Play in the balloon area at Mini Land Play. Photo by Janet Bloom
Play in the balloon area at Mini Land Play. Photo by Janet Bloom

The Best Queens Play Spaces and Gyms for Kids

From the formerly industrial waterfront to deep in the borough, family-friendly spots and amenities are on the upswing in Queens. While there are playgrounds aplenty for warm weather, the winter season calls for something different, and we've rounded up the best Queens play spaces to while a day away. The borough, in fact, has more indoor play zones than Manhattan and is gaining on Brooklyn.

We found 23 indoor romping locations in the borough offering drop-in sessions open to the public, no membership required. Bonus: All of these spots host birthday parties, too, and most are much more affordable than their Manhattan competitors.

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Check out Bounce 'N Play for open play or for a birthday party. Photo courtesy of Bounce N' Play

Bounce 'N Play — Astoria

20-21 Steinway Street between 20th Avenue and 20th Road
Drop-in play: Daily; visit the website for current hours.
Ages 1 and up
Opened by a local mom in spring 2014, this Queens play space has bouncy houses and giant inflatable slides in addition to standard play space attractions—play sets, a jungle gym with tubes, a rock-climbing wall, toys, and arcade games. That makes it a great choice for children of all ages. In fact, the "big playground" caters to kids up to age 13. There are regular open-play sessions for different age ranges: ages 6 and younger, all ages, and even family nights with a buffet meal. 

Kids get a kick out of washing dishes and baking cookies in the pretend kitchen at City Owlets. Photo by Sydney Ng

City Owlets — Long Island City

10-42 Jackson Avenue
Drop-in play: Daily; visit the website for current hours.
Ages 1–6
City Owlets opened to rave reviews in 2017, adding to an already booming kid landscape of Queens play spaces. This spot offers a host of nooks to play in, each overflowing with toys, from an area all about wheels (hello car-and-train enthusiasts) to an overflowing walk-in closet full of dress-up things, and a sensory spot just for wee tots. There's an on-site espresso bar for weary parents, too, where kids can also snag a snack once they've worked up an appetite. City Owlets hosts special events and playgroups plus baby-and-me and toddler classes.

Funtopia USA — Ridgewood

66-26 Metropolitan Avenue near Rentar Plaza
Drop-in play: Monday-Thursday, 10am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 10am-10pm; Sunday, 10am-9pm
All ages
This is a one-stop fun spot for all ages, but be warned: It's more Chuck E. Cheese's than bespoke play space. If you have tweens or young teens, there are a lot of activities here including laser tag, bumper cars, and a video game arcade. The younger set gets a three-story indoor playground, plus a separate toddler area. The big catch? Many of the games and attractions cost extra on top of the admission fee. There's no elevator so leave the stroller at home.

Jungle Adventure — Whitestone

149-13 14th Avenue 
Drop-in play: Daily; visit the website for current hours.
Ages 12 and under
This indoor playground invites little ones to jump on the trampoline, and crawl, climb, slide, and wriggle through a colorful maze of play equipment.

Kanga’s Indoor Playspace — Long Island City

32-15 37th Avenue 
Drop-in play: Daily, 9am-6pm
Ages 1-11 This new Long Island City hotspot includes a multi-level indoor playground, a merry-go-round, inflatable bouncy attractions, plastic ball pools, and a dedicated toddler play area. It also hosts birthday parties. Parents can chill at the cafe or get in on the fun in the play center. Children are given wristbands that correspond with their guardian's ticket number for added security.

Kids Fun House — Ridgewood

6273 Fresh Pond Road between 70th and 71st Avenues
Drop-in play: Tuesdays–Sundays; visit the website for current hours.
Ages 6 months–12 years
Older kids can romp in the multi-level maze, swoosh down the triple slide, and even play a few arcade games. There's a separate socks-only toddler area for kids ages 6 months to 4 years with a tree to climb through, a playhouse, and a small slide. Adults can grab a seat and a snack at the cafe. Kids Fun House also offers affordable birthday party packages. As you can imagine, it's quite popular with locals—families even drive here from other parts of Queens.

RELATED: 10 Things To Do in Queens When it's Freezing

Get lost in the foam cube pit at Kids 'N Shape, a fun take on the popular ball pit. 

