Blaise is a marketer, architect and devoted dad to Atlas. We learn more about his incredible career and loved hearing about his parenting tips.
Describe a typical work day? I wake up at 5.30 to jog in my neighborhood, I get my exercise out of the way because when I get back my son Atlas wakes up. After breakfast, we head to Big and Tiny at Second Home in Hollywood. Once I drop off Atlas in the Big and Tiny pods, I settle in the courtyard or on the roof at Second Home to check emails and catch-up on any overnight or earlier timezone developments.
At 1pm I go to the Big and Tiny pods and feed Atlas his lunch after he wakes up from his morning nap. I then focus on an afternoon of work before picking up Atlas at 4.30pm and driving home. I love to cook for the family and once Atlas is in bed, I catch up with my partner or we like to watch TV with a glass of wine (we have been watching the shocking the NXIVM documentary on HBO Max).
What would be your tip(s) for any new working parent? The biggest game-changer for me, especially during the most intense pandemic restrictions, have been to just own the time where you can’t get much done. My partner is an essential worker, so I was at home with our son for the most of each day.
At first, I was trying to work and parent simultaneously during his wake windows. Perhaps others are better at multitasking than I, but I found I wasn’t doing either working or parenting very effectively and it left me feeling down on myself and generally disappointed with how each day was going. I resolved to just be a parent during the time when he needed engagement.
Rather than having the laptop out while he tried to get my attention from the floor, we went on walks and I gave him (mostly) undivided attention. I found the additional work time that was required in the evening or at night did not significantly increase, and I felt much better about the work I was doing and the kind of parent I was able to be.
What are your favorite things to do as a family in Los Angeles? We love packing a picnic and walking around the CalTech campus in Pasadena with Atlas in the stroller. There is a lovely pond filled with turtles that is a big time attraction for the kids and the architecture and grounds are a peaceful respite for the adults.
How do you take time for yourself? (When you get time for yourself!)
I don’t get too much, but my partner is really supportive of me paddling out to surf at least once per week. Usually I set out before sunrise on either Saturday or Sunday to meet up with a buddy or two somewhere in West Malibu for a few waves. I can still usually be back home in time for lunch and an active afternoon with the family.
How do you deal with failure? In the abstract, I usually beat myself up about it for a time and then resolve to never let it happen again. More tangibly, I usually seek some intense physical activity like a hilly trail run or a marathon surf session. Compensating with a bit of time in isolation is also helpful for me, a kind of monastic reflection period, whether through those physical activities or a long drive–something along those lines.
What has been your biggest achievement professionally? While working at an architecture firm in Paris some five years ago, I got to contribute to the team working on the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened at the beginning of 2018. In particular, I developed an algorithm that optimized the design for the Grand Vestibule, the first gallery in the procession of the museum, and the result is what you see built there today! I even have a tattoo on my right forearm to commemorate its completion.
What are your hopes for 2021? I hope that we will get a chance to be a family out from under the dark cloud of pandemic. Our son was only out of the hospital for about six-weeks when LA went into lockdown. While I definitely look forward to the day when we can eat at a cafe or ride public transportation, not having family nearby has been particularly complicated since he hasn’t got to spend much time at all with relatives. I am most hopeful that will change in 2021.
Kate is a designer and mother to Penelope. She has been a member of our Silver Lake location since we opened! From the UK and having lived in NYC, she had to find a support system in LA. Read on to find out more!
What do you do? I design retail spaces, installations and displays, mostly for fashion brands, along with managing their visual merchandising needs. I am also working on a personal project that I am hoping to launch in Spring 2021!
You’re from the United Kingdom, what took you to Los Angeles? Short answer is my husband is from here. We met in New York, but I was living in London at the time. I moved to the US in 2017, and lived between NY and LA. I prefer the open space, the nature, the healthier lifestyle and the weather in Los Angeles, whenever I was getting on the plane back to NY, I was always sad to be leaving the LA climate. For those reasons, we decided to have our baby in LA and set up life here, instead of being back and forth.
For you, what’s the key difference between the UK and USA? So many things, but the one thing I like most about living here, is the opportunities the US has to offer. There is an openness to being able to follow, achieve and succeed in what you do. You can wear many hats, instead of being pigeon-holed to one. People here have many jobs, different jobs, jump industries etc., and that’s normal and accepted more easily I think.
What is the biggest challenge of being a working mother? Having some downtime and time to yourself to recharge.
What is your biggest achievement to date?Probably my daughter and my husband. Making a wonderful and healthy little girl is everything, watching her grow, learn, discover and love is so beautiful.
Bringing up a child far from home can be tough, what support groups or organizations have your turned to?
