The trend for creating hip play spaces has been
well under way for a few years, and most of these joints, while adequate, I could just take or leave--but on a recent afternoon in LA I discovered the gold standard of parent/child indoor enjoymental synergy. It's called the COOP, and its motto reads " Play Party Shop Coffee...Built for Kids Designed for You". Right on.
I've heard that before, but how they deliver: There is a ball pit. There is a lit dance floor. There is a masseuse for parents. There is a really extraordinary two-story tubular slide, which you have to climb up a mesh tunnel to get into...But most of all, there is a sense of certainty in the design of the place, of intimacy and enough coolness but not too much, that tells you the COOP was created by somebody who really knew what one of these facilities just ought to be. If there was a perfect play space in the movies, Central Casting, it would look like this. When you're tired of being rambunctious, there are back rooms with futons and beautiful Moroccan pillows to recharge and read a book, with natural light pouring in from windows everywhere, and darkness in the main play room which makes it into a nightclub for kids. Very clever.
If you're in the Valley with your child and looking for fun, you can't do better than the COOP :
11118 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604
Oh, and if you have to make it to an appointment, beware when it's time to get your kid out of that ball pit...