Romper Rooms: 10 Awesome Indoor Playgrounds
It’s raining, it’s pouring (ok, overcast/drizzling) and Mommy’s been caught snoring – on the job. We’re so used to groovy parks that soak up sun that we’re often at a loss when the forecast is for indoor play. No more! Armed with this list of super indoor play spots, you’ll look forward to the chance to break out the rain boots, knowing that they won’t have spent the day cooped up on the couch, but will sleep the sleep of those who have played hard all day. (Oh yeah, they’re also great in the summer when the temps climb too high for outdoor play and you want to chill out in the A.C.!)
Giggles N’ Hugs- Multiple Locations
We’ve got to kick off the list with Red Tricycle’s 2013 Totally Awesome Award winner. This children’s restaurant and play space has spots in Century City, Glendale and Topanga. Castles and pirate ships and dragons – oh my! Kids can have loads of fun here running, jumping and playing, and there’s even plenty o’ live entertainment on tap. Play all day and pay based on mobility: Non-movers – Free, Crawlers – $5, Walkers – $9. Parents are free, too.
Bonus: It’s a restaurant (with organic, kid friendly food). So lunch doesn’t have to be pre-packed or cobbled together out of chips and pastries. And did we mention the wine and beer?
Check the website for locations and hours.
A Magic Forest – Culver City
If you are the parent who seizes up just a little bit when you walk into a loud place, filled with plastic toys and apparatus as the music blares, welcome to your own little slice of ‘om.’ This is nirvana, in a wooden, Waldorf inspired room. Wooden toys, beautiful murals and organic food awaits. So while we do the loud and crazy sometimes, for the kids, when you need a quiet oasis, this is your spot. Weekdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., prices are $10 for one child, $7 for siblings and babies.
Bonus: Best for babies through 4 years old, and don’t you dare leave without sampling the muffins. To. Die. For.
12512 W Washington Blvd., Culver City
Phone: (310) 397-9400
Peekaboo Playland- Eagle Rock
Who says your kids can’t play and learn? Peekaboo Playland is the progressive and artistic indoor play space for your kids’ creative energy to flourish and grow. Let your little one explore the boundlessness of their imagination in the 3,300 square feet building, open 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday for open play. ($9 per kid). One of our favorite things is the separate baby space upstairs, where crawlers can explore without getting trampled.
Bonus: Oinkster, Swork and Brownstone Pizzeria are all right nearby, so you can get tasty lunch & coffee to go and eat at picnic tables here when kids need to refuel.
2030 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock
Phone: (323) 255-1400
Pamper & Play – Westwood
The unique twist here is that they understand that kids need to play, but parents need some pampering, too. So you get a break while the kids (ages 18 months and up) can enjoy some supervised play. Yes, you could hire a sitter, but that requires advance planning, and sometimes you need a break (or a conference call, or to run errands) right this minute. They’re here for you. Make and appointment or walk right in. It’s $15 for the first hour, $20 for two kids from the same family. It gets cheaper the more hours you book (like you needed a reason to take a longer break).
Bonus: Free coffee and wi-fi upstairs, so you can relax, work, or catch up on browsing your favorite parenting website.
2279 Westwood Blvd., Westwood
Phone: (310) 441-0797
The Coop – Studio City
A play space for kids…and adults? The Coop is the place that doesn’t sacrifice the sanity and patience of parents for their kids to romp around in a gritty and overly cutesy play space. A cappuccino bar is just one of the perks for adults in this modernized play space that looks like an ad for Phillipe Starck for IKEA. Kids will love the ball pit and luminescent dance floor and you can play here Monday- Thursday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Friday’s it’s only open til 3 p.m.) for $10.
Bonus: Totally dig the indoor/outdoor flow of the space, so you can wander and get fresh air.
11118 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
Phone: (818) 760-9613
Amy’s Indoor Playground – South Pasadena
Amy’s has all the favorites–bouncy houses, ball pits, mazes, a playhouse and a separate play area for babies. It’s roomy and clean, which are akin in value to gold and platinum in indoor space land. Be sure to check their schedule for various treats like arts and crafts on Fridays. Best for kids 2-5, who can play any weekday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. for $9 ($7 per sibling).
Bonus: All that and haircuts, too. Yep, they give haircuts, and at $17 a pop ($10 for a bang trim) you can feel accomplished and they can have fun, all in one stop.
1115 Mission St, South Pasadena
Phone: (626) 799-0304
Jump ‘n Jammin – Arcadia & Mission Viejo
Tube crawls, web crawls, barrel rolls and giant slides are just a few features of Jump ‘n Jammin’s multilevel play structure. This is a spot that is as much fun for the 3 year old as for the 13 year old (and Mom and Dad too…). They are open for play Monday through Sunday (nope, they don’t automatically close all weekend for parties) in Arcadia and Mission Viejo, with a third location coming soon.
Bonus: The prices are great, since each $12.95 gets in one child plus one adult (yes, you’ll want to play, not just sip coffee and update facebook) AND one under 2 sibling. Additional adults are only $3.
Check the website for locations and hours.
The Awesome Playground – Highland Park
The aptly named spot offers a vast array of indoor and outdoor fun for the little ones up to 10 years of age, featuring a 60 ft. inflatable obstacle course, a giant slide, an indoor crooked house and even a race track for the aspiring Andrettis. Open Play hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, ($7 per tyke).
Bonus: If you’re here because it’s too hot to play outside (not too cold), they often break out an inflated water slide to cool kids down on broiling days. So don’t forget the change of clothes!
5158 York Blvd, Highland Park
Phone: (323) 256-2467
Adventureplex – Manhattan Beach
There’s adventure to spare here with a ton of energy burners including a basketball court, mazes, tunnels, climbing bouncy houses, gymnastic mats and plenty of playrooms. There’s not a ton of supervision happening, but that’s ok, as you’ll want to get in there and play, too. With a ropes course and rock wall for bigger kids (note: both cost extra) and a café when need to refuel, you just might be here all day. It’s open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and Friday & Saturday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Under 3s are $5, 3 and ups are $10.
Bonus: Parent’s Night Out! When you need a date night that kids will look forward to, they’re here for you. Fridays & Saturdays from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
1701 Marine Ave., Manhattan Beach
Phone: (310) 546-7708
Caterpillar Kids Place – La Canada
This is the space you’d design if you had an extra couple thousand square feet where you could let the kids run and play indoors, stash all the wooden toys and costumes in an eco-friendly play space and relax in a peaceful setting. And clean! If cleanliness is next to Godliness, this spot is heaven. Open weekdays 9:30 a.m - 6 p.m., prices are $12 for kids, and $10 for sibs.
965 Foothill Blvd., La Canada
Phone: (818) 790-0293
Photo credits: caterpillarkidsplace.com, Adventureplex’s facebook page, Jump ‘n Jammin’s facebook page, thecoop-la.co, Pamper & Play’s facebook page, amagicforestculvercity.com and Giggles N Hugs’ facebook page