The Great Escape Club in Atwater Village – An indoor play area and lounge for parents
I live on the Westside of Los Angeles, but like to visit friends in other parts of town when I can. We recently had the pleasure of discovering a relatively new (only 18 months old) indoor play space in Atwater Village, appropriately named “The Great Escape Club.” The Great Escape Club gives parents the option to supervise their own children in the awesome, airy play space or “escape” to the parents’ lounge in a separate building across the patio area (only few steps away) while the staff supervises your “independent-minded” child.
The Parents’ Lounge is a gorgeous, serene space. When I stepped in, I felt like I was in the lounge area of a hip, trendy hotel. Jay, one of the co-owners, explained the color scheme in the lounge coincides with the colors of the play space, but are more muted. Parents can truly hide away and relax in the lounge (or get some work done using the free wifi) without the sounds or distraction of the play space.
My daughter, who is almost three, absolutely loved the play space.The Great Escape Club is meant for children ages five and under, and there are stations geared to all skill levels in that age group. We stayed for about two hours. During that time, my daughter never got bored. When she felt like being social, she jumped in the bounce house with the other kids. It was so nice to see her giggling and smiling with children she just met! When she felt like having time to herself, she found a spot in the reading nook and got cozy with a book.
In the middle of the play space is an enclosed (but climbable for mobile kids) soft play area, which is great for non-walkers. Inside, there are plenty of sensory toys and foam blocks of varying shapes. There are always at least two people on staff at a time, and they keep an extra close eye on this area. Surprisingly, my toddler enjoyed this spot too, and loved interacting with the babbling babies and infant toys.
There are also several mobile toys like sit-in cars and shopping carts available, so even when one item is in use (or hijacked by another kid), it isn’t difficult to find another one. Thankfully, that helps avoid dreaded conflicts. Other play stations include a tree-house slide structure with a ladder and “rock wall,” a kitchen area, colorful, large foam building blocks, and a race-car table.
Safety is a priority at theThe Great Escape Club, so there are padded mats strategically placed throughout and the columns are decoratively and securely wrapped. Cleanliness is also a priority, so it’s a shoe-free space. Adults are required to wear socks, and there are designated spaces for food and drink consumption. They provide complimentary coffee (which helped me keep up with my energetic toddler), and have snacks and drinks available for purchase.
The stay and place price is good all day (discounted second child rate available), so if you’re like me and don’t live in the neighborhood, there are plenty of unique shops and restaurants to check out afterwards. One of the reasons why co-owners Jay and Jordana opened the Great Escape Club in Atwater Village is because they saw a definite need for a family oriented hub in this rapidly growing neighborhood. (In addition to the play space and the parents’ lounge, they also offer kids art classes, new parent neighborhood drop-in and birthday parties.)
Tips for your visit:
• An “independent-minded” child can be of any age, who can play independently and handle separation from his or her caretaker
• The staff does not change diapers, but will notify you (if you are in the parent lounge) if you child needs a diaper change
• Adults: Don’t forget your socks!
• The “Great Escape” birthday party package includes child supervision, a character visit, the adult retreat area and more
For more information
Visit the Great Escape Club online at: thegreatescapeclub.squarespace.com