Tribeca may be a playground for adults with its upscale nightlife scene, but it's also a pretty awesome neighborhood for kids who want to run around, both indoors and out. We continue our month-long focus on Tribeca with a roundup of our favorite play spots for kids in the area. In addition to two great outdoor parks, we found a nice selection of indoor options, too, including drop-in spots, kiddie gyms and members-only play spaces.
Washington Market Park
Greenwich Street between Duane and Chambers Streets
A true community hub, this 1.6-acre park has a nice lawn with a white gazebo, plenty of benches and shady trees, tennis and basketball courts, a community garden and two playgrounds with colorful equipment. Nonprofit organization Friends of Washington Market Park keeps the green space in great shape, and also organizes popular annual events, including a free kids' concert series and a Halloween parade and party that always includes a set by Princess Katie & Racer Steve.
Pier 25 in Hudson River Park
North Moore Street and the Hudson River
When Pier 25 opened a few years back, we were wowed by its new-fangled playground, mini-golf course, skatepark and beach volleyball. But unfortunately, all of these attractions suffered lots of damage during Hurricane Sandy and are currently closed. However, the city and Friends of Hudson River Park have vowed to repair them all, and the Hudson River Park Trust says everything will reopen this spring.
Drop-in Indoor Play
Barnes & Noble
97 Warren Street at Greenwich Street
The Tribeca outpost of this national book chain is a great place to hang out for free. The well-stocked children's section features Lego tables, small chairs for kicking back with a good book, carpeted nooks and (mostly) clean bathrooms. There's also the ubiquitous Starbucks cafe, complimentary Wi-Fi, a Saturday morning storytime and occasional children's author readings.
Color Me Mine
92 Reade Street between Church and West Broadway
At this paint-your-own-pottery studio, families can choose from hundreds of objects—figurines, cookie jars, plates, etc.—and then do all the decorating. All ages are welcome. There is a sitting fee in addition to the cost of pottery (items start at $18). Check the website for fun family promotions such as Mommy & Me Mornings and Pajama Nights.
Unfortunately, ExerBlast closed in June 2013
We're big fans of this video game-inspired gym for kids. School-age kids are equipped with pedometers and rack up points as they are led on intergalactic missions (a.k.a. fun-filled workouts) throughout the high-tech space. While you can sign up for classes, there are also drop-in sessions for children ages five and up, as well as date night child care and even Famiy Blasts. Preschoolers can get in on the action with the Little Blasters program, which involves dancing, climbing and stretching activities, but it requires a semester-long commitment.
Church Street School for Music and Art
74 Warren Street between Greenwich Street and West Broadway
This nonprofit arts and music school offers a substantial lineup of semester-long classes for all ages, even adults. However, it also hosts regular $10 drop-in classes such as open art and music. Check the schedule for details.
Members-only Indoor Play
To use the facilities at these play spots, you either need to be a member or enroll in an ongoing class. Visit the official websites for up-to-date offerings and pricing.
95 Franklin Street at corner of Church
With 4,000 square feet of indoor play space, Playgarden offers classes, a Montessori preschool program, parties and a huge indoor playground, which is available to members. Playgarden doesn't have a playground-only enrollment option so all packages include a class, like karate, music or dance and all offerings are for children under 5. Since the playground is cleaned every day at noon without fail, Playgarden made our list of the cleanest play spaces in NYC. There is one way to check out this spot without becoming a members: On select Saturdays, Playgarden hosts Project Playdate, a drop-off evening of fun for kids while parents go out on the town to play their own way.
Downtown Community Center
120 Warren Street between Greenwich and West Street
With a wide array of classes; an indoor pool; and sports, performing and visual arts programs, this community hot spot also features a clubhouse and game room for the younger set. Members get access to daily lap and family swim time, fitness equipment and classes (although some require an additional fee). Family memberships are available. DCC also runs many outdoor programs at Pier 25.
The Church Street Kidville location closed in April, 2013. However two new Tribeca Kidville outposts are set to open later in 2013. Stay tuned for more info.
The indoor play spaces at this international chain are padded, clean and lots of fun for the younger set. There are a variety of membership options, and families can also sign up for classes, camp or the Kidville University preschool alternative. And of course the space knows how to do parties. My son went to several Kidville birthday bashes when he was younger and loved every one.
100 Reade Street between Church Street and West Broadway
Catering to children ages newborn through five, this international mega-chain (550 locations in 30 countries!) offers classes, party packages and a colorful gym with open playtime sessions for members.
NY Kids Club
88 Leonard Street between Church Street and Broadway
This new NY Kids Club location is slated to open in May 2013, and will include a state-of-the-art gym, classrooms, a dance studio and the usual classes, camps, party packages and preschool alternative.
Read all of our posts about exploring Tribeca with kids.