Toy Hall settles in, other kid-friendly spaces abound

| March 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

MIRACLE MILE TOY HALL has a variety of toys and activities at its new location.

When Whimsic Alley closed its doors last July, it opened up possibilities for Miracle Mile Toys and owner Christine Johnson and business partner Carrie Burkle-Harr. The store promptly moved across the street and has spent the last several months settling in.

Keeping the village layout that former Whimsic Alley had put in place, Miracle Mile Toy Hall now uses the different village “shops” as rooms for different types of toys, from toddler toys to board and card games, and building blocks to dollhouses.

The space is also used for birthday parties and other events, as well as groups such as Bob Baker Marionette Theater, which gives monthly  performances (Burkle-Harr is a board member for the theater). There is a “Critter Visit” on Wednesdays, where kids can meet animals. In February, a photo booth was set up for kids to get their pictures taken and make a card. In April, Young Ninjas USA will have a ninja party at Toy Hall.

Miracle Mile Toy Hall

5464 Wilshire Blvd.


Toys, toys, toys

If you can’t get enough toys at Toy Hall, Kip’s Toyland is arguably the oldest toy store around the Mile. The Farmers Market shop carries a selection of classic and retro toys, and it is always worth a visit for kids of all ages, and their parents, who want to get away from technology.

Kip’s Toyland, Farmers Market

6333 W. 3rd St., Stall 720


Story times, art, science

But there’s more than toys to occupy a child or teen in this neighborhood. From story times for toddlers to earning community service hours for teens, to art, science and more, families can find it in the Mile.


Student Smart, story times, crafts, volunteer hours

Programs vary from month to month, but kids from ages 18 months to 18 years have many options for activities at local libraries.

At the Fairfax Branch, “Bark,” which helps children develop reading skills by bringing therapy dogs for them to read to, comes through once or twice a month. Story times for both babies and toddlers are weekly.

At Memorial Branch is a social justice story time once a month for children ages 4 to 8 years, and a junior scientist club for 4th to 8th graders.

At both branches, teens can sign up for craft times, game days, volunteer hours, and a Student Smart study series.

Fairfax Library

161 S. Gardner St.



Memorial Library

4625 W. Olympic Blvd.



Crafting art

CraftLab Workshops are offered on the second Sunday of the month for families and people of all ages.

Other craft workshops, including yarn bombing, jewelry making and more, may be more appropriate for teenagers on up.

Craft & Folk Art

5814 Wilshire Blvd.


Ice Age shows, day camp

Kids of all ages, and their families, can watch “Titans of the Ice Age” in 3-D or see the “Ice Age Encounters” puppet show, featuring a “saber-tooth cat” and her kitten Nibbles. The show performs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Kindergarten to fifth graders can attend “Adventures in Nature,” a two-day spring camp, Wed., March 28 and Thurs., March 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Summer day camp will run from Mon., June 18 to Fri., Aug. 3.

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

5801 Wilshire Blvd.


NexGen, brush painting

Children up to age 17 can register for the NexGen program at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This provides a free entrance to museum exhibits. There are also Andell Family Sundays, which include artist-led workshops and family-friendly gallery tours. 

The Boone Children’s Gallery in the Hammer Building is a free creative space where visitors of all ages are invited to learn the art of East Asian brush painting.

Los Angeles County

Museum of Art

5905 Wilshire Blvd.


Field trips, art, story times

A Purim party with noisemakers and feathery masks is Sun., March 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. Storytime and crafts recognizing women’s contribution to history is Sun., March 11, 2 to 4 p.m. There are also story times, messy art classes and preschool prep classes throughout the week.

Camp Sharewell, a spring day camp for kids ages three to eight, will be Mon., March 26 to Fri., March 30 and Mon., April 2 to Thurs., April 5. Art, crafts, music and other activities focus on social responsibility. Students can sign up for separate days or all week.

Zimmer Children’s Museum

6505 Wilshire Blvd., #100


Other venues

Dr. Seuss’ birthday,

story times

Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday Fri., March 2 at 6:30 p.m. with games, treats and Dr. Seuss stories.

Other story times at Barnes and Noble are Saturdays at 11 a.m. March 3 is “A Very Hungry Caterpillar,” March 10 is “The Magician’s Hat,” March 17 is “The Gingerbread Man and the Leprechaun” and March 24 is “The Little Blue Truck.”

Call store or check website for other events.

Barnes & Noble

189 The Grove Dr., Ste. K 30


Music, crafts, food

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with traditional Irish food, activities for the kids and live music Fri., March 17. There will be strolling Irish folk bands and a bagpiper throughout the afternoon.

Other family activities include live music, parades and other activities the rest of the year, usually centered on holiday and seasonal events.

Farmers Market

6333 3rd St.

Swim and play

Water safety, swimming skills and being more comfortable in the water are all taught at the Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy. Besides parent-tot classes, there are also small groups by age and skill level. Private lessons are also available. There is usually a summer swim camp. Also, the academy is available for pool parties.

Lenny Krayzelburg

Swim Academy

5870 Olympic Blvd.


Basketball, swimming,


Basketball, swimming and more are available at Westside Jewish Community Center.

Basketball for ages 3 to 17 is on Mondays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturdays 2 to 6 p.m. Family swim time is on Sundays from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Teens can also take part in overnight camps, summer day camps, a bakery for social change and other community events.

JExplorers helps kids kindergarten to fifth grade learn about Jewish culture, religion  and heritage through field trips and other activities.

Parents with infants up to 18 months can go to Friday Friends once a month to connect with other adults and celebrate Shabbat. A family-friendly community Shabbat with crafts and dessert also happens monthly.

Westside Jewish

Community Center

5870 Olympic Blvd.


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Category: Entertainment

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