The Upper East Side’s got a new Second Avenue subway, and an all-new Q train (with elevator…) and now it’s got a brand new playspace for kids. NYC FunZone just opened on that way-east thoroughfare of York Avenue, and we headed over to check out out everything NYC FunZone has to offer the five and under set.
photo: Charles Matter
NYC FunZone is the brainchild of Manhattan mom-of two Sarit Triger, a former schoolteacher, cake baker, event planner, and interior designer. Triger combined all her interests and opened her new business venture at a time when she was soul-searching for a new career path that involved kids. When she heard about an 800-square-foot retail space on York Avenue that was empty and available, she had a “lightbulb” moment, and immediately set to work revamping the cute space. NYC FunZone officially opened its doors at the end of February.
NYC FunZone feels like a charming little nook: it’s small and sweet. After you sign a waiver and remove everyone’s shoes, it’s playtime!
Room to Play
FunZone is made up of sections, with little painted walls separating the play areas. The first area is dress-up, and there are plenty of dress-up clothes available for your kid’s imagination to run wild.
The other nooks—all lined up in a row—include a train area (complete with a train table, of course); kitchen (the most popular when we were there), and in the back, a designated area for infants and toddlers with soft toys, mirrors, and playmats. Although it’s for FunZone’s youngest guests, my 4-year-old declared this her favorite corner.
On the day we visited, kids really enjoyed rotating from play section to play section. Whimsical Dr. Suess quotes adorn the main wall of the place.
Time Out, and Time Outside
There’s also a rest/book section with a soft shaggy rug, and in the very back of the venue is a classroom with a padded playmat where FunZone hosts weekly classes such as Musical Adventures, Hebrew Tots, Jam with Jamie, Messy Art Fun, and more.
Each class is 45 minutes, $35 if you register online, and $40 if you drop-in. Included in each class fee is 30 minutes of playtime for your child either before or after class. Triger also plans to host adult classes at FunZone, such as one about essential oils and infant CPR.
FunZone even has a mini outdoor space adjacent to the classroom, which Triger plans to spruce up ASAP for additional activities.
Get in the Zone
There’s open play pretty much every day here; the only exception is when the space is booked for a party. Triger updates FunZone’s schedule via social media, so check its Facebook and instagram daily for up-to-the-minute hours. While you’re at it, sign up online for FunZone’s mailing list, which will include special offers and discounts.
You can pay for open play in advance online for $25 (which covers one child; one adult, and is all day; please note this is not a drop-off space, all children must be accompanied by an adult) or pay day-of, for $35. Siblings are $15, but free if the sibling baby is five months or younger. (Note: If you leave open play for an extended period of time, re-entrance fee is $10. However, if you leave briefly to stop at nearby Dunkin’ Donuts or something, and return within 30-45 minutes, there’s no re-entrance fee.)
Plan on being a frequent visitor? Membership packages are available, ranging in price from $140 to $160, as are punch-cards: for every 10 Open Play visits, you get one free.
NYC FunZone also offers three party packages, ranging in price from $700 to $1750. Each party is 90 minutes, and details on packages can be found here.
On-site restroom with changing table; no food or drinks allowed. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Cash or credit cards accepted.
Overall, NYC FunZone is a nice addition to the neighborhood–a real UES gem. It’s pretty easy to get to on the Q train. As advertised, it really is best for kids 5 and under, as they can keep busy by moving from nook to nook, or taking one of many classes offered. Welcome to the area, NYC FunZone! Make yourself at home!
1571 York Avenue (@E. 83rd St)
Upper East Side
Images by author unless otherwise indicated.
Have you stopped by NYC FunZone? What did you think? Tell us in the comments!