Our month-long focus on Greenpoint continues with a look at places to play in the area. While the Brooklyn nabe boasts three lovely green spaces, Monsignor McGolrick Park, Transmitter Park and McCarren Park, which it shares with nearby Williamsburg, it also has a good number of indoor play options for when it's too cold or rainy to romp outdoors. In fact, Greenpoint has a pair wonderful play spaces that offer drop-in hours as well as more offbeat indoor havens that offer FREE fun for families.
33 Nassau Avenue between Dobbin and Guernsey Streets
We raved about this artsy play space right after it opened in winter 2010 and again when it changed owners in 2014. It's a perfect spot for the under 6 crowd. Kids can sign up for music, art, dance and other classes, or romp in the 2,000-plus-square-foot play space. Kids can trade toy produce in the farmers' market, chow down at the diner, chill in the townhouse or arts nook, use a variety of cool toys and explore the small play set. Hand-painted murals and hanging fabric seats give it a funky feel. Becoming a member or signing up for a class guarantees you access to the play spot during open hours. However, there are also drop-in open play hours when you can visit for a nominal fee without making a commitment.
The Gym Park
Otom Gym, 169 Calyer Street near Lorimer Street
We also wrote about this 2,800-square-feet indoor gym when it opened a few years back. Inside you'll find trampolines, parallel bars, and soft play "hills" and tunnels. Gymnastics is the focus here and there are a variety of diverse programs including parkour, team gymnastics, cheerleading, tumbling for toddlers and even aerial silks. Drop-in open play is also offered and the more hours you buy, the less it costs.
Wild Was Mama
272 Driggs Avenue between Leonard and Eckford Streets
Kids' stores in Greenpoint are still relatively sparse, which means this eco-friendly baby shop (formerly known as Caribou Baby) is often buzzing with local families. However, in addition to its carefully curated selection of gear, clothes, toys and maternity wear, Wild Was Mama offers classes for kids and new parents, like baby message workshops, Music for Aardvarks with AudraRox and playgroups. While there's no official drop-in play space here, the friendly staff invites young visitors to try out the shop's wooden play kitchen and blocks, and every Tuesday families can sing along at live concerts as part of its popular (and inexpensive) Rocking Chair Music Series.
Greenpoint Toy Center
738 Manhattan Avenue between Meserole and Norman Avenues
This well-stocked toy store has been a neighborhood mainstay for decades. Arts and crafts supplies, board games, toy vehicles and a large selection of sporting equipment are piled wall-to-ceiling. While obviously the point is to buy toys, local kids often spend hours at the Chuggington train play table.
126 Franklin Street at Milton Street
This small independent bookshop has a nice children's section with a comfy little reading area. It also hosts monthly events for kids like author readings, usually followed by a related crafts project. Check WORD's online calendar for upcoming events.
107 Norman Avenue between Leonard and Eckford Streets
Local libraries are always a great place for families to spend a few hours indoors, and Greenpoint's branch is no exception. The spot hosts popular (and rather noisy!) storytimes every week where the friendly staff and enthusiastic audience compensate for limited selection and ambiance. Although recent budget cuts have hurt this library, it boasts a few new amenities including self-checkout stations and comfy furniture. The children's area has low, easy access bookshelves and a few computers.
99 Meserole Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Lorimer Street
Like all YMCAs, this local center offers a wealth of family programs for kids of all ages at reasonable fees. There are a variety of membership options that come with open gym and family gym times.
See all of our posts about Greenpoint.