Sorry For the Delay....

Notable Play Places and Classes With Reviews

     This is a listing of places you can bring your kids to have fun and use up some of their energy. They are suitable choices to meet for playdates too.  If you are looking for a place to have a birthday party, attending an open play session is a good way to check out the venue.  Most of them require socks, so come prepared!  My now 4-year old and I have been to all places mentioned on this page and enjoyed each one.

Wood Kingdom
     This is a great indoor playground with jungle gyms, slides, and bouncers. It started out as a showroom for swingsets, but eventually became open to the public for birthday parties and open play, recommended for ages 2-7.  Open play is usually Monday -Friday from 10-2.  The cost is only $8.00 per child, and you can usually find coupons in any of those free parent's magazines they distribute at libraries, etc. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase and there is an eating area.
Address: 111 Milbar Boulevard, Farmingdale NY
Phone: 631-845-3804

Bouncers and Slydos
     A whole room full of bouncers, inflatable slides, and the like.  Available for birthday parties and open play.  Open play (for ages 5 & under) is usually Monday-Friday from 10-12 and from 12-2.  The cost is $12 but you can usually find coupons in the free magazines for parents.
Address: 1835 New Highway, Farmingdale, NY 11735
Phone: 631-752-2324

Bounce U
     Bounce U is another blow-up bounce venue with two different bouncing rooms.  Available for parties and open play, Bounce U has five New York locations-Farmingdale, Oceanside, Smithtown, College Point, and Brooklyn. "Open Bounce" is usually $12.99 per child, but once again, coupons can be found.  There are different sessions based on age and special themes. Reservations are required and times vary, so call ahead for details.
Oceanside: 3495B Lawson Blvd., Oceanside, NY 11572 Phone: (516) 593-JUMP(5867)
Farmingdale: 101 Carolyn Blvd., Farmingdale, NY 11735 Phone: (631)777-JUMP(5867)
Smithtown: Country View Commons, 62 Lake Avenue South, Nesconset, NY 11767 Phone: (631) 265-JUMP(5867)
College Point: Whitepoint Center 132-25 14th Avenue, College Point, NY 11356 Phone: (718) 747-JUMP(5867)
Brooklyn: 6722 Fort Hamilton Pkwy 2nd Floor (entrance on 67th & 9th Ave), Brooklyn, NY 11219 Phone: (347) 450-JUMP(5867)

Pump It Up
     Yet another inflatable bouncing, climbing, and sliding party and play place, Pump It Up offers "Pop-in Play" on various days.  There are locations in Cedarhurst, Plainview,  Great Neck, and Bohemia(Islip).  Prices and age groups vary by location, so call ahead.  Pop-in Play is usually $14.95 for the first child, and 12.95 for each additional child.  I have only seen coupons for parties.
Cedarhurst: 136 Washington Avenue, Cedarhurst, NY.  Phone:(516) 791-2222
Plainview: 135 Dupont Street, Plainview, NY.  Phone: (516) 575-2300
Great Neck: 225 Community Drive,  Suite 250, Great Neck, NY.  Phone: (516) 466-7867
Bohemia(Islip): 1750 Arctic Avenue, Bohemia, NY. Phone: )631)-563-3100

Le Play Cafe (Review on the review page!)
     This is a wonderful indoor play area for children 6 months to 6 years old.  Everything is clean and in good condition, and the staff is great. They serve coffee and some snacks and other drinks, but you can also bring your own and use the cafe area (food is not permitted in the play space). The venue hosts both parties and open play, which is $12 per child. Open play hours are Monday - Friday 10-3pm and Sat & Sun: 10-2pm but are subject to change due to party scheduling, so please call ahead.  Various classes and programs are also available.
Address: 2465 Merrick Road, Bellmore, NY 11710 (One block East of Newbridge Rd.)
Phone: 516-308-7053

Children's Safari
     This is a large indoor safari themed play/party space that features a maze/jungle gym with slides, a sand box, a small rock climbing wall, arcade games, and a variety of toys.  The games give out tickets that can be redeemed for prizes. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase. Open play is $11 with no time limit.  Open play time varies due to other events so call ahead.
Address: 6 Rockaway Avenue, Valley Stream, NY 11580
Phone: (516) 872-2600

