Nonprofit cultural arts center Scandinavia House, home to a gallery, gift shop and legendary eatery, also runs a toddler play area. Like the rest of the building, the Heimbold Family Children’s Playing & Learning Center places a premium on design, but each beautiful element also has a purpose. Last year’s renovation by Koko Architecture + Design borrowed from a number of childhood education centers in Scandinavia, connecting the fourth-floor spot’s two rooms—one an activity room, the other a “sensory” room—with a fun tunnel; adding lovely birch paneling to several walls; and upping the activity quotient with play-and-pretend shops and kitchens, spiffed-up Brio train table, a cozy mushroom house and a wall that encourages touching, among many other inviting attributes. While membership is required for weekday visits ($125 per year for two adults and their children), we love that the center is open to the public on Saturdays for only $8 per child.
|Venue name:||The Heimbold Family Children’s Playing & Learning Center|
58 Park Ave
|Cross street:||between 37th and 38th Sts|
|Opening hours:||Tue–Sat noon–5pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 42nd St S, 4, 5, 6, 7 to 42nd St–Grand Central Station; 6 to 33rd St|
|Price:||Free with family membership Tue–Sat; Saturdays (open to public) $8 per child|