My support group is Big and Tiny and friends I have made who also have children similar ages to Penelope. I honestly don’t think I would have returned back to work if Big and Tiny didn’t exist, and don’t know what I’d do without it. I have never felt separated from my daughter by working from Big and Tiny (she was only 4.5 months old when I returned back to work full time), so being under one roof is great, her being close to me was, and still is important, so I could breastfeed her, and see her when I was available. With both my husband and I working, I prefer this way of balancing work and child.
How do you take time for yourself? (When you get time for yourself!) I do Pilates twice a week, to rebuild my body and my strength and breath. I also enjoy taking a bath, reading, relaxing, meditating after Penelope goes to bed each night. Those few hours are crucial to my wellbeing and energy for the next day.
What’s been your biggest learning of 2020? To keep things more local and not to travel as much, taking more care of our Planet. I have also loved reduced working hours and spending more time in the day with Penelope, right now I am working part-time, and that balance is great.
Beja is a professional photographer and mother of two. We talk about how she got into photography and the all important balance between pursuing her passion and motherhood. Check out her work here.
How would you describe your style of photography? If I had to define it, I’d say my style is organic, genuine and connected. I’ve always had an admiration for classical painters, and I’ve spent a lot of time at the MET in New York City. I adore rich, deep, and bold colors; smooth but with texture.
How long have you been taking professional photos and how did your passion start? I’ve been a professional photographer for 15 years, working in portrait, documentary, event, and production photography in New York City. My passion started after graduating from college – I quickly discovered that tourism wasn’t my calling. Along with the uncomfortable realization that followed: what to do instead? I had also just moved to the US, relocating to Brooklyn, NY from Budapest, Hungary. I worked as a nanny for a family, and the dad, Dan Cordle, happened to be the kindest human I’ve ever met and an amazing photographer. He quickly became my mentor, teaching me to shoot and develop my own film. Eventually, I transitioned to digital photography and started freelancing as a professional.
What childcare support do you rely on when working in the field? I have 2 young children: aged 6 and 3. My first grader is currently in a pod and my youngest is the happiest at Big and Tiny. The only reason I’ve been able to return to work, and find the energy to pick up my camera again is thanks to Big and Tiny. She is excited to join her friends every morning and literally never wants to leave! Big shout out to all the wonderful teachers – they are the best! And last but not least, I adore Keltse, the owner and creator of Big and Tiny – she gently reminds me, when I feel a bit lost in this pandemic world, of gratitude.
What are you most proud of professionally? I feel the proudest and happiest in the moment I deliver the final portraits to my clients. I print and frame my own work, and I need to see their reaction when they open their package! It’s incredibly fulfilling. Having spent so much time with them, and their images, they’ve become friends. A very close second, is receiving an email from a client, years after working together, telling me how much happiness they get looking at the art on their wall.
How do you confront failure? It’s hard, but I accept it. I remind myself that giving up is the failure. We recently got a book for our six year old called ‘A Kids Book About Failure’ by Dr. Laymon Hicks – it’s a good read for grown ups too. A quote from the book became our new mantra: “Failure is not final, it’s a part of the process.” If you don’t try, you won’t fail but you won’t grow either!
Children are not the easiest subjects to photograph! What is your top tip? My top tip is to surrender and let children be themselves. I believe success in capturing children’s portraits depends on your mindset. Prepare yourself to surrender and take your ego out of it – especially with younger kids. It is not in their nature to stay still; frozen in their movements. Instead, make a game of taking their photos. Get them to laugh. Be extra silly, they won’t be able to resist. Remember, our children are a reflection of us. If we feel good and at ease, they will too! More practical tips: plan your shoot around their schedule. Avoid disrupting nap time, and use the time of the day when they are the most energized. Make sure they aren’t hungry (or hangry) and plan something fun afterwards, too. Ice cream is a great motivator. Last but most important: let them wear comfortable clothing, that you won’t mind getting dirty. They are kids, getting dirty means they had fun.
What’s your motto in life? Always choose kindness.
Antonia Plunkett is a hospitality consultant, from London living in Echo Park, LA with her husband, son Jack and their dog Kodak. She was brought up in France where her love for food and beautiful establishments started. She has worked in the hospitality industry in London, Hong Kong, Italy and LA. She loves meeting new people and helping them realize their dreams.
How are you finding being a new Mum? I’ve been very lucky to have an easy baby, which enabled me to go back to work very quickly. Perhaps too quickly! I was back after 11 weeks and in the end decided I needed a bit more time to be at my best and as productive as possible. On the whole it has been an incredible journey and it helps I have a really supportive husband.
Did you have a support system after giving birth?
When you’re pregnant there is a support system; and you are treated as this miraculous being. After the child was born, I struggled to find support; especially as I live so far away from my family. I wish there were more conversations about being a new Mom and so we can be more prepared about having this new identity.