Kids 'N Shape — Howard Beach

162-26 Cross Bay Boulevard between 162nd and 163rd Avenues
Drop-in play: Daily; visit the website for current hours.
Ages 5–12
Founded in 1989 by a local family, this gym includes a bouncy castle, zip line, obstacle course, basketball/soccer court, ball and foam pits, air hockey, and more. Children are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum of 50 kids per session.

With a little bit of everything, Laser Bounce is sure to have an activity for every kid! Photo by Sydney Ng

Laser Bounce — Glendale

80-28 Cooper Avenue in The Shops at Atlas Park
Drop-in play: Sunday-Thursday, 10am-10pm; Friday 11am-midnight; Sunday, 10am-10pm
Ages 5 and older
This sensory explosion in Glendale has a little bit of everything—old-school arcade games like air hockey, car racing, and whack-a-mole, a virtual reality attraction, laser tag, and a floor of bounce houses and obstacle courses. Because of the lights, dark areas, noise, and crowds at Laser Bounce, this indoor mini amusement park is best for school-age kids. Planning a party: There are private party rooms for pizza and cake, exclusive use of the laser tag arena, and plenty of add-ons.

All ages can jump together at Launch Trampoline Park. Photo by Ros Muggeridge

Launch Trampoline Park — Howard Beach

163-50 Crossbay Boulevard 
Drop-in play: Monday-Thursday, 3pm-9pm; Friday, 3pm-10pm; Saturday, 10am-11pm; Sunday, 10am-8pm
Ages 4 and older 
This trampoline park (and much more) boasts sparkling clean attractions, super friendly staff, and lots of ways for kids of all ages to jump out their winter wiggles. Safety is the top priority here with plenty of staff who discreetly keep an eye on jumpers (especially little ones), to make sure everyone is following the rules and staying safe. For an extra fee, there are a few arcade machines along with Paradox VR headsets featuring 100 virtual reality games. The Launch Eats counter serves the usual fast-food concession options.

Learning through play is the mission at Let's Play Playhouse. Photo courtesy of the venue

Let's Play Playhouse  Astoria

34-17 Steinway Street between 34th and 35th Avenues
Drop-in play: Monday-Thursday, 12pm-6pm; Friday, 11am-6pm; please call to confirm availability, 718-806-1288.
Ages 0–5
Formerly Kids Playhouse, Let's Play Playhouse is under new ownership and received a few welcome updates. It still offers a two-tiered jungle gym with slides, but the spot's new motto is "Learn Through Play," and true to its word, it's added a selection of classes. A separate padded play area keeps tots and crawlers safe and happy. Let's Play also offers reasonable birthday party packages and allows exclusive use of the space during your event.

Kids can explore the gorgeous open space at Lidia's Play Cafe.

Lidia's Play CafeRidgewood

71-06 Fresh Pond Road between Myrtle and 71st Avenues
Drop-in play: Monday-Wednesday, 9am-6pm; Thursday-Friday, 9am-7pm. Weekend hours vary; visit the website for current hours.
Ages 0-6
There is now a play cafe option in Ridgewood where little ones can explore many different activities while parents relax and enjoy refreshments. Named after the owner’s daughter, Lidia’s Play Cafe is a Montessori-inspired play zone with a simple, uncluttered space and toys focused on development. As a bonus, all toys are made of environmentally friendly wood.

Little Bear Play CafeForest Hills

100-26 Queens Boulevard between 67th Avenue and 67th Road
Drop-in play: Tuesday-Friday, 9am-6pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9:30am-7pm; confirm drop-in availability before visiting
Ages 0-6
Little Bear Play Cafe is another recent addition to the neighborhood play space scene with a cafe offering yummy international options like Hong Kong milk tea and condensed milk toast. The space includes a custom-designed play structure with stairs, slides, and a ball pit. There are also stations with toy kitchens, trains, blocks, and books, in addition to a room dedicated to Legos, and arts and crafts. Little Bear Play Cafe fills up fast, so check its website for “at capacity” notices and closures.

Little ones will love zooming down the slide into the ball pit at Little Dreamers Kingdom! 

Little Dreamers Kingdom — Little Neck

254-18 Northern Blvd Suite 5
Drop-in play: Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm; weekend hours vary, visit the website for current hours.
Ages 0-5
Sisters Donna and Alice Fu took over Little Dreamers Kingdom in September 2017 and have been busy making it into a toddler-friendly play zone. They’ve filled the cozy space with toys and installations younger kids love, including a climbing structure, ball pit, and trampoline. Classes are offered in music and movement, Spanish language, and baby ballet. Party packages give you use of the entire play area, plus a large adjacent party room.  

