It’s tough to be the parent of a 9 to 12-year-old in Los Angeles. Easy distractions like a trip to Chuck E. Cheese no longer float their boat and their birthday wish lists are heavy on expensive electronics. Clothes-shopping becomes more difficult, they now have their own style ideas and chances are, they’re not the same as yours. And most L.A. area parents and their wallets are already familiar with our abundant bounty of amusement parks. Few of us have the resources to take our kids on a regular basis, nor would we want to. Here are a few suggestions that don’t rely on thrill rides and roller coasters.
Your tween may say she’s too old for childish games – but strap on a sensor, give her a “gun” and set her loose in a multi-story play area in the dark. Suddenly, it’s cool to be “It.” You might just want to play, too.
221 East Main Street
Alhambra, CA 91801
14622 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 208
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Pricing varies by location but ranges in the $7-$10 range (per person per game). Most facilities offer discounts for groups, frequent players and multi-game packages, so do check the website. These are sure-fire locations for tween birthday parties.
Thanks to our famed Southern California weather, your kids are probably already experts on roller blades. But what about more traditional forms of skating? You know, the kind that used to require a frozen body of water. Outdoor rinks have become widespread each winter in the Southland. But ice skating is another year-round activity here. You just have to know where to go.
Toyota Sports Center
555 North Nash Street
El Segundo, CA 90245
Their motto is “Skate Where the Pros Play,” and that’s a great selling point, as this is the complex where the L.A. Kings train. This 135,000 square foot facility is open to the public and boasts two ice rinks, an inline skating rink and a restaurant.
This is another classic activity that never goes out of style. Most of the Southland’s mini golf courses have morphed into multi-faceted activity-plexes, so when the gang gets tired of hitting little balls into holes, they can move on to something else.
Mountasia Family Fun Center
Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurant
21516 Golden Triangle Road
Santa Clarita, CA 91350
Crème de la crème of local mini-golf complexes: In addition to its two 18-hole courses, Mountasia offers laser tag, go karts, bumper boats, batting cages, rock climbing walls and a video arcade. There’s even a Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor. You are guaranteed to need a couple of Advils when you leave this place, but your kids will have had a blast.
- Donna Schwartz Mills is the creator and blogger of SoCal Mom.