Don’t start your sentences with, “When I was young...” just yet. Why not revisit those yesteryears and be a kid again. Chuck E. Cheese is the place to venture when you want to be a kiddo once more. Though Chuck E.’s animatronic band isn’t quite the same anymore, their pizza is delish and the same old air hockey table is still up and running. But a slice of pepperoni and a small-size drink does not fill up that child within you.
Fear not, there’s more to do and more to see. As a tyke, you might’ve pointed your finger out the window at places that left you in awe while sitting in the back seat. Now that you have a few greenbacks or plastic in your pocket, do some of the following feel-good activities with friends, family or solo. Hop on board, turn up the exuberance and remember that being a kid every now and then is absolutely cool.
Bob Baker Marionette Theater (1345 W. 1st St., Los Angeles; bobbakermarionettes.com) Watch as puppets come to life on stage. Each ticket is $20, and the shows vary from season to season.
Bowling: Be an alley cat at Pinz (12655 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; pinzbowlingcenter.com) and experience the world-class bowling combo: fun, drinks, music and food at the same time. Oh, and did we mention that they have a full arcade with air hockey? Just saying.
California Science Center (700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles; californiasciencecenter.org): