Hey look – your shoe’s untied. Gotcha! That’s the kind of classic April Fool’s joke kids tend to learn first and tire of, um, never.  But you can widen the world of jokes, gags, pranks and magic for an April Fool’s they’ll never forget.  Check out these local shops that will help you blow the socks off your little pranksters.

groucho girl

Magic Castle Magic Brunch
Abracadabra! Aspiring magicians will love a visit to Hollywood’s historic Magic Castle for a family-style brunch on Saturday or Sunday of every week.  Enjoy live entertainment, close-up magic demonstrations in the parlor room, and surprises around every corner. Be sure to check out the magic piano that can play any tune you request.
Good to know: Like any visit to the Magic Castle, you must be a member, or have a member call in and make a reservation for you. This really isn’t as hard as it might seem. You probably already know someone, who knows someone.

Magic Castle
7001 Franklin Ave., 
Hollywood
Phone: (323) 851-3313
Online: magiccastle.com

magic castle

Whimsic Alley
Any Hogwarts fans in the house? If so, Whimsic Alley is a must. From its enormous collection of magic wands and costumes, to the library of spell books and fan memorabilia – your little wizard in training might never leave. Be sure to visit the Great Hall and Platform 9 ½, both of which are great recreations of what you saw in the movies.  Even muggles too young for the world of Harry Potter will love the candy shop and wizard wands.
Good to know: The Great Hall is available for birthday parties and private events. You can even rent a wizard for the occasion.

Whimsic Alley
5464 Wilshire Blvd
., Miracle Mile, Los Angeles
Phone: (310) 453-2370
Online: whimsicalley.com

whimsicalley

Hollywood Toy and Costume – Magic Counter
You might have shopped Hollywood Toy and Costume for the perfect Halloween disguise, but did you know they also have a magic counter? Super helpful employees not only recommend magic kits and gag gifts for beginners, but they can also teach aspiring magicians a few tricks as well.  Show up for some free entertainment and browse their collection of wigs, costumes, props and more.
Good to know: You’ll be surprised by the reasonable prices. There’s something for every budget.

Hollywood Toy and Costume
6600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Phone: (323) 464-4444
Online: yourhollywoodcostumes.com

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Wacko Soap Plant
If ever there was a place that’s name fit the description – this is it. From gag gifts to crazy pop culture collectibles, Wacko has over 2 million different products housed within its four walls.  It’s also a place where parents will have as much fun as the kids. What kind of crazy April foolishness can be found here? Pick up a plastic gorilla mask, a fortune telling mystic pen, bacon flavored gum, fake mustaches, and sound effect machines.
Good to know: While stores often have a no touching policy, Wacko doesn’t mind if you try out some of the display items.

Wacko Soap Plant
4633 Hollywood Blvd., Silverlake
Phone: (323) 663-0122
Online: soapplant.com

wacko

Magicopolis
If you’re looking to catch a magic show first hand, Magicopolis is the place. Check the schedule for special kids and family shows. See floating ladies, vanishing people, mind reading, and other sleights of hand. Kids won’t believe their eyes. Magicians are available before and after the show for meet and greets. And if your kids really dig it, they can always come back for Magicopolis’ summer camp program.

Magicopolis
1418 4th St., Santa Monica
Phone: (310) 451-2241
Online: magicopolis.com

lastbookstore

The Last Bookstore
No, you’re not seeing things. There really is a bridge made out of books, a room with suspended novels seemingly in mid air, and plants growing out of everyday household objects. You’ll find all this and more at Downtown’s Last Bookstore. Flip through a book on practical jokes, riddles, or magic. Just set aside plenty of time because you can get lost in there. There’s so much to see. Check their calendar of events for readings, live music and general coolness.

The Last Bookstore
453 S Spring St., Downtown Los Angeles
Phone: (213) 488-0599
Online: http:www.lastbookstorela.com

Where do you go for gags, tricks, magic and jokes?

-Christina Fiedler

Photo credits: Last Bookstore photo courtesy of Yelp user Kiara G., Whimsic Alley photo courtesy of Yelp user Brian L. , Wacko photo courtesy of yelp user Ed K., and hankenstein via Creative Commons and the Magic Castle’s facebook page.