Look no further for the coolest kids' play spaces in New York City! These kid-friendly venues offer a safe, indoor place for your little ones to grow, learn and explore with others from around the city. Some spaces even offer dedicated rooms for each age group!
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to indoor activities for kids in NYC
NYC play spaces
Recess boasts a jumparoo (kids bounce around on a big tube!), fireman poles, an alcoved nook with magnets and netting kids can climb, plus big and small slides. It also offers play space drop-offs every other Friday from 5:30 to 8:30pm with a pizza dinner and arts and crafts for the little ones. Ages 6mos–6yrs.
Haven’t visited lately? What are you waiting for! With the help of parent volunteers, this already-awesome space morphed into a dedicated educational, play and classroom spot for local families. Two separate rooms are available to visitors during Open Play: One is an activity room with a padded floor that’s great for toddlers (it often has a mini bouncy castle and giant foam blocks!), and the other is a sensory room/classroom that includes a magnetic chalkboard wall, a wooden playhouse and a custom-built wooden sensory wall with a bead maze, shape-matching toy, vintage telephone and a concave blowfish-shape mirror. Ages 18mos–7yrs.
Founded by two sisters, this 3,000-square-foot play space offers an indoor jungle gym, a Broadway-themed room with amazing kids’ costumes and a “bodega” where they can play with shopping carts and plastic/cardboard foods. There are also ride-on car toys (a Bentley and a Mercedes) and a custom train table featuring a 6 train and landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. Ages 6mos–5yrs.
Your seedling will blossom at this Chelsea play space, which includes a 2,500-square-foot indoor playground featuring a soft-play climbing area, a shape-sorter garden, a sports section and nine permanent exhibits that mimic the Big Apple. Your child can ring up friends at the New York-style deli filled with fake organic food and flowers, or design her own skyscraper out of colorful geometric shapes. The space also contains a boutique, a bookstore, a café, a birthday room and a hair salon (a haircut for your child will set you back about $32). Classrooms at the facility offer lessons in music, art, cooking, science, yoga, dance, sports and Spanish in 16-week sessions. A Red Apple Seeds membership grants you unlimited access to the cheery playgrounds and members receive a discount on classes, camps, haircuts, events and purchases at the boutique and café. Ages newborn to 5 years.
Set in the courtyard of the Westbeth artist community, this spot looks more like a gallery than a tot stomping ground. But inside, it's warm and inviting. Founder Dawn Ifrah has a master's degree in early childhood education and she puts it to good use, adjusting her equipment to suit the ages and interests of the kids who show up. Toy kitchens and cars can be added or removed, as can climbing towers. Reservations suggested. Ages 6 months to 7 years.
The Chelsea retreat may be named for its tree house, but its main attraction is actually a water table that accommodates children ranging in age from 18 months to eight years. Toddlers give plastic animals a bath while preschoolers direct water jets to move balls and customize dams. Other offerings include a wide selection of classes and playgroups, as well as birthday parties. Ages newborn to 8 years.
Nobody's too young or old to burn off energy at this Greenpoint play space. Mommy-and-me classes focus on building locomotor movements, flexibility, agility and social skills through play; toddlers can continue to build these same skills in the Tots Tumble class. Programs for children ages six and up include recreational gymnastics, cheerleading and parkour, as well as a superhero training class—designed to build your youngster's balance, agility, speed and stamina through obstacle-course practice. Ages 6 months and up.
Offering plenty of activities for kids, the Upper East Side gym features athletic offerings like Mighty Muscle Movers (an action-packed, play-based class for toddlers) and Tumbling Tots (gymnastics for the preschool set) as well as music and dance programs. Best of all: With class enrollment, families are entitled to such perks as free open-play sessions and discounts on birthday parties, camps and special events. Ages 9 months to 12 years.
At this Kidville location you’ll find a supervised indoor gym, tons of classes each week, a boutique and a café. But pampered playtime at each of these members-only megaspaces comes at a price: Platinum and Diamond members recieve complimentary use, and Silver members can play for a fee (first pass is free!). Ages newborn to 6 years.