Sometimes the perfect LA weather fails us and we have to head inside to play. That’s where these indoor play places, the best in the city, come in very handy. From small and quiet Waldorf-inspired spaces for babies to bounce and yell spots for big kids, we found something for everyone. (Even mom & dad: there are spots that will serve you coffee, pour you a beer, let you work or even book you a massage.) These are in neighborhoods across the city, and all are worth the drive, or they didn’t make our list.
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), Toddler Town for wee ones and even a café when need to refuel, you just might be here all day. Hours vary for the play structures and Toddler Town, so check the website. Admission is $10.
Inside Tip: The new Toddler town is so cool that the big kids will want to wander over and play. But fear not, mamas of tiny tots: they can’t! It’s just for the littles.
1701 Marine Ave.
photo: Lyndsay M. via yelp
Maddie’s Playhouse – Northridge
Dress up, painting, building with blocks, utilizing motor skills through soft play and storytelling-the name of the game here is child initiated play in all its many forms. It’s filled with bounceable, slideable and jumpable inflatables, an obstacle course, playhouses, dress up and more. We love it because it caters to a mix of ages, and at over 4,000 square feet has room for the jumping the bigger kids (up through about age 7) need and also a toddler area where small fry won’t get run over. With so much stuff to do and play with and explore, kids won’t get bored, and they will be eager to come back. It’s $10 for a child to visit, $7 for siblings, (under 2s are $6 and under 8 months are free). Multi-visit passes and memberships are available that will save you real $. They’re open weekdays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (though they close Friday at 5 p.m.).
Inside Tip: Brent’s Deli is a few doors down for lunch. It’s one of the best and most authentic delis in town, with pickles that will live on in your memory. There are 4 kinds of fries for kids to pick from, a kids menu for B,L or D, and don’t leave with out sampling a black & white cookie.
19559 Parthenia St
photo: The Coop
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- Friday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (though they close at 3 p.m. on Friday) for $12.
Inside Tip: Totally dig the indoor/outdoor flow of the space, so you can wander and get fresh air. And the rope climbing tube and ball pit might tempt you away from your cappuccino. And a new one just opened in Redondo Beach in December, if that’s closer.
11118 Ventura Blvd.
photo: A Magic Forest
A Magic Forest – Culver City
If you are the parent who freezes when you walk into a loud place that’s filled with plastic toys and blaring music, 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, when you need a quiet oasis, this is your spot. Weekdays from 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m., prices are $10/child, $8 for siblings.
Inside Tip: Best for babies through 4 years old, and don’t you dare leave without sampling the muffins. To. Die. For.
12512 W Washington Blvd.
Snooknuk – Larchmont
This colorful play space showcases an enchanting mural and life size tree that transports tots to a magical landscape usually found in fairy tales. Artwork is filled with positive images families will appreciate, and music exclusively scored for Snooknuk sets the perfect tone for a happy day of fun. Many parents bring kiddos in just for a simple afternoon of play or play dates, while others come for classes, but still love the convenience of having a play area to entertain siblings while they wait. (Genius! No more resorting to Mr. Crab or Subway Surfers. Now you can use your phone while they play.) For parents who might need a little free time to run some errands or want a few moments to sit on the patio and work, Snooknuk offers a supervised play option. This year old space also offers loads of classes, plenty o’ snacks and is on the Larch. Your whole inclement day is now planned. It’s best for the under 6 crew, and a day pass is $8, or $5 per sibling. (But classes are available for ages up to 12 years old, and they have some very cool ones!)
Inside Tip: You’re on Larchmont Blvd., which means you have approximately 6 coffee options, a retail shop for kids, a resale shop for tots, a vegan and raw food spot, a vegan and GF bakery plus bookstore and 2 toystores all in walking distance. Welcome to parenting paradise.
506 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Mid-City Los Angeles
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-6 p.m. Monday through Friday for open play. ($9/first child, $7 for siblings). One of our favorite things is the separate baby space upstairs, where crawlers can explore without getting trampled.
Inside Tip: Oinkster, Swork and Four Cafe are all right nearby, so you can get tasty lunch & coffee to go and eat at picnic tables here when kids need to refuel. There’s a second location in Bel Air.
2030 Colorado Blvd.
photo: Pamper & Play
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) right this minute. Make and appointment or walk right in. It’s $12 for the first hour, $18 for two kids from the same family (though there’s an additional $5/visit fee for under 3’s who need extra TLC). They also have Parents Time Out sessions, where you can drop the kids off for 4 hours in the morning, afternoon or evening on Saturday, and unsupervised play hours at $9 for the day (but no coffee or wifi are available at these times). Check the schedule to find out what days/times are offered this month. Best for toddlers, but kids up to 8 are welcome.
