If Punxsutawney Phil, America’s favorite groundhog, is to be believed, we've got at least six more weeks of cold weather ahead of us. And no one is likely to take that news harder than the parents of young children.
For those wintery days when the walls feel like they’re closing in on you, we’ve collected five suggestions from Island moms for nearby options to shake out your sillies while keeping your toes warm.
If you don’t want to travel far, but do want a few moments to hear yourself think, pop over to Toddler Story Time at the Roosevelt Island Library, Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. There are stories, songs, and an open-play time. (There is also a Baby Storytime on Mondays at 11 a.m. for the younger set.) Can’t make one of the storytimes? The library also has bins of toys that can be checked out at any time with a picture ID or library card.
Wednesdays 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., 524 Main Street, Free. www.nypl.org/locations/roosevelt-island
Even the best stocked playrooms can start to feel boring after a couple of months of winter. Shake things up by letting your little one explore the playroom at Island Kids. Starting February 10, Island Kids will host free Open Play for Toddlers, Fridays from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Open to kids 14 months to 2.5 years old, the play space offers toys, puppets, buildings blocks, and most importantly, other Island parents to commiserate with. Island Kids also offers a free baby group on Wednesdays, as well as tumbling, art, and science classes for preschoolers. See their website for details.
Fridays 10:00 a.m. 536 Main Street (located under the ramp in the Roosevelt Landings courtyard behind 510 Main Street). Free. www.islandkids.org.
Nothing chases away winter blues like a tambourine. Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m., local musician James Humphrey hosts Music with James at the Roosevelt Island Cultural Center. For $15, you and your child will get to sing, dance, learn about instruments, and even play your own xylophone. No reservations are required.
Tuesdays 4 p.m., 548 Main Street (entrance located off the alley). $15 for first child, $5/sibling. www.MusicwithJames.com
Dance It Out
At the Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance’s Little Dancers class, your 18-month to 3-year-old dancer can wiggle like a worm, leap over ribbon streams, and twirl to their heart’s content. Classes are Thursdays 10:30-11:15 a.m. If you can’t commit to a whole semester, there’s a drop-in fee of $20. Caregivers are allowed to participate – or not (read as: go have a quiet coffee!)
Thursdays 10:30 am, 548 Main Street (entrance located off the alley). $272/16-week semester; $20 drop-in. www.mstda.org.
Got someone with a lot of energy? Let them go wild at The Playroom NYC, a 3,000-square-foot indoor playspace on the Upper East side with climbing structures, train table, pretend shopping space, light-up wall, a dress-up room, and a pre-walker area. For $35, your child can play for as long as you like. The space is located a couple of blocks from the newly opened (and elevator-equipped!) 72nd Street station on the Q line, making it a fairly easy outing from the Island.
Open every day, hours vary. 1439 First Ave. and 75th St, $35/child. theplayroomnyc.com