As an expat and Brit working in the US, do you feel you are missing a support network of your wider family?
It 100% it takes a village. So I had to find my village elsewhere since I didn’t know many people in LA at first. Finally I found Big and Tiny which is a place I can get my work done, build back my confidence and find a group of like-minded parents.
How are you finding balancing your professional life with your new family?
Big and Tiny have helped me find a balance that I am really comfortable with. I don’t feel I have had to make sacrifices at all. I know Jack is in good hands and if anything happens I am just next door. We, working Mums, always feel a certain level of guilt either to our bosses or to our child. Places like Big and Tiny are vital to bringing about an end to that guilt.
As a hospitality expert, is your industry a nurturing place for a working Mum.
Yes and no. Yes because a lot of women work in my industry and therefore there is this general understanding of each other and our needs.
No, because it is very demanding as it requires late nights and working weekends. So at some point it becomes impossible for a mother to execute some of the roles offered within the hospitality industry.
Who I work with and my job role has evolved with my own personal situation and lifestyle. I definitely can no longer work for a snazzy nightclub like I did during my wild Hong Kong days!
Is being a mother really the most rewarding job in the world?
(Laughs) Yes and no, again. Yes of course. I’m learning everyday about being a mother and learning a lot about myself in the process. But for me getting back to work was really important, personally I enjoy being in a pressured work environment, meeting and connecting with people, and making things happen everyday.
Do you still find any time for you? To pamper?
Pamper? I wish. But I always make time after Jack has gone to bed to have aperitivo with my husband or to watch a current documentary. I feel a child shouldn’t 100% dictate what a family is doing; we can still go on culturally awakening trips together. Jack just needs to behave!
Oh and Big and Tiny do offer manicures and facials at work – which is a complete godsend.
Is child care expensive where you live? Very. I was pretty shocked by the child care prices compared to the UK even. So I limit Jack’s time with a nanny. And I find it more lucrative for him to come with me to Big and Tiny, besides he is a lot more entertained there!
When you first returned back into a work environment did you realize that you had changed? I was more emotional and burst into tears more (Laughs!.) – mainly due to lack of sleep. Other than that I felt more powerful, confident and grown up. I stood up for myself more, because I realized there are more important things in life. So I got rid of a lot of negative energy and negative people when I returned to work. Something I never had the courage to do before.
Members Clubs and Co-working spaces are your thing. Tell us LA in relation to London and beyond.
The LA landscape is one behind London when it comes to membership clubs. In fact some great spaces I’ve been to started in London and opened an outpost in LA. Such as Second Home, Soho House and the H Club.
London just does private member club really well and they’ve been around since the 1600’s – but they were stuffy gentlemen’s clubs then. But LA has integrated the work-life- wellness balance in such a great way, and therefore their co-working spaces are at the top of their game, they offer hotel like amenities and foster collaboration.
Should you ever get a chance for a date night, where would go?
You can’t beat getting a table at the Hollywood Bowl, sharing a bottle of wine and a platter of cheese over live music. One of my favourite restaurants is Cafe Stella in Silverlake. It’s a French Bistro and it reminds me of my time in Paris. Otherwise getting out of town to stay at the gorgeous The Colony in Palm Springs or an airbnb in Big Bear Lake for a date weekend is always on the radar.
Occasionally motherhood can be summed up in a few words: wake the kids, make breakfast, get everyone dressed, leave, forget something, leave again. The ability to navigate all of that—or better yet, to navigate it all with dignity and grace and a modicum of sanity—is as much science as it is art. We asked a few of the women we know best (the ones we share an office with) for the tools (apps, products, coffee) they rely on to keep it all together—seamlessly.
“My son is a big fan of watching videos of himself during meals. Aren’t we all? (Not stellar parenting, but it works.) Having a PopGrip on my phone means that I can stand it up wherever Sonny choses to take his dinner: the counter, his high chair, the dining table. It’s also a godsend when FaceTiming with his East Coast grandparents in the evenings. Coincidentally, it’s when he’s feeling the most energetic (witching hour is real) and running through the house at full speed—tables, chairs, and the dog be damned. The little grip allows me to aim the camera at him and clear the way at the same time.”
“Jennifer Garner recently launched these awesome organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, BPA-free, refrigerated (a big deal because so many pouches on the market are shelf-stable) baby food pouches. Sonny is almost two, so he’s definitely aged out of baby-food pouches as a meal. They do, however, make for excellent park snacks. He’s a fan of the Wild Rumpus Avocado, Just Right Oats, and Gold-y Mango flavors. And the pouches themselves are recyclable through TerraCycle, so I don’t feel like a total jerk.”