Explore the multi-level play area at Mini Galaxy Play Cafe. 

Mini Galaxy Play Cafe — Jamaica

178-02 Jamaica Avenue, 2nd floor, entrance on 178th Street
Drop-in play: Sunday-Wednesday, 11am-7:30pm; visit the website for current weekend hours.
Ages 8 months-7 years
Located just two blocks from the F train on Jamaica Avenue, Mini Galaxy Play Cafe is a bright, open space set up so caregivers can sit back with a cup of coffee or delicious pastry while watching their little ones have a blast. With a two-floor climbing structure, ball pit, fun toys, and a dedicated toddler area, there is plenty to keep kids occupied within view of the fully stocked cafe. The openness of the space makes it a great place for parties and events.

Swing on the ball pendulum at Mini Land Play. Photo by Janet Bloom

Mini Land Play  Long Island City

5-28 49th Avenue between Vernon Blvd and 5th Street
Drop-in play: Daily, 9am-8pm; please call to confirm weekend availability, 929-208-2886 or visit the website.
Ages 0-5
Mini Land feels like a rare find among Queens play spaces; a crazy-fun indoor playground with toddler-friendly rides that doesn't break the bank. Opened by local mom Shu Yeh, Mini Land features four big moving structures, including a dolphin merry-go-round. There's a big climbing playground and a ball pit. The awesome balloon room is worth the trip on its own! Mini Land offers party packages and has a separate room for private events. 

Have fun with paint at Okabaloo.

Okabaloo — Astoria

35-52 32nd Street
Drop-in play: Monday-Thursday, 9am-6pm; Saturday, 9am-1pm; visit the website for current class and drop-in play schedule.
Recommended for 0-6
Artists and mothers—as well as sisters—Olta and Bora opened Okabaloo in November 2017 with a focus on self-expression and exploration for kids and their families. Okabaloo offers a regular schedule of art programs like "Fun & Fine in Art." There’s also Zumba, ballet, yoga, theater, private music lessons, community events and much more. Check the calendar for specific details. Designed for both open play and scheduled, structured activities, its Playzone is decked out with wooden toys geared toward the enrichment of babies to 6 year olds. It also offers birthday packages, with lots of options for customization. 

Peek-a-booO — Flushing

135-17 Northern Blvd near Main Street
Drop-in play: Daily, 9am-8pm
Ages 0-7
At more than 6,000 square feet, Flushing's Peek-a-booO is a super-sized delight. It’s not just huge; it’s also filled with modern, bright, fun climbing equipment, ball pits, interactive games, toys, and so much more! Owner and Queens parent EJ Wang designed the space to be safe, fun, and interactive, and she hit the mark on all counts.

RELATED: 12 Favorite Baby and Toddler Classes in Queens

The Hinoki cypress wood cube pit at Play Date Cafe is a hit for wee ones—and cleaner than a sandbox! Photo by Kelly O.

Play Date Cafe — Bayside

208-03 35th Avenue
Drop-in play: Monday-Saturday; visit the website for current hours.
Ages 8 months–6 years
Part play space, part healthy cafe, there's something to please everyone at this bright, airy spot, which was formerly the Good Day Play Cafe. Kids will enjoy the whimsical play areas, which include a Hinoki cypress wood cube pit, climbing area, ball pit, Lego table, kitchen set, dress-up area, and more. Parents go for the Stumptown coffee, free Wi-Fi, and a decidedly laid-back vibe.

Preschool Place — Corona

New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street near 47th Avenue
Drop-in play: Daily; visit the website for the current schedule.
Ages 0–6
There are tons of hands-on attractions at the New York Hall of Science, but the wonderful multisensory play area located within the science museum is a highlight for young children. It's equipped with a play kitchen and a wide array of toys. Older siblings are welcome to tag along but should be supervised so they don't run all over the young ones. Storytime and art projects are offered on weekends and holidays.

RELATED: The Best Playgrounds in Queens

Enjoy drop-in playtime for tots at Raising Astoria.

