The family-friendly amenities in Greenpoint and Williamsburg are starting to rival those of Park Slope. The play spaces, play groups and stores that have cropped up in the last year seem to be mainly begun by design-minded mums and dads, whose stylish taste brings sophistication to kid stuff. But there are a few Greenpoint places that are still happily low-key and kid-friendly that make for a fun day trip. I’m beginning to feel that my neighborhood of Fort Greene/Clinton Hill is a sahara of kids’ activities in comparison.
Mom, Melanie Sawyer (who just happens to also be a baby wrangler), started a weekly playgroup last year that is perfect for the littlest ones from newborns up to age 3. Who better to create a great playspace with fun and attention to kids’ needs than a baby wrangler?! The Playtime! Brooklyn playgroup is run on both Mondays and Fridays so you can catch two days of fun in the cold.
At Playtime: A big space with indoor stroller parking, dress up and lets pretend toys, kitchen play set, tents, tunnels and even a bouncy castle. Have a car or train buff? Thomas the tank engine with lots of railroad track is there along with car parks, building blocks and many more toys of differing types to keep your toddler occupied. For babies still unable to support themselves they offer baby floor gyms and bouncy chairs to interact and feel more independent in and big cushions and rugs for you to relax on too. The most unique thing about this playgroup? The suggested donation of $5.00 for one child, $8.00 for two go to the food pantry at the Greenpoint Reformed Church. The food pantry services over 2500 people every month, aprox 700 of them children.
An aside: Melanie does lend out the castle strictly for the under 3 year olds and ask that a donation be made to Playtime! Brooklyn in return.
The Greenpoint Library, while not in the beautiful state that the newly renovated Williamsburg Library is, has popular storytimes. And, you can’t leave Greenpoint without tasting the authentic Polish fare and puffy pastries. Here’s my suggestion for a day out in Greenpoint.
A Day Trip
Monday or Friday: Start early so you can get a delicious donut and coffee at Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop. This famous Polish bakery offers donuts in flavors that are extra special: red velvet, apple crumb and honey dip! Then head 1.5 blocks to the Greenpoint Library for Read and Play (Monday) or Greenpoint Library for Toddler Time (Friday) for some story readings and play time at 10:30 am. If you want a whole day out, then drive or take the G or B43 to the the Playtime! Brooklyn playgroup which runs from 10:30- 12:30. Having worked up a healthy appetite, walk 1.5 blocks (3 minutes) to Karczma Polish Restaurant. Treat yourself to typical Polish fare of stuffed cabbage, kielbasa, goulash or for the less adventurous: roasted chicken breast or potatoes.
The Playtime! Brooklyn playgroup
Mondays and Fridays from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
In the hall at the Greenpoint Reformed Church
136 Milton Street
You can take the 43 or 62 bus to get there. Get off at Calyer Street next to Dime Bank and God Bless Deli.