“The weekends are sacred in our family. It’s when the three of us get quality uninterrupted time together. A few times a month, we take Sonny to this adorable play space where he gets to hang out with other kids (supervised, of course), and we can either run errands (Costco!), get breakfast, or simply chill out in the little café area out front. There’s also a work area in the back if we need to drop in and answer emails during the week while he plays. The doors to the play area—where they have swings, a ball pit, and tons of toys—have a little window parents can peek through without disturbing play time. They also host and plan themed birthday parties right on-site, which is a hack all in and of itself.”
SENIOR DIRECTOR, BRAND PARTNERSHIPS & SALES, AND MOM TO VIVIENNE, EIGHT MONTHS
“I love going to Drybar. It’s one less thing I need to do in the morning, and it gives me extra time to bang out emails. So much of my job involves meeting with clients, so even though I’m still getting back into the groove, I need to look pulled together. I heard the Drybar founders are coming out with a massage app, Squeeze, soon, too.”
“Between sleep deprivation and crazy schedules, this app keeps me sane. You can keep track of feedings, diapers, sleep, weight, and height, but I focus on Vivienne’s feeding schedule. My husband, Chris, and our nanny have access to the app, so they never have to wonder when Vivienne had her last feeding.”
“We introduced Vivienne to solids a little before six months, and the baby-food delivery company Yumi is incredible. Each meal is made with fresh, organic ingredients, and the basic purées are a great way to get her exposed to new tastes. Since her diet consists mostly of breast milk, I just freeze whatever we don’t use right away. For everything else (diapers, household supplies, etc.), I rely heavily on Amazon so I don’t have to make trips to the store.”
“Once I had Vivienne, I knew I needed to simplify everything in my life, and that included having an arsenal of clean products that I know I love. I don’t have time to shower in the morning, so showering at night has become the norm. It also helps cut down on the time I spend getting ready in the morning, so I have more time with Viv.”
SENIOR DIRECTOR, BRAND PARTNERSHIPS & MARKETING, AND MOM TO STELLA, SIX, AND THEO, FOUR
“My husband pulls more than his share of the weight—if he’s cooking, I’m cleaning. If I’m managing the kids’ schedules, he’s handling the car payments. I use the Cozi app to organize our family to-do and shopping lists. I’ll break out my shopping list by type: grocery store, big box, department stores.”
This rainy winter continues (sob sob) and what feels like weeks of inclement weather has us all getting a little cabin fever. Thankfully we have some super cool indoor playspaces for kids that let them run, jump, play, and give their imaginations a workout (without driving you crazy). There are even a few spots that will keep you keep your sanity with coffee bars, workspaces as well as wine and beer options. Scroll below to check out our favorite indoor play space picks.
This gorgeously-designed play space in Santa Monica not only offers a creative playground for kids 6 months to 6 years old to climb, swing and jump but they’ve also partnered with the School of Wonder to offer enrichment classes that will keep your kids happily engaged.
In addition to the play space, they have an on-site cafe plus the flexibility for working parents to get some work done while their kids are pre-occupied.
Open Play: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat-Sun. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (check the schedule on weekends as they sometimes close for private events. Rate: Two-hour open play is $18; play passes are also available $80 for 5; $140 for 10
Insider Tip:There are various co-working plans that will give working parents access to a workspace, printers, WiFi, etc. while kids enjoy enrichment classes and activities.
1731 Ocean Park Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-392-0113 Online: bigandtiny.com
Wild Child Gym, mixes chill Hawaiian vibes with California cool that results in a fun, interactive, eco-friendly space complete with a “grassy” hill that feels more at like natural playspace than a busy metropolitan city storefront.
Daily classes are available for “Droolers” (newborn-5 months) all the way up to “Advanced Skill and Development” (5-7 year-olds), along with free play options, birthday parties, camps for kids and workshops for kids and for the whole family. But what we really love are their extended hours—perfect for working parents or those tricky school holidays.
Open Play: Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Rate: Per class price is $30 (based on availability) or choose a four-week session which includes one “Wild Play” drop-in class for $100. Become a member for $25 and receive discounts on parties, events and more.
This indoor jungle gym lets your little monkeys climb and play like they’re outside all within four window-lit walls. The fully-padded structure features tunnels, and a winding slide that drops into a ball pit. There is also a pint-size merry-go-round and a separate play area for toddlers. The space is small, but there are plenty of cozy spots to sit back and relax while still getting a bird’s eye view of the entire play area.
The space also has an indoor picnic area where you can bring in your own food and snacks to eat. Coffee, juice, and water are also available for purchase.
