A new, drop-in play space has opened in Huntington village, geared to babies, toddlers and preschoolers, called Sandbox Playspace. "Sandbox is a metaphor for a natural place for kids to be themselves and play," says Toni Dickson, who owns the venue with her husband, Rob.
Kids can roam the different stations, which include kitchen play, a hardware store, a teepee, a wood slide, a flower market, a dress-up area and more.
The "sweet spot" age is 18 months to 3 years, but kids birth to 5 are welcome. A ledge with age-appropriate toys is the perfect height for babies pulling themselves up to standing.
Sandbox aims to be a haven for parents as well as kids, Toni Dickson says. There's a "wall of inspiration" -- they can leave notes on the clothesline-style rope for others or take one themselves. One note says, for instance, "You are doing a great job. Keep your head held high and trust your instincts as a mom."
The space is contained enough that parents can see their children wherever they are. The venue offers birthday parties. The Dicksons live in Huntington and have two preschoolers themselves, ages 4 and 2.
Sandbox Playspace is located at 51 Gibson Ave. and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It costs $12 per child; $8 per sibling (siblings up to 6 months, no charge); $6 single child under 6 months; rates decline with packages or memberships. For more information, call 631-421-1600 or visit sandboxplayspace.com.