MM1 Sure.  You could buy them edible glitter.  Let them go to town decorating the cake you pre-baked for them, and iced in fondant.  And set them up with a blank ceramic canvas so they can personalize a cake plate to put it on, naturally.  Hook them up with some wax add-ons so they can design their own candles – no cake is complete without those.  Encourage them to take their time in accessorizing – design a bead necklace, or glass?  Then of course, provide them with the means of making their own cupcake shaped soap, you know, to wash up when they’re done.

OR…

You can take them to Make Meaning in Thousand Oaks, sit back, and watch them take their unbridled creativity to a hands down, double thumbs up, ultimate creation destination.  One that’s finally planted itself on our desperately wanting (West is best) coast. And you know, save yourself a little, tiny bit of work.

MM3

Make Meaning opens in Thousand Oaks
Yes Suri, we saw the pictures of you Making Meaning on the Upper East Side.  But flying three thousand miles to see what all the fuss was about, just not in the cards.  And finally, those wild wick making, cake decorating, picture frame creating ways have come West.  And even for those of us not in the 805, it’s worth it to brave the 405 to experience it.

MM16

So now we have an answer…
To the age-old question, “What would happen if Color Me Mine married Duff’s Cake Mix?”  Add in some gingerbread house decorating (why this timeless art has been relegated to December has always been a mystery), candle and soap creating, a retail wonderland and glitter tattoos to boot…literally, you can (will) spend the entire day here.  Easily.  The kids are focused.  With Hello Kitty’s to paint and fondant cookie cutouts to apply – don’t bother them.  They’ve got this.

MM14

Sounds like a sensational birthday party venue!
Oh. Em. Gee. YES.

So when those weekends are looking a tad too wide open. . .  
Hop in the car, head towards Thousand Oaks, and you are a hero.  Entering this place, you can actually feel kids’ neurons sparking – what to do first and what color to paint it.  No reservations necessary, just walk on in (though discounts are available with an annual membership and they recommend that if school is out, you might want to make a reservation online before driving over).  All that imagination, creation, and artful determination housed in one spectacularly fun destination.  Earmark this one for those dog days of summer.  And pretty much any day before and after.

MM12

It’s like kryptonite for brain drain.
And the very best kind, because as your Superman or Supergirl is painting and pressing and predicting the best scent for their candle, they’re creating and crafting and curating their artistic self.

But what you’ll REALLY love…
You walk in and you’re done.  Off duty.  Literally, an Associate Creative Enthusiast takes it from there, and all that was left for parents is to sit back, take it in, and muse whether you’re too old for a glitter tattoo.

And what you’ll REALLY appreciate…
You won’t have to pay to chaperone.  Everywhere from Disney to Duff’s seems to take that route.  This one doesn’t.  Much appreciated.

MM4

But then of course . . .
It is impossible not to get in on the action.  Creativity’s a delicious addiction, so why fight it?  Make yourself a candle and keep the memory of fabulous day aglow at home.  Or just light it when you’re eating that cake.  Because edible glitter, as it turns, tastes as good as they knew it would.

MM20

Make Meaning
196 West Hillcrest, Suite #99
Thousand Oaks, Ca 91362
Phone: 805-852-1107
Online: makemeaning.com

Tips
Admission: It’s $12 entry, plus the cost of each activity (starting at $8).
Age range: Best for 4+
Parking is free in the colossal mall parking structure.

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What did you kids make or decorate at their visit to Make Meaning?

Written and photographed by Jolie Loeb