Even if you have a backyard and rooms full of toys, we still run into the problem of stir-crazy children in need of exercise. While many of the beautiful nature centers and great hiking trails are still options for families in the winter, its good to know there are a number of fantastic indoor play place options in Westchester that range from steals to splurges. Read on to find out where to play and what to know before you go!
Looking for more indoor ideas when inclement weather dampens outdoor fun? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters. We also have a list of indoor play spaces in the rest of the Lower Hudson Valley that are worth the drive.
Great Play of Scarsdale - Scarsdale
969B Central Park Avenue
Geared toward 1-10 year olds, though the sweet spot is probably 3-6
Although you have to be a member of Great Play to take advantage of its open play periods, we've had great experiences with its weekly classes, which have both reasonable pricing and flexible schedules. Like playing in an oversized fun room, kids can switch stations freely in the 3,000-square-foot room, using the slide, balancing structure, tumbling section, trampoline and tunnels. Other parent-perfect perks: Incredibly clean bathroom, stocked with everything a fastidious mother would want: Clorox wipes and other disinfectant, tiny child-sized facilities and a fully appointed baby changing station. Great Play also holds school-break camps and birthday parties.
Legoland Discovery Center - Yonkers
39 Fitzgerald Street
If you haven't been to Legoland yet, its quite an experience. In addition to scores of building opportunities, Legoland has a giant indoor play structure in the central room. This multilevel structure alone can keep kids busy for hours with the tunnels, nets and slides. The best part: You can take a seat in the cafe area located just off the play structure, allowing to keep an eye on the kids while sipping a beverage and enjoying a few quiet moments.
Life - The Place to Be - Ardsley
2 Lawrence Street
Geared toward ages 1-15
Life is a really good deal. For $12.50, up to 3 children can get an all-day pass, meaning they can play, leave for lunch, return and play again. Sized right in the middle of the range, Life is large enough to house multiple event rooms and an arcade. On one side of it, there is a large room (“soft play”) for children aged 9 and under with a respectably sized play structure next to a play section full of toys. There's also a slim climbing wall that looked like fun. The arcade and bowling are not included with the price of admission. You'll also find a cafe with pizza, nuggets and other standard fare. Life is not solely a play place for kids, however, and the first sight that meets the eye upon entering is a bar. As a party venue for bar mitzvahs, corporate events and the like, it doesn't have an exclusively kid-centric feel to it, but my kids still have a blast.
BounceU has open bounce on weekdays. Image courtesy of BounceU.
BounceU - Elmsford
150 Clearbrook Road
Geared to children aged 3 to teens (parents can bounce, too)
BounceU is bouncy castle heaven, with more twists on what can be done with a bouncy structure than you would imagine. Giant warehouse-sized rooms contain enormous bouncy structures with internal netting for climbing, long bouncy slides, bouncy inclines, for a challenge, and bouncy obstacle courses. Although the location is generally geared toward birthday parties on the weekends, they have 1.5-hour-long "open bounces" during the week—generally 10am for preschoolers, 4pm for all ages, and 6pm "family bounce" nights on Fridays. We have attended birthday parties and a camp there, and one highlight was the high-velocity wind machine, which is something the size and shape of a phone booth that blows the kids about (not too strongly). Children must be at least 34 inches tall to enter the inflatables.
Leapin' Lizards - Port Chester
421 Boston Post Road
Geared toward kids 2-12
This play space is great for escaping inclement weather. Kids can have a ball (pun intended) bouncing, climbing, crawling and jumping throughout the large play space which includes ball pits, tunnels and mazes. There's a separate, smaller play structure for toddlers, so they can play safely, and a game room with games easy enough for smaller kids and classics like skeeball. There's also a cafe with standard fare like pizza and hot dogs.
Gymboree Play & Music – Scarsdale
450 Central Park Ave.
Geared toward 0-5 years
Like Great Play, you must be a member of Gymboree in order to take advantage of its open play times. The monthly fee, however, includes open play time slots seven days a week. There are varying times that should suit every possible naptime and preschool configuration—including an evening time slot once a week.
Play - White Plains
125 Westchester Ave
A new play area in The Westchester mall has recently opened up. We've yet to check out the space first-hand, but other accounts give it high marks.
For more indoor fun, check out our Indoor Play Spaces and Fun Zones Guide!
Originally published October 2013 and updated for 2016.
Image credit: Tim Pierce via Flickr