NYC play spaces
Just like the postman, your kid keeps going through rain, sleet or snow. These indoor play spots let them horse around no matter what the weather.
Mon Nov 1 2010
Upper West Side & Washington Heights
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave at 112th St (212-316-7540, stjohndivine.org). Subway: B, C, 1 to 110th St--Cathedral Pkwy. Open play Mon--Thu noon--3pm. $6 per adult-child pair.
In-the-know uptown parents spend their winters at the padded gym in the basement of this uptown church. Moms and dads supervise the kids as they burn off their extra energy with pals. Those whose kids are in the mood for a quieter activity can take advantage of a large selection of books and board games. Ages 4 months to 6 years.
Gymboree Play & Music
240 W 73rd St between Broadway and West End Avenue (212-724-2140, gymboreeclasses.com). Subway: 1, 2, 3 to 72nd St. New member initiation fee is $50, Admission for members only. Open gym time is only accessible by paying classes and initiation fees. Hours vary; visit website for schedule and additional info. Open gym hours: Mon 2:15pm-3pm, Tues, Thurs & Fri 12:15pm-1pm, Wed 12:30pm-1:15pm, Sat 9am-9:30am.
The folks behind this kiddie clothing brand don't just want to outfit your children—they want to educate them, too. With more than 550 locations across the globe, Gymboree offers a variety of classes in music, arts and sports. Its popular family classes allow your whole crew to paint murals or learn to play an instrument together. Besides hosting birthday parties, Gymboree also puts the space to use for mothers' playgroups and family reunions. Ages newborn to 5 years.
466 Columbus Ave between 82nd and 83rd Sts (212-362-7792, kidville.com/westside). Subway: B, C to 81st St--Museum of Natural History; 1 to 86th St. Admission for members only; annual family membership starts at $725. Hours vary; visit website for schedule and additional info.
At this Kidville location you'll find a supervised indoor gym, tons of classes each week, a kiddie salon and a boutique. Little ones can also enjoy a supervised rooftop playground and munch on treats at the caf. But pampered playtime at each of these member-only megaspaces comes at a price: Rates begin with a $70 registration fee plus a semester's class cost (from $725 and up). Ages newborn to 6 years.
Wiggles and Giggles
875 W 181st St at Riverside Dr (212-543-2393, wigglesgigglesplayhouse.com). Subway: A to 181st St. Drop in play hours: Mon 12:15-3pm, Tues noon-2pm and 3:15pm-5pm, Wed 12:30pm-4pm, Thurs noon-2pm, 3pm-4pm, Fri 12:15pm-3pm and 4:30pm-5pm. $5 per hour, 15 percent sibling discount; year pass (includes four eight-week classes, unlimited wi-fi and 15% off birthday parties) $2,500.
Stacy King, a longtime resident of Washington Heights and the mom of three boys, transformed an art gallery with Hudson River views into a family space in the fall of 2009. Tots can "cook" in a miniature faux kitchen, play conductor at a train table, and monkey around in a soft area filled with gymnastic and climbing equipment. There's also a small retail corner stocked with books and Melissa & Doug toys. Wiggles and Giggles also offers classes: The younger set can pirouette in a dance class or make edible art, while moms and dads can work up a sweat in Zumba, a Latin dance/fitness offering. Ages newborn to 5 years.
View Play Spaces: UWS & Washington Heights in a larger map