The Play Lab (33 Nassau Ave.) is a brand new, eco-friendly, Montessori-inspired play space for kids across the street from McCarren Park. It is an extension of Play Kids, located next door. The Play Lab emphasizes Play Kids’ mission to serve the local community and provide children with quality programs and space where they can play, learn, and grow.
Endless adventures await at The Play Lab’s communal playroom, designed for children ages 9 months to 7-years-old. Elements of The Play Lab have been created to offer multiple educational components in addition to fun.
The space features a physical play area with a rock wall for climbing and a treehouse tower with a slide, plus a construction zone with Legos. There is a wide variety of pretend play toys including a house and market with food, carts, and a grill. There is a magnetic wall with alphabet letter magnets, a foam pit with soft square inserts, and a ball wall where kids can throw balls into holes at different levels.
Outside the play area sits two houses, one used as a reading nook with books and comfy seating and the other used for play. There is also a small store consisting of shelves filled with Moulin Roty toys.
The Play Lab offers a few different visiting options, including drop-in open play for 2 hour sessions, monthly memberships with everyday access, and 10-visit packs. The Play Lab also offers toddler classes featuring activities like music and art, plus birthday parties.
Greenpointers was invited to The Play Lab’s Opening Day Party last week to preview the space. The party was filled with excitement and enthusiasm from both children and parents.
Greenpointers spoke with The Play Lab’s owner, Magda Lahliti, about her vision for the space and community. Magda explained that she knows families with young children who feel isolated, especially in the winter when parks and playgrounds are not an option. She wants The Play Lab to be a space for families to meet another families all year long.
Magda also wants The Play Lab to be an option for families with children of different ages. For example, a family with children ages 1, 3, and 6 will feel at home at The Play Lab because the space offers something for every age group under 7.
Magda wants The Play Lab to be a place where children can grow and face new challenges. The ball wall and the rock climbing wall are great examples. When 1-year-olds start enjoying The Play Lab they place balls into the lowest holes, but when they grow into toddlers and young children they learn to throw the balls into higher holes. The same goes for the rock climbing wall. Children will learn to climb higher as they age.
The Play Lab is open 7 days a week. On weekdays, classes are 9:15 a.m. – 10 a.m. Open Play is everyday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Socks are required for both children and adults.