The return of lower temps to the city means tiring out your toddler at your favorite playground is an increasingly less viable option. Fear not! We’ve assembled a killer list of drop-in classes and indoor play spaces that offer plenty of variety and require zero commitment. Plus, we’ve got one for literally every day of the week. Check it!
photo: City Treehouse
Monday and More
Splash Around Indoors at City Treehouse
Your active toddler can get wet at the gigantic water table at this nature-inspired indoor play space, or reach new heights climbing and sliding at the facility’s the two-story treehouse. You’ll also find a soft play studio for babies and younger siblings here. No membership is required; guests pay by the hour.
Mon.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $20/child each hour
129A W. 20th St.
Speak a New Language with Bilingual Birdies
Jam with bilingual language instructors as they engage toddlers with live music, silly songs, fun puppetry and movement games in Spanish, French and Mandarin. Free drop-in classes are offered this fall at libraries around NYC.
Mon.-Fri., Times vary by location
Available at a variety of locations in Bronx and Manhattan
Explore Music, Cooking, Dance, Art and More at Kids at Work
Kids at Work offers a drop-in class every single day of the week! (Although you do have to register in advance for the individual class you’d like to take.) Jam Sessions feature a live guitarist leading storytime, movement and singing, while Cooking with Julie! gives your tot the chance to dig into messy ingredients and use fun cooking tools to make a delicious treat. Creation Station Dance is an intro to dance that also gives kids the chance to dress up in costumes, and Mess It Up promises sensory and educational arts and crafts.
Mon.-Sat., Times vary
242 W. 27th St.
photo: Preschool of Rock / Jeff Zelevansky
Rock Out with Preschool of Rock
Let your tot rock out in this high energy children’s music class filled with drumming, shaking, dancing, laughter and instrument discovery. Songs are performed live on guitar and drums while mini musicians participate in drum circles, beat-making, dramatic play and group singing. Requires advance registration.
Mon., Tues. & Fri., Times vary by location
Park Slope, Dumbo & Fort Greene
Go to the Gym at Long Island City Kids
Let your toddlers work out their crazies at this fully-equipped gym’s open play sessions. Expect trampolines, a thick-knotted rope swing, an indoor climbing wall and plenty of matting and acrobatic equipment.
Mon. – Fri., Sun., Times vary
5-02 50th Ave.
Long Island City
Make Art and Music at the Children’s Museum of the Arts
CMA and its WEE teaching artists pack music, stories and making stuff into one crazy creative class. This art-filled drop-in session will find your little one working with playdough, blocks, stamps, glue, paint, bongos and more. (Bonus: no mess to clean up afterwards!)
Mon., Wed., Thurs. & Fri., 10:45 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25/family, up to five people
103 Charlton St.
Shake Your Booty with Dionne Kamara
Let your crazy toddler twist, shake and move it with Dionne Kamara’s dance class for two- to three-year-olds. Promote physical, social, emotional and cognitive development while introducing a love of music and dance. Check out Dionne’s other classes for tots under age two. These classes are first come, first served.
Tues., 4-5 p.m.
500 8th Ave.
Stretch at Breathe Bend Grow Yoga
Feel like junior could use a bit of centering? (Who doesn’t?) Let your little one try simple poses, songs, games and breathing exercises in this 45 minute class for walkers to three year-olds. A short quiet time at the end of the class closes things out on a relaxing and peaceful note. Namaste! Register for a single class in advance.
Tues., 5:10-5:55 p.m.
8 Liberty Pl.
photo: Creative Kitchen
Cook (and Eat) With Creative Kitchen
Calling all aspiring chefs — or just hungry kids! Cricket Azima and the Creative Kitchen team teach age-appropriate recipes that make perfect mid-day snacks! Little hands are kept busy creating healthful bites using fresh, wholesome ingredients. At the end of class, students get to eat the fruits (or veggies) or their labors. Register in advance.
Wed., 11 a.m.-noon
Whole Foods Market
Kids Corner of 2nd Flr. Cafe
270 Greenwich St.
Explore a New Culture at the National Museum of the Native American
The free (!) toddler music class at the National Museum of the Native American teaches kids about Taino culture through stories, song, movement and hands-on activities. Admission is first come, first served. (While you’re there, explore the museum — it’s free too!)
Wed., 10:15-11 a.m.
One Bowling Green
Listen to a Story at Strand Bookstore
Tired of the same old book? Bring your tots in for storytime at The Strand, one of the city’s biggest and most famous book stores, and let a staffer read from one of the store’s kid lit favorites. P.S.: Check The Strand’s website for visits from characters such as Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog, and introduce your tiny bookworm to his or her favorite literary pal in person!
Thurs., 3:30-4:30 p.m.
2nd Flr. in the Children’s Department
Get Messy at Church Street School for Music and Art
Drop in to this open art studio for kids where your little Da Vinci can create paintings, collages and sculptures with paint, clay, cardboard, fabric, found objects and more! (And when the weekend comes around, stop by for Sing and Dance for Families on Saturday mornings.)
Fri., 3:30-5:30 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: $15/child each hour
74 Warren St.
Go Nordic at Scandinavia House
If Ikea and Dansk had a love child, it would probably look a lot like the Heimbold Family Children’s Playing & Learning Center at Scandanavia House. A great weekend inclement weather option, this colorful and stylish indoor play space features a train table (with stops in assorted Nordic cities), a custom LEGO corner and an indoor climbing space. You’ll also find Scandinavian features like Moomin chairs, stuffed toys, a mushroom house and a well-stocked play kitchen. If all that play leaves you feeling hungry, the restaurant downstairs is happy to serve you Scandinavian fare such as Swedish meatballs, salmon and herring.
Sat., noon-5 p.m.
58 Park Ave.
photo: Art Farm in the City
Sunday (and Saturday, too)
Spend the Morning at Art Farm in the City
Where else in New York City can you begin your day on the farm? With a basket full of hay and goodies, your little farmer can spend the morning feeding and snuggling animals like rabbits, chinchillas and turtles at an indoor farm on the Upper East Side. Other drop-in options at the Art Farm include Fun Fridays on the Farm for tots ages 18 months and up, and Farm Foodies Cooking Class on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings for kids ages two to eight.
Sat. & Sun., 8-10 a.m.
Cost: $15/child; $5/adult
419 E. 91st St.
What are your favorite toddler drop-in classes this fall? Share in the comments below.