Brooklyn Play Spaces: 19 Drop-in Indoor Playgrounds & Kiddie Gyms
When it comes to indoor play spaces, Brooklyn can't be beat. While both Manhattan and Queens have about a dozen drop-in indoor playgrounds apiece, Brooklyn currently boasts a whopping 19 places where kids can run amok. These aren't mellow tot spots with crafts or storytelling. We're talking about real active play spaces where children can conquer multi-level mazes, swoosh down slides, climb up rock walls or, you know, turn around in circles until they fall down exhausted and ready for a nap.
To help you figure out which play space is best for your child's age and stage, we've organized our roundup into drop-in indoor playgrounds for toddlers and preschoolers, and activity centers that also have attractions for elementary-schoolers and tweens, like video game arcades, rock climbing walls and go-carts. Here are 19 drop-in indoor play spots for kids in Brooklyn.
Important note: Be sure to call ahead to confirm hours and prices, as both change frequently. Also, many of the smaller spaces reach capacity quickly on bad weather days, so go early!
Drop-in Play Spaces for Toddlers & Preschoolers
The Gym Park – Greenpoint
81 Oak Street between Franklin and West Streets
Open play: Monday-Saturday 10:30am-12:30pm
Ages 6 months-6 years
$15, discounts available for multi-session packs
In addition to a jam-packed schedule of athletic classes, this kids' gym offers open playtime six mornings a week. Explore the equipment in the 2,800-square-foot space, including trampolines, bars and hula hoops. Read our full review for more info.
PLAY – Greenpoint
33 Nassau Avenue between Guernsey and Dobbin Streets
Open play: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 9am-4pm
$20 for first child, $10 for siblings, memberships and discounts available for multi-session packs
This play space has undergone a lot of changes (including two sets of new owners) since we first reviewed it in 2010, which is why we went back in 2014. it's still standing and offering open play sessions. Preschoolers can hit the play sets, activity stations like a food market and laundry set, and romp around the tumbling gym. There's also a separate baby area where infants can crawl and explore safely.
ArtsCetera – Cobble Hill
The Creative Arts Studio, 310 Atlantic Avenue between Smith and Hoyt Streets
Open play: Monday-Thursday 1-2:30pm
$10 per family with up to two children, discounts available for multi-session packs
In addition to a full slate of arts classes for preschoolers, this program offers 90-minute open play sessions when tots can play with toys, blocks, trains, board books and enjoy a short sing-along.
The Learning Garden – Prospect Heights
186 Underhill Avenue near Sterling Place
Open play: Monday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturday 9am-1pm
$12 per family, discounts available for multi-session packs
Run by community nonprofit NY City Explorers, this tot spot has open play sessions featuring a nice selection of wooden toys and games, plus a cute wooden bridge and playhouse. There's also a backyard to explore in nice weather, plus a microwave and a mini fridge, and a bathroom with a changing table and extra diapers and wipes. Bonus (or warning): a Blue Marble Ice Cream parlor is located in the same building. Party packages are also available.
Brooklyn Explorers Academy – Downtown Brooklyn
110 Schermerhorn Street near Boerum Place
Open play: Monday-Friday 9:30-11am and 1-2:30pm
$12 per family per session, discounts available for multi-session packs
Also run by NY City Explorers, this isn't a traditional open play experience. Early childhood educators oversee 90-minute structured play sessions in a preschool-like environment. A great option for kids who need a little coaxing to come out of their shell.
Play Days & Parties – Bay RIdge
6632 Third Avenue between 67th Street and Wakeman Place
Open play: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11:30am-4pm
$10 per two-hour session, $6 on Thursdays
The only traditional play space in Bay Ridge, this family-run spot resembles a cozy rec room 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. In addition to open play, classes, playgroups and party packages are also offered. For more info, check out our full review.
Twinkle Playspace – Williamsburg
144 Frost Street between Graham and Manhattan Avenues
Open play: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 8am-noon and Sunday 9am-noon
$25 for first-time visit, $135 for six-session pass; memberships are also available
We raved about this drop-in play space when it opened in 2013. Owned and operated by a longtime local Brooklyn family, this one-of-a-kind, 4,500-square-foot tot spot features creative custom-designed hands-on activity stations, including a water table, a firehouse, a salon, a general store and a barnyard. A great option for preschoolers who love to pretend. Party packages are also offered.
Brooklyn Arts Exchange – Park Slope
421 Fifth Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets
Open play: Mondays and Fridays 9:30-11:30am
$10 per family, discounts available for multi-session packs
Known as the BAX Playspace, this under-the-radar gem is a favorite of local families. Toddlers and preschoolers can navigate hoops and tunnels, color, play with balls and read books.
