For such a kid- and family-centric area, you would think the Bococa (i.e., Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens) area of Brooklyn would be brimming with indoor playspaces for running around, parties, classes and more. While it’s true the area isn’t a wasteland, the fee for admission for most can be high or require a membership. But no more! Curiosity on Court, a new drop-in playspace that also holds classes, parties, after school activities and morning mommy & me gatherings just opened its doors, and we’ve got the 411 on the new kid in the ‘hood.

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Get Curious
Curiosity on Court is the brainchild of someone already familiar with the needs of kids and parents in Brownstone Brooklyn: Little Seeds daycare and preschool owner Catherine McKeown. The idea for Curiosity on Court stemmed from McKeown’s desire for a space she could take her own children to play, that also incorporated museum-quality, interactive elements.

First and foremost, Curiosity on Court is a no-membership playspace, outfitted with installations and diversions for kids of all ages and interests, with the added bonus of reflecting the Brooklyn/NYC origins of its clientele. The heavy-hitter of the playspace is a giant, multi-level climbing structure equipped with ramps, a spiral slide, tunnels, giant balls and more. Its efficient design packs a lot of play options into the space, and NYC-themed elements like a traffic light suspended in the middle of the structure, a section of “the Brooklyn Bridge ” providing central support, a passage labeled the “Holland Tunnel” and streetlight accents make it way cooler than the one in the suburban mall.

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Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Other highlights include a subway-themed area, complete with turnstile, Metrocard vending machine, buttons that cue announcements from the conductor and familiar “bings” and “bongs” and a magnetic poetry wall; a “nature nook” with puppets, blocks and more for little ones, and a magnetic wall with tubes and balls topped with a silhouette of the NYC skyline — all of which were designed by museum exhibit company Paul Orselli Workshop. Other playthings include a climbing wall (which increases in difficulty from left to right), a train table and a miniature, well-stocked play kitchen.

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The Price of Admission
Open play is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, and costs $25 per child, and $20 for siblings. The super sweet part?: that fee grants you access to the playspace all day — i.e., you can leave and come back. (Bulk passes at a discounted rate will be available soon.) From 9:30 to 10 a.m. every weekday, Curiosity on Court will be open exclusively for storytime and music in the nature nook for babies 18 months and younger and caregivers; the fee for that is $25, which also includes open play for the rest of the day.

On weekends open play will take place from 9 a.m.- noon, with birthday parties taking place in the afternoon. On days when no parties are scheduled, open play will continue until regular closing time of 6 p.m. (You can check the web site to get the latest scheduling information before heading over.)

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photo: Curiosity on Court

Party Hard at Curiosity on Court
Sounds like a great place for a birthday bash, right? Yes, you can host a birthday party here, and there’s even a pristine party room downstairs for eating and drinking. Party packages range from Basic ($695) to Supreme ($1495), and there’s even the budget-friendly Weekday party for $595.

All parties are for 12 kids plus the birthday boy or girl and include two hours of playtime in the space, as well as pizza (or healthier option), beverage, balloons, party helper, paper goods and more. You can request add-ons such as an art, music or yoga class or adult food as well.  Read more about parties at Curiosity on Court here. 

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Classes, After-School Fun, and Even Date Night Drop-off
The kids can also take classes at Curiosity on Court. The space has partnered with local businesses WoodShop for art classes, and Rockasorri for parent and child music classes. Yoga classes will be introduced in the weeks to come.

If you’re in need of a place for your child to have fun and maybe get some homework done after the final bell, Curiosity on Court also offers an after-school program which includes pickup from local schools, a snack, activity and open play. Get more info here. 

Finally, if the sitter cancels or the kids need a place to rock out on date night, Curiosity on Court will host them from 6- 9 p.m. on Friday or Saturday night for $40, with siblings an additional $25.

Curiosity on Court
278 Court St.
Carroll Gardens
347-294-0160
Online: http://www.curiosityoncourt.com/

Have you visited Curiosity on Court yet? What did you and the kids think? 

—Mimi O’Connor