Bright Child

Best Indoor Play Center, February 2007

When the weather’s hot and the prospect of terrorizing the local park fails to inspire, indoor play centers present a happy alternative. Many have their strengths (Kid Concepts U.S.A. in Torrance, for instance, has an enormous play structure, a climbing wall, and a dress-up area that send kids into a frenzy), but Bright Child in Santa Monica stands out. Its main structure is a towering skein of crisscrossing, corkscrewing plastic tubes. There’s a tiny “putting green” and a small section for shooting hoops, as well as an arts-and-crafts area and rooms reserved for parties and “parent-and-me” classes. The place is clean and well maintained. Perhaps the biggest surprise, at least for parents, is the lunch counter. It’s not cheap, but the food’s good.