoor playgrounds are too hot to touch.

New York Kids Club
Find a location near you: nykidsclub.com/NYC-Kids-Club/contact
Online: nykidsclub.com

What’s your go-to indoor playspace when the weather is wet and gloomy?

– Christine Knight

Photos courtesy of Christine Knight, Frolic! Play Space, City Treehouse and Tina Buckman, Scandinavia House/The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 2011.