Best Indoor Places to Play

Where to go when the weather isn't on your side

By Adina Kayton June 29, 2023

When the rain pours down and outdoor adventures seem impossible, fear not! New York City is home to a plethora of fantastic indoor play spaces that offer endless fun and excitement for kids of all ages. Whether you're a local or a visitor, these rainy day havens provide a welcome respite and a chance to let your little ones unleash their energy. Join us as we introduce some of the best indoor play spaces in NYC where rain won't dampen your family's fun.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The MET is a perfect place to take the kids and wonder around for hours while exploring, having fun and learning a thing or two along the way! They offer free story times every Tuesday from 11:30 to 12:00. They also offer other kids programming, check them out here. As always, the MET is pay as you wish for NYC residents!

The Children's Museum of Manhattan

CMOM is the place to be for active kids with tons of energy! They have 5 floors with different themes including Dora the Explorer, Create Climb and Collaborate, a H2O station outdoor that is fantastic, Superpowered Metropolis, PlayWorks and a right to vote area! We love going and spending the day inside, keep in mind there is no food allowed inside to take a break to eat lunch at one of the places near by and then come right back! A year long membership for a family of two adults and up to four children is $275-absolutely worth it. 

The Guggenheim Museum

This is a wonderful place to bring children, the space is designed in a way that a child would find interesting and engaging. The museum provides family activity guides that cater to different age groups. These guides offer age-appropriate prompts, questions, and activities that encourage children to explore and think critically about the artwork they encounter. It can be a fun and interactive way for kids to actively participate in their museum visit.

The Guggenheim also offers amenities specifically for families. This includes stroller check-in, family restrooms, and accessible areas for nursing or feeding. These thoughtful amenities make the visit more convenient and comfortable for families with young children.

The Jewish Museum

 The museum offers a rich and immersive experience that allows children to learn about Jewish history, culture, and traditions. Through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations, kids can gain a deeper understanding of Jewish heritage and its contributions to art, music, literature, and more. The Jewish Museum offers families classes and programs throughout the week, check out their calendar here.

The Art Farm in the City

The Art Farm is a great place for kids because it combines the joy of interacting with animals and the creativity of art, providing a unique and immersive learning experience. Kids get to play indoor during drop in or open play classes offered weekly.

The 92NY

The 92NY center is a renowned cultural and community center. It offers a wide range of programs and events for people of all ages, including classes, lectures, performances, concerts, exhibitions, and more. The 92Y is known for its commitment to arts and culture, education, Jewish heritage, and community engagement. The offer swim classes, dance, music, sports, camps and even pre-k for kids ages 2.6 to 5 years old. They also offer free events occasionally so keep an eye on our calendar because we list them! 

The Museum of the City of New York

The museum takes you on a journey through time, allowing children to explore the rich history of New York City. From the early days of the Lenape Native Americans to the bustling metropolis it is today, kids can discover the city's evolution through engaging exhibits, artifacts, and captivating stories. The museum also offers FREE story time classes every friday! Check it out on our calendar here.

The Children's Center at 42nd Street Library

The Children’s Center is open for nearly full service—including general use and seating, unlimited browsing, and computer access—at the completely transformed Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL).From storytime to homework help, the Children’s Center features an array of programs and services to help kids and their families develop a lifelong love of reading and learning. Check them out here

The Gilder Center at the AMNH

The new Gilder Center features new exhibition galleries and one-of-a-kind experiences, including an insectarium, butterfly vivarium, floor-to-ceiling collections displays, and more—and connects to the rest of the American Museum of Natural History on four floors. It is beautifully designed and you can easily spend 4-5 hours inside. Get your tickets here

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

The museum is a wonder to explore and spend the day in. You will find an immersion room, interactive tables, spun chairs, a terrace with a lawn and more inside. Adult tickets are $15 and kids under 18 are free!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Pay-What-You-Wish Admission)

The MET has something for everyone, it's truly a gem and we are lucky to live near by it! We can spend days exploring. There is a wonderful rooftop terrace with a bar that's recently been finished along with all the indoor things to explore-this makes a perfect indoor getaway with the kids. Stroller friendly, food options inside and very clean bathrooms!

Local Libraries

Last but not least your local library! This is an excellent resource to families as they offer many family events, story times and craft hours for children of all ages. It's a great way to make new friends for your toddler and for your caregiver to mingle with other parents/caregivers that are there. We love story times and craft hours! Don't forget to get your free library card, that will allow your child to borrow toys, telescopes, in-library toys and play on the computer (they have free ABC mouse on there and our 6 year old loves this special time on a "real" computer).