We’re starting to think that Williamsburg’s play spaces are about to rival the number of dive bars in the hipster ‘hood—not that it's a bad thing. (Last year, we wrote about the opening of Frolic!, which joined other kid-friendly spots like Play and Klub 4 Kidz). Williamsburg’s newest neighbor, Twinkle, takes the concept of an ordinary play space and adds inspiration from children’s museums all over the country. Co-owner Vanessa Yee-Chan, who opened the 4,500-square-foot space with her sister Mieka John and their father Victor John, a civil engineer, describes the end result as “more fun than a playground and more engaging than a museum.”
The spot's nine interactive stations include a life-sized tree house with a suspension bridge, a pink-walled French beauty parlor (featuring a few fabulous wigs), a noodle forest atop a bouncy ball-filled dance floor and four 15-foot-tall dragons where kids ages six and under learn about wind circulation. Yee-Chan's own children are big fans of the new space: Two-year-old Alex enjoys the Brooklyn General Store, a 1950’s-era grocery complete with kid-sized shopping carts, a conveyor belt, and fully stocked shelves, while his older brother, Brandon, 4, loves shooting water out of a hose in the Red Hot Fire House. The family-owned business (the owners have been residents of Williamsburg for 30 years) will also regularly give back to the community—every season, members can nominate a charity they'd like to see Twinkle honor.
In addition to open play sessions, the play space will offer birthday parties, classes (think kung fu, science and silk screening) and special performances (to be announced soon). New exhibits are also expected to be added regularly.
Twinkle, 144 Frost St between Graham and Manhattan Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-349-1300, twinkleplayspace.com). Open play: First time trial $25; six-day pass $120. Membership: $300 to $850 depending on amount of time.