New York Public Library
Depending on the branch, your public library can be a great source of entertainment with your toddler. Many branches organize age-appropriate events for children including toddler times and in some cases, they may even station a play corner to be utilized for both reading and interacting with other visiting children. The great thing about this option, is that its free and convenient. For a list of events, see the system’s website.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers Court Street
106 Court St.
Some bookstores coordinate book readings and arts and crafts sessions. Another great reason to visit is the well stocked children’s sections. Again, it is a pick of mines because it is affordable (if not free!) and convenient. My local Barnes & Nobles is located on Court Street in Brooklyn and has a fabulous, beautifully decorated children’s section conveniently located near the bathroom.
129 W 20th St.
New York, NY 10011
If you are looking for an environment open to serious play, indoor playgrounds may be the way to go. Some require memberships while others are open to drop ins. City Treehouse is a top pick at CBS New York. We have visited and our kids were enchanted by the indoor treehouse and the water play. As parents, we were also impressed by the cleanliness of the space. They accept reservations and request that you bring clean water shoes and a change of clothes.
Your Neighborhood Store
1 Beard Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
767 5th Ave.
New York NY 10153
283 Grand Ave.
Brooklyn NY 11238
You would be surprised at what activities you can dream up at your neighborhood store. FAO Schwartz has story time events scheduled daily for toddlers. IKEA (yes, IKEA) Brooklyn sports a romping room for kids and their cafeteria provides some serious eats for you and your family. Even smaller shops, especially in the outer boroughs like Brooklyn, are great hang out places. For example, Still Hip is a maternity/baby consignment shop that hosts a slew of incredible free and low cost events from educating moms-to-be on birthing options, to providing musical, arts and crafts and mommy and me classes.
The trick is to think outside of the box. Have fun!