Raising Astoria — Astoria

26-11 23rd Avenue between 26th and 27th Streets
Drop-in times vary; visit the website for a complete schedule and to reserve.
Ages 0–3
This Queens spot reinvented itself in 2015, abandoning its retail business to open an additional party-and-play room on-site. Expect to find affordable classes here for kids up to age 8, but also drop-in playtime and, occasionally, an indoor bouncy house that's just for toddlers. There are even date-night drop-in hours. Hours vary, but a frequently updated Facebook page keeps families in the know. There's also a dedicated open-play session just for babies younger than 18 months.

Sabrina's Play Studio — Sunnyside

52-07 Queens Boulevard at 52nd Street
Drop-in play: Tuesday & Thursday, 9:30am-7pm; Monday & Wednesday, 12pm-7pm; Friday, 12pm-5pm; Saturday & Sunday, 9am-11am
Ages 0–9
This 1,900-square-foot play space for children was opened by a local mom who ran a neighborhood daycare for 11 years. Attractions include a two-level maze, a small bounce house, and a play area with kitchen, toys, and dress-up clothes, plus a gated baby zone for tiny tots. Drop-in on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an included-with-admission story, music, and snack time. The schedule can change, so stay up-to-date by following its Facebook page

Sky Village NYC — Long Island City 

23-05 29th Street
Drop-in art-making: Monday–Friday and some weekends; visit the website for the current schedule.
Ages 9 months–12 years
Local mom Shasta Molnar recognized the need for an arts play space when her daughter tried to color her sofa, so she went out and opened one where kids are free to create to their hearts' content. In addition to open-play time for babies and toddlers, classes are offered in crafting, cooking, and art for kids up to 12 years old. The space can also be rented for parties.

Sunnyside Plays — Sunnyside

43-09 48th Avenue
Drop-in play schedule varies; visit the Facebook page or website for weekly schedule.
Ages 0–7
The brainchild of another pair of local parents, Sunnyside Plays offers 1,700 square feet of open space for kids to romp and roam. Our reviewer took all three of her kids for a morning of play and had a blast. While the main attraction is the on-site jungle gym, there are plenty of smaller toys scattered throughout to entertain tots. Padded floors make this friendly to the crawling set and an on-site cafe gives you a break from romping around (or chasing your child). Toddler happy hours are even offered, complete with drink specials for mom and dad while the kids play. Beware, it's a socks-only spot so make sure your feet are covered or you'll be buying some on-site.

Unless noted, photos courtesy of the play spaces

A previous version of this article was first published in November 2010; it is updated annually. Katie Nave Freeman and Elena Malykhina contributed additional reporting. 

Kids Fun House
6273 Fresh Pond Road
Ridgewood, NY 11385

Kids 'N Shape
162-26 Crossbay Blvd
Howard Beach, NY 11414

Preschool Place
47-01 111th Street New York Hall of Science
Queens, NY 11368

Bounce 'N Play
20-21 Steinway Street
Queens, NY 11105

Raising Astoria
26-11 23rd Avenue
New York, NY 11105

Funtopia USA
6626 Metropolitan Avenue
Queens, NY 11374

Sabrina's Play Studio
52-7 Queens Boulevard
Queens, NY 11377

Let's Play Playhouse
34-17 Steinway Street
New York, NY 11101

Play Date Cafe
208-03 35th Avenue
Queens, NY 11361

Sky Village NYC
23-05 29th St.
New York, NY 11105

Sunnyside Plays
4309 48th Avenue
New York, NY 11377

City Owlets
10-42 Jackson Avenue
New York, NY 11101

Mini Land Play
5-28 49th Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

Mini Galaxy Play Cafe
178-02 Jamaica Avenue 2nd Floor
Jamaica, NY 11432

125-17 Northern Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11354

Little Dreamers Kingdom
254-18 Northern Blvd Suite 5
Little Neck, NY 11362

Laser Bounce Glendale
80-28 Cooper Avenue
Glendale, NY 11385

35-52 32nd St.
Queens, NY 11106

Jungle Adventure
149-13 14th Avenue
Whitestone, NY 11357

Kanga's Indoor Playspace
32-15 37th Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

Launch Trampoline Park
163-50 Crossbay Boulevard
Howard Beach, NY 11414

Lidia's Play Cafe
71-06 Fresh Pond Road
Ridgewood, NY 11385

Little Bear Play Cafe
100-26 Queens Blvd.
Forest Hills, NY 11375
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