LA’s top shopping centers for kids By Mimi Slawoff
The Grove (Courtesy The Grove )
Shopping malls aren’t what they used to be. Many of today’s shopping centers are huge complexes that offer kids clubs, valet and concierge services in addition to a superabundance of retailers and restaurants. Many even have scenic sitting areas or grassy lawns with fountains and fire pits, making them a comfortable place to hang out with friends and family.
Here’s a sampling of LA’s top shopping centers for kids.
Burbank Town Center
Burbank Town Center (Courtesy Burbank Town Center)
The three-story enclosed mall backs up the city’s reputation as an entertainment mecca. Not only does the mall have numerous shops, restaurants, theaters and services (chair massage anyone?), but the first level beckons kids with arcade games, kiddie rides and a free indoor playground. Located on the third floor is Kids Indoor Playground & Party Center, filled with toys and play structures. There’s an admission charge, but parents get in free and can use the complimentary WiFi.
The Grove, LA
Chic and trendy, The Grove has your family covered for clothes, toys, electronics, movies and more. Bring the kids to the weekly Kids Club program for music and entertainment, and check out the latest dolls at American Girl Place. Need help with shopping or reservations? Complimentary Concierge Services assists with those plus strollers, wheelchairs and more. Relax by the dancing fountains or take a free ride on The Grove Trolley that travels to the Farmers Market.
Westfield Century City
Shop ‘til you almost drop, then crash for a while at the Westfield Family Lounge offering amenities such as private nursing areas, baby changing-stations, bottle warmers, child-friendly bathrooms and a rest area with safe toys and TVs airing children’s programming. There’s more fun at the Westfield Playspace, filled with puzzles, climbing structures and animal characters. Ten minutes before you’re done shopping and playing, text valet and your vehicle will be waiting for you.
Americana at Brand, Glendale
Americana at Brand (Courtesy Americana at Brand)
Come for the shopping and dining, but stay for the entertainment on a grassy lawn. The open-air shopping center houses high-end retailers, but has a laid back ambiance. Watch the Dancing Fountain and Light Show synced to music and ride the complimentary trolley around the property. The weekly Kids Club features music, entertainment and activities. And kids eat free at several restaurants on Tuesdays.
(MORE: Find great rates on kid-friendly hotels to stay in Los Angeles.)
Third Street Promenade, Downtown Santa Monica
It’s common to see magicians, dancers and other street performers at this pedestrian-only, open-air shopping center, especially on weekends when the three-block shopping center is a vibrant street scene, conducive for enjoying outdoor dining and cool ocean breezes. For kids, there are toy stores, ice cream and candy stores. Seasonal events, the Santa Monica Farmers Market and the adjacent Santa Monica Place offer families additional options.
Westfield Topanga (Courtesy Westfield)
Like other Westfield shopping centers, this one has a family lounge, playspace and mall buggies (strollers that double as shopping carts). There’s also a carousel and family parking for expectant moms and those with little ones. Events include free two-day Microsoft Technology Camps focusing on coding and game designing for ages 8 and older. Have a question about stores or restaurants? Answers on the Spot enables shoppers to text the mall for a quick reply.
Mimi Slawoff, a Los Angeles-based journalist, contributed this to MiniTime.