Juguemos a Cantar Drop-In Play Space – Park Slope
438 Sixth Avenue at 9th Street
47 Sterling Place at Sixth Avenue
Open play schedule varies depending on location and season. Visit the website for more info
$10 for first child, $2 for siblings, memberships are also available
With two Park Slope locations on opposite ends of the neighborhood, this Spanish immersion program opens up its play spaces to the public at designated hours on weekdays. Preschoolers can play with instruments, trains, blocks, doll houses, a pretend kitchen, puppets, soft toys, a ball pit and more.
Drop-In Center at Congregation Beth Elohim – Park Slope
274 Garfield Place near Eighth Avenue
Open play: Tuesday-Friday 9:15am-12:15pm from October through April
$10, discounts available for siblings and multi-session packs
Another popular Park Slope tot spot where little ones can tumble and play with educational toys.
Building Bridges Play Space – Brooklyn Heights
Congregation Mount Sinai, 250 Cadman Plaza West at Clark Street
Open play: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-10:30am and 10:45am-12:15pm
$20 per session, discounts available for siblings and multi-session packs
This nonsectarian preschool offers drop-in play in its classroom, which is filled with manipulaties, pretend play stations, blocks, books and art supplies. A light snack is provided to all children and each session ends with storytime.
The Moxie Spot – Brooklyn Heights
81 Atlantic Avenue at Hicks Street
Open play: Monday-Wednesday 10am-3pm, Thursday-Sunday 10am-8:30pm
$2.50 per child, $5 maximum per family, fee waived if you spend $15 or more on food
One of our favorite places to eat and play, this two-story restaurant/play space has a cozy kids' area downstairs and a dedicated rec room on the second floor with all kinds of toys, arts and crafts supplies, board games, Foosball and blocks. You could probably even get away with bringing a tween here, though it's primarily frequented by families with younger children. The Moxie Spot also hosts many organized family events such as sing-alongs, movie nights, bingo nights and storytime so check the website for the complete schedule.
Totally Tots at the Brooklyn Children's Museum – Crown Heights
145 Brooklyn Avenue between St. Marks Avenue and Prospect Place
Open play: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-4:45pm
Free with admission: $11 for ages 1 and up
The U.S.'s oldest and greenest children's museum underwent an awesome overhaul in 2008 and is filled with hands-on fun for kids of all ages. But if you've got a preschooler who needs to get the sillies out, Totally Tots is the exhibit for you. The Baby Hub features colorful padded structures where infants can crawl, cruise, stand or just sit. Children ages 18 months through 5 years can romp in a wide variety of stations, including a water-play area, a multi-level climbing structure with instruments to pound and play, a building zone and a theater.
Drop-in Play Spaces with Attractions for School-age Kids & Tweens
Kids 'N Action – Borough Park
1149 McDonald Avenue near Avenue I
Drop-in play during all open hours
An indoor amusement center à la Chuck E Cheese's, this all-ages activity zone has attractions for all ages, from soft play tunnels, mazes and a ball pit for preschoolers to a roller coaster, train ride, go-carts and video games for older children. The upside: If you have kids of varying ages you can satisfy them all here. The downside? The more activities you want to try, the more you pay. Party packages are also offered.
Klub4Kidz – Williamsburg
159 North 4th Street between Bedford and Driggs Avenues
Drop-in hours vary
Drop-in prices vary and memberships are also available
We've been raving about this play space ever since it opened back in 2010. Unlike most kiddie gyms, this one is fun for toddlers through tweens. Attractions include a four-story indoor playground featuring a zip line, crawl tubes, mazes and slides; an 18-foot rock climbing wall and a separate padded toddler room for the under 3 set. While prices vary depending on which attractions you choose, there are some great ongoing specials like $10 Tuesdays and if you've got a toddler and a tween, you pay just $5 more for the older kid.
BounceU – Dyker Heights
6722 Fort Hamilton Parkway at 68th Street
Hours and prices vary
Let your kids bounce off the walls, literally, at this inflatable fun spot. There are lots of open bounce hours when kids of all ages can jump around, family nights and preschool sessions for the under 8 set in case you're worried about your little ones getting trampled. Advance reservations required.
Indoor Play Area at Powerplay – Gowanus
432 Third Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets
Open play: Monday-Friday 9am-5:30pm, Saturday 9am-4pm and Sunday 10am-3pm
$10 per two-hour session
Although the website is woefully out of date, we called and confirmed that this play space is still offering open play. The brightly colored indoor playground includes slides, a sandbox, a tree house, a playhouse with ladders and slides, and self-propelled plastic cars. There's also a rock climbing wall that's good for tweens.
Party Gym – Sheepshead Bay
1130 Avenue Z at East 12th Street
Open play: Monday and Thursday 10am-2pm, Tuesday 4-7pm
$8 per child
Founded in 1993, this party place has open play hours on weekdays. Though probably best for younger kids, the multi-level maze complete with twisty tunnels and slides is good for young elementary-schoolers, plus there's a ball pit. Party packages are also available.
Check out our Indoor Activity Guide for other great places to play inside.
A previous version of this post was originally published in January 2010.