When the weather outside is frightful, head to one of our picks for the best indoor activities for kids. Whether your child is barely walking or totally self-sufficient, crazy active or crazy academic, we’ve got a spot that’s sure to bring a smile. By Jessica Allen.
The budding archaeologists and little explorers in your life will absolutely adore the American Museum of Natural History, full as it is with exhibits and displays about the natural world, from elephants bagged by Teddy Roosevelt to the gorgeous Star of India, to a huge canoe carved from a single tree. Check out the recently discovered dinosaur on display, a massive herbivore so new it doesn’t even have a name yet. Might we suggest Stanley?
The world’s first museum devoted exclusively to kids, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum will captivate your wee one from the moment you enter. Highlights include an extensive indoor water table, a pint-sized replica of a Brooklyn neighborhood — complete with bodegas and bakeries — slides, karaoke, a tunnel featuring lasers and running water (cooler than it sounds), and many other things to do and see. Admission is also free on Thursday afternoons!
This place is off the hook, off the chain, and off whatever else the kids might say in order to say that something is cool — like really, really cool. Brooklyn Zoo is a 10,000-square-foot parkour training facility, which lets kids burn off their energy while breakdancing, tumbling, jumping on a trampoline, running, climbing, and swinging. Check out the schedule of classes, including handstands and ninja warrior training.
City Treehouse, in Chelsea, is a dream come true, for adults and children alike. This facility, “dedicated to providing opportunities to learn through play,” features an interactive water station, where children can build dams, squirt hoses, and just splash about, a soft play studio full of cuddly cushions for infants and toddlers, and a two-story treehouse, complete with a whisper tube. Note: unlike the other spots on this list, reservations are required here.
“Be the game” goes the tagline at Indoor Extreme Sports, an aptly named facility in Long Island City where your youngster can play laser tag, paintball, and/or attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse. While your toddler had best stay at home, your tween or teen will have a grand old time donning a safety vest and tagging others with lasers or roaming around the (fake) stores and offices as part of the 8,000-square-foot Black Ops arena.