Indoor Activities

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Register for Free Winter Swim Lessons for NYC Kids

The New York City Parks Department offers FREE swim lessons for children and adults all year round, but you have to apply through an online lottery for each session. The FREE winter swimming lessons are on the horizon, and the lottery for registration opens Saturday, December 22, 2018, at noon.

Read on for the details on where to swim for free, or check our directory of paid kids' swim classes, and mommy-and-me swim lessons for babies and toddlers, including those in Brooklyn and in Queens.

CAMP Store Opens in Flatiron With Cool New Indoor Play Zone

Summer camp is always hot topic in New York City, but we've never seen a camp experience quite like the one unveiled last week with the opening of CAMP Store in the Flatiron District.

Situated on the corner of 16th and Fifth Avenue, CAMP looks like just another retail shop; albeit one with an onsite Milk Bar and a funky collection of merchandise—from toys and games to books and clothing—but there's something spectacular hiding behind a secret door. Find the entrance (with the help of a super-friendly CAMP counselor) and you're in for hours of fun and a cool new indoor place to play.

Woodland Indoor Playground Is a Treasure for NJ Tots (and Moms)

Woodland Indoor Playground, the brand-new play space in Cedar Grove, looks like my fantasy of a child's play room—the one I envisioned before I had kids, and plastic toys with blinking lights and annoying sounds took over my house. Quite unlike my living room, Woodland is a clean, modern, Scandanavian-inspired space stocked with beautiful wooden toys that promote imaginative, sensory play—including a farmer's market food truck, chicken coop, playhouse with slides, sensory sandbox, train table, building blocks, and lots more.

This charming spot, founded by two Montclair moms and geared toward ages 0–5, opened on December 12—perfect timing for a new play space where cooped-up tots can drop in and burn some energy on a winter day. And Woodland is more than just a pretty space—all of the toys and materials are eco-friendly and non-toxic, and a portion of each entry fee supports the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. (Also, there's coffee, and it's good!)

Nitehawk Cinema Opens in Park Slope, Brooklyn

This week marks the much-anticipated opening of the dine-in movie theater Nitehawk Cinema in Park Slope, in the old Pavilion Theater space near Prospect Park. It's no exaggeration to say that parents (and kids) in the neighborhood are over the moon. With the closing of the Pavilion in 2016, Brooklyn's most family-friendly neighborhood has been without a movie theater for several years, and the Nitehawk brings not just first-run and independent films but also a tasty menu to a much-loved landmark location. For a peek inside the handsomely restored space and the scoop on coming attractions, read on.

Kids Play for Free at These New York City Stores

Looking for a new winter play destination? With a shiny new FAO Schwarz filled with delights and an American Girl mega-store, there's no shortage of stores in New York City where kids can play for free. You'll find options as varied as building Lego friends, exercising on the Wii Fit, or getting their train fix for the day, and the kids will be so exhausted by day's end, they might not even whine about leaving the Nintendo system behind (fingers crossed).

For more indoor play options, check out our guide to Indoor Play Spaces and Fun Zones in NYC.
 

New Roller Rink at Industry City Hosts Family Skate Weekends

NYC has a brand-new indoor roller skating rink, just in time to skate out those rainy winter afternoon crazies. Lola Starr, longtime host of roller skate parties for grownups at the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park, debuted a 15,000 square-foot indoor roller skating space on December 8 in Industry City, Brooklyn, which will host family skating parties every Saturday and Sunday all winter long. We recently visited for a satisfying afternoon skate, and had a chance to talk with Starr about upcoming plans for NYC's newest roller rink. For a peek inside the colorful new space, read on.

The Best Indoor Play Spaces for Houston Kids

Living in Houston means navigating weather that is often hot and humid or wet and stormy. Fortunately, there are many options for activities to do indoors, such as free museum daystrampoline parks, and fun indoor play spaces. But where should you go when you want the best of the best indoor spaces to play? Read on for our recommendations of where to play when going outside is not an option and why each of these Houston spots are some of our absolute favorites for any day of the year.

The Top 15 Indoor Play Spaces Across New York City

You've probably already bookmarked our lists of the best spots to play in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. (Oh, you haven't yet? Hint: Now's your chance.) To cap off your indoor-fun inspiration and ensure you never hear the words "I'm bored" again, we present the best of the best: the top 15 indoor play spaces across New York City. So when you need a break from your neighborhood spots, venture out to the rest of the city to cross every one of these awesome locations off the list.

Visit our Indoor Play Spaces Guide for more indoor fun, or our Family Fun Guide to all of NYC's top family attractions.

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