Indoor $20 playdate ideas
Take your child (and his friend!) on one of these three inexpensive outings.
Wed Dec 14 2011
Brooklyn Flea moves indoors to the center hall of a former Brooklyn bank (Skylight One Hanson, 1 Hanson Pl at Ashland Pl, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; brooklynflea.com) from 10am to 5pm on winter weekends. Check out the website before you go: Every Friday at noon, the Flea folks post a scavenger hunt with one or two items kids can search for over the next two days, like a handmade mohair ear-warmer headband or a vintage holiday-cookie book. While kids are on the prowl, have them explore the building itself as they would a museum: They can count the owls in the bas-relief interior or find their favorite neighborhood on the giant Brooklyn map on the back wall. After, recharge with a cup of ber-caffeinated java ($3.50), while kids enjoy scones ($2.75 each) at nearby Bittersweet (180 Dekalb Ave between Carlton Ave and Cumberland St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-852-2556).âStephanie Abrahams
Located in the heart of Soho, the Scholastic Store (557 Broadway between Prince and Spring Sts; 212-343-6166, scholastic.com/sohostore) is stocked with the company's books, plus interactive stations for kids to play atâvisiting children can test their Harry Potter knowledge or search for hints to 39 Clues mysteries. The store also hosts free events on certain Saturdays at 3pmâincluding a Lego Ninjago tournament (Jan 14) and a Super Bowl party (Feb 4)âplus storytimes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11am. When hunger sets in, walk to Baked By Melissa (529 Broadway, enter on Spring St between Broadway and Mercer St; 212-842-0220, bakedbymelissa.com) for mini-cupcakes (12 for $10). Favorite flavors include peanut butter and jelly, and cookie dough.âRory Halperin
At the brand-new, two-level Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (532 Amsterdam Ave between 85th and 86th Sts; 212-799-0870, coffeebean.com), you and your charges can come in from the cold and warm up with a hot drinkâa latte ($4.75) for you and hot chocolate ($3.25 each) for the kids. When you're done, head down to the recreation room in the basement. There, children can try their hand at Ping-Pong, listen to new tunes, play video games on a giant plasma screen, draw at the coloring table or play with one of the many items in the toy area. (All entertainment is free with the purchase of a drink.)âRH