Just Opened: Mini Galaxy Play Cafe

Heads up, Queens! You just got a new indoor play space. Mini Galaxy Play Café has landed right in the heart of urban Jamaica, Queens. We stopped by on a recent winter afternoon to explore everything it had to offer, and here’s our report!

photo: courtesy mini GALAXY Play Cafe

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To Jamaica By Way of Taiwan
Queens father of two Jason Fang visited relatives in Taiwan, and noticed something during his travels: everywhere he looked (or so it seemed) there was a super clean, super fun play cafe. These spots found kids frolicking in an indoor playground, while their parent(s) enjoyed some “me” time in a cozy cafe with some food, all the while  keeping an eye on their kids in the adjacent play zone.

In a “lightbulb” epiphany, Fang decided to open a play cafe in his home of Queens. Fang wanted one near a subway line in an area that didn’t have many attractions for kids, and that criteria ultimately lead him to the neighborhood of Jamaica. He had the entire climbing structure custom-made in Taiwan and shipped to Queens.

photo: courtesy mini GALAXY Play Cafe

Big, Clean & Inviting
Measuring a sizable 2,200-square-feet, Mini Galaxy is on the second floor of a newly-renovated building. The main entrance is to the right of the building on 178th Steet, and yes, a large elevator will bring you right up to the second floor. (Please leave your strollers in the second floor entrance way!) The venue itself is spotless—this is of paramount importance to Fang—and the cafe is  towards the left side of the loft-like space, while the play equipment is to the right. The space is very cozy and inviting.

Once your stuff is stored in the cubbies at the front entrance, everyone entering the play area must use hand sanitizer—there’s a bottle on hand for guests—before heading on to the mats.

The play section is socks-only, (you can purchase a pair of socks for $3.00 if your kid forgets theirs) so once you and the tykes are sporting your socks, head on inside and enjoy swings (really!), slides, ropes, and more.

photo: courtesy mini GALAXY Play Cafe

The Ins, Outs, Ups and Downs
The large, heavily-padded climbing structure is arranged like a maze, so there’s lots of spots to explore and get lost in (in a good way.) There are little hidden gems inside the climbing structure, such as a rope floor to climb over, and large, soft rolling mats.

It doesn’t feel very tight or ‘crowded’ inside the structure itself, and the play section also has a (toy) dart board, scooters, basketball hoop, and more. There’s also the always popular ball pit, with clear balls that look like big bubbles. (We see this being a high point for many kids.)

There’s a designated toddler area for younger kids, with scooters and soft blocks. According to Fang, mini GALAXY is best for kids 8 months to 7 years of age.

photo: courtesy mini GALAXY Play Cafe

The Cafe in Play Café
The cafe offers typical kid fare, such as pizza, wings, and waffles. There’s also popcorn, candy, fries, and fresh pastries, which are brought in from a local bakery.

The café section also features a little book nook with kid books and toys, and a children’s movie will always be playing on the two large TV’s. Adults can also sit in the open bar-like cubicles that overlook the play section; this is a nice place for moms and dads to sit with their laptop, especially since WiFi is free.

The on-site bathroom has a changing table.

photo: NYC Mami on the Move

Celebrate at mini GALAXY Play Cafe
Parties are absolutely available at mini GALAXY Play Cafe. In fact, parents have already started booking, so if your kid’s birthday is coming up, contact Fang to arrange a private gathering. mini GALAXY Play Cafe offers various party packages and revelers get the whole place to themselves. There’s a max of three parties per day on weekends, and on weekends when there are no parties booked, Open Play is available. Check Mini Galaxy’s facebook page for weekend schedules.

photo: mini Galaxy Play Café

When to Play
Currently, open play is every weekday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., although this is subject to change, as the play cafe just opened. Check its web site to confirm hours. Weekend hours will fluctuate due to birthday party bookings.

The entrance fee is $15 for one hour, $25 for two hours, or you can purchase special day passes for $30. (All fees are per child.) Specials, such as free bag of popcorn with purchase, and combo tickets are also available—call ahead and ask about those, or check the cafe’s Facebook page. Cash or credit cards are accepted.

Note: This is not a drop-off venue; kids must be accompanied by an adult.

mini GALAXY Play Cafe
178-02 Jamaica Ave.
2nd Fl.
Jamaica, Queens
Online: minigalaxyplaycafe.com

Where do you go to play in Queens? Tell us in the comments! 

—Rachel Sokol


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