Play spaces made just for kids are our go-tos during Long Island's wintertime, or anytime it's too cold, wet, or even hot out. So we've rounded up the best indoor play spaces in Suffolk County, from bounce houses and indoor playground to more low-key spaces such as a natural play room and spots for art. There are fun zones loaded with action sports that are best for bigger kids, and plenty more just right for toddlers and preschoolers.
Many of these destinations also double as party spaces, so call ahead to make sure they're open for public play. And don’t forget your socks—many do not allow shoes or bare feet, even for adults. Then get ready to let your kids loose to play at one of these spots, instead of in your living room.
And if you live in Nassau County, don't worry. We've compiled a similar list just for you. Whether you want to stay indoors or bundle up and enjoy the winter, check out our Winter Fun Guide for entertainment all season long.
Air Trampoline Sports — Ronkonkoma
1850 Lakeland Avenue
Air Trampoline Sports offers 16,000 square feet of trampolines divided into four spaces: a foam pit, a slam-dunk basketball court, freestyle and dodgeball sections, and an open trampoline-covered space for the main attraction—free bouncing. Air Trampoline Sports also hosts birthday parties, dedicated hours for kids with special needs, Toddler Air Time, Airobics, and After Dark sessions, and features an arcade area and cafe.
Bouncers and Slydos — Farmingdale
1835 New Highway
This 11,000-square-foot bouncy space for kids 2 and older is mainly a birthday party venue. It does, however, host open-bounce sessions during school breaks (reservations required), as well as weekday Toddler Time
sessions for children younger than 5 (no reservations necessary). Bouncers & Slydos also boasts the only indoor inflatable zip line on the East Coast.
BounceU — Nesconset, Farmingdale, Oceanside
This popular nationwide chain features rooms full of giant inflatables where kids—and adults—can bounce to their hearts' content. BounceU offers everything from all-ages open-bounce times, family nights, and "preschool playdates" (ages 2 to 6) to glow-in-the-dark Cosmic Bounce events and even a Parents' Night Out, when you can drop off your kids (ages 4 to 11) while you go out on the town. Weekday and weekend sessions are available; each location features slightly different hours, programs, and rates, and spaces are often reserved for parties and groups, especially on weekends. Call ahead. Reservations are required.
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Engage the big imaginations of your little ones at the Children's Museum of the East.
Children's Museum of the East End — Bridgehampton
376 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike
The Children's Museum of the East End features a number of themed play spaces. Children can run a general store or soda fountain, enjoy a story inside an upside-down book, crawl through hollow logs and mouse holes, sail a ship, drive a fire truck or tractor, play mini-golf, and more. The museum's open arts-and-crafts studio features ongoing drop-in projects. Though the museum is aimed at kids 2 to 7, there is a special discovery area for pre-walking kids, and the museum also offers an array of children’s programming, special events, and more.
Kangaroo Kids Inflatable Party Center — Deer Park
1015 Grand Boulevard
This indoor bounce space is mainly a birthday party venue, but it does offer occasional weekend and weekday two-hour, open-bounce sessions geared for kids 2 to 10. Be sure to call ahead, as times and days vary.
LazerLand — Commack
54A Motor Parkway
In addition to its 5,500 square feet of space in a multilevel facility, this laser tag venue hosts dodgeball and gaga games and open-play hours. Weekday and weekend hours are available; check the schedule as hours vary.
Lyrical Children's Preschool and Learning Center — Calverton
4492 Middle Country Road
Lyrical Children offers a variety of classes for children of all ages. It also offers a weekly meet-up, grown-up-and-me play, and more for kids 18 months to 4 years. Share time exploring a variety of hands-on manipulatives, creating art, enjoying dramatic play, and more. Open on weekdays only; call in advance.
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It's hard to decide where to begin your play experience at Safari Adventure in Riverhead; there's so much to do.
Safari Adventure — Riverhead
1074 Pulaski Street
One of the highlights of Safari Adventure is Kilimanjaro Soft Play, a four-level maze with tunnels, slides, balls, and cargo nets. There are also three giant inflatable bouncers and an arcade featuring 30 games, as well as a snack bar. There's a dedicated toddler zone, and a sensory area with a sand table, train table, and small toys. If the kids get overstimulated, retire to the sensory calming spa to wind down. Safari Adventure is geared for kids 1 to 10; there are no time limits or check-in times. Birthday parties are available.
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Sandbox is a low-key, aesthetically pleasing space where imaginative play is encouraged.
Sandbox Playspace — Huntington
51 Gibson Avenue
This soothing space encourages open-ended, imaginative, unplugged play that nourishes the senses. It is an equally pleasant place for adults to unwind. Sandbox features handcrafted toys made of natural materials such as wood, silk, and wool, and is especially designed for kids from birth to 5 years There's no worrying about your little ones getting overwhelmed. The space has a variety of play areas, including a kitchen, balance toys, slide, puzzles, trucks, a car track, and a super-cool tepee and campfire. Classes and birthday parties are offered. Socks are required. Read our review of Sandbox here.
StrikeForce Sports — Deer Park
450 Commack Road
This facility gives children ages 10 and older a chance to play indoor airsoft games. In airsoft, competitors propel plastic pellets at opponents from specially designed electric or gas-powered replica guns. Sessions are four to six hours long and include about seven games. Kids should be prepared to be hit by pellets and must wear goggles and protective clothing. Guns and other gear can be rented on site.
Kids as young as 6 months can enjoy music, gymnastics, art, and more at TumblingTunes.
Tumbling Tunes — East Northport
212 Laurel Road
Children 6 months to 8 years will love this creative space that offers weekly music, gymnastics, movement, and art classes. Open-play sessions give kids access to an imaginative play area, book nook, baby corner, and craft table. Tumbling Tunes also offers two drop-off sessions, Drop & Shop and Parents' Night Out (all ages), as well as after-school care. Reservations are required. Enrollment is ongoing, and semesters are prorated from the time of registration.
Wood Kingdom West — Farmingdale
111 Milbar Boulevard
Wood Kingdom East — Coram
544 Middle Country Road
Wood Kingdom is a giant yard-play structure and garden showroom that allows kids to try out the equipment themselves. It also features indoor play spaces with inflatable bouncers and multilevel climbing structures. The loosely affiliated Laser Kingdom laser tag center shares a building with Wood Kingdom East. Another Lazer Kingdom is two buildings away from Wood Kingdom West. Open-play hours and toddler times are available, but call ahead for weekend hours, as birthday parties often take over the space.
Top photo: A large indoor play space awaits your kids at the Wood Kingdoms in Farmingdale and Coram.
Photos courtesy of the venues.
A version of this article was first published in 2014. It was updated in January 2017.