- Apple Seeds
10 W. 25th St., nr. Broadway; 212-792-7590; $895 for one-year membership, includes guest passes.
There’s no better place to take the zero-to-5 set on a cold, rainy day than this indoor playground. Pre-walkers flirt with their reflection in the cushioned play area. Toddlers drive a wooden taxi or run a well-stocked deli. Preschoolers fling themselves on giant cushions in the sports playground. And everyone leaves dozing in their strollers
- Chelsea Piers Field House
Pier 62, 23rd St. and Hudson River Park; 212-336-6500; $30 per session.
Every Friday through Sunday (1 to 3:30 p.m.), kids 5 to 16 get a doubleheader of gym time plus rock climbing. If they’ve got anything left in the tank after these 90-minute “Rock & Roll” sessions—which is unlikely—they can hit the batting cages, bowling alley, or driving range.
- City Treehouse
129A W. 20th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-255-2050; from $12.50 an hour for members, $30 an hour for nonmembers; first visit is free through April 30.
The main draw of this newly opened playroom is the extra-long tiered water table with fountains and whirlpool, tanks that fill and empty at the turn of a knob, and plenty of balls to bob and animal toys to bathe. There are “yuck buckets” for toys that end up in mouths.
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Pier 86, W. 46th St. and Twelfth Ave.; 212-245-0072; kids under 2 free, ages 2 to 5 $7.50, ages 6 to 17 $14.50.
Walking from one side of the ship to the other is exercise all by itself. After a two-year refurbishment, the floating museum reopened in November with exhibits that let kids climb aboard a British Airways Concorde jet, ride inside an A-6 cockpit simulator, and poke around a space capsule.
- Brooklyn Children’s Museum
145 Brooklyn Ave., at St. Marks Ave., Crown Heights; 718-735-4400; $7.50 per person, $75 for annual membership.
You can get worn out just thinking about all of the different options at this massive, 102,000-square-foot museum. A giant play structure covered with instruments lures toddlers, while older kids explore a freshwater pond and saltwater beach, or “shop” at a kid-size international bazaar.
Let Them Run Wild
Where do kids get all that energy?! Ensure a solid night’s sleep by setting them loose on these local play spaces.
From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
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).