Once Upon A Treetop
     This place has plenty of entertainment for your little ones!  Designed to look like a whole town, there is a wide open space with a row of little rooms on either side made to be like stores, restaurants, a train station, construction site, etc. with the appropriate toys in each section.  There is a "treehouse" playground in the back, and a tiny space for tiny kids in the front (all indoors).  This venue hosts parties, open play, a variety of programs, and a preschool. Open play is $12 for walkers and $6 for crawlers.  Check their calendar or call for hours.  There are vending machines and an eating area as well.
Address: 151 Dupont Street, Plainview, NY 11803
Phone: (516)349-1140

Fun Station USA
     This is like an indoor amusement park!  There are rides, games, bumper cars, lazer tag, a maze, and a concession stand/eating area.  Game tickets may be redeemed for prizes.  Many of the attractions are best suited for older kids, but young ones can have a great time too.  The maze/playground area also includes a space just for toddlers.  Good for parties, great for rainy days! An unlimited ride bracelet is $11.95 on weekdays(or $14.95 with bumper cars too) and $13.95 on weekends (or $16.95 including bumper cars). You do not need to buy a bracelet, however; you can pick which rides your child is interested in and pay for them individually. Prices can be viewed on their website, and coupons can be found on their website as well!
Address: 40 Rocklyn Avenue, Lynbrook, NY 11563
Phone: (516)599-7757

Dave & Buster's
     A ridiculous number of things to do under one roof.  Better suited for older kids, there is a huge arcade, a bowling alley, a restaurant, and even billiards-so it's also good for teenagers and adults. It's clearly gigantic so don't worry about reservations unless you want to have a party. There is an "eat & play" combo price option and  you can find coupons for the game cards online or in magazine advertisements. There are many locations.
Westbury: 1504 Old Country Road (in the Source Mall), Westbury, NY 11590. Phone: (516) 542-8501
Farmingdale: 261 Airport Plaza Blvd., Farmingdale, NY 11735. Phone: (631) 249-0708
Islandia: 1856 Veteran's Memorial Hwy., Islandia, NY 11749. Phone: (631) 582-6615
Times Square: 234 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036. Phone: (646) 495-2015

Build-A-Bear Workshop
     A store that lets you choose your own stuffed animal to "bring to life".  Prices vary and animal clothes and accessories may be added on.  Many different animals are available as well as a variety of clothing including themed outfits such as movie characters, fire fighters, sports teams, etc.  You can also have parties here.  In New York, there is one on Long Island (Roosevelt Field Shopping Mall), and also one in Manhattan and one in White Plains.
Roosevelt Field: 630 Old Country Road, Garden City, NY 11530
Phone: (516)248-0027

Hot Skates Rink
     Come here for roller or in-line skating!  This indoor rink has been around for over 30 years!  Bring your own skates or rent quad skates there for $3 (sizes kids'10-adult 14).  There is also an arcade room and concession stand.  Available for parties, open skating, and roller hockey.  Public skating sessions are usually Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; check their website for current schedule.  Most are for all ages and cost $10.
Address: 14 Merrick Road, Lynbrook NY 11563
Phone: (516)593-1300

     A different kind of play place. Main room has a three-level play arena with a maze full of thousands of foam balls and "ball blasters". Second room features an octagon shaped gaga pit/dance area.  Call for open play times since it is mostly for parties.  Note: if your child is sensitive to loud noises, ask for earplugs when you arrive, before you go into the ball room, since the blaster machines are rather loud.
Address: 85 Sea Lane, Farmingdale NY 11735
Phone: (631)393-0801

     A great laser tag venue that also features an arcade. Good for parties but call for open tag times! General admission is $7 per game but there are always specials going on throughout the week.
Address: 151 Voice Road, Carle Place NY 11514
Phone: (516) 877-7200

Contributed by Christina

*** On a side note, neither myself nor Christina will ever publish a review for a class that we haven't attended ourselves with our children. If you know of a notable class that fits into a normal budget, please let us know, we may even ask you to write a review as a guest blogger! Thanks!***

   A Review Of Tumble One and Two at RVC Recreation Center!
      FYI I am starting this review with a rant (not about this gymnastics class).
We all know we want to sign up our kids for EVERYTHING; there are so many fun things to do with your kids: mommy and me, music classes, soccer, karate, anything you can think of they have a class for it now. Thing is, the prices are just insane. $345 for an eight week mommy and me class. Really? That is $43.00 a class. Or a class for $129 a month, OK that sounds ok right? That is four dollars and thirty cents a day. So yes you get the open play that you can use anytime, and yes the classes are big fun, but essentially you are paying for days that you are NEVER going to use. That is throwing your money in the garbage. BYE BYE. I guess it is pretty clear to see I am incredibly picky about what I do and do not sign my child up for. I want something reasonable in price, that is loads of fun and benefits my child in some way. I can go to a park for free and there are countless free library programs that incorporate music into their classes, so running around while playing music isn't going to do it for me. I actually was really interested in signing him up for gymnastics, so I started scouting around. Nope, no good prices are too high... I was so sad- that is until I heard of the Rockville Center Recreation Center. I walked in, the class happened to be starting that morning and when I saw the set up and the price I was in.
bar, ball pit, obstacle course

