We can all get a little stir-crazy in these cold winter months, but that doesn’t mean you always want to spend money on activities. Thankfully, The Westchester mall in White Plains has opened a brand-new play place that is a perfect spot to kill some time on a ho-hum day. The best part? It’s FREE!
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Kids can create drag-and-drop computer artwork.
The first thing you’ll notice about the new spot at The Westchester, known simply as Play, is just how clean it is. Yes, germs are great for immune systems, yadda, yadda, yadda, but no one wants to feel like they need to give their kids a bath when they leave somewhere. Perhaps that new-car-shine will dull in a year or two, but we can certainly enjoy it while it’s here!
Play, which is sponsored by Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, features some nice wide-open space, dotted with different activity play areas. There’s a small soft climbing area for babies and young toddlers; a cluster of screens where kids can create digital art “masterpieces,” and then see their work displayed on another screen on the wall; some push-button interactive displays; and a table with a pile of Magnatiles. One note about this last area: There are a TON of Magnatiles for kids to use, making sharing pretty easy.
A giant floor piano, Big-style, lets kids stomp some music with their feet. There’s also a “Wonder Wheel” display with simple machines—kids use levers, wheels and gears to move a few balls—but it was unfortunately out of commission the day we visited. A bit of a bummer for my 5-year-old, but it looks easily fixable.
Get out the winter wiggles with some tunes!
Comfy chairs with power outlets line most of the walls, providing plenty of room for weary parents to relax. Play makes it easy to keep an eye on the kids without any hovering requiring.
Which brings us to the sweet-spot age for this area: Play is ideal for young toddlers through preschoolers. Tagalong older siblings will get some mileage out of the Magnatiles or art screens, but this spot is best for the little ones.
Play is located near the upcoming Savor eatery that’s currently under construction. There are restrooms (complete with a child-size potty and sink), and a serene nursing room with a recliner, changing area and a sink. It's open during regular mall hours.
They certainly didn't skimp on the Magnatiles when building Play.
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All photos taken by the author.