While we usually review brand-new NYC kid attractions, sometimes we come across a popular neighborhood mainstay we've never heard of before and we just have to share. That's why we're writing about Play Days & Parties, a small, family-run play space in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. My family and I recently moved to the area from Manhattan's Upper West Side, and with four kids at home (including a newborn and two toddlers), I've been searching for indoor places to play in our new community.
Though my search is far from over, I’m happy to report I've found at least one I can count on: Play Days & Parties. Sandwiched between a firehouse and a deli, this little known gem has a modest storefront that's easy to miss. But if you're in the area, you should definitely take the time to drop by because Play Days & Parties offers kids a variety of ways to have fun on the cold, winter days we all know are coming.
In addition to Mommy & Me classes and after-school activities, Play Days & Parties offers drop-in open play, so you don't need to be a member or a currently enrolled student to have fun here. Other programs include parents’ night out, emergency afternoon babysitting and personalized parties in its cute and clean party room.
Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 11:30am to 4pm, two-hour open play sessions cost $10 per child, and on Thursday it's just $6 per kid. The play room is chock-full of different kinds of toddler and baby toys, from soft blocks to shape sorters, plus plastic play equipment like a slide, seesaw and rock climbing wall. My toddlers are partial to the miniature roller coaster (it’s actually on their Christmas list).
For potty trained children ages 3 and up, there's the parents' night out program on Friday nights 6:30 to 9:30pm. Drop off the brood for free play, a movie, pizza and juice for $30 per child, $25 for siblings. Or, if you need a sitter unexpectedly, parents can drop kids off during the week between noon and 5pm for 10 bucks an hour.
Like any good play space, Play Days & Parties also offers birthday parties on weekends. There are various packages, including games and pizza, crafts and even make-your-own stuffed animal. Only one party is hosted at a time in the brightly decorated event room, so it's totally private and you get the staff's undivided attention.
There are classes and playgroups, too, for children ages 6 months to 4 years, as well as programs like the "Just for Me" preschool alternative.
When your kids (or rather you), decide it's time to leave, bribe your brood to exit without protest by offering to get them a scoop at the nearby Anopoli Ice Cream Parlor.
Play Days & Parties is located at 6632 Third Avenue between 67th Street and Wakeman Place in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Read about other great indoor places to play in NYC in our Inside Activity Guide.