21 Top Indoor Play Spaces in New York City

Twinkle Playspace in Williamsburg offers action-packed fun for kids of all ages.
Twinkle Playspace in Williamsburg offers action-packed fun for kids of all ages.
2/4/24 - By Jody Mercier

With winter's chill here, an indoor play space in NYC may be just the thing to get out some winter wiggles. To that end, we present this list of the 21 best indoor playgrounds in New York City. So, when it gets too cold to explore one of New York City's top playgrounds, consider taking your fun inside. A word to the wise: Many of these indoor play spaces in NYC require reservations for playtime, so plan your fun in advance.

We've got plenty more ideas to entertain kids in our Guide to Indoor Activities, plus fun seasonal happenings in our Winter Fun Guide.


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Best Indoor Play Spaces in NYC

1. Fairy Tale Island – Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

This 4,000-square-foot play space boasts a two-level train, an oversized ball pit, trampolines, swings, a rock-climbing wall, and plenty more to keep kids engaged. The main area houses the ball pit filled with thousands of softballs and a "sandbox" filled with seeds. A pretend shop in the back features plenty of fake food and play kitchens where kids can cook up a tasty meal. The schedule changes week to week, so call ahead to check hours.

2. Brooklyn Children's Museum Totally Tots Exhibit – Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Designed for ages 0-6, the engaging Totally Tots exhibit features nine distinct sections, including sand and water play, musical instruments, block building, and dress-up. Little ones younger than 18 months can explore the Baby Hub, a bright area filled with shapes, colors, and a safe structure where little ones can work on pulling up, crawling, and walking. To ensure a spot, tickets should be booked online in advance.

3. Bronx Children's Museum – Concourse, the Bronx

To say we were anticipating the opening of the Bronx Children's Museum is an understatement, and it did not disappoint. At 13,000-square-feet, it's a huge indoor playground for local kids. The water table alone is worth the trip, but kids can also enjoy "The Block," a mini-version of a Bronx neighborhood sure to inspire plenty of pretend play, while little ones are safe to crawl and toddle in "The Nest."

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Indoor play spaces in NYC: Dream City Play Space Forest Hills Queens
At Dream City, adults are welcome to play with their children or relax in the sitting area.

4. Dream City – Forest Hills, Queens

This 6,200-square-foot space incorporates different interactive elements for cognitive and physical development, including a wood cube pit with shovels and toy dump trucks. Kids can also explore a ball travel machine, a dress-up room, and various structures that encourage climbing and sliding. This indoor play space is open to children up to age 6. Reservations are required for both children and adults.

5. The Play Lab – Greenpoint, Brooklyn

The Play Lab is an eco-friendly Montessori-inspired indoor play space, where ages 9 months to 7 years old can explore. Enjoy the physical play area complete with a rock wall, treehouse, slide, Lego and construction zone, pretend playhouse and market, and a magnetic wall. Two-hour drop-in sessions are offered and include admission for one child and one adult.

6. Space Club – Greenpoint, Brooklyn

An interactive art installation turned kids' play space is pretty cool in our book, and that's just what you'll find at Space Club. In spring 2023, artist CJ Hendry wowed visitors with a play-themed installation Plaid, and it's now open for good. Kids can climb the jungle gym, take a dive in the ball pit, or run their hands over the sequin wall, and much more. Monthly memberships and drop-in options are available.

7. Sabrina's Play Studio – Sunnyside, Queens

Opened by a local mom who ran a neighborhood daycare for more than 10 years, this play space is designed for kids ages 0-9. Features include a gated area for little ones, a two-level maze, a small bounce house, and a play area with a kitchen, toys, and dress-up clothes.

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Indoor play spaces in NYC: Good Day Play Cafe
Good Day Play Cafe offers a huge ball pit and jungle gym in its indoor play space.

8. Good Day Play Cafe – Park Slope, Brooklyn

This bright, clean indoor playground houses a large selection of interactive, high-quality toys. Kids can also explore the sandbox, supermarket, and kitchen and take a ride down the slide. Best for kids ages 0-6, reservations are required to participate in play sessions.

9. Kids N' Shape – Howard Beach, Queens

This indoor play space offers plenty of room to roam and run. Active play is the name of the game here. You'll find balls to bounce, and castles to bounce on, plus there's a zip line, obstacle course, foam pits, and more fun. Kids N' Shape also has a location in Tottenville, Staten Island, and both outposts currently require reservations.

10. Twinkle Playspace – Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Owned and operated by a local family, this 4,500-square-foot tot spot features creative, custom-designed, hands-on activity stations, including a water table, firehouse, salon, general store, and barnyard. It's a great indoor play space in NYC for preschoolers who love to pretend. Reservations are required for open play sessions.