Inside Tip: Free coffee and wi-fi upstairs, so you can relax, work, or catch up on browsing your favorite parenting website. You can also book a massage when the massage therapist is available. Or duck next door for a cut or color with packages that include childcare at Pamper & Play.
2279 Westwood Blvd.
photo: Giggles N’ Hugs
Giggles N’ Hugs- Multiple Locations
The children’s restaurant and play space has spots in 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: big kids are $12 for the first kiddo, $9 for sibs and $6 for non-walkers.
Inside Tip: 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.
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 the indoor playspace universe. 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).
Inside Tip: 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.
photo: Jump ‘n Jammin via facebook
Jump ‘n Jammin – Arcadia
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) and have a second location in Mission Viejo, though we prefer the Arcadia spot.
Inside Tip: The prices are great, since each $13.95 gets in one child plus one adult (yes, you’ll want to play, not just sip coffee and update Facebook), toddlers are $5.95 and that also includes on adult. Additional adults are only $3.49. Hint: another location is opening up in LA this February – stay tuned for details about the West Covina spot.
400 S. Baldwin Ave.
photo: Mitsuko M. via yelp
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.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday, ($8 per tyke). Monthly membership ($39) is a super deal for rainy or hot months.
Inside Tip: 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.
The Magical Playground – West Covina
There is the required bounce house, jungle gym, and multiple playhouses, alongside lots of structures for getting those outside feelings out inside. What we really love is that there are also train tables, playsets, Legos and building toys for kids who like focused, imaginative play. (While there is also a location in Pasadena, we recommend the larger and newer space in West Covina.) Kids 2 and up are $10/day, siblings and kids under 2 are $8.
Inside Tip: They know that all kids have different dietary needs, so they allow any outside food you like for parties. That means you can order up a taco or ice cream truck in the back parking lot to cater your birthday party.
1208 W Francisquito Ave.
photo: The Great Escape Club
The Great Escape Club – Atwater
It’s not just a clever name. Here the monkeys can go bananas and the mommies can get down to business, each with their own dedicated space to do so. With a sweet little courtyard connecting the two diametrically different havens, arrive with a potty trained independent walker, kiss them good-bye, and off you go. The “Escape Artists” (aka awesome kid watchers) will take it from there. You leave for the land of low voices and lattes. It’s $12 for kids to play all day ($9 for additional siblings), and will cost you an extra $6 per child if you’re going to have them kid-tend for you. The space is best for the under 5 crowd.
Inside Tip: For those days when you all need to get out of the house, but you need to get work done (or you know, catch up on past issues of the New Yorker) you can sit in the quiet and “I wish my house was this beautifully decorated” grown up lounge. Then everyone hits Proof Bakery for outstanding treats on the way home. Win-win-win.
3197 Glendale Blvd.
photo: Kids World Family Entertainment
Kids World LA – Simi Valley
This spot used to be Bright Child, but changed ownership late last year and is even bigger (over 15000 sq feet) and better and is well worth the drive. Even big kids who think they’re too cool for indoor playspaces will beg to spend the day. This entertainment spot raises the standards with virtual games, climbing tubes, slides, foam ball launchers, zip lines, basketball court, American Gladiator style arena, a video game floor with motion activated games and old school arcade. But it’s not just for big kids, there’s also a Toddler Corner designed for children newborn–3 years old for the little ones to learn and play in their own gated space. Opens Tuesday-Sunday at 10 a.m., and closes between 7-9 p.m., depending on the day. $10 admission, but kids under 2 are $5 and on weekdays siblings are $9.
Inside Tip: Ahem, with beer (did we not mention that the café serves beer?) and video games, it satisfies everyone and is why we say it’s worth the drive for a rainy day excursion.
618 Lindero Canyon Rd.
We Rock the Spectrum – Multiple Locations
We love this unique gym that caters to children with autism and special needs creating a safe and warm environment where they can play and strengthen their muscles and skills. While kids can just have fun, you’ll know that everything here actually serves a positive purpose: swings promote balance, the zip line is for stress release and joint and body relaxation, the trampoline builds core strength and play structures, sensory based toys and arts & crafts areas all work on motor, social and eye hand skills. It’s for kids at every spot of the spectrum, and kids of all ages and abilities will have a ball. Rates and hours vary by location.
Inside Tip: The whole place is cleaned top to bottom daily with only green products, so the planet will stay as healthy as our kids.
There are multiple locations across Los Angeles. Check the website for details.
Do you have a favorite place for kids to play indoors when it’s too hot (or cold) to hit the park? Let us know in the comment section.