     The Class we attend starts at 10am (the summer session will be at a different time). When you walk in all you can say is "cool". They have one huge blow up trampoline, a ball pit,an obstacle course to climb, two smaller trampolines, and a rope you can swing on. The first fifteen or twenty minutes is open play so as you can guess the kids go nuts. My little one likes one of the smaller trampolines and ball pit the best. The two woman that run the group, Jen and Donna, are around talking with parents, playing the music, and keeping an eye on the kids as well (in this group, mommys are watching the kids during play). Then Miss Jen comes into the “arena” with a tamborine signaling that the circle time has started. Everyone sits in the circle and does stretches, sings songs, locates body parts and jumps around! After that Miss Jen has everyone over to her and helps the kids to do a correct somersalt which my son just loves. After that she suggests that you try to get your kids to work the obstacle course that ends with her at a pull up bar where she guides them into hanging, and then flipping over the bar. Now we are onto the bubbles, which Miss Jen and Miss Donna blow all around the room and the kids all love. After that they do parachute time, which I personally love. Then it is time for the goodbye song, and I have to say my dollars were well spent. After the class we like to go to a playground that is located on premises for about ten minutes, then its home for lunch and straight to bed! Oh my goodness does my son sleep after this class, he practically begs me to bring him into his room.
rope swing

     I am so excited that I found this class. Not only are the teachers sweet and great with the kids, but the class itself is arranged in such a way that if the kid just wants to go and jump for the forty five minutes, they can. At the age group we are in (up to three years old I believe) a regimental class would be too much, but the fact that the class does have a schedule shows the kids that this is not just playtime, it is gymnastics. My son knows that soon after the tumbles, bubbles are coming and points to the ceiling. He knows that when Miss Jen sits on the floor it is time to do a somersalt, and its great. He has also learned other things from this class as well (yeah he already knew how to jump) but he now blows kisses, something that he saw Miss Donna do during circle time, he shows me his ankles, which is a part of the body I just didn't think of explaining to him, and he has now mastered the somersalt on his own, (with only a bit of help from me) and he is only 19 months old. I am so happy I found this place and I will definitely be signing him up again. It was well worth the $116.00 it cost me. Yep that's right only $116.00 for an eight week class. That is less then $15.00 a class. You can spend more taking him to a play place once a week. Absolutely fantastic!
blow up bouncer

     Classes start Tuesday June 26th or Thursday June 28th and there is an early bird registration discount if you register before June 15th: you will save 5% off the price! There are three classes being offered this summer, running  from one o'clock to three thirty  in forty five minute intervals on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Tumble 1-2, Tumble 3 and intro to Gymnastics 4.  Cost is $84  for RVC Residents and $90.00 non residents for six classes, so that is 15.00 even for non residents for each class. Definitely worth it.

parachute time

                                                  Italian Language Littles, A Review!
  All of us are always looking for fun ways to educate our children outside of their regular school.   Recently, more parents are becoming aware of the benefits of having their children learn a second language, and different ways of doing that are becoming more accessible. Here I would like to take the opportunity to introduce you all to a wonderful class that exposes children to the beautiful language of Italy, appropriately called Italian Language Littles!  Before I get into it I would like to point out that the class is for all levels: it doesn't matter whether your child doesn't know one word in Italian or if he/she is already proficient, the class is for everyone and any child can benefit from it. Also, it is not necessary to speak the language yourself to enroll them in the course.

