ACT Indoor Playstation
Price: $6 per child-adult pair (0 to 6 months old free)
Hours: November to March 8, Mon to Thurs – 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Ages: 0 to 5 years old
Related: NYC’s 5 Best Playgrounds for Kids
When it’s cold, the Playstation is the place to be if you are 5 years old or younger. This seasonal play space is a well-kept secret. The perfect-sized slides, balls and crawling spaces are sure to keep any tot busy at least for a few hours. Next time you are looking to entertain your little one, be sure to check out this hidden gem.
Little Athletes Exploration Center
Chelsea Piers Field House
Price: $12 drop in; $155 unlimited monthly pass
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Fri – 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Ages: 6 months to 4 years
Located in its own private corner, this small space is sure to generate big fun for your active preschoolers. This playground not only offers up a ton of space, but it is also open on weekends. The brightly colored gym equipment adds to the appeal and is sure to put a smile on your little one’s face.
Art Farm in the City
Price: $20 drop in; $200 monthly (additional fee for drop-offs ages 2 1/2 and older)
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Fri – 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Ages: 6 months and older
Related: NYC’s 6 Best Toy Stores
Maybe your child isn’t the sporty type, or maybe you are looking for a play space that offers more than gym equipment. If that’s the case, check out the Art Farm in the City. Cuddly bunnies and guinea pigs, turtles, lizards and birds are just a few of the residents at Art Farms’ indoor petting zoo. In addition to the animals, the venue offers an unlimited host of arts and crafts and creative play options.Fridays, the center hosts its weekly open house: Drop off the kids to participate in everything from baking to music to arts and crafts. On the weekends 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. is devoted to farm mornings that allow kids to help feed and cuddle with Art Farm’s animal friends.
Prices: $10 for a 2 hour session
Hours: Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Sat -–10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ages: 9 months to 7 years old
This Park Slope gemis a place where children’s imaginations (and bodies) can run wild. The beautiful, brightly painted walls and colorful gym equipment will keep your kids going for hours. The center not only offers indoor play and a long list of classes for kids, but adults can join in on the fun too. Park Slope’s rock climbing wall is a challenge for climbers of all levels.
Prices: $12.50 for one pass
Hours: open play Mon to Fri – 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Thurs – 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Fri – 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun – 9:15 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Ages: 6 months to 5 years old
This Queens venue boasts a variety of daily activities to keep children of all ages busy. Open play is supervised in its well-equipped gym. The center runs a packed daily schedule and encourages drop-ins to its array of classes ranging from music, art, theater, gymnastics, yoga and even chess for kids 5 and older. As an aside, it boasts top-notch professionals in gymnastics and the arts. LIC Kids is a great place to drop-in for free play or a class.
Dr. Jennifer Powell-Lunder is a freelance writer in New York. She is a clinical psychologist specializing in work with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. Her work can be found here