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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.

  • 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.

From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine