Here’s a great holiday present! As of December, South Bay parents have a new place to take the tots: The COOP in Redondo Beach. The sleek and spotless play space is perfect for the 2-6 crowd. Want slides? You got ’em! A bounce house? You bet! Read on for all the details on where you’ll be bouncing off those holiday sweets this winter vacation.
First Things First: Slide Into a Massive Ball Pit
The first thing you’ll see when you walk into the bright and modern space is the central play structure. With two slides and a netted tunnel for climbing, the whole thing feels like a clean (and way cooler) version of a McDonald’s Playplace (like, if McDonald’s hired Phillipe Stark for a re-design!). The ball pit is the size of a swimming pool and deep enough that kids can slide in and get completely covered in the citrus-colored stew of plastic (It’s only about two feet deep though, so don’t worry about your toddlers getting lost under the balls).
And, if you’re worried about germs lurking in the pit, rest assured: COOP South Bay CEO Robyn Rockwood says staff members clean the ball pit—and the whole place, for that matter—several times daily and the balls are also disinfected regularly with a commercial ball washing machine.
All kids love to jump, and The COOP has a spanking new, super-bouncy place to do it. Grown-ups: You’re allowed in, too, so be sure to join your little ones for a little cardio jump session. Don’t forget your socks!
Slow Down, You Move Too Fast
For kiddos who want a little down time, a corner shelf offers a small selection of wooden toys. There’s also some bounce toys, push-karts and sit-down scooters for those who need to be in constant motion, but maybe need a break from bigger kids in the bounce house. It’s not a huge assortment of stuff, but enough to occupy the kids for a while without cluttering the feng shui of the space.
Kids who want to fly (in their imaginations, that is) can scavenge through a costume bin of superhero capes and bird & butterfly wings. Meanwhile, little make-believers can play house with a wooden dollhouse or snuggle inside a pillow-laden teepee on the other side of the room.
Time (and Place) for the Nom-Noms
If all that sliding and ball pit-swimming makes your kids hungry, The COOP offers a selection of kid-approved “healthy” snacks including Goldfish, pretzels, fruit and yogurt squeezes, fruit rolls, etc., as well as organic milk and juice boxes and small bottles of water. For grown-ups, there’s decaf or regular coffee. Packed lunches/snacks are welcome both in and out of the play arena, and there are plenty of tables (and a huge outdoor patio) where you can pull up a chair and enjoy a meal.
Meet the Neighbors for a Real Meal
If you’re looking for a full meal or a shot of espresso, head across the patio to the neighboring Roman Aroma cafe, a stylish coffee and gelato spot where you can get an assortment of drinks and desserts as well as yummy sandwiches, panini and pasta dishes. Kids are welcome, and there are high chairs available (though no dedicated kids menu).
photo: GreenStreet Auto Spa via Yelp
All That and a Car Wash
If you’re anything like most moms, taking your kids to a car wash (that’s more than just a drive-through) is pretty much out of the question. Not anymore. Just downstairs from The COOP is the GreenStreet Auto Spa, an eco-friendly car wash that can spiff up your Mom-mobile while you and the kids enjoy your play date. Just drop it off when you arrive, and pick it up, all ready to be anointed with Cheerio crumbs again.
But Wait, There’s More (to Come)
For older siblings, or little ones who want some high-tech entertainment, the COOP plans on installing an interactive projection game floor that will play motion and touch activated sports games. And, Rockwood said she is working on offering drop-off childcare one morning a week as a partnership with the next-door nail salon. That’s right: Mamas can get their nails done while their kids play (and the car is scrubbed). Sounds perfect to us.
She is also considering also adding Mommy and Me classes or other toddler programs to the schedule. Be sure to follow The COOP South Bay’s Facebook page to keep updated on events and changes.
The Valley’s favorite indoor playspot (and one of our faves too, for the way it melds kid-tastic fun with parent pleasing design) is now open in the South Bay, and just in time to give you something new to do this surprisingly chilly winter. And that’s cause for celebration!
Admission is $12 for kids; free for parents and caregivers. Monthly passes are $80 per child; $40 for each additional sibling. The COOP is open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
The COOP South Bay
903 N Catalina Ave.
What’s your favorite indoor play spot? Tell us in the comments section below!
—photos and story by Melissa Heckscher