Los Angeles Kids
12746 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 3-3100, Los Angeles, CA 90094
From the moment you walk in, Brella’s open, airy space feels like home. Rather, it feels like a dreamy playroom that’s also a learning community that we wish we had in our home. The Playa Vista on-demand childcare center is a community-driven, flexible, here-for-you place you feel comfortable leaving your children, whether you’re facing the back-to-work scaries (kids as young as three months old are welcome) or heading out for date night (on Fridays and Saturdays, kids can hang till 10 p.m.). Designed for the modern family (or even an old-fashioned family that needs childcare once in a while), Brella offers comprehensive childcare that’s accommodating and adaptable: You can design a schedule that works for your family and pay by the hour via an app. Full of blonde wood and soothing colors, the interior is creative, comforting, and best of all, open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 10 on Fridays and Saturdays. Born of a desire to create a community and learning environment that nurtures development from infancy to kindergarten, Brella has a library, an art lab, a playground,…
8530 Washington Blvd., Culver City
A social club for kids is a cute idea—but a social club for kids growing up bilingual (and their families) is brilliant—and much-needed in Los Angeles. Founder Lizet Alvarez wanted to create a community to support Spanish learning and a dual-language lifestyle for her own chiquitos, and her creativity and inclusivity shines in Chiqui’s roster of programs. There are immersion programs for little ones and workshops, camps, and after-school programs for elementary-school students. There are also opportunities for the whole family to hang—Chiqui Social even has a BYOB, taco-fueled Hora Feliz for families on Friday evenings. Alvarez has also carved out space for a little shop, which she stocks with educational toys, Spanish-language books, and imports like Oaxacan stuffed animals and woven Honduran baskets. Irrespective of which language came first for your family, it’s a supportive and authentic community—and a really freaking cute place to hang out.
The Great Escape Club
3525 Glenhurst Ave., Atwater Village
This genius business bills itself as a "playspace and retreat." It's outfitted with a full, modern, and blessedly clean kids playspace that's supervised during open hours. While kids are playing, parents can drink tea and coffee in a parents-only room, plug in and handle emails in a workspace, or, best of all, sign up for massage and reiki treatments. While the concept works best during the week, this is also an excellent place to host a weekend birthday party.
506 N. Larchmont Blvd., Hancock Park
Snooknuk offers a little of everything for the kids—and you. For the kids: dance, music, art, story time, and even improv classes. Plus camps, themed parties, and a no-shoes play area. You can purchase day passes for the play area, or a membership plan. For the adults, there's the Snooknuk Café, which serves coffee, pastries, paninis, and salads—and is made complete with complementary WiFi.
Quinnie & B
1632 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica
This brand-new, self-named "tiny toy shoppe" from the owners of nearby Thyme Café and Local Kitchen + Wine Bar is an undeniably adorable addition to Ocean Park. While it's not large, the selection is spot-on, with good birthday options for kids of all ages.
130 S. Barrington Pl., Brentwood
This ages-old toy shop in Brentwood Village is literally packed to the gills with all the classics, from Lego, to Bruder trucks. It's family-owned, old-school, and they happily gift-wrap, making it the perfect stop before a birthday party. There are plenty of small grab and go toys, too, to keep little ones occupied.
2710 Main St., Santa Monica
This is one of those spots that will make you believe that having kids doesn't always require a cacophony of brightly-colored plastic toys: Airy, and sparely stocked, Caro Bambino offers everything you'd want for a clean-lined, modern nursery—and nothing more. There are well-designed cribs, a smattering of wooden toys, and neutral-hued onesies.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd., South Central
Since the early 1900s, L.A.'s Natural History Museum has been playing host to millions of artefacts from the past five or so billion years—and the collection keeps growing. (In 2011, they opened Dinosaur Hall.)
2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Feliz
Griffith Park is one of those spots where you think you’ll spend an hour, and end up staying for the day. Complete with an observatory, a planetarium (there’s a live show every 60-90 minutes), loads of displays, and even more hiking (it sits on more than 3,000 acres, and offers 53 miles of trails), this draws a crowd from across the city. On weekends, it’s packed.
Rancho Sea Air
27335 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu
This ranch, built in 1941 by famous horseman Egon Merz, was where Elizabeth Taylor trained for her role in National Velvet. Classes specializing in hunting, jumping, and dressage are available alongside general riding lessons. Rental stables may be available for longer stays if you have your own pony.
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