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Best Stuff for Preschoolers In Los Angeles

Skirball Cultural Center (photo credit:

From spiral slides to indoor treehouses, Los Angeles offers big fun for the small fries.

Giggles N' Hugs (photo credit:

Giggles N' Hugs

11701 Wilshire Boulevard, #11
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 478-4847
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Parents of young children generally dread taking their kids out for dinner. If they're not screaming, they're usually antsy and playing with their food. And I'm just talking about the parents. At Giggles N' Hugs, located in a small Brentwood strip mall, they're OK with all of that. Families can dine on child-friendly fare, and the kids can take a break and play with a treasure trove of toys in the spacious play area. What might be difficult, however, is getting the little ones to leave.

California Science Center (photo credit:

California Science Center

Exposition Park
39th Street and Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90037
(323) 724-3623
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Whisper dishes, aircraft displays and Anole island lizards, oh my! These are just some of the items on display at the California Science Museum at Exposition Park. This kid-friendly science center offers lots of exhibits that will intrigue young thinkers and encourage them to touch and explore. Best part? It's free. Interactive displays allow even the smallest visitors to learn about the world around them – from trees, to animals, to outer space.

The Coop (photo credit:

The Coop

11118 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 760-9613
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Five words: Ball Pit and Cappuccino Bar. This kid-friendly haven in the San Fernando Valley offers something for little ones as well as their parents. While Zuma or Violet (yes, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have visited) can leap into the bounce house, slide into the brightly colored ball pit, or show off their moves on the electronic dance floor, Mom and Dad can indulge in that rare coffee break -- with or without the foam.

Skirball Cultural Center (photo credit:

Noah's Ark at the Skirball Cultural Center

2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 440-4500
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Preschool Parents: Don't shy away from this hilltop gem just because it has the very grown-up sounding "Cultural Center" in its name. While the Skirball is home to a variety of parent-friendly exhibits, it's the center's Noah's Ark offering that will have preschoolers climbing, playing and jumping for joy. Besides admiring a menagerie of hand-crafted animals filling this 8,000-square-foot space, children can also help build part of the Ark, simulate a rainstorm, and climb onto a ropes course above the exhibit floor. Just remember that advance tickets are recommended for weekend trips, as Noah's Ark tends to sell out on those days.

- Laura Clark is the founder and editor of L.A. Story.

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