I can’t recommend this place enough! My son and I had an absolute blast from this experience and I’m looking forward to finding a class for him to be in. All in all, a definite NYC family adventure I was glad of being a part of. Kudos NYC dads!
This “guest blog” post by Jovi details his recent adventure with his son Lucas (at right in photo by Adam J.) & the dads group…
The first time I heard of CitiBabes, my interest was immediately curious by the name. My wife Anne, did a double take when she heard it too, asking “ Hmm, quite early to bring him to a strip bar, don’t you think”. All “kid”ding aside, all opportunities that can bring the nyc dads group together is something my son Lucas and I look forward to.
The place is right smack at trendy SOHO just 30 minutes away from our home in the UES commuting by subway train. This is our first time to set foot in Soho, but I’ve heard my wife talk about her shopping escapades here with her friends. You can just imagine how I dreaded, and at the same time was excited by the adventure of going through this fashion jungle.
While I mused through this paradox of a situation we navigated through the streets, weaving through the many shops in this part of the city. Finally, when we arrived there, I was surprisingly pleased with the size of the place. Citibabes is on the 3rd floor of this elevator building and hand-wash foam sanitizer welcomes you right before you get in. I was pleased with this emphasis in hygiene and that they place it right where it should be (not all play spaces have this feature). Right outside the elevator, after getting off, is a space to park strollers and leave the heavy bags in (this is a big plus in my book)…and did I mention that there’s a gourmet coffee shop that looks appealing. It got me into thinking that maybe I can leave my tot and have a cup of coffee enjoying a few minutes to read the paper. This was of course just wishful thinking as I know it was never going to happen! But right along, I was already impressed with the whole setup of the place.
As soon as my 2 yr old boy sees CitiGym he aimed for the bouncing horse and zoomed his way in. Citigym is the name of the indoor playspace which is part of Citibabes. As a whole, this a unique, one of a kind New York family clubs that offers an indoor playspace, kids classes, baby sitting services, sports and other fun activities. Another plus – socks or no socks, as long as shoes are off, you’re welcome to play. With the variety of things a child can do in there (sensory overload), Lucas had to make several rounds before settling down. Another interesting feature I need to point out is the gym’s flexibility to cater from crawlers to walkers. I personally like the crawler’s corner which was more of a resting lounge for adults with soft cushions on all sides. Lucas was fascinated with the wall climb, which was right next to the cool slide. The dad’s group was given open play time for about half an hour after which my boy was more than ready for the Music Makers class.
The music room was painted all white and hanging atop the ceiling were these Styrofoam balls that added to the place’s aesthetic. Shelves were filled with musical instruments and a circular rug was in the center. The program was a hands-on experience and the kids were given the opportunity to sing, dance and play with a variety of musical instruments. They went on with this for about an hour which was highlighted by the guidance and skills of both the improv-jazz pianist and the program coordinator & vocalist. Lucas wasn’t so into it at first but quickly found his footing and found himself right in the middle of absolute fun during the finale when parachutes spread across the room and bubbles started flowing.