- Scandinavia House
58 Park Ave., nr. 38th St.; 212-779-3587; scandinaviahouse.org
It’s not the biggest playspace out there. Nor is it the most varied: There’s no giant ball pit, no big water table. But what the little Heimbold Family Children’s Playing and Learning Center at Scandinavia House lacks in size it more than makes up in bright colors, chic cheer, and a sense that you’ve stepped into an idealized Finnish children’s-furniture catalogue circa 1975. Bright colors are everywhere; turn a corner and you’ll encounter two little kids arranging a play tea party, with cups and saucers from the little pile of communal playthings. (Our almost-3-year-old test subject made a beeline for the large table full of Brio toy trains in the center of one room.) Since the playground has just been renovated, it’s all in impeccable shape, and there’s no limit on how long you can stay for your $8 admission. If your tot does get weary, the meatballs at Smörgås Chef are just an elevator ride away, on the ground floor.