There’s plenty of fun places for kids to enjoy in the South Bay, like museums, indoor playgrounds, adventure courses and more. Here’s a list of some the best.
Kid Concepts USA
22844 Hawthorne Boulevard
Torrance, CA 90505
This 9,000 sq. ft. edu-tainment center for children under 10 is an indoor playground with loads to do and, new for September 2010, a ball volcano. The play structure is fun and accessible for kids of all ages. The play areas include a dress up station, play restaurant and an air hockey table. There is an arts & crafts room with unlimited supplies and a featured “craft of the month” project. Every Friday is Family Fun Night with events such as magic shows and fun with puppies. Their cafe serves a variety of food including healthy choices that will make parents happy to kick back with a salad while the kids run around. Admission for children ages 1-3 is $7/over age 3 is $10 and includes one adult, babies under age 1 are free. Visit their website for discounts and promotions.
1701 Marine Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
This award winning fitness center has a five-level play structure, outdoor rock wall, ropes courses, indoor gym, fitness rooms and quiet reading corner. Ongoing classes are offered ranging from martial arts to rocket building. Admission for children under age 3 is $5/over age 3 is $10 and includes one adult. The Courtside Café serves a menu to complement a healthy day of play and includes produce from the Adventureplex garden program. Free Wi-Fi is available for mom and dad to get caught up on e-mail while the kids to do the ropes course. Programs like Friday Parents’ Night Out let you drop the kids off at 5:30 p.m. for a kid-friendly dinner and organized fun while you have date night and then pick them back up by 9:00 p.m.
Art Zone Children’s Studio
1102 Aviatioin Boulevard
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
For the cost and effort to buy, assemble, create and clean up an art project at home, it really might make sense to take the kids over to Art Zone in Hermosa Beach. With a philosophy that lets the kids be free to create and be themselves — and make all the mess they want — Art Zone has something for every kid. Offering a pre-school program, summer camps, classes, drop-in hours and parents’ nights out, they probably have a time slot that matches your family’s schedule, too. The price for a single visit is $18, with multi-visit passes available at discounts.
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M. White Drive
San Pedro, CA 90731
This aquarium operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks is perfect for smaller kids. The touch tanks let the kids get hands on with the marine life in an educational setting. Southern California marine life is the focus of the aquarium which is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2010. Admission is free although a donation is suggested. Parking in the city lot surrounding the aquarium is $1/hour.
Lomita Railroad Museum
2137 250th Street
Lomita, CA 90717-2217
Located in a pleasant neighborhood in Lomita, the museum is a hit with kids. Dedicated to the era of the steam engine, authenticity is the hallmark of the site. Visitors can climb on a locomotive and walk into a caboose. The friendly staff also gives tours. The large grassy park has more trains and provides photo opportunities as well as plenty of space to run around. Open Thursday-Sunday 10-5, admission is $4/adults and $2/children under 12.
- Elizabeth Peterson blogs at Traded My BMW For a Minivan.