NYC is a fantastic place to raise kids, but small living spaces can often result in little ones climbing the walls and adults getting extreme cabin fever. Kids’ programs that offer open play in addition to classes really get it—sometimes parents need a kid-friendly spot to escape to when the usual toys and games just won’t cut it.
Kidz Central Station has some great options for open play, including play spaces that are open all seven days a week, and programs that offer open play in addition to enrolled classes. So if it’s raining, too cold for the park, or when you feel the walls closing in on your apartment, check out some of these awesome places for kids to run, jump around, and let out some energy.
TLB’s playroom is every kid’s dream: an indoor play space with slides, a play kitchen and market, soft blocks, a rock climbing mountain, ride-on cars, a reading nook, puzzles . . . the list goes on. Open seven days a week, parents can visit this Upper East Side favorite at their convenience, and purchase single visits or five-packs in advance.
A state-of-the-art gym on the Upper East Side, Gymtime is known for a variety of great classes for kids of all ages. While the program doesn’t offer open play all day long or for every child, anyone enrolled in the Tiny Tots program (age 7–18 months) gets unlimited complimentary open play during designated hours of the week. Parents/caregivers and kids can drop in at their leisure for play time in the Tiny Tot mini gym, which includes, slides, mats, mini trampolines, and more.
Creative Dream Parties
Known for creating amazing birthday party celebrations, Creative Dream Parties now hosts open play Monday through Wednesday from 10am–12pm in its 3,000-square-foot space in Murray Hill. Kids can run, dance, laugh and play and use their imagination to create their own fun experiences. Snacks and drinks are included and drop-offs are available to give parents a quick break during the day.
Kids at Work
A Chelsea program known for its flexible schedule of drop-in classes, Kids at Work also offers a Free Baby Playdate each week, where parents and kids (newborn to 12 months) can socialize and play in the program’s cool, sunlit, 1,000-square-foot space. The play area includes age-appropriate toys, manipulatives, balls, and tunnel, and open play is offered every Monday at 1pm.
For Brooklynites in the Greenpoint area, PLAY Greenpoint is the perfect spot to spend an hour, an afternoon, or even a full day. Kids up to seven years old can explore various play areas, a wide-open tumbling gym, a music and art studio, and more, and for the littlest babies, there is a designated baby area for crawling around or quiet time. Parents and caregivers also have access to a sitting and feeding area, which includes a beverage center stocked with ice coffee, water, and juice, as well as a microwave for any food you want to bring.