Economical play spaces are hard to come by in Brooklyn. Most places charge $20 for drop-in. That is more than some places in Manhattan & can be hard on the wallet if you want to take your child to a variety of places to play. We found some great places for kids to play that are very reasonable & we are always on the hunt for more. If you know of any please let us know!
We attended an Open Play & Sing Along at Artscetera to check it out. When you walk in there are cubbies to hang your coats & leave your shoes. There is also stroller parking available in that front room with chairs lining each side of the walls. The changer is also there. You enter the wooden gate into the play room.
It is basically a spacious room with toys & has some kid friendly paintings on the walls (e.g. a huge octopus). Organized around the room was a kitchen with accessories, a small tent, a tunnel to crawl through, board books, cars, a garage with 2 cars to send down, & a few push & pull toys to give you an idea. It is a great place to sit & relax with other parents while the children play. There are some thin pillows for parents to sit on & you can lean against the wall for back support. The space is small enough that you don’t have to worry about chasing your child around the whole time!
It is a nice place to hang out if your child likes to focus on a task with a toy or book & then move onto another. This is especially a great place for younger babies who are pre-walkers or just beginning to walk. It is perhaps worth a visit if an older toddler may only stay entertained for up to an hour, if he or she enjoys a sing along. The singer played the guitar & sang kids’ favorites like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. She asked for requests as well which was great. Also the price is for up to two children so you can’t beat it!
Where: 212 Smith Street (bet. Baltic & Butler) Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
When: Winter Open Play Drop In: (check online schedule before you go) Mon, Tues. Sing Along & Open Play 1-3pm – Thurs. Open Play 1-3pm – Fri. Sing Along & Open Play 3-5pm
Cost: $10 per family up to 2 kids per session, play pack passes also available
Contact: 718- 643-6817 – www.artscetera.com
*Check out the website for music & art classes for ages 0-5 years. New is “Artscetera at Home” where the classes can come to you if you have a large enough group, lower tuition cost & can be tailored to your group’s needs.
NY City Explorers
Another great economical option that charges only $10 per family for up to two children is NY City Explorers. It is an indoor play area consisting of one spacious room. There is an adorable wooden house, a library including some Spanish bilingual books & puzzles, soft foam blocks for building & stacking, a small train set, etc. It is equipped for their Preschool 101 program that runs M-F from 8:30am-10:30am for ages 2-4. So they also have crayons & paper plates to color on & a magnet set on the side of the front desk where you check in.
There are a few comfy chairs for parents to sit & relax, a small toddler table with two chairs & a cubby space with scarves for play. There is also a decently sized backyard with grass available for use during nice weather. Amanda DeBonis, the manager, told us she wants to plant a garden out back so the picnic tables are already organized in an L shape.
They also offer drop-off babysitting during the open play time if you need to run some errands. Rates start at $15 per hour & you can visit the website to put in your request. On Fridays two classes are offered in the morning & families are welcome to use the play space for free during open play that day. The Miles, Marley & Mozart music class is from 9:15-10:00am & the Hip to the Hop music/dance class is from 10:15-11:00am. Both classes are for all ages.
Another plus is that the facility is shared with Blue Marble Ice Cream. You can enjoy some natural ice cream made with local dairy from New York State farmers after your visit! They also have great coffee & baked goods. They encourage you to try the flavors before you purchase. We really liked the cinnamon, chocolate & peanut butter swirl flavors.
Where: 186 Underhill Ave. Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
When: Open Play M-F 11am-3pm
Cost: $10 per family per day, play packs & seasonal passes are also available
Contact: 718-809-2510 www.nycityexplorers.com
* Check out the website for more info on babysitting, classes, celebrations, preschool programs & adventure camp programs.
The Moxie Spot Restaurant & Playhouse
We have The Moxie Spot events listed on our calendar & it has been highlighted in countless articles on our site. We cannot reiterate how unique & economical this place is! It offers two floors of space with the big play space upstairs, an extensive menu offering organic & free range options, & is open at times when nothing else may be!
One evening an employee came upstairs to organize the art supplies & tidy up the toys. My husband & I were there relaxing at a table, while our daughter sat at the art table coloring. He began talking & coloring with her & asking her to identify the animals in the pictures she was coloring. A few minutes later we found out that we had the pleasure of meeting the owner of the place! He was very down to earth & told us his son inspired the idea of opening The Moxie Spot. A few minutes later we met his son as well!
We love this place & in all of NYC we are yet to find a space just like it. On the contrary restaurants with playspaces are closing every day. We spoke with the owner about the closing of other places similar to it. He informed us that it isn’t that lucrative of a business & it is hard to make it. He does it for the love of it & just to tries stay afloat. We were impressed by his dedication to the local neighborhood. Take advantage & head to The Moxie Spot now!
Where: 81 Atlantic Ave at Hicks St. Brooklyn, NY 11201
When: Hours: M-W 10am-6:30pm – Thurs.-Sun. 10am-8:30 p Storytime M,W, F at noon themoxiespot.com
Check the calendar for other activities such as Dance along, etc.
Cost: $2.50 per child to use the play space upstairs & includes whatever activity is going on if any.
Ages: All ages
*Kids eat free every night with purchase of entree or dinner after 5:30pm. Check out the website for info on parties & special events like family movie night.
For info on other Brooklyn play spaces checkout our other list here.