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Hudson Valley Indoor Play Places Worth the Trip

When it’s raining or freezing or simply a day that ends in Y, a good indoor play place can be a godsend for entertaining kids. We’ve already taken a look at some of the top indoor play places in Westchester, and now we’re going to turn our attention to the rest of the Lower Hudson Valley. These play spaces are all worth a trip across the bridge. 

Looking for more places to have fun when the weather's not cooperating? Check out our Guide to Indoor Fun & Play Spaces for Westchester Kids, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters!  

Indoor Play Spots for NYC Toddlers with Weekend Hours

Indoor play spots are an essential resource for NYC families with young children (and limited square feet) as temperatures begin a steady decline into winter. Unfortunately, so many of the city's indoor play spots are limited to weekday hours. That's great for caregivers Monday through Friday, but mom and dad are left out in the cold, scrambling to fill up those chilly fall, rainy spring or snowy winter weekends with their preschoolers in other ways.

Luckily, we've uncovered over two dozen fantastic play spaces that get it, and are keeping weekend, drop-in play hours for kids, no membership required. All include playthings sized just right for the little ones, including for babies in many instances. They are stroller-friendly and equipped with changing stations, making them no-fuss options for the toddler squad.

The Best Escape Rooms on LI for Tweens and Teens

If you’re looking to keep your tween or teen entertained for an hour or two in a way that doesn’t involve electronics, we have two words for you: Escape rooms.

Escape rooms are one of the hottest crazes to hit Long Island in recent years, popping up throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. Originally targeted to adults, many LI escape rooms are now perfect for tweens and teens, whether it’s for a birthday party, a school or camp field trip, Saturday afternoon play date, or a family night out.

Not familiar with this new form of interactive entertainment? A group of people are "locked" in a room for an hour (per state law, doors cannot technically be locked), and have to work together to figure out the clues that will get them out. And when we say room, we’re talking elaborately decorated spaces with specific themes that can be funny, scary, or cerebral, and everything in between.

We’ve put together a list of some of Long Island's most popular escape room venues for kids. Check individual websites for details since prices vary, as do the number of rooms available, how many people each holds, difficulty levels, and age restrictions. Themes occasionally change also. Try one or more. Each offers a unique way for kids to use their imaginations, develop team-building and problem-solving skills, and most of all, have a blast.

Best Spots to Host a Kid's Indoor Birthday Party in Houston

Planning a birthday party in Houston is no small feat - there are so many options with what you can do! Outdoor parties can be like playing roulette hoping the weather complies; our city is known for going from blazing sun to pouring rain in the blink of an eye and it’s often hard to know what to expect.

For parents wanting to take the safer, climate-controlled, route, Houston offers many indoor venues that are great for throwing a unique party. We’ve rounded up a variety of exciting options in a range of prices for celebrating kids of all ages! An additional bonus is that many of these locations offer all-inclusive packages that make hosting stress-free for parents.

Manhattan's Best Drop-in Play Spaces and Kids' Gyms

Finding a non-membership, drop-in play spot for your toddler or preschooler in your neighborhood is like gold to New York City parents—almost as good as scoring a deal on rent. Because when it gets too cold for the city's many playgrounds, and another playdate at home seems dull (or, let's be honest, stressful), taking your kid to a cool indoor kiddie gym or other play space, where everything seems new and someone else will do the cleaning up, is a relief to the whole family.

While the outer boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn dominate the indoor play space market, Manhattan has plenty of creative kid spaces. Some of these dozen awesome spots profiled below allow families to drop in, while others ask that you make reservations, but none require any kind of long-term financial commitment.

For even more wallet-friendly play spaces citywide, see our roundup of budget-friendly play spots. And if you've got a child under the age of 5 to entertain, you might also check out our roundup of a dozen indoor play spaces perfect for the pint-sized set.

11 Indoor Play Spaces for Boston Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

It’s that time of year. The weather is increasingly dreary and predictably unpredictable. Playgrounds are icy even when the sun's out. And yet, if you have a child who is too young for full-day school or drop-off activities, you've gotta find a way to fill the days and burn off everyone's energy. While some indoor playgrounds cater to big kids, too, we are especially grateful for drop-in playspaces that have special zones designed for babies, toddlers, and young preschoolers. Here's the skinny on 9 of our favorite romper rooms.

Indoor Swimming Pools for Families on Long Island

If you haven't had a chance to get away this season and spend time by the pool, there's still hope—and you don’t have to brave the crowds at the airport to get there.

Why not visit one of the many indoor swimming pools Long Island has to offer? We’ve rounded up some of Nassau and Suffolk County's most affordable and family-friendly indoor pools that are open to the public. Check out each location’s website for family swim schedules and rules, as well as information on lessons. And don't forget to take a look at your school district’s website under the “athletics” link or similar to determine if it offers a community swim program. 

For swimming lessons around Long Island or other kid-friendly activities you can enjoy in winter, check out our guide to indoor play spaces and our Long Island classes and enrichment guide.

Best Indoor Play Spaces for DC Kids

Parents of little ones agree: Getting out of the house and burning off all that youthful energy is a must for wintertime survival. It shouldn’t be surprising that the DC area has tons of indoor things to do, especially when it comes to museums. But if you just want the kids to run, jump, climb, and play (without causing a worst storm inside your house than is actually happening outside), DC has got parents covered on the creative free play side of things too.

While most of the DC/MD/VA indoor play spaces on our list do have an entry fee, don’t forget about your local library. With story times and children’s areas with books, blocks, and toys, the library can be a great (and free!) place to get the winter wiggles out.

Read on for our list of 12 of the DC area's best and most interesting indoor play spaces.

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