From spiral slides to indoor treehouses, Los Angeles offers big fun for the small fries.
The Treehouse Social Club
426 South Robertson Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
What’s better than an indoor treehouse complete with tire swing, super-fast slide and a bouncy horse? For L.A. parents, at least, it’s “No Sunburn!” Preschoolers can get all of their wiggles out on this entertaining centerpiece, but it’s what else the Social Club offers that makes this romper room a real hot spot. In addition to the treehouse, tykes can also get creative in the arts and crafts room, play safely in the picket-fenced enclosed toddler area and click on games in the computer room. If parents or kids get hungry, The Treehouse Social Club also offers a full menu of breakfast and lunch items.
Giggles N’ Hugs
11701 Wilshire Boulevard, #11
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Parents of young children generally dread taking their kids out for dinner. If they’re not screaming, they’re usually antsy and playing with their food. And I’m just talking about the parents. At Giggles N’ Hugs, located in a small Brentwood strip mall, they’re OK with all of that. Families can dine on child-friendly fare, and the kids can take a break and play with a treasure trove of toys in the spacious play area. What might be difficult, however, is getting the little ones to leave.
California Science Center
39th Street and Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Whisper dishes, aircraft displays and Anole island lizards, oh my! These are just some of the items on display at the California Science Museum at Exposition Park. This kid-friendly science center offers lots of exhibits that will intrigue young thinkers and encourage them to touch and explore. Best part? It’s free. Interactive displays allow even the smallest visitors to learn about the world around them – from trees, to animals, to outer space.
11118 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604
Five words: Ball Pit and Cappuccino Bar. This kid-friendly haven in the San Fernando Valley offers something for little ones as well as their parents. While Zuma or Violet (yes, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have visited) can leap into the bounce house, slide into the brightly colored ball pit, or show off their moves on the electronic dance floor, Mom and Dad can indulge in that rare coffee break — with or without the foam.
Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Cultural Center
2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Preschool Parents: Don’t shy away from this hilltop gem just because it has the very grown-up sounding “Cultural Center” in its name. While the Skirball is home to a variety of parent-friendly exhibits, it’s the center’s Noah’s Ark offering that will have preschoolers climbing, playing and jumping for joy. Besides admiring a menagerie of hand-crafted animals filling this 8,000-square-foot space, children can also help build part of the Ark, simulate a rainstorm, and climb onto a ropes course above the exhibit floor. Just remember that advance tickets are recommended for weekend trips, as Noah’s Ark tends to sell out on those days.
– Laura Clark is the founder and editor of L.A. Story.