Open Play: Mon. 10-5 p.m., Tues.-Thurs. 10-7 p.m., Fri. 10-5 p.m. Rate: Open play is $10 per child
Insider Tip: There are tons of great restaurants within walking distance along Ventura, like D’Amores Pizza, The Carving Board, and Wanderlust Creamery so you can grab a bite or sweet treat after play time.
There’s adventure to spare here with a ton of energy burners including a basketball court, mazes, tunnels, climbing bouncy houses, gymnastic mats and plenty of playrooms. There’s not a ton of supervision happening, but that’s ok, as you’ll want to get in there and play, too. With a ropes course and rock wall for bigger kids (note: both cost extra), Toddler Town for wee ones and even a café when need to refuel, you just might be here all day.
Open Play: Hours vary for the play structures and Toddler Town, so make sure to check the website. Rate: Admission is $12. You can also sign up for a Flex Membership and get unlimited drop-in play for $29 per month, $19 per month for siblings
Insider Tip: Adventureplex offers Parents’ Night Out every Fri. and Sat., 5:30 – 9 p.m. for kids 3 and up if you want to get an evening away the kids will be begging for. Cost is $30, and $20 for siblings and includes dinner.
Dress up, painting, building with blocks, utilizing motor skills through soft play and storytelling-the name of the game here is child-initiated play in all its many forms. It’s filled with bounceable, slideable and jumpable inflatables, an obstacle course, playhouses, dress up and more. We love it because it caters to a mix of ages, and at over 4,000 square feet has room for the jumping the bigger kids (up through about age 7) need and also a toddler area where small fry won’t get run over. With so much stuff to do and play with and explore, kids won’t get bored, and they will be eager to come back.
Open Play: Tues.-Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Rate: $12 per child, $9 for siblings, (under 2s are $8). Multi-visit passes and memberships are available that will save you money
Insider Tip: Brent’s Deli is a few doors down for lunch. It’s one of the best and most authentic delis in town, with pickles that will live on in your memory. There are four kinds of fries for kids to pick from, a kids menu for B, L or D, and don’t leave without sampling a black & white cookie.
A play space for kids…and adults? The Coop is the place that doesn’t sacrifice the sanity and patience of parents for their kids to romp around in a gritty and overly cutesy play space. Free wifi and a cappuccino bar are just some of the perks for adults in this modernized play space that looks like an ad for Phillipe Starck for IKEA. Kids will love sliding into the ball pit, the touch-sensitive, luminescent dance floor, and dress-up play. There are three locations in Studio City, Redondo Beach, and the newest spot in Woodland Hills.
Open Play: Each location has different hours but all are open Mon. – Fri. Rate: $12 per child
Insider Tip: The Woodland Hills location has a full cappuccino bar and free parking.
Locations: Woodland Hills, Studio City & Redondo Beach Online: thecoop-la.com
Snooknuk – Larchmont
This colorful play space showcases an enchanting mural and life-size tree that transports tots to a magical landscape usually found in fairy tales. Artwork is filled with positive images families will appreciate, and music exclusively scored for Snooknuk sets the perfect tone for a happy day of fun. Many parents bring kiddos in just for a simple afternoon of play or play dates, while others come for classes but still love the convenience of having a play area to entertain siblings while they wait. Don’t forget to indulge in their on-site Caffe Luxxe gourmet coffee, pastries or paninis while the kids enjoy the play area.
Snooknuk offers a supervised play option so you can sit on the patio and get work done while the kids play. This space also offers loads of classes, plenty o’ snacks and is on the Larch. Your whole inclement day is now planned. While most of the activities are ideal for the 6 and under crew there are some classes available for older kids, up to 12 years old.
Open: Mon.-Fri. 9-6 p.m.; Sat. 9-5 p.m. Rate: Day passes are $8, or $5 per sibling
Insider Tip: You’re on Larchmont Blvd., which means you have approximately 6 coffee options, a retail shop for kids, a resale shop for tots, a vegan and raw food spot, a vegan and GF bakery plus bookstore and two toy stores all in walking distance. Welcome to parenting paradise.
506 N. Larchmont Blvd. Mid-City Los Angeles 323-498-5258 Online: snooknuk.com
Who says your kids can’t play and learn? Peekaboo Playland is the progressive and artistic indoor play space for your kids’ creative energy to flourish and grow. Let your little one explore the boundlessness of their imagination in the 3,300 square feet building. One of our favorite things is the separate baby space upstairs, where crawlers can explore without getting trampled.
Open Play: Mon. – Thurs. 10-6 p.m., Fri. 10-5 p.m. Rate: $10 per child over 12 months, $8 for siblings and babies 6-12 months. The Bel Air location is $11 and $9 respectively
Insider Tip: Oinkster, Swork, and Four Cafe are all right nearby so you can get tasty lunch and coffee to go and eat at picnic tables here when kids need to refuel. There’s a second location in Bel Air.
