Listen, if you’re a mom with a little boy… then you obviously feel my struggle and that’s how you landed here. Little girls have it all… tea parties and kiddie salons and mini spas… they get the works! Little boys are left to the wayside to fend for themselves and play in somebodies dirt somewhere and are just supposed to be happy with that. Dramatic perhaps, but hey! I’m known for drama and I’m tired of feeling like my babies aren’t as important because they can’t get their nails painted or have princess parties or whatever. We need places to play too! So I’ve done my research to bring you the best NYC playdate ideas. Most that we regularly enjoy!
Indoor Trampoline Park
There aren’t any in the boroughs (yet, one is opening soon in Howard Beach, Queens) but there are a few indoor trampoline parks in Long Island and New Rochelle that are perfect for playdates. If your little one has close to the energy that mine does, then a day of jumping is perfect to get all that extra energy out and have fun with friends.
Edit Feb. 2020: Launch Trampoline Park is open in Queens and it’s the perfect place to host your indoor playdates!
I’m almost positive that there is a children’s museum in every borough but we love the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. With free days on Thursdays and 2 floors there are tons of exhibits for little ones. My kids love playing in the toddler area, complete with water table.
I know Chuck E is the typical arcade place when you think of children’s arcades but there are so many more! We particularly love Laser Bounce at Atlas Park mall. The great thing about Laser Bounce is that it’s fun for ALL ages. They have arcade games (perfectly sized for small children), indoor inflatables, a ball arena, laser tag, virtual reality and more!
Everything really is awesome at LEGO! I don’t think I know a little boy out there that doesn’t love blocks and what’s awesome about the LEGO store is that monthly they hold Mini Model Builds. Every month there’s a different model that you build in store, and get to take home for free! Registration opens on the 15th of every month and space is limited so you have to be sure to sign up early, but if you can get in this is a great activity.
Chelsea Piers/Aviator Sports and Events Center
These two sports complexes have everything from rock climbing, to bowling, to tennis, gymnastics and basketball. If you have athletic little ones then they will definitely love these gyms. Chelsea Piers also has an ice skating rink which is fun if you want to skate indoors and avoid a little bit of the cold the city has in the fall/winter.
I know what you’re thinking, but the candy shops in NYC are definitely an experience unlike any other. The M&Ms and Hershey store are huge and located in Times Squares surrounded by tons of other attractions. Another fun place is Dylan’s Candy Bar. Their flagship location has 3 floors and includes a Candy Cafè which serves food and drinks.
And of course if you just plan want to have a chill, low-key day then there are always options like the playground and the movies but I’m almost positive you’re ready to switch it up! So sure we don’t have the American Girl Doll Store, but there are tons of places to visit throughout the city where little boys can be themselves.
Have anymore NYC playdate ideas? What’s your favorite place to take your children? Do you stick to the basics or do you try to find new things to do?
Looking for more ideas of things to do in the city? Check out this post ——> 10 Amazing Things to Do in NYC.