Brewster, NY

Kids don’t always have an appreciation for nature.  Perhaps they are too young.  Maybe, to a five year old, one nature preserve looks just like the last.  Or perhaps they, just like adults, sometimes need a change of pace.  I have found that the key to keeping my kids excited about our outdoor excursions and local-history adventures is to keep it fun.  So this past weekend we temporarily abandoned our outdoor hikes for a little unadulterated kid-style fun at Playscape in Brewster.

Playscape is an indoor playground for kids ages 7 and under.  It is a locally owned business that offers hours of fun for the kids.  It’s a busy place, full of slides, tunnels, bikes and scooters, a jumping house, climbing apparatus, coloring books and tons of other toys.

As we walked in, the shapes, colors, noise and activity let us know instantly that we were in kid paradise.  Colored eggs, stuffed animals and flags hang down from the ceiling tiles.  A child in a full-body dinosaur costume ran by, followed by another child in a princess dress.  I assumed there was a costume party, but I later figured out that there was area dedicated to costumes for the kids to dress up.

The kids kicked off their shoes and made a beeline for the scooters and bikes that lined the oval racetrack made of tile cut into carpeting.  A few races around the track and they leapt off their vehicles.  They raced from one apparatus to another – climbing through a tunnel, visiting the plastic houses and forts, and bouncing around in the jumping house.  They took turns climbing up a ladder to slide down into a pool of multi-colored plastic balls.  Along the back wall is a multi-level, padded climbing apparatus with a tunnel and another slide.

For weary parents, there are benches along the walls.  There is only one gated door to get in or out, and just about the entire room is visible from any of the benches.  There is also a snack bar and sitting area near the front desk.

We spent about 2 hours at Playscape before heading to a small local park just to get some sun, quiet time and have a snack.  Before heading home, we went back to Playscape and I let the kids run around again.  Even though we were only there about 10 minutes for our second visit, the over-the-top event of visiting such a fun place, twice in one day with snack in between, made my kids proclaim on the way home that “today was the best play day ever!”

Like most kids today, my kids seems to have amassed a large collection of toys, so I didn’t expect an indoor playground to be as big a hit as it was.  I think what makes a place like Playscape so fun for the kids is that they get to play with “other peoples toys”.

By dinnertime, they were tired.  We had none of the usually chaos that dinnertime with three children usually entails.  Instead, they wanted to talk about the fun things they did that day.  And everyone – including the parents – got a good nights sleep that night.  That alone was worth the $25 we spent.  An occasional day like this will hopefully make them more likely to be enthusiastic the next time I want to take them on a three mile hike through the woods.

Playscape is open Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm, and Sunday 11am to 4pm.  Beginning May 1st, they close an hour earlier for the summer months.  The cost is $9 for the first child, $8 for each additional child, and adults are free.  They are located at 577 N. Main Street in Brewster.  For more info, call 845/278-8045 or visit

To get there, take Route 84 exit 19.  Turn left to head east on Route 312.  Go about 2 miles and make a right into North Brewster Road.  Go about 2 miles and Playscape will be on the right, just before Kobacker’s Market, in an industrial-type building.