La La Land in Babylon Village is a new indoor...

La La Land in Babylon Village is a new indoor play area for children up to 5 years old.  Credit: Alexis Marie Photography/Alexis Costabile

One minute they're cooking up a meal in the pretend kitchenette, the next they're putting out a blaze in the fictional fire station before taking on a rock climbing challenge. It's all possible at indoor preschool play centers with recreational spaces, mini cafes and sensory stations geared toward toddlers. Mindy Plasse, of Little Neck, brings daughter to six Long Island indoor play spaces. “I love to go to open play centers because I can really see the world through my daughter’s eyes and watch her light up with excitement with new friends, new toys and in new environments,” she says. 

Each play center offers something different from the next with a focus on imaginative play.

Kristy Kung, who owns Children’s Social Club in Rockville Centre, says such centers are ideal for grandparents and caregivers looking for new ways to engage during play. “They like that everything in the play space is at eye level so they can see where their children are at all times,” Kung adds.

Here are highlights you’ll find in open play spaces for children aged 6 and younger. Open play hours vary. 


Once Upon a Treetop

151 Dupont St., Plainview

Once Upon a Treetop is a creative play space in...

Once Upon a Treetop is a creative play space in Plainview, with a whole, pint-sized village of play spaces for children to imagine themselves. Credit: Marisol Diaz

Twelve preschool-sized rooms make up a city in this homey center that includes a firehouse, a police station, a campsite with barbecue, a vet’s office, a construction zone and a three-story climbing maze.

Cost $20 walkers, $15 crawlers, $10 infants for two-hour session.

More info 516-349-1140; Reserve online; walk-ins welcome.

Rookies Kids Fitness & Athletics

2477 Merrick Rd., Bellmore

Two-year-old Sadie Loesch pushes a sled with the help of...

Two-year-old Sadie Loesch pushes a sled with the help of Rookies manager, Adi Ashkenazi, at Rookies, in Bellmore. Credit: Newsday/Kendall Rodriguez

The athletic center offers  play sessions with a twist. Classes are age-based and can accommodate ages 15 months (walking) to 12, with most clientele being ages 3 to 6, he says. Participants choose a weekly class time but can take unlimited makeup classes depending on availability. Each age group is named with a sports term, for instance the 4-year-olds are called Champs and the 7- and 8-year-olds are MVPs. Groups geared to children with special needs are broken up by ages 4 to 6 or 7 to 12.

Cost Monthly membership is $128 for once-a-week class and $230 for twice a week class. Drop-ins are available if there’s space at $40; classes are capped at 12 participants.

More info 516-871-4881,

Lollibop Kids

398 Central Ave, Lawrence

Kosher restaurant/cafe with open play in the rear of the restaurant. Open play includes video games, playhouse, clubhouse, clothing for dress-up, play kitchen and rock climbing wall. Free Wi-Fi. Socks required. Closed Saturdays

Cost Open play: $15 for 90 minutes, $12 per sibling. Limit one adult per family in play area.

More Info 516-341-7777,

Party in the Park

1019 Park Blvd, Massapequa Park

Explore the mini town for imaginative play featuring a play kitchen, grocery story, music jam with instruments, tool shed and sensory items. Free Wi-Fi, coffee and water for parents/guardians. Socks required by all participating. An in-house boutique features rompers, dresses, sweaters and more for newborns up to age 6. Prices run around $20 and up. Closed Tuesday

Cost $20 for one hour, $15 siblings; Private 60-minute play dates for 10 run $200. Classes in art, movement and music run 60 minutes and cost around $35. Booking in advance is recommended.

More Info 516-308-3751,

Sippy Cups Café

3890 Merrick Rd., Seaford

Jerry Sampson, of Massapequa Park, talks with his wife, Lori...

Jerry Sampson, of Massapequa Park, talks with his wife, Lori Sampson, as their son, Harrison Sampson, plays with Ella Ordonez, and Brandon Martori, at Sippy Cups Cafe in Seaford. Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

This open-concept center includes a wooden climber, two slides, indoor and outdoor kitchen/grocery playhouses, a train table and a mini cafe.

Cost $24, $14.50 siblings and crawlers for two-hour session.

More info 516-221-3814; Reservations required.

Liddle Bites Play Café

132 E. Park Ave., Long Beach

Play center/snack bar boasts a preschool-sized dollhouse with a pretend bedroom, living room and kitchen/ice cream shop. There are train and truck tables, cribs for dolls and a crawl-in rocket ship.

Cost $12, $10 siblings for two-hour session.

More info 516-442-3131; Reserve online; walk-ins welcome. 

Oh My Goodness Kids

301 Main St., Port Washington; and 61 New Hyde Park Rd., Garden City

Winding slides, ball pits, a sensory clubhouse, swings and a plethora of wooden building toys fill this play center, which includes an organic cafe extending from the activity area.

Cost $20 one-hour session.

More info 516-636-5444 ext. 1 for Garden City, ext. 2 for Port Washington; Reserve online; walk-ins welcome. 

Sensory Beans

3309 Merrick Rd., Wantagh

Kids with all abilities can enjoy swings, hammocks, a tactile sensory wall, a mini rock wall with rope ladder, a soft foam pit and climbers. Offering an Art Social group for ages 13-15 and an Explore and More class for ages 3-5. In addition, birthday parties, private playdates, group events, field trips and other family friendly fundraising events such as sensory friendly movies are offered. 

