Adventure Review: Peekaboo Playland
For a city that averages 350 perfectly perfect weather days a year, we have a surprising number of indoor playgrounds. It feels a little silly to pay for a place to play, but on a hot day, a rainy day, or a we-can’t-do-Shane’s-Inspiration-again day, indoor playgrounds are really amazing.
Peekaboo Playland is an indoor play space in Eagle Rock and is kind of the gold standard of indoor playgrounds. The design is sweet, artistic, and quirky, and the two story space, with separate nooks for different types of play, is inspired. The owners are obviously parents and know exactly what parents need: free coffee, free WiFi, and the opportunity to bring in one’s own food OR purchase healthy snacks on site.
When Willa was a little Little, she loved the upstairs infant area, which is perfect for Sitter-Uppers, Crawlers, or Just Started Walkingers. The toys and books are age-appropriate and the space is snuggly and safe. Also, bigger Littles aren’t allowed in the infant area, so parents can relax knowing that Big Bruiser Bob isn’t going to hurl his four-year-old self on top of their little wee’un.
Now that Willa is a bigger Little, she really enjoys the lower level with all its different areas. The first time she was able to explore the downstairs space, she paced, giggling and overwhelmed, for a solid ten minutes. It was fantastic.
In the center of the the enormous, bright, and surprisingly calming space is a huge climbing structure, featuring two slides (one little, one big) and a secret room. Surrounding the climbing structure are a bouncy tent, a toy and book room, a play house, a play “bistro”, a ball pit, and tons of open space for play cars, push toys, and toy strollers.
Willa wanders from point to point every visit, and seeing her explore new types of play is a real joy (for instance, I didn’t know how much she wanted a doll baby until she wandered the perimeter of Peekaboo Playland “nursing” a doll baby for fifteen minutes, saying “Baby. Baby. Baby.”).
I find it best to go right when they open at 10 AM (I so wish they opened at 9 AM). At this time of day, most of the kids are between 1-2 years, so there isn’t a lot of rough housing. I’ve found that when I go after Willa’s nap in the afternoon, the kids are older (probably coming straight from pre-school) and rowdier. Also, I find that many of the kids in the afternoon are attended by nannies who may not have as keen an eye on their charges as a family member would (e.g., a little boy might wallop my little girl, and I don’t want to discipline him, so I look to see who’s watching him, only to find an apathetic woman barely glance up from her US Weekly and mutter, “Brayden, don’t.” Random example.).
There’s a healthy restaurant called Four just a few doors down from Peekaboo, so if you don’t bring food, they are a great option (although please note that they don’t open til 11 AM). Peekaboo has snacks as well, plus they have restaurant recommendations for this great area. Of course, you can always bring food from home.
Parking can be a bit of a bugger, so I tend to start looking for parking starting at the corner of Eagle Rock and Colorado (meters, two hours).
Also, try hard not to permanently stick your eyes in the rolled position when you see moms who angrily demand that their children try to recreate a funny moment so they can capture it with the Hipstamatic app on their iPads (“Ava! Ava! Ava! Go backwards! NO! Not forwards, go BACKWARDS down the slide again! No, look HAPPY! AVA! Look happy and go BACKWARDS! NO! DON’T GO FORWARD DOWN THE SL…. ugh. Well, you ruined the picture now.” Random example.).
Amazingly, despite the many babies running around, bumping into things, crying, having a blast, Peekaboo is still inexplicably serene for parents. I always have a nice conversation or two with other moms. Finally, I’m also in a place, emotionally, where I feel really comfortable letting Willa find her own way, free range.
Peekaboo Playland: 2030 Colorado Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90041
HOURS: 10:00 AM- 6:00 PM (M-F only, Sat and Sun are for private parties, which are apparently super awesome.)
ADMISSION: $9 for kids 12m and up, $7 for kids under 12m. Parents free. I highly recommend buying a package. Please note: If you buy a package and leave your punchcard at home, they do NOT keep your info on file so you will have to pay for the day.