NewsdayTV's Elisa DIStefano visited two new mom-owned places for kids to play: Nana's Wonderland in Massapequa Park and Earth Arts in Long Beach. Credit: Randee Daddona

Based on what their kids love to do, three local moms have designed their own indoor open play and paint centers for children's imaginations to run wild.

“When my daughter was 1 year old, we were always out and about. I didn’t feel safe in the park because she was barely walking. Every time she walked, she got hurt,” says Terra Jiang, owner of Nana’s Wonderland.

Jiang says she thought to herself, “Why not open an indoor playground where I can design it exactly as I want it to be?” Applying her marketing background, she opened two Nana’s Wonderland play centers in Queens. A third one opened its doors in June  in Massapequa.

In Glen Cove, Madeline’s Play Cafe made its debut in May as an open play center sprinkled with French charm. Owner Puja Sarin explains, “When I was growing up, 'Madeline' was my favorite book. I’ve always liked the Parisian culture and I thought it would be something different and creative for kids. It would give them a little more elevated experience.”

And in Long Beach, Kids looking to create magical worlds through art can now make a masterpiece at the ceramic studio Earth Arts. The studio is filled with white ceramic pieces — everything from animal figures to jewelry boxes to housewares. Kids and their parents, grandparents and caregivers each select an item they’d like to paint and glaze. A staff member fires the pieces in a kiln to make them food-safe and waterproof. “It encapsulates the time parents and kids spend together,” says owner Susan Tian Clancy, who took over ownership in April and "refreshed" the space. In fact, every morning Clancy eats cereal from a bowl her kids painted for her.

Here are some of the exciting things to explore in the  three spaces.

Nana's Wonderland Massapequa

5050 Sunrise Hwy., Massapequa Park

Mia Doodnauth, 4, of North Bellmore, plays at Nana's Wonderland...

Mia Doodnauth, 4, of North Bellmore, plays at Nana's Wonderland in Massapequa Park on June 17. Credit: Randee Daddona

Some of the fun features in this new open play center include obstacle courses on upper and lower levels. As Jiang describes it, “There are little tunnels kids can crawl through, some obstacle games they can manipulate and the courses have openings where kids can slide into ball pits. There are a lot of little hideouts, too.” There is also a soft play space for infants to enjoy. 

“I designed this space to be a wonderland of imagination and colors,” says Jiang. Kids can go up piano stairs that play notes when you step on them.

Keira Suh, 4, and her sister Olivia Suh, 6, of...

Keira Suh, 4, and her sister Olivia Suh, 6, of Hicksville, play at Nana's Wonderland in Massapequa Park on June 17. Credit: Randee Daddona

There’s a slow-moving carousel. A little school bus rocks back and forth as kids honk the horn. In an imagination station, there’s a mini theater where kids can dress up, create hairstyles for dolls, use a pretend makeup kit and much more. Jiang adds, “The kids dress up as different characters and create their own games. They can be whomever they want to be and come up with anything their imagination allows.”

COST $18 per hour per child, starting at $25 for two hours; reservations recommended

MORE INFO 516-502-1876, nanaswonderland.net

Madeline's Play Cafe

36 Glen St., Glen Cove

Jack Valdivia, 3, of Oyster Bay, plays at Madeline's Play...

Jack Valdivia, 3, of Oyster Bay, plays at Madeline's Play Cafe on June 19 in Glen Cove. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

In this new open play center, the feeling of Paris is woven around a two-story playhouse with a pretend cafe and market. Sensory boards, a ball pit, slide, rock climbing wall, book nook and coloring table also fill the room.

Kids can  ride a carousel with six white horses, each with a French name. The walls are covered with paper paintings of the French countryside. A decorative Eiffel Tower with twinkling lights stands above trains, cars and dolls. In the book nook, kids can find a variety of stories including “Madeline,” about a little girl who went to boarding school in Paris. Outside the play area, parents can sit at tables and enjoy French croissants and a complimentary cup of coffee.

Isabel Valdivia, 2, of Oyster Bay, and her brother Jack,...

Isabel Valdivia, 2, of Oyster Bay, and her brother Jack, 3, Zane Kurian, 4, of Hicksville, and Rawlings Leachman, 2, of Locust Valley, and Jack Leachman, 11 months, of Locust Valley, play at Madeline's Play Cafe on June 19. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Parents can play along with their kids as staff members supervise. Bindu Kurian, 36, of Hicksville, appreciates watching her 4-year-old son, Zane, playing independently in the make-believe cafe. “He’s always a chef in the kitchen,” she says. 

COST $30 per child for  two-hour session, siblings are $25; reservations recommended

MORE INFO 516-503-8928, madelinesplaycafe.com

Earth Arts

162 W. Park Ave., Long Beach

Children choose their pottery at Earth Arts in Long Beach...

Children choose their pottery at Earth Arts in Long Beach on June 17. Credit: Randee Daddona

“Everything is so fast-paced these days. When you come into our paint-your-own-pottery studio, you have a chance to reset and nourish your mind,” says Clancy.

Everyone begins with a white ceramic ready-made piece they can paint and glaze using nontoxic materials. Kids can paint anything from figurines to animals, birdhouses, piggy banks and ice cream swirl cups. Alongside them, caregivers can paint mugs, bowls, olive oil bottles and salt shakers “If a child is painting a piggy bank, a staff member might suggest giving it some highlights or jewelry,” Clancy notes. 

Karen Wick, of Florida, and her grandaughter Kay Behr, 3,...

Karen Wick, of Florida, and her grandaughter Kay Behr, 3, of East Atlantic Beach, paint pottery together at Earth Arts in Long Beach on June 17. Credit: Randee Daddona

Toddler Tuesdays will be offered toward the end of the summer. Also closer to the fall, all those age 7 and older will be able to create hand-built clay projects or work with clay on pottery wheels.

COST Ceramic pieces start at $20

MORE INFO 516-432-9000, earthartslb.com

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