Naya’s Garden: An Indoor Playground for Growing Kids

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When you have kids, you know that eventually they're going to exceed the event horizon of your house and need to be taken someplace to get their ya-yas out. We travel with Henry a lot, so we've been to more than our fair shares of day camps, playgrounds, and other kid-centric spaces over these United States. But it wasn't until we took a trip down to Los Angeles to visit the Rockabye Baby! folks at lullaby world headquarters that we found Naya's Garden, which should be a model for playspaces nationwide. Founded by Cherie Bolger three years ago, Naya's Garden works because of a few simple organizing rules. One, it's designed for kids six months to four years, so the young ones can romp without being worried about school-agers treading over them. Second, it's eminently affordable -- eight dollars for a kid to play as long as they want, with parents and guardians free. Buy a pack of ten admissions and you can get in for just six bucks fifty each time. And thirdly, this isn't just a hole in the wall with some toys lying around -- two ball pits, a climbing wall, an inflatable castle, and way more fun things await your young one, and the whole place is scrupulously clean, with plenty of places for parents to keep tabs on their kids as they play. So many play spaces make the same mistakes -- either they're run on the cheap, relying on the infinite imaginations of kids to wring fun out of an empty room, or they're insanely expensive (like one Manhattan place I won't name that charges $900 a year for membership and doesn't sell day passes). It's nice to see a place that gets it right by just listening to what kids and parents want. Naya's Garden, 836 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

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