Indoor Play {Caterpillar Kids Place, La Cañada}

On Friday, I took Mia to a local indoor play place for kids. I had driven by it plenty of times and had been meaning to check it out one day. Before we left the house and while Mia was taking her first nap of the day, I did a little online search of other indoor playgrounds in the Los Angeles area. I made a short list of a few locations that caught my eye and that aren’t too far out of the way. I plan on giving each one a try, hopefully once a week on our Mama/Mia day, and then sharing our experience with you here. I had no idea there were so many locations of this kind. I’m looking forward to checking them out.

The first indoor playground that both Mia and I have ever visited, is Caterpillar Kids Place in La Cañada. It’s in a good area with plenty of accessible parking. There were friendly staff that greeted us when we walked through the door. They charge $12 for an all day “play pass” for children and adults/caregivers are free. Of the few I jotted down to try at a later date, this location was the most expensive. Shoes are not allowed in the play area so we dropped our shoes off in cubbies at the entrance. If you forget your socks (which I did), they have pairs available for purchase at $2.

Now since this is my very first indoor playground, I don’t have much to compare it to just yet. However, from what I saw in the online pictures from other locations, I have to say I wasn’t that impressed with this facility. They have a fairly large and open play space and to the side there is a smaller area of tables and chairs for the grown ups to sit back and mingle or relax in. They offer free coffee, as well. What I wasn’t impressed with was the amount of toys available and also the kinds of toys they had. Let’s all keep in mind that my daughter is only a year old and so I understand that these types of facilities aren’t meant to cater to her age, specifically. They did have a “bounce house” for older kids to enjoy (which they were) and 2 separate slides for them as well. But as I looked around the room, it seemed to be somewhat empty for the amount of space that they could be taking advantage of. Looking around in my living room now as I type this, I think I might have more interesting and entertaining toys than they did. I’m definitely not trying to hate on them, I was glad I went and tried something new with Mia. I just don’t think they were worth the $12 I spent and I don’t get how they can be the most expensive playground I came across. Honestly, I wouldn’t go back there again.

Besides giving Mia a larger area to play in and different toys to play with, my main intentions for taking her there was to give her the opportunity to mingle with other children and make new friends for the day. Unfortunately, at no fault of Caterpillar Kids Place, there was only one other girl there that was Mia’s age. The two didn’t have any interest in each other, either. Whenever Mia is around other children, she’s so intrigued and badly wants to play and socialize. As parents, we haven’t been doing a good job at setting play dates for her. It’s something we’re trying to work on. I was bummed that she didn’t get those interactions that day, but there will be other chances.

Here are a few photos from our 45 minute visit:

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She really liked these letter magnets. I’m going to keep my eye out for something like this for her at home.

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I didn’t get a picture of it (probably because I was busy chasing after her), but see those push cars in the background? She spent most of her time here, pushing each one around the facility, into people, over other kids’ fingers…wherever.

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She also was taken by these plastic animals. It was adorable watching her play with them.

I’d love to hear from any of you who have been here. Did you have a similar experience? Am I way off and maybe have high expectations? Do you think that price is fair? And PLEASE let us all know of any other indoor playgrounds or play places that you’ve been to and recommend!

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Comments

  1. I\’m so glad you said that, because that place is actually on my list of playgrounds to try out! They looked amazing online. You\’ll be seeing a review on them here sometime in the near future. And I definitely think these places should have a floor plan that blocks off \”baby zones\”, \”toddler zones\” and big kid zones. that\’s how I\’d do it. thanks for the comment

  2. Anonymous says

    I wasn’t a fan either. Go to peekaboo playland in Eagle Rock. It is so cool. They have a special baby area that I liked when charlie was little cuz the big kids didn’t trample her.

  3. In my experience, all these places are the same. They don’t cater to 1 year olds. I took Abby to Caterpiller when she was about 7 months with another 7 month old and her mom. We just stayed in the little baby area. I also thought they could use their space better. Def not worth the $12. My current fave is Kidspace in Pasadena. Abby is still too small for most of it but on a hot day we like to go to the “stream” in the back. It’s $20 for both of us to get in but we both have a good time so, to me, it’s worth it. Next time I’ll get the 6 month pass which will pay for itself in no time.

    • Okay, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought so. And I can’t WAIT to take Mia to Kidspace! I’ve been there before with my students on field trips and they always have fun. And yeah, I don’t think Mia is quite old enough for all it has to offer, but I’m sure there’s SOMETHING she’ll enjoy..like the stream. And it’s a place that I think will grow with her…with each year, there will be more there that she can interact with and enjoy. Thanks for the comment. I’ll be “reviewing” them soon, as well :)

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