Looking for a place to burn off energy (and maybe some calories)? Our profile of indoor play spaces in Westchester continues with a recent visit to LIFE, The Place to Be in Ardsley.
Perfect for those bad-weather days and indoor fun, the assorted activities at the 29,000-square-foot facility will keep kids occupied for a couple hours, with something for every taste. The only dilemma my kids faced was which one to do first!
Read on for our first-hand review of why this is indeed the place to be. To find more indoor fun, check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.
Climbing to new heights!
With a rock wall, a climbing structure, mini-bowling, a laser maze, an arcade and laser tag, LIFE, The Place to Be is certainly a fun place to be for kids. I recently visited with tween girls who enjoyed each station—then went back for more.
Younger kids get to navigate the three-story Soft Play area (top image) that's part play structure, part obstacle course. Crawl through tunnels, climb over bars and peer through portals. Beneath are toys that don’t require leaving the ground—such as a play house, climb-in cars and more—as well as couches for the caregivers.
The 24-foot rock wall offers three levels of challenge, making it perfect for siblings with different abilities. The toughest level was too difficult for my 12-year-old, meaning even older kids can enjoy a challenging climb. The wall is located in the Soft Play room, a handy arrangement for families with mixed ages.
If your kids enjoy bowling but get frustrated with gutter balls, this is the place for them. The two 30-foot lanes and six-pound bowling balls allow even young bowlers to roll like pin masters. Bonus: No need for special shoes!
Ten-minute laser-tag sessions were just right for this game that had my kids ganging up on Mom. Stealthy maneuvers around barricades to gain position for both offense and defense worked up a small sweat, allowing both fun and exercise.
Ping-pong takes on new dimensions with four-way and glow-in-the-dark tables. Photo taken by the author.
The arcade offers the usual assortment of driving games, Skee-Ball and air hockey. The true highlight are the ping-pong tables: one is a four-way table, and the other is illuminated.
We visited on a summer morning, when crowdedness isn't expected to be a concern. Indeed, there were only a few other guests during our visit, which was great for avoiding wait times. The downside was there was only one staff person on site, requiring a bit of a wait time for assistance in setting up the rock wall, laser tag and bowling. We also encountered several features that weren’t working during our visit—the laser maze had been damaged at a recent party and was inoperable; the drink refrigerator wasn’t plugged in; a couple arcade games weren’t turned on; one of the water fountains wasn’t functional.
Birthday parties with different packages are available. Also of note if you have more than one child: Part of the facility’s space is the location of Westchester Circus Arts, allowing one sibling to learn aerial silk and the like while siblings get their jollies with the above activities.
What to Know Before You Go
- As of the time of this post, hours are Tuesday to Thursday -10 am to 7 pm; Friday & Saturday -10 am to 9 pm; Sunday – 11 am to 7 pm. Summer hours may differ.
- Space is available for large-scale parties such as sweet 16s and bar/bat mitzvahs, accommodating groups from 30-500+ guests.
- The facility occasionally is closed to the public during its usual hours for private events. Visitors are advised to confirm hours before going.
- Rock climbing is available to those whose weight ranges from 40 to 250 pounds. Closed-toed shoes are required.
- Socks are required for the Soft Play area.
- Drinks are available for purchase.
- Bathrooms are clean, and a changing table is available.
Check out our Indoor Fun & Play Spaces Guide for more fun in Westchester.
All photos courtesy of the venue unless otherwise noted.