10 W. 25th St., nr. Broadway 212-792-7590
What separates Apple Seeds from most other romp rooms is that parents won’t mind playing there either. Everything from the décor (clean and modern) to the music (disco and Radiohead) to the germ-phobic philosophy (toys are replaced and washed twice a day) is conceived with both demographics in mind. The ground-level space is easy to access, even with a double-wide stroller. Once inside, a stroller valet “checks” your ride so you don’t have to fight for parking. A playground membership ($850 per year) includes unlimited access to the Gotham-themed play area, where older kids can drive a taxi, slide down an apartment building, and buy plastic bagels and veggies at the corner deli. There’s also a less rowdy area for crawlers with padded mats and a shape-sorting wall. Classes like “Cooking Monsters” (part cooking, part math) and an arts-and-crafts session dubbed “My Chelsea Art Opening” fill up early ($640 to $690). You need not be a paying member to access the bookstore, the boutique selling hipster gear from newborn to 6T, the hair salon (stylist Carole Kimberg was recently poached from Citibabes), or the new café, which stocks juice boxes as well as plenty of coffee.
Best Play Space
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).