Indoor Activities

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Can Your Family Break Out of Hoodwinked Escape's Game Room?

Can you beat the clock to escape from a locked room? That's the challenge at escape rooms, the latest craze in youth entertainment. Escape rooms are interactive, physical puzzles where players are locked in a room for 60 minutes with nothing but their wits. They must decipher clues and interact with everyday elements to find their way out. These fun games have been popping up around NYC for the past decade but are still a mystery to many families. Hoodwinked Escape opened in Harlem this past winter and we decided to check it out. 

 My son and I had already tried a zombie-themed room escape during a kid birthday party several years ago. While we all became the ghoul's dinner, we enjoyed working together against the clock to free ourselves.  From corporate team-building to a night out for twentysomethings, these adventure games also make for great family and friend bonding time, especially for tweens and teens in need of something new to do. 

Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned pro at these challenging adventure games you are in for a treat: Hoodwinked is so well thought-out, you just might linger to enjoy the experience rather than trying to break out in less than the required 60 minutes.

NYC's Best Indoor Water Play Spots for Preschoolers

Few preschoolers can resist the lure of a water table where they can dunk their toys and hands in, fill containers just to spill them out again and of course, splash around. Not many of us have space for such messy playthings in our tiny New York apartments (nor do we want one, right?!) So we rounded up the handful of NYC indoor play spaces that offer water-based sensory stations. No bathing suits or parental cleanup required.

Best of all, these soggy attractions are open year-round, even in summer just in case you can't face another sweltering day in the playground. So for those who beg to play in water (or the sandbox) long after the lifeguards go home, there are options beyond the bathtub.

A Visit to It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course in New Haven

Looking for an adrenaline rush? Connecticut has got It!

Located in New Haven, the It Adventure Ropes Course, self-proclaimed as the world's largest, will leave you physically challenged and breathless with excitement. Zip lines, suspension bridges, ice cream, and pizza guarantee a fun-filled family outing and memorable experience. 

Nurture Opens in Brooklyn with Classes for Mom and Baby

Whether you're an expectant mother, dad of a toddler or a woman dealing with postnatal life, Nurture{Bklyn} would seem to have a place for you. Located in the quiet neighborhood of Windsor Terrace, Nurture hopes to foster a supportive community of new and expecting families through classes and meet-ups with a special focus on pregnant and new moms and their babies.

Nurture{Bklyn}, which just opened its doors in May, was founded by Elizabeth Mangum-Sarach, an experienced doula and social worker. She is also a mother of two and a Jane of all trades when it comes to childbirth. "I've always dreamed of having a space where women and parents can come together to connect and receive services from many different professionals," Mangum-Sarach says. Nurture is the physical manifestation of her vision, with an inviting backyard and bright child-centric indoor space.

Best Bowling Alleys for LI Kids in Nassau County

Ready to hit the lanes for some friendly competition and family fun? You won't strike out at one of these bowling alleys in Nassau County. From dragon tails and arcade fun to glow bowl and tunes, bowling is a great boredom buster and favorite indoor activity. And with summer approaching, many local alleys are participating in Kids Bowl Free, so be sure to look into that before hitting the lanes. If you're heading east, check out our list of bowling alleys in Suffolk County.

Register for Free Swimming Lessons for NYC Kids

The New York City Parks Department offers FREE aquatic programs for children under 18 all year round, as well as adults, but you have to apply through an online lottery for each session. Summer swimming lessons are on the horizon and the lottery opens on June 15.

Read on for the details on where to swim for free, or check our directory of paid kid swim classes or mommy-and-me swim lessons for babies and toddlers.

Ahoy! Shipwrecked Miniature Golf Spot Opens in Brooklyn

When the folks behind the over-the-top Park Slope Holiday Light Spectacular attraction create a miniature golf course, it is best to drop everything and go. Like the incredible light-and-theater productions the pair mounted on a Brooklyn brownstone in years past, the brand-new pirate-themed Shipwrecked Miniature Golf is unlike any other mini golf course you may have experienced in the past.  

You won't be golfing holes with spinning windmills here. Instead, expect a cool neon light show, NYC-themed rooms, tropical island backdrops and an overall kid-friendly, interactive experience at this 18-hole course. The indoor (ha, ha rain!) 11,000-square-foot Shipwrecked Miniature Golf opened in Red Hook, Brooklyn in late April, and takes inspiration from its waterfront neighborhood of choice. Of course, I had to make the trek out with my family to check it out. Read on for our full review of this new kid sports and fun play zone.

Looking for more mini golf? We recently rounded up 11 of the city's top spots, just in time for spring. Many are outdoor venues, so open seasonally only.

Boston Fitness Centers With Rock Climbing for Kids

We recently wrote about Massachusetts spots that focus exclusively on indoor rock-climbing, but in doing so we left out many fitness centers that offer rock walls among other physical activities. So, if parents want rock-climbing for their kids as an option along with, say, swimming in the same building, here are some good places to consider.  

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