11. 14th Street Y – East Village

The padded playroom on the top floor of the 14th Street Y was one of my son’s favorite play spaces when he was young. The no-frills classroom-sized space is clean, with soft climbing and sliding structures for the toddler set. Occasionally the staff brings out large toys, bubbles, or giant balls. The Y typically doesn’t offer programs when school is out, so call ahead to confirm hours. Also, check its website for weekly drop-in classes like mommy-and-me yoga classes, Baby Chat and Play, and more.

12. Kanga's Indoor Play Center – Long Island City, Queens

Geared toward children ages 1-11, this indoor playground has plenty of room to romp, run, and jump! Candy-colored hues make an inviting play space where a combination of indoor playgrounds, long, bumpy slides, and inflatable bouncy houses all beckon kids. Parents of wee ones can appreciate the toddler play area, which is well-padded and blocked off from the more raucous areas big kids frequent. Walk-ins are welcome. One adult is free with every child's entry. Each additional adult is $10. An online waiver is required for entry; sign one at home to expedite the check-in process.

13. Little Lola and Tots – Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

This neighborhood favorite includes an engaging play area for kids to slide, read, climb, and explore during drop-in play sessions. Beautifully curated and mindfully constructed, the space offers plenty of play opportunities for kids to get physical and use their imaginations. There is also a co-working space for parents—check the website for membership options. Pre-registration is required.

14. JCC – Harlem

This well-equipped and welcoming space offers lots of great programming options for members of the Harlem community and at $10 per drop-in, you can't beat the price. Open play sessions include lots of opportunities for creative play with access to sports and movement equipment and building toys. Kids ages 6 months to 4 years are welcome!

nyc indoor play spaces: Kids Town Play Space.
Kids under 2 have lots to play with and on at Kids Town Play Space.

15. Kids Town Play Space – Park Slope, Brooklyn

Owned and operated by local sisters Lejla Pustina and Linda Marke, this clean and bright indoor play space is well-known for its beautifully presented birthday parties. Beyond the parties though, there's much more. The space houses a good mix of toys that are often rotated, including lots of options that are appropriate for kids under age 2. There's also a cozy cafe where caregivers can enjoy a hot beverage while the little ones explore. It's best to reserve open play time online in advance.

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Indoor play spaces in NYC: Kids Play World Middle Village Queens NYC Play Spaces
Take a trip around the world at Kids Play World.

16. Kids Play World – Middle Village, Queens

Opened in 2020, this indoor play space allows kids to take a trip around the globe without leaving Queens. Each area represents a different place—from the Middle East to Europe, Asia, and the Americas. There’s a handcrafted Lego table and wall, where older kids can keep busy making different creations, as well as a climbing wall and a slide. To get to the slide, kids must pass through a glow-in-the-dark, ocean-themed tunnel. Little visitors can ride around the space in toy cars, go shopping in a well-stocked supermarket, and make pretend food in an Italian pizza shop.

17. Billy Beez – Co-Op City, the Bronx

The Bronx has long lagged behind the other boroughs when it comes to indoor play spaces in NYC, but a trip to Billy Beez makes you forget that. There are tunnels to crawl through, ropes to swing on, balls to play in and with, and tons of slides at this indoor playground. A separate toddler area gives small guests a safe, soft place to play.

18. Toddler Gym at Chelsea Piers – Chelsea

We've long raved about the fun to be had at the Toddler Gym at this mega sports center, but there are really so many more family-friendly activities to enjoy. From ice skating to rock climbing to batting cages and beyond, Chelsea Piers is truly a family-friendly destination for a day of indoor play.​

19. Play Well Brooklyn – Gowanus, Brooklyn

Created by two occupational therapists, this indoor play space was inspired by the idea of bringing integrated play to the local community. Play Well offers an inclusive indoor play space for both neurodivergent and neurotypical kids, including gym equipment (soft play mats, swings, and climbing structures), sensory play areas, and art and fine motor areas. All areas are designed to be used by children with a range of physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities. A one-hour open-play visit includes access to the modular gym, rock wall, and the rest of the space.

20. Jungle Adventure – Whitestone, Queens

With a playful jungle theme, including an ivy-wrapped climber and tunnel that makes it feel as if you're climbing through the belly of a snake, Jungle Adventure brings big fun to this far-out corner of the city. There's also a safety-net enclosed trampoline and plenty of slides. Limited spots for the indoor play space are available by appointment only and must be made at least one day in advance.

21. Peekaboo Playground – Long Island City, Queens

After relocating to Long Island City in 2020, this indoor play space in NYC quickly found popularity in its new neighborhood. The space is filled with loads of fun activities for kids under age 7, including a car area complete with its own underpass and gas pump, an infant and toddler area with soft toys and a row boat, two large ball bits and slides, a mini car roller coaster ramp, a play kitchen, and a dress-up station. Keep in mind that it does get busy on the weekends; weekdays are much quieter. Memberships are also available as are birthday party packages.

Unless noted, photos courtesy of the play spaces

A version of this story was published in 2017; it has been updated.

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