Get Out and Drop In! Best Queens Play Spaces and Gyms for Kids

Kiddie Gyms in Queens: NYSci, BounceU, Funtopia, City Owlets, More

From Queens' formerly industrial waterfront to deep in the borough, family-friendly spots and amenities are on the upswing. There are wide-open spaces to run with abandon, playgrounds are aplenty, and indoor play spaces with open play hours are strong in number: In fact, it has more than Manhattan and is gaining on Brooklyn.

We found 14 indoor romping locations in the borough that offer drop-in sessions open to the public (no membership required), including newcomer Jump N Play, which opened in Ozone Park this past summer.

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 offered daily; visit the website for current schedule.
$14 for children during open bounce; $15 for children ages 3 and under during family bounce, and $18.95 for adults who wish to bounce, otherwise two adults are included with each child
Ages 1 & older
Opened by a local mom in spring 2014, this play space has bouncy houses and giant inflatable slides in addition to the 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 13. There are regular open play sessions for different age ranges: under 7, all ages, and even family nights that come with a buffet. Call 718-777-7529 to reserve your spot.

BounceU — College Point
Whitepoint Center, 132-25 14th Avenue between 132nd Street and 133rd Place
Drop-in play offered daily; visit the website for current schedule.
Rates vary depending on schedule.
Ages 2 & older
No need to wait for spring to hit a bounce house. Kids (and parents) can enjoy two huge rooms of bouncy and inflatable fun like obstacle courses and massive slides all year long at BounceU. This location regularly hosts open sessions including Family Bounce Nights, open bounce for all ages, open bounce for preschoolers, and even an out-of-this-world Cosmic Open Bounce with lasers and black lights. This is the perfect place for everyone in your family to get their sillies out. Socks are required, long sleeves are recommended, and prepaid reservations are encouraged to guarantee your spot.

City Owlets — Long Island City
10-42 Jackson Avenue
Drop-in play offered daily; visit the website for current schedule.
$25 for the first child; $10 for siblings; discounts for multi-play packs and memberships are available
Ages 1–6 years
City Owlets opened to rave reviews last year, adding to an already booming kid play space landscape in Queens. 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 also hosts special events, playgroups, and baby-and-me and toddler classes.

Funtopia USA — Ridgewood
6626 Metropolitan Avenue near Rentar Plaza
Drop-in play offered daily.
Weekdays $10 per child
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 admission fee. There's no elevator so leave the stroller at home.

RELATED: 11 Favorite Baby and Toddler Classes in Queens

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

Good Day Play Cafe — Bayside
208-03 35th Avenue
Drop-in play offered Monday–Saturday; visit the website for current schedule.
$10 per one-hour session weekdays; $11 weekends; discounts for siblings and longer sessions are available; babies under 8 months are FREE
Ages 8 months–6 years
Modeled after play spaces in Korea, Good Day Play Cafe has been a welcome addition to its neighborhood. Part play space, part healthy cafe, there's something to please everyone at this bright, airy spot. 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.

Jump N Play — Ozone Park
Drop-in play offered every day except Wednesdays when it is closed. Check the website for current hours.
$12/hour per child; admission includes one adult, additional adults are $5
Ages 2+
Kids with serious energy to burn will appreciate this new addition to the Queens play space scene. True to its name, Jump N Play offers multiple rooms worth of inflatable fun, from a fire-truck themed bouncer, to an inflatable slide, and a black-light, glow-in-the-dark room, there's something for all ages. Follow Jump N Play on Facebook to keep tabs on scheduling changes and consider purchasing a membership if you plan to be a regular.

Kids Fun House — Ridgewood
6273 Fresh Pond Road between 70th and 71st Avenues
Drop-in play Tuesdays–Sundays; visit the website for current hours.
$7–$20 per session depending on the day; discounts for members are available
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.

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 offered daily; visit the website for current schedule.
$12 per two-hour session 
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.