The unique twist here is that they understand that kids need to play, but parents need some pampering too. So you get a break while the kids (ages 18 months and up) can enjoy some supervised play (parents or caregivers have to stay on the premises). They also have Parents Time Out sessions for 4 hours on Sat.
Open Play: Make an appointment or walk-in Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Rate: $13; Supervised play cost $25 for two hours for kids under 3 and $20 for kids over 3
Insider Tip: During supervised sessions, free coffee and wi-fi are available so you can relax, work, or catch up on browsing your favorite parenting website.
This children’s restaurant and play space have spots in Glendale and Woodland Hills full of castles, pirate ships and dragons – oh my! Kids can have loads of fun here running, jumping and playing, and there’s even plenty o’ live entertainment on tap. Play all day and pay based on mobility. Unlike most other spots, this one is open on weekends for free play, although they do host parties then as well so it can get crowded.
Open Play: Mon. – Thurs. 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri. 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Rates: Big kids are $14, $11 for sibs and $8 for non-walkers
Insider Tip: It’s a restaurant (with organic, kid-friendly food). So lunch doesn’t have to be pre-packed or cobbled together out of chips and pastries. And did we mention the wine and beer?
Tube crawls, web crawls, barrel rolls and giant slides are just a few features of Jump ‘n Jammin’s multilevel play structure. This is a spot that is as much fun for the 3-year-old as for the 13-year-old (and Mom and Dad, too). And the best part? They don’t automatically close all weekend for parties and have other locations in Mission Viejo and West Covina.
Open: Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Rate: $14.95 for the first child (plus adult); toddlers are $6.49 plus adult. Additional adults are $3.95
The aptly named spot offers a vast array of indoor and outdoor fun for the little ones up to 10 years of age, featuring a 60-foot inflatable obstacle course, a giant slide, an indoor crooked house and even a race track for the aspiring Andrettis. They also offer Parent’s Night Out at $25 for the first two hours; $10 per each additional hour.
Open Play: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Rates: $10 per child. Monthly memberships are $39 or you can purchase a 10 play pass for $60 that never expires
Insider Tip: If you’re here because it’s too hot to play outside (not too cold), they often break out an inflated water slide to cool kids down on broiling days. So don’t forget the change of clothes!
It’s not just a clever name. Here the monkeys can go bananas and the mommies can get down to business, each with their own dedicated space to do so. With a sweet little courtyard connecting the two diametrically different havens, arrive with a potty trained independent walker, kiss them good-bye, and off you go. The “Escape Artists” (aka awesome kid watchers) will take it from there. You leave for the land of low voices and lattes. This space is best for the under 5 crowd.
Open Play: Mon., Wed., Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Tues., Thurs., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Rate: $12 for kids; $10 for additional sibling
Insider Tip: Hit Proof Bakery afterward for outstanding treats on the way home. Win-win.
Kids World Family Fun Center – Simi Valley Even big kids who think they’re too cool for indoor playspaces will beg to spend the day here. This entertainment spot raises the standards with virtual games, climbing tubes, slides, foam ball launchers, zip lines, basketball court, American Gladiator style arena, a video game floor with motion activated games and old-school arcade. But it’s not just for big kids, there’s also a Toddler Corner designed for children newborn–3 years old for the little ones to learn and play in their own gated space.
Open: Tues.-Sun. at 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Rates: $11.99 admission for kids 24 months-15 years; kids under 2 are $5.99; siblings are $10.99 (weekdays only). Grip socks and arcade games are extra.
Insider Tip: Ahem, with beer (did we not mention that the café serves beer?) and video games, it satisfies everyone and is why we say it’s worth the drive for a rainy day excursion.
We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym – Multiple Locations
We love this unique gym that caters to children with autism and special needs creating a safe and warm environment where they can play and strengthen their muscles and skills. While kids can just have fun, you’ll know that everything here actually serves a positive purpose: swings promote balance, the zip line is for stress release and joint and body relaxation, the trampoline builds core strength and play structures, sensory-based toys and arts & crafts areas all work on motor, social and eye-hand skills. It’s for kids at every spot of the spectrum, and kids of all ages and abilities will have a ball. Rates and hours vary by location. Some spots also offer drop-off care.
Open Play: Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Call ahead on weekends to confirm openings) Rate: $14 per child (siblings $12)
Insider Tip: The whole place is cleaned top to bottom daily with only green products, so the planet will stay as healthy as our kids.