     Italian Language Littles is a weekly class that provides children with the experience of learning another language in a fun setting with the company of other kids. My son has been attending for about a year and a half, and absolutely loves it! My only regret is that we didn't find out about it sooner!  I speak Italian myself  but not fluently, and although I have been teaching him bits and pieces of the language since he was born, I was happy to find a course for his age group to help him learn in a structured manner.  He has learned so much, and hearing the other kids speak Italian too has been very encouraging for him.  In the class, the kids play games, hear songs, read stories, make arts & crafts, and much more-but in Italian.  Some people hear about a language class for young children and think it would be too academic and not interesting for the child, but I assure you this is not the case here! All the kids are having lots of fun and are captivated by the lessons.  They are taught by truly kind and well qualified instructors, husband and wife Matthew and Teresa, who are both great with the kids. They have two (well behaved!!) children of their own who attend the classes as well.  Teresa, whose first language was Italian, teaches the younger age group (2-3 years). Matthew, who currently teaches high school Italian and lived in Florence while earning his Master's Degree, teaches the older group (4+years).  In the past they taught the class together, but with enrollment on the rise they teach separately to accommodate twice the number of students.  My son  has taken both teachers' classes and enjoys them both very much.  They have taken the time  to answer a few questions about their class for this review, and here is the Q & A :

The Mommy's Guide: What motivated you to begin an Italian language class for children?
Italian Language Littles:  We always knew that we wanted to teach our children Italian because it is such an important part of who we are and our heritage. We looked for a program for toddlers in Italian to help us continue teaching [our first son] Italian. We did find one that was very good and he enjoyed it very much. However, it was in the city and it became a little much to make the trip into Manhattan every weekend. Eventually, we began toying with the idea that we could begin a program on Long Island for everyone who wanted their children to learn the language without the big commute. Being teachers ourselves with experience from the very young (Teresa certified early childhood/ elementary ed/ reading specialist) to high school (Matt, certified 7-12 Italian), we felt this was something we could do. Given our passion for our language and culture, the motivation to share that with anyone interested and our teaching expertise, we were sure we would be able to do it!

MG:What do you enjoy most about teaching the class?
I.L.L.: What we love most about teaching the class is that the kids are so enthusiastic. I love to see their excitement at being able to pronounce Italian words, sing along with the songs or learning the word for their favorite animal or color. Kids this age truly absorb so much, they learn from expressions and gestures, and we are so glad to be able to participate in their learning. Italian is all around us and the children become more and more aware of it as they learn.  Of course, we absolutely love that our own children have been on this journey with us and that they really enjoy attending our classes as well.

MG:What do you think the children enjoy most about your classes?
I.L.L.:The thing we think the kids enjoy the most about the class is that even though there is a great deal of teaching going on, they mostly are just having fun without realizing that there is anything remotely academic to their activity. They are too interested in the pictures, silly songs or games that we are playing. They learn without even realizing that they are learning.

MG:Recently, the two of you have begun teaching separate classes rather than
teaching one class together in order to accommodate an increased demand of
enrollment. Would you take a moment to explain your different teaching
philosophies and methods?

I..L.L.: At the heart of our teaching methods is the belief that all children can learn and that children should be having fun while doing it.  Because it is an enrichment class, there is no pressure and children can learn in a very relaxed setting. I have certainly learned great deal from observing Teresa teach. My philosophy is above all, let them have fun learning and if possible, don't even let them KNOW they are learning. This way, they will want to come back and participate. I do use fewer props in my lessons because the kids are a bit older and it can sometimes be more distracting but I do realize their value in this type of program. Finally, there are certain aspects that help learning along-- repetition and a good dose of silly!
*note from Mommy's Guide: the older class has more of a focus on the kids speaking themselves, and is in some ways more challenging.

MG:You have two children of your own.  In what ways do you see firsthand the
benefits of teaching a second language to your children?

I.L.L.: As educators, we are well aware of all the benefits knowing a second language can offer, like keeping your brain active or being able to score better on the English portion of the SAT. However, as a parent of young children, I have noticed that learning a second language at this early age has made our children more inquisitive, more globally aware, and more tied to a cultural identity. But you don’t have to be Italian to learn Italian.  We truly believe Italian is for anyone who wants to learn it and people from many different cultures take our class as well! We believe the best way and the most direct way to learn about a culture is by learning its language.  To see our children be able to communicate with relatives, understand and participate in a conversational exchange really made us feel that we were doing something positive for our family. 

     Italian Language Littles classes are held at a preschool facility in Massapequa, convenient for both Nassau and Suffolf County residents!  Each class is 45 minutes long and includes a snack provided by the instructors. For details and more information, visit their website at  Registation is now beginning for the Fall 2012 session, which begins in October and is 7 weeks long.  You can also call them at (631)957-3321, but I encourage you to view the website first because it is full of info that we can't fit on this page.  My son and I are both extremely happy with this class and we give it a million stars!  I recommend that you all check it out!

Contributed by Christina

1 comment:

  1. indoor playground is a very handy facility to make your kids learn while they have fun. There are millions of websites on the internet that deals in indoor playground equipment and also tell you the nearest facility near your location.