Keeping kids busy in LA: the Valley Edition

The hardest thing about being a stay at home parent is keeping your kids busy when they are not in school or done with pre-school for the day. Ivy always asks ” What will we do today Dadda?”.  Sometimes I don’t have an answer because frankly it’s harder to get everything packed up and organized to do something with both of them and keep them under control while you are there. But there are a few go to spots in the Valley that have saved me on those days where we have to get out and here are my top 5.

1. Buffalo Wild Wings – For my wife her wind down go to is wine. Mine…is wings! A lot of them — and spicy. The best place and the best day for that is Buffalo Wild Wings in Sherman Oaks Galleria on Thursday  — its .65 cent boneless wings night. Why is this a good place for the kids? Noise. There is so much of it from the TV’s and the patrons that they never hear my kids screaming or yelling. They can stand on the booth and no ones cares. They have a fun interactive tablet with a pony dress up game that keeps my daughter busy. My son indulges in blue cheese and makes a horrendous mess and they don’t seem to mind. And for once…I get to eat! As you know as parents, we are usually the last ones to get fed. We like going between 4:30-5 to beat the crowd.

2. Kidz Korner – There are a lot of play places in the valley. A few years ago one opened a few blocks from us in Encino Commons and that has been our go to when the weather is bad or I just can’t handle the kids and their mess at home so we go mess up Kidz Korner. For the most part its not too over crowded and has a good variety of jumper, slides, climbers, video games, toddler play area and is pretty clean. If you get lucky you can find a Groupon once in awhile otherwise definitely purchase the ten pack its worth it. We like to time it to go around 3pm on Tuesday and we hit up our number 3 spot right after.

3. Pieology Family Night -If you ask my daughter what she wants to eat for dinner 7 days a week, she’ll probably say pizza 7 times. Thats fine with me, because I would probably eat pizza everyday too. Pieology pizza opened up not to long ago in the Encino Commons shopping area a short walk away  from our house. They make little thin crust pizzas that are pretty tasty, not that expensive and Ivy loves them. We just found out recently that they are doing family fun nights on Tuesdays 5-8 until July 31st with a balloon artist, coloring kit, and face paint. Its a fun time, and the kids love going.

4. The Village -If you are like us, you probably have to stock up at Costco every once in a while, if not almost once a week. I like to make a day out of it and hit up the new Costco at the Village out in Woodland Hills where I can kill two birds with one stone. They have constructed an unreal multi level play structure that is all enclosed and safe to climb for kids at the other end of the shopping center. We usually get our shopping done, grab a few snack and head to the kid area.  They also have a great family friendly rest restroom with a huge chalk wall, those spurting up ground fountains that get your kids soaked, awesome restaurants, as well as a really cool koi pond. Overall this place is is great because you can waste a ton of time and have fun doing it.

5. Los Encinos Historical State Park– Otherwise known as the duck pond in our household is another place we love that is in walking distance. Its an old historic state park that is one of the oldest places in California. It has a natural spring pond that has ducks of all kinds, some geese and even has a few turtles. There is a machine that accepts quarters for duck food so you can feed the birds. The restaurant Lakeside Cafe sits overlooking the water and has seating outside, which is great for brunch.