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

Let's Play Playhouse  Astoria
34-17 Steinway Street between 34th and 35th Avenues
Drop-in play offered Monday-Friday from 1pm–7pm; call to confirm availability, 718-806-1288.
$10 per child; discounts available for multi-play packs
Ages 0–5
Formerly a mini-chain known as 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.

Preschool Place — Corona
New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street near 47th Avenue
Drop-in play offered daily; visit the website for current schedule.
Included in museum admission: $16 for adults; $13 for children ages 2-17; FREE for those under age 2
Ages 0–6 years
There are tons of hands-on attractions at this science museum, but this wonderful multisensory play area 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 schedule varies; visit the website for schedule and to reserve.
$5–$10 per family
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 event date-night drop-in hours, too. Hours vary, but a frequently updated Facebook page keeps families in the know. There's also a dedicated open play session just for babies under 18 months.

Sabrina's Play Studio — Sunnyside
52-07 Queens Boulevard at 52nd Street
Drop-in play Monday–Thursday 9:30am-7pm, Friday 9:30am–5pm, Saturday–Sunday 9am-11am.
$14 for walkers; $8 for crawlers
Ages 0–9 years
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 a 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.

Shastye Art Gallery and Play Space — Astoria
26-16 23rd Avenue
Drop-in art play offered Monday–Friday and some weekends; visit the website for current schedule.
Ages 9 months–3 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 ages 18 months to 8 years. The space can also be rented for parties.

Sunnyside Plays — Sunnyside
4309 48th Avenue
Drop-in play schedule varies; visit the Facebook page for weekly schedule.
$15 for the first child; siblings and babies under a year old are half price; discounts available for multi-play packs and membership options are also available
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 will give 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.

Top photo: Kids get a kick out of "washing" dishes and "baking" cookies in the pretend kitchen at City Owlets. Photo by Sydney Ng. Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the play spaces.

A previous version of this article was first published in November 2010, but we update it annually.

Kids Fun House
6273 Fresh Pond Road
11385 Ridgewood , NY
Phone: 718-418-5437
40° 42' 7.8444" N, 73° 53' 42.27" W
New York
Kids 'N Shape
162-26 Crossbay Blvd
11414 Howard Beach , NY
Phone: 718-848-2052
40° 39' 11.6496" N, 73° 50' 18.7656" W
New York
Preschool Place
47-01 111th Street New York Hall of Science
11368 Queens , NY
Phone: 718-699-0005
40° 44' 52.4436" N, 73° 51' 6.6312" W
New York
132-25 14th Avenue
11356 College Point , NY
Phone: 718-747-5867
40° 47' 7.6992" N, 73° 50' 8.7756" W
New York
Bounce 'N Play
20-21 Steinway Street
11105 Queens , NY 40° 46' 32.9052" N, 73° 54' 7.2468" W
New York
Raising Astoria
26-11 23rd Avenue
11105 New York , NY 40° 46' 35.13" N, 73° 54' 55.116" W
New York
Funtopia USA
6626 Metropolitan Avenue
11374 Queens , NY 40° 42' 41.7636" N, 73° 51' 29.1024" W
New York
Sabrina's Play Studio
52-7 Queens Boulevard
11377 Queens , NY 40° 44' 33.2124" N, 73° 54' 45.8964" W
New York
Let's Play Playhouse
34-17 Steinway Street
11101 New York , NY 40° 45' 21.8052" N, 73° 55' 15.834" W
New York
Good Day Play Cafe
208-03 35th Avenue
11361 Queens , NY 40° 46' 2.9388" N, 73° 46' 48.2628" W
New York
Shastye Art Gallery and Play Space
26-16 23rd Avenue
11105 New York , NY 40° 46' 33.8664" N, 73° 54' 56.214" W
New York
Sunnyside Plays
4309 48th Avenue
11377 New York , NY 40° 44' 23.118" N, 73° 55' 18.5196" W
New York
City Owlets
10-42 Jackson Avenue
11101 New York , NY 40° 44' 31.5744" N, 73° 57' 10.3032" W
New York
Jump N Play
105-01 101st Ave
11416 Queens , NY 40° 41' 12.426" N, 73° 50' 16.764" W
New York