If you can't go out to the playground, head indoors to one of these versatile play spaces where kids can burn off excess energy taking classes, sampling sports and exploring imaginative environments.
Inventive play is key inside Chelsea's City Treehouse, where a fiber-optic cave and interactive water table cater to kids as young as 18 months. This inventive space also hosts classes in music, dance and crafting. Another can't-miss play spot is the Field House at Chelsea Piers. Parents of younger kids should check out the center's Little Athletes Exploration Center, where children ages 6 months to 4 years play on equipment alongside parents in an open-format environment.
Aviator Sports and Events Center in Queens is a one-stop entertainment hub for sports fans, housed inside a former airplane hangar. Take your pick from ice-skating, gymnastics and a rock wall. Virtual sports have a place here, too, with a 30-plus game arcade featuring Skee-Ball, basketball, air hockey, Dance Dance Revolution and more. And at Brooklyn's Klub4Kidz, they'll forget they're inside after gliding on a zip line, scaling a rock wall and crawling through a four-level playground. Pair one of the center's art, music and science classes with a full day of playground time for $25 and leave rainy-day woes far behind.
At Queens' Long Island City Kids, catch open play sessions every Sunday morning inside the equipment-packed gymnasium. If structure's more your thing, choose from gymnastics, hip-hop, yoga, theater and chess lessons, taking place throughout the week.
Tweens and teens aren't left out in the rain, either. For the family gamer, make haste to Indoor Extreme Sports (emphasis on the “extreme”) in Queens. Play paintball, jump into a laser-tag battle, fight zombies and simulate online gaming inside a multipurpose arena.
Be sure to check out our full guide to rainy-day family fun in NYC. Options include museums, theaters, tours, screenings, comedy clubs and fitness classes, just to name a few.