Cost $24, ages 9 months and older for a 90-minute session.

More info 516-308-1462; Reservations required.

Social Play Haus

200 Express St., Suite 100; Plainview

Maureen Tropiano feeds daughter, Rae, at the Social Play Haus...

Maureen Tropiano feeds daughter, Rae, at the Social Play Haus in Plainview. Credit: Linda Rosier

A full menu cafe featuring fresh salads, vegan options and more, uniquely combined with a loft-style play center featuring wooden play sets, slides, a kid-sized rock-climbing wall, a make-believe kitchen/garden/bake shop, STEM toys, children’s books, and a baby nook with toys for infants. The space is also great for coworking and can be booked for private events.

Cost $30 two-hour weekday session.

More info 516-200-6444; Reservations required.

Children’s Social Club

280 Sunrise Hwy, Rockville Centre

Stephanie Jablonsky of Lynbrook, with whipped coffee and daughter, Ilona...

Stephanie Jablonsky of Lynbrook, with whipped coffee and daughter, Ilona Jablonsky with a “ Dunkaroo,”at the Children’s Social Club in Rockville Centre.  Credit: Linda Rosier

This center features two kitchen playhouses, a train table, craft area with puzzles, magnet boards, ball pit, mini rock-climbing wall, tire trampoline, an infant area with soft toys and a small cafe with packaged snacks and coffee.

Cost $25; $20 second child, infants under 8 months free for 90-minute session.

More info 516-544-4019; Reservations required.

More Than Play

1282 Hicksville Road, Seaford

Speech pathologist owned and operated indoor play and enrichment space which features avenues for purposeful play, including open play sessions and adult and me classes. Led by licensed and certified therapists and educators. Dramatic play center, bistro, wellness center, construction zone, seasonal garden, magnet wall, toy rotation, separate classroom space.

Cost $22 open play session for one hour. Classes $32-$35 for 45 minutes.

More info 516-804-4837; Reservations recommended, walk-ins welcome.


L.I. Salty Kids Cove

646 Old Medford Ave., Patchogue

Logan Baker, 3, of Brookhaven, plays at L.I. Salty Kids Cove in Patchogue on Feb. 27. Credit: Randee Daddona

This beach-inspired indoor playground is geared to ages 6 and younger, offering open play in three rooms. The first room focuses on gross motor skills, with a tunnel for kids to crawl through, a slide and sand tables. The second is dubbed the village, with a pretend market, car mechanic repair shop, hair salon, campsite and more. The third room offers sensory play with panels on the wall, and liquid tiles on the floor that spread colored fluid as children step on them.

Cost $38 a month per child for unlimited play; $60 a month for two children for unlimited play; drop-in is $22 per child for two hours.

More info 631-897-5910,

Play a La Mode

254 Main St., East Setauket

Preschool toys for imaginative play join a make-believe town that features a salon, gym, school, market, fishing area and ice cream truck. Purchase prepackaged snacks in the cafe.

Cost $28 walkers, $24 crawlers for 90-minute session.

More info 631-364-2519; Reservations required.

Little Bean House Café

260 Smithtown Blvd., Nesconset

Parents and caretakers during a play session at Little Bean...

Parents and caretakers during a play session at Little Bean House Cafe in Nesconset. Credit: Randee Daddona

Laptop-friendly tables with outlets give parents an opportunity to work, grab coffee from the in-house cafe and keep an eye on their children playing in two new playhouses. Kids can toot musical instruments, hop on slides, dress up with costumes or flop in ball pits. 

Cost $18.95, $15.95 siblings, $12.95 crawlers. 

More info 631-400-2013; Reservations required.

A Latte Fun

570 E. Jericho Tpke., South Huntington

A Latte Fun, a coffeehouse and play space in Huntington...

A Latte Fun, a coffeehouse and play space in Huntington Station. Credit: Newsday/Marie Elena Martinez

Parents can sip lattes in the cafe while they watch their kids try sensory games, huddle around a pretend farmhouse, bounce on a tire trampoline, ride a mini carousel or hug a rubber dinosaur.

Cost $21.75, $17.40 siblings, $15.20 crawlers for a two-hour open play session. 

More info 631-944-3170; Reserve online; walk-ins welcome. 

The Nesting Place

95 Horseblock Rd., Yaphank

This “play lab” boasts plenty of comfy seating and complimentary tea/coffee, as kids check out two playhouses, manipulate neon lights at a sensory light table and clamber on a climber.

Cost $19, $10 additional child for 90-minute open play session. 

More info 631-318-3382; Reservations required. Additional locations in Farmingdale and Merrick (no open play). 

La La Land

158 E. Main St., Babylon

La La Land in Babylon Village is a new indoor...

La La Land in Babylon Village is a new indoor play area for children up to 5 years old.  Credit: Alexis Marie Photography/Alexis Costabile

This three-sectioned open play center features a wind tunnel, monkey bar and slide area, an imagination section with a play cafe, vet center, car table and a “crawlers corner” with toys for infants.

Cost $25, $17.50 sibling, $15 crawler for a 90-minute session; open play includes complimentary self-serve espresso bar plus a snack and drink for kids.

More info 631-482-1619; Reserve online; walk-ins welcome.


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