Parents need to refortify. Recalibrate. Maybe even return an email in a timely fashion. Kids need to run, bounce, and ballyhoo. And not on the hanging-by-a-thread cushions on the living room couch. Reiki for us, dance party for them. Sounds perfect, and perfectly impossible. Until now. Part playspace, part parental retreat, The Great Escape Club has arrived in Atwater Village.
This Land is Your Land, That Land is My Land
And therein lies the secret to The Great Escape Club, which is 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 but a few steps and somehow a whole universe away.
Coffee? Green Tea?
That’s right. Secluded away in a mini-house meant to care for the caregiver, hot lattes are complimentary and at the ready, and Mama (or Dada, auntie, nanny) can even sign up for a spectrum of services. A massage, yoga, Pilates – allready for you to book. While the kids are sliding, Kinecting (getting there in a moment), bouncing or having an artistic moment, you can actually be om-ing in the other room.
Bring Your Nieces and Your Ninjas
Kids will go bananas playing Fruit Ninja – especially if it’s their first time connecting with Kinect. When you see them slicing and dicing the air, racing the clock, you realize that the entrancing video game is also a workout. So if the next day you hear,“Mommy ,why are my arms so sore?” you’ll feel even better about bringing them back to a place where play is also a cross fit work out.
On The Docket
In addition to free play, daily classes for kiddos abound, most included with the price of admission (score!). Drop in on a Preschool Party (Tuesdays 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.), Messy Arts & Crafts (Thursdays, 3:30 p.m-5:30 p.m.), and Fridays round out the way every week should end: with a Dance Party from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Who Brought The Beauty?
Straight up, this is not the dried seaweed scented & goldfish caked waiting space you’ve grown so abysmally accustomed to. Owners, pals, and moms Jay and Jordanna have six (that’s right, 4 for Jordanna, 2 for Jay) collective children between them, and an immaculate eye for design. If the parent retreat has you feeling like you’ve landed inside the page of a Mortise & Tenon dreamscape, it’s no mistake. Jay curated all the goods. So you get to enjoy while she watches your kids in the contemporary and exceptionally clean (did we mention clean? So clean!) play space next door.
The More, The Merrier
They’re running a Grand Opening Special ($12 all day play provided you stick around, comes with one hour of free Retreat Access). But in general, the more kids in tow, the greater the discount ($12/hr for child #1, $10/hr for child #2, $9/hr for any others that came with you), all while you Retreat to the Escape Club intended for the sans-sippy cup crowd. So load up the mini-van and give some other moms the morning off, too.
Walk On (Through) The Water
Atwater Village is coming into it’s own. There’s a bakery for mom (Proof makes some of the best croissant in town) and one for kids (The Village Bakery and Cafe makes some of the cutest cookies around), not to mention a gourmet market, all of which make a stroll around the block worth your while. Especially since parking can be spotty in this area (there’s a limited amount behind The Great Escape Club). So be sure to mind the parking signs and enjoy the pedestrian element en route.
-written and photographed by Jolie Loeb