On Valentine’s Eve, Poughkidsie in Poughkeepsie is hosting a Winter Pajama Party, where kids can make snowflakes and campfires out of paper, drink hot cocoa, and snuggle up with a Peanuts Valentine’s movie while parents spend the evening visiting local restaurant partners for dinner at a discount. The event is kind of a microcosm of Poughkidsie, showing how they’re always thinking about the needs of the whole family.
“We want this to be an open space that all families can enjoy,” says owner and creator, Stacey Isaacson. As the mother of two, she knows how tricky it can be to find activities that meet the needs of everyone in a family. “My kids are two-and-a-half years apart but, at a certain age, it feels like a lifetime.” So she created the indoor playspace, which boasts a Village filled with imaginative play inspiration and a Studio offering both organized and independent art and craft projects. All within easy view of a cozy parent space stocked with free wi-fi and locally roasted coffee (freshly ground and brewed strong).
At Poughkidsie, children can explore at their own pace. There’s staff available to help as much or as little with free play. They’ll set things up and give kids room to create. Recently, staff was trained by the Anderson Center for Autism in Staatsburgh to be special needs friendly. With Isaacson’s background in teaching, she’s sensitive to that. They’ve developed modifications that can be rolled out at a moment’s notice to help kids with sensory issues enjoy the space. In the next month or two, Poughkidsie will be adding special hours for families with special needs and hosting open houses where parents can come in to gauge the space.
The Valentine’s Eve event is not the first drop-off program at Poughkidsie, but it’s the first one that’s catching on. Keep an eye on their calendar for one-off movie nights, date nights, partner nights with local vineyards, and ongoing story times and art classes. And don’t miss the upcoming Star Wars party, which isn’t scheduled yet but is in the works! Poughkidsie is available for birthday parties, but when there isn’t one scheduled, they’ll throw open ones for the public. There’s a theme, pizza, and juice, and you don’t even have to bring a present.