Promoting positive socials skills through gleeful play, Under the Sea Indoor Playground, named one of the area's best indoor play spaces by CBS Los Angeles, gives kids a colorful landscape of obstacles, toys, and floor-to-ceiling murals to play in. Throughout the three locations, youngsters of various ages ramble through soft-padded activities such as the soft moon bounce, or exorcise pent-up energy scaling the sea castle. Meanwhile, parents and guardians can watch proudly from nearby seating or join in and challenge children to good-willed games of foosball. For younger children, Under the Sea turns down the tempo of play with a soft baby corner, toddler swing, and learning-oriented play equipment. Under the Sea is designed to help develop social skills, coordination, and self-esteem with a colorful cast of painted octopi, mermaids, and sea monkeys mistaking the playground's yellow slides for sea bananas.
For the staff of Zimmer Children's Museum, teaching kids to express themselves goes hand-in-hand with teaching social values, like community responsibility, cultural sensitivity, and environmental sustainability. The museum sprawls across two floors filled with interactive exhibits, including Rhythms of the World, where kids can explore the sounds of instruments from foreign countries, and the S. Mark Taper Aid and Rescue Center, where they can learn disaster-response skills and climb aboard an authentic Coast Guard raft. At Discovery Airport, they can take the helm of a private plane.
In addition to exhibits, the museum engages small visitors with free programs ranging from story time and open art-studio sessions to the Culture Club: a gathering that introduces kids to international music and food. Seasonal classes taught by arts educators and early-childhood-development specialists promote multi-sensory learning, and the bilingual Jugando Grande program teaches kids how to giggle and play in English and Spanish.
The squash-savvy staff at Shawn's Pumpkin Patch flaunts a cornucopia of variously sized pumpkins to adorn fall festivities. Against a rustic backdrop of straw bales and cornstalks, pyramids of gigantic, medium, small, and mini pumpkins ($1–$80) sit ready to be taken home and carved to mimic the visage of a zombie or a beloved imaginary friend. Although not included in today's Groupon, Shawn's Pumpkin Patch also hosts pony rides, mini-train trips, and a petting zoo ($3–$6/person).
With Wii, Xbox 360, and 38 HD—Internet-connected gaming stations crisp enough to see every pore on that non-exfoliated alien scumbag—Powersurge is the pinnacle of virtual living. It has everything for the hardcore lone player, the casual-datey pair, or the big, boisterous group. Aiming for a social human experience connected through the common nerve of asocial machine perception, Powersurge loves to host corporate face-offs or grudge-filled birthday-party throw downs.
Pacific Park’s attractions celebrate Santa Monica Pier’s history with classic rides that run with modern technology. The Pacific Wheel uses solar energy to circle 130 feet into the air, where fist pounds from the man in the moon and scenic views of the coastline await. The energy-efficient attraction is 1 of 12 rides, which include classics, a roller coaster, and a four-story tower drop. Visitors can earn prizes at midway games, refuel at the food court, and get their adrenaline pumping on the rock wall or beach bounce.
iFLY Hollywood’s state-of-the-art indoor wind tunnel lets acrophobic and aerophobic adrenaline junkies experience the sensations of skydiving under safe conditions. iFLY Hollywood will suit you up with a helmet, goggles, flight suit, earplugs, and a can of gravity repellent, before an instructor teaches you the basic maneuvers and hand signals. Once you've learned a lesson, you'll be unleashed into the vertical tunnel’s artificial wind current for some air time at terminal velocity. The entire process lasts about an hour, including waiver signing (flyers under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign), a 15-minute class, and a flight slot during which your group takes turns flying. In addition to the flight experience, the multimedia package includes a DVD with a recording of your flight.
Indoor skydiving is accessible to a wide, family-friendly age range, meaning that Grandma and Grandpa can celebrate their 60th anniversary with more than the traditional cake shaped like Andy Griffith. iFLY Hollywood’s free observation deck allows for maximum show-offiness, so invite along an audience of hard-to-impress friends, lovers, and butlers to marvel at your simulated plummet through the heavens.