Our Favorite Indoor Playspaces 2016

With frigid temperatures comes snow days, school breaks, and sick days–piling up and oppressing mom’s mental state until she feels like she will burst from the pressure. Does that sound familiar? If you are looking for new places to take the kids–check out our list and tips for the best places around town:

1. Last year, we introduced to you two new playspaces: The Great Story (Hackensack) and Hudson’s House of Play. I see The Great Story getting a lot of buzz lately from moms. Why?  The space is soothing and has a preschool feel to it. There are also TV’s in the cafe area so you can keep an eye on your little one while they play and you grab a snack!

Hudson’s House of Play (West New York) is a bit far for those of us in Western Bergen County. But it’s worth a trip if you are tired of the offerings in our area. It’s small, intimate and has a lot of dress up outfits.

2.My Gym Glen Rock offers a great selection of age-appropriate classes that include instructor led activities, themed adventures, puppet shows, exercises, gymnastics, songs, dances, rides, games and more. Included in the cost of your class, Practice and Play is a 60 minute program that gives your child a chance to practice their skills learned in class that week. The children are able to play around the gym at their will, and there is a teacher running practice stations throughout the program. Call My Gym Glen Rock to schedule your free trial class and read our review to find out about all of the great programs My Gym has to offer children ages 6 weeks to 10 years of age.

3. Kids Party, Play & Tumble in Emerson opened last year–and Allison Graziul gave us the lowdown. The owner is always adding new inflatables, toys and even classes to keep things exciting for the little ones. It is also one of the more reasonably priced indoor play spots.

4. JW Tumbles in Hillsdale, Kids U in Paramus and Kidville in Englewood and Ridgewood (New!)  have great indoor playspaces but are usually open only to those who take classes there. JW Tumbles has open play often and even drop-in story time for local charities. Be sure to call or check each playspace’s website for open playtimes. You can also jump on their email list so you’re aware of any deals, holiday camps or themed parties/events such as a Frozen Extravaganza or a New Year’s Bash. (Bounce Safari in Waldwick also often has fun themed events. Screamin’ Parties and Bounce U in Paramus also have open bounce options.)

5. The Big Playhouse (Westwood) is a cute little indoor playspace for the crawlers to 7-year-old age group. It’s impeccable maintained–so perfect for the germaphobe mom or kids who get sick easily. It can be a bit pricier than other local options.

6. Jumpin Jax in Paramus offers everything from open playtime to camps and birthday parties and is a unique combination of play space and early learning center. Check out our review to find out more about the many things this play space has to offer.

7. Billy Beez (Palisades Center Mall, NY) is a huge indoor play area that aspires to be a theme park. I went once on a weekend and spent 20 minutes searching for my child in the many tunnels where kids can hide like jackrabbits. There are tons of things to do and you could easily spend more than 2 hours here without them being bored. If you have “helicopter mom” tendencies then the weekends or school’s out holidays like Martin Luther King Day might not be the best choice for you, instead try it during the week.

8. Also in Hackensack is Kid’s Rule Parties–located in an nondescript warehouse. You can find your typical bouncy houses and slides and is best for ages toddler to 7-years-old.

9. FREE Spots: One of our favorite free play areas is the one in Garden State Mall. It’s an underwater theme by the Food Court and there are always lots of kids there to play with. Make sure you bring the hand sanitizer though! The Paramus Park play area by the Sears wing is a smaller one–best for kids under 5-years-old. Bring older kids and you will get the stink eye from moms with crawlers who are getting trampled! Chuck E. Cheese on Rt. 4 in Paramus doesn’t have admission but you do have to pay for the games. It’s a good standby for a snow day. Ikea in Paramus has drop off (Tip: If you sign up for their Family Card you get extra time in the play area for the kiddies and free coffee) and a play area in the dining area.

10. Play for Older Kids…This article in North Jersey.com talked about some innovative libraries we have in Bergen County. I was intrigued by Hillsdale Library’s Makerspace.

11. Another playspace is World of Wings. There is a beautiful butterfly dome and reptile area. Some moms in Facebook groups have recently said that it’s not as well maintained as it could be but if you can look past that fact, you can spend hours here. Also, there is a HUGE soft playspace area on the 2nd floor for toddlers, complete with slides and ballpits. Keep in mind that strollers need to be parked at the door, areas can be closed off and they sometimes host field trips so be sure to call before you go.

Well, that’s our rundown of favorite indoor spots. What are your favorite indoor playspaces? We will add it to our list!

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Mira Park has been blogging since 2009, when she started a site called MiraBest.com. Her blog provided useful tips, local insights, reviews, and ways to save moms time and money. Since January 2014, she has served as Editorial Director and co-owner of PlaygroundTalk.com and somehow enjoys the crazy, sleep-deprived life of a blogger. With three kids aged 4 to 9, she finds plenty of inspiration for articles and topics from them and loves to experience new attractions, travel spots, and shows in the NY/NJ area with them.

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