If your pint-sized ‘bosses’ are making it impossible to get any work done on the home front, your productivity quotient during nap time is no longer cutting it, and your laundry heap is taunting you away from a deadline, it’s time to venture to a coworking space that offers childcare! Working moms and dads can now make every day Bring Your Kid to Work Day at one of these awesome locales across the country. Read on for where to get down to business while your kids take their job of play seriously.
photo: Big and Tiny
Big and Tiny – Santa Monica, CA
This newly opened, “integrated learn, work, and play space” has the goal of fostering productivity, creativity and community for kids and parents alike. The modern, streamlined office space allows parents to focus on work, while the boutique playground/creative space dubbed “Tinyland,” which is reminiscent of a castle in the forest, enables kids ages 6 months to 6 years play with sensory-rich sustainable toys that will encourage their imagination. Big and Tiny partnered with School of Wonder to design an educational program for kids that focuses on mindfulness and community-based learning, offering classes including yoga, music, dance, languages, drama and creative movement.
Good to know: They offer an array of co-working plans wherein parents have access to a workspace, printers, WiFi, etc. while kids enjoy enrichment classes and activities.
1731 Ocean Park Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-392-0113 Online: bigandtiny.com
photo: The Hive
The Hive – Austin, TX
The Hive is all the buzz for busy parents in South Austin. Parents can get down to business in their co-working office by renting a desk monthly that comes with childcare, printing, conference room use and even a bottle of wine on Fridays. Parents must remain on-site while their kids are being cared for and they can stay in childcare for up to four hours per day or 12 hours per week. It’s a perk that The Hive has a nice breakfast, lunch and snack menu which includes coffee drinks, smoothies, sandwiches, wraps and more.
Good to know: Not ready to commit to a paid plan? You can visit The Hive free of charge in their indoor/outdoor open seating area, either outside at the picnic tables or inside at the cafe area and lounge and get some work done whileyou supervise your kids play.
10415 Old Manchaca Rd. Austin, TX 78748 512-366-8120 Online: hiveaustin.com
We may still be waiting on equal pay, but in the meantime, there’s Equal Play, a calm and quiet distraction-free, fully-equipped coworking space for parents/loving learning environment for kids “where everyone grows.” The caregivers on staff have taken a minimum of 12 units of Early Childhood Education and are trained in positive discipline so you can rest assured your kiddos (infancy to school-age) are being well cared for in The Play Garden or The Nursery while you work (both are screen-free as well). There are several options of membership as well as hourly and daily rates. Founded by a mom, The Garden by Equal Play wants to accommodate parents by being flexible and working with them to ensure they can meet their needs no matter how large or small. Coffee and tea are complimentary and meals are available for purchase. Kids are treated to a healthy, nut-free breakfast and lunch during their stay.
Good to know: There are nursing/napping rooms outfitted with hospital-grade breast pumps.
More than a co-working spot, The Inc. is on a mission to shift today’s parenting paradigm. Their vision is “to achieve gender equity in entrepreneurship, in the workplace and at home.” They’ve realized that childcare is the most important component of achieving gender equity so they’ve created this “modern-day village” as a brilliant solution. The Inc. affords parents a flexible co-working space where they can drop off their kids in one of the nearby Playschool rooms and go accomplish their work goals. Members have access to parent only co-working rooms, a break room for community connection, high-speed WiFi and printer, a Cowork + Coplay room, free/discounted workshops and classes and more. They want to help parents make the juggling act work by offering a space to learn, work and grow while their toddlers and preschoolers are being cared for.
Good to know: Parents must remain on-site and will be paged if their kiddo needs a diaper change or to use the potty.
Want to combine work, child care and fitness and wellness classes for adults and kids? Then look no further than Workafrolic. This hub of creativity and community enables families to connect with others as well as soar independently. You can either drop in for a few hours of work or join with a monthly membership. The modern shared office space features coffee and tea, WiFi, printer/scanner, etc. as well as wellness classes for an additional fee. Kids ages four weeks to four-years-old will enjoy the childcare space that’s designed to feel like a home with lots of natural sunlight and nice toys and child-led play as well as games and songs. Kids may attend childcare for up to 3 consecutive hours while parents use the co-working space or go off-site.
1707 North Capitol St NE Washington, DC 20002 202-506-2770 Online: workafrolic.com
photo: Live Love Lens Photography
Work and Play – South Orange, NJ
Work and Play offers a flexible, state-licensed early childhood Reggio-inspired program for parents who utilize their workspace, as well as customized schedules for other parents in the community that need part-time care. Available to kids under age six, the program seeks to create independent thinkers and a new generation of entrepreneurs. Both their co-working space and their early childhood program are about building community, and their mission is to offer a solution to working parents who want to continue building their own careers and professional development while also taking part in the day-to-day activities of their families. For parents worried about the division of work and play, it’s good to know that a lot of care went into soundproofing so that adults barely know there are kids in the same building. The early childcare program is on the lower level, and the office space is above them on the first floor. Each also has separate entrances, so those without kids downstairs won’t even know there’s childcare on site.
