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20 Indoor Places Where NYC Kids Play for Free

We're staring down another long Northeast winter, and entertaining the kids during this long, chilly season isn't easy or cheap. Throw in a cramped New York City apartment and a shortage of vitamin D and of course, everyone is eyeing the exit. Luckily, in NYC some of the best things in life are FREE (really).

If your kids are bouncing off the walls and your wallet is screaming for a break after all the holidays, we've got you covered. Check out our list of 20 FREE indoor destinations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island for fun, games, or just a much-needed change of scenery.

For more great indoor places, check out our Indoor Family Fun Guide which is loaded with all-ages drop-in spots.

The Best Indoor Play Spaces for Kids in Suffolk County

Play spaces made just for kids are our go-tos during Long Island's wintertime, or anytime it's cold, wet, or even hot out. So we've rounded up the best indoor play spaces in Suffolk County, from bounce houses and indoor playgrounds to more low-key spaces such as a natural play room and spots for art. There are fun zones loaded with action sports that are best for bigger kids, and plenty more just right for toddlers and preschoolers.

Many of these destinations also double as party spaces, so call ahead to make sure they're open for public play. And don’t forget your socks—many do not allow shoes or bare feet, even for adults. Then get ready to let your kids loose to play there instead of in your living room. Be sure to warm up before and after with some toasty hot cocoa.

And if you live in Nassau County, don't worry. We've compiled a similar list just for you. Whether you want to stay indoors or bundle up and enjoy the winter, check out our Winter Fun Guide for entertainment all season long. And for more indoor energy-burning, check out these indoor water parks for a warm getaway and our guide to sports centers and fun zones for kids across Long Island. 

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!)

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.

New Indoor Playground Offers Eco-Friendly Fun for Little Ones

Just in time for those cooped-up, cold winter months, a new imaginative, eco-friendly play space has arrived in NJ: Woodland Indoor Playground in Cedar Grove, a Scandinavian-inspired play space created by Montclair mom-preneurs Julija Stoliarova and Marina Miller. Woodland will offer fun for kids and families while giving back to the community via a partnership with the Community Food Bank of NJ.   

The play space is open for business as of today, Wednesday, December 12.

The Best Indoor Play Spaces in Nassau County

The chilly weather might force your little ones indoors, but they don't have to be confined to your living room all winter long.

After you've made your umpteenth indoor fort and your kids are climbing the walls, get up and out with our list of the best indoor play destinations in Nassau County. Most of these spots are affordable and accessible, and, where appropriate we've added age designations to guarantee a good time for all. 

No worries if you're in Suffolk County. See our list of the top indoor play destinations in Suffolk as well as our guide to fun spots and sports centers across all of Long Island

For even more inspiration, see our guide to winter fun on Long Island, including indoor and outdoor ice skating, museums, sledding, and more.

Top Indoor Play Spaces for Kids in Westchester

If you and your kids are feeling cooped up during the cold weather, we have some good news: Westchester offers plenty of places where kids can bounce, jump, climb, play and explore.

We've gathered a big list of locations where you can take the kids to let off some steam. No planning? No problem. Most require no advance registration to attend or have open hours where you can stay and play for a while. 

For even more ideas for winter activities, make sure to check out our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook!

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