For parents of winter babies, we feel your pain when it comes to birthday party options. While summer baby parents have both indoor and outdoor options (the park! the pool!), those of us with children born in colder months (or even fall and early spring), need to find a space where kids can run off all that pizza-and-cake energy. Enter: mega play spaces.
From bounce houses and trampolines to arcade-packed game spaces, these wide-open spaces give all pint-sized guests a chance to run free. Check out our top picks below—and start booking now.
The Field House – Chelsea
This popular spot at Chelsea Piers offers plenty of room to go wild for all ages. The toddler gym, along with the basketball courts and enclosed turf soccer fields work for the preschool crowd, while kids ages five and older can go nuts on the soccer fields, basketball courts, rock wall, and 23,000-square-foot gymnastics. There are plenty of themes and activities to choose from, including gymnastics to ninja warrior.
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A generously-sized play space combined with custom options like character appearances makes The Playroom NYC a top birthday party pick.
The Playroom NYC – Upper East Side
The Playroom NYC offers three tiers of party options for children up to age 5, ranging from frills-free to an "if you can dream it, we can do it" option. Add-ons include character appearances, face painting, glitter tattoos, custom cakes, food for adults, and more. All parties include exclusive use of the 3,000 square-foot play space.
Climb the walls or hit the slides at Curiosity on Court.
Curiosity on Court – Cobble Hill
This indoor play spot offers party packages that include exclusive use of the play space for two hours, plus pizza, drinks and paper goods for up to 12 kids, and a party assistant deals with all the details and cleanup. It has a colorful climbing wall, multistory jungle gym, and plenty of fun NYC-themed features.
Ms. J's Gymnastics & Dance – Williamsburg
At this popular local gym, children can tumble, flip, slide, jump, and climb under the supervision of professional instructors. A party room is included in the price, and parents decide how much they want to contribute from a complete DIY to a personalized experience planned and executed by the staff.
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Custom play structures give tots plenty to do at Recess.
Recess — Dumbo
If a minimalist aesthetic is your thing, this place is for you. Opened by a pair of neighborhood moms in June 2015, the 2,200-square-foot play space features custom-made wooden structures that encourage kids to climb, shimmy, slide, and explore. Navigate the tunnels made from rope netting, which lead to slides in one direction and a firehouse pole in another. Kids will discover bars to swing on, hidden ladders to climb, and structures to conquer.
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Go full circus with acrobatic fun at Streb in Williamsburg.
Streb — Williamsburg
The activities offered at this acrobatic dance school's parties (for kids age 5 and up) differ from your usual usual running, jumping, and climbing. At Streb, kids bounce off trampolines, fly on the trapeze, and learn patented Pop Action moves developed by choreographer Elizabeth Streb. Parents provide all the food, cake, beverages, and favors.
Twinkle Playspace – Williamsburg
This popular Williamsburg play spot is perfect for preschoolers. The basic birthday party package includes open play, pizza, beverages, cupcakes, balloons and goody bags. Upgrade to a theme party (pirates, safari, under-the-sea, princesses and Frozen are just some of the options available) and you also get lavish decorations and paper goods, as well as food and drink options for adults.
Bounce 'N Play – Astoria
This indoor play space features a bounce house and bouncy slides along with more traditional attractions like a jungle gym and toys. There are four different party packages for children ages 1 to 13, from basic to premium. The latter includes private playtime, pizza, ice-cream cake, juice, character appearances, and more. Extras like karaoke and rock climbing can be added for a fee.
Inflatable bounce houses, slides, and games keep kids moving at BounceU.
BounceU – College Point
We consistently rave about this chain of indoor bounce gyms (there's another NYC location in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn). And why not? BounceU offers fun for kids and grown-ups, with multiple rooms filled with inflatable toys and games. Three different party packages are available, and food, cake, and goodie bags are available, depending on package choice.
Funtopia USA – Ridgewood
At this neighborhood, family-owned fun zone, parties begin with a disco dance party and games, stop off for pizza, then hit the jungle gym (for kids under 60 inches) or the toddler area (those under 36 inches) for unlimited play. It's a true one-stop fun spot for all ages.
Indoor Extreme Sports – Long Island City
In addition to paintball, there are several types of laser tag on offer at this LIC action spot, which has a second outpost in Staten Island. There are party packages for a variety of sports that include food and beverages (you really work up a sweat), game play, and all necessary equipment. This is a great option for tweens since children need to be at least 10 years old for paintball and archery tag, and age 7 and up for laser tag.
The new mega space, Kanga's Indoor Playspace, has activities and fun for all ages.
Kanga’s Indoor Playspace — Long Island City
32-15 37th Avenue
This huge new indoor hotspot intended for kids ages 1 to 11 includes a multi-level indoor playground, a merry-go-round, inflatable bouncy attractions, plastic ball pools, and a dedicated toddler play area. Three birthday party package levels all include a dedicated party room, three menu options, and a staff helper.
Trampolines and foam pits are on tap at Fly High.
You no longer have to head to the suburbs to bounce off the walls with your birthday kid. Fly High offers a trio of party packages, which all include one hour of public jump time and 40 minutes in a private party room plus a dedicated host. Bonus: Weekday parties are cheaper and include 20 minutes of private jump time.
Sports themed-fun, including ball games, an obstacle course, and more await at Kids 'N Shape.
Kids 'N Shape
This family-owned spot, which has another location in Queens, offers your standard bouncy castles, but also other active-play favorites like a zip line, obstacle course, basketball/soccer court, ball and foam pits, and more. Sit-down time includes pizza, drinks, balloons, ice cream cake, and more (all included in the price), and party hosts lead activities such as parachute games, relay races, jumping contests, dodge ball, whiffle ball, and kick ball.
From wild slides to the tamer but still spacious toddler area, Billy Beez is always a hit.
Billy Beez — Co-op City
This fun zone opened in 2015 and has been a hot spot ever since. With huge colorful tunnels and climbing structures, wild slides that even big kids enjoy, a mini sports court, dedicated toddler area, and more, you can't go wrong for year-round entertainment. Party packages include all-access to the play spaces, a private party room, pizza, beverages, cupcakes, party room decor, and digital invitations.
Uptown Rec Room — Port Morris
This party space features two massive rooms for entertaining—the Funhouse is 3,000 square feet and the Party Room is 1,000 square feet. Preset party packages are available and include a bounce house, two video games kiosks (more available upon request), pizza, board games, and more. Plus, for toddlers: basketball hoops, soccer sets, and a bin full of bouncy balls.
This national chain of play spaces has a handful of locations in Manhattan, a trio of Brooklyn outposts (Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, and Williamsburg), and another in the Bronx. The preschool set can pick from a variety of themes, like superhero, princess, trains, rock and roll, or a straight up gym party. Regardless of which one you choose, all options are active and engaging. Packages are all-inclusive.
NY Kids Club
Like Kidville, NY Kids Club offers a variety of themes including a gym party. One big difference: The spot hosts parties for children up to age 12, though it's probably best for younger kids.
Your local Y is always a great place to consider for a party. Most have a variety of facilities, including gigantic gyms with loads of gear, playrooms, and pools, so you can get more than just a plain old space. Most will rent to the public for a party, so there is no need to become a member.
Check out our Party Guide for more awesome birthday bash ideas.
Photos courtesy of the venues