Good to know: Work and Play have two locations in South Orange. Their flagship at 19 Prospect St. is the location that has childcare. Their second location – just down the street – has private offices and an additional co-working space and a meeting room.
Nido is a co-working community that began with a potluck and has founding members who have based their model on building community between families. They’ve masterfully fused their on-site Montessori preschool with office space for parents––and this not-for-profit business considers themselves a movement toward a “new way of living and working and being with each other.” The co-working space is a hub for those who work remotely or run small businesses and Nido describes their environment as a “femicentric space” in which they aim to support the lives and needs of women and mothers. A $200/month membership grants you 24/7 hour access to the space, unlimited coffee and WiFi, printer/copier and ten hours of monthly conference room time as well as the support and camaraderie of other co-workers. To add childcare to the mix, click here for the pricing options on membership plans that include tuition to the on-site preschool. The Montessori school offers half-day morning or afternoon options for kids ages six months to six-years-old and the ambiance is serene and beautiful while the learning focus encourages kids to be “productive, creative and self-driven,” “a perfect mirror” to their co-working space.
At Play, Work or Dash, kids ages nine months to eight-years-old can enjoy singing, dancing, music, story time, arts and crafts and holiday-themed parties in the playroom while you get your work done without interruption. Slide into an open desk and fuel up with a cup of complimentary coffee or tea, log on to the high-speed Internet and go. You can use the Play and Work service for up to three hours per day and the “Dash” service (short-term, drop-off childcare for kids age two and older) lets you leave the premises to run an errand, go to a meeting, etc.
Good to know: You can check-in on your kids via a tablet that shows a live video feed.
HackerMoms could be just the village you’re looking for. This band of mothers helps alleviate the isolation of motherhood by offering a community where members can explore creativity, crafts, hacker/maker culture, entrepreneurship and more with the convenience of on-site childcare space. The membership (dues are $80/month) grants you 24/7 access to the space as well as tools (Epson Stylus Pro 9880 large format industrial printer, a Juki industrial sewing machine, a standard Brother sewing machine and some smaller power tools) and the chance to utilize childcare at an hourly fee and free workshops and peer to peer skill-shares. If this sounds like your vibe, visit an open house meeting (offered twice monthly) or make an appointment to go in and meet the other moms and introduce your kids. Then complete their membership application and have a reference check for child safety. Parents must stay on-site to utilize the childcare for kids ages 5 months-6 years-old. HackerMoms allows the kids to meander between their room and the workspace so moms can model “active, creative lives for their kids.”
Good to know: For heavy-duty power tools, members can go to their partner hackerspace up the street, Ace Monster Toys, to use a CNC machine, laser cutter, makerbots, 3D printers, a full woodshop and electronics lab and more.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Giocare Play Spot offers parents the ability to use their workspace while their kids play in the on-site play room. Kids will enjoy activities, organized play and music and movement while parents can get to work using the high-speed Internet, laser printer, charging station, office supplies, coffee and tea and the ability to work uninterrupted and without worry, as the kids are just a room away. The daily rate is $45 and the monthly rate is $250.
A new business that is both a children’s learning spot and a co-working space for parents has opened up shop in the neighborhood. Located at 1731 Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica, the new arrival is called Big and Tiny.
Founded by a working mom and entrepreneur, this newcomer strives “to support and empower” parents and guardians so they can better balance personal and professional lives, explains the business on its website.
An assortment of developmental and educational classes are on offer, from preschool prep and after-school programs to enrichment classes such as Tiny Islanders — a 13-week course designed to introduce little ones to the Polynesian Islands through dance, song, children’s literature and play. (You can view a full listing of classes and programs here.)
A dedicated co-working area is available as well, for parents in need of some quiet working space or much-needed time off.
The fresh arrival has proven popular thus far, with a five-star rating out of seven reviews on Yelp.
Gina A., who was among the first Yelpers to review the new spot on Aug. 14, wrote, “I signed my daughter up for summer camp and she had a blast! Some days I stayed and got some work done in the co-working area or hung out in the quiet back patio just reading a book. The space is exquisitely decorated and is perfect for either work or just relax.”
“My 3.5-year-old goes here and it’s honestly been a game-changer for us!” shared Yelper Aaron I. “She does yoga, learns music, gets to play with other little ones and is sharpening her skills as a thoughtful member of society, all in one brilliantly designed space with great people leading the charge.”
Intrigued? Stop in to check it out for yourself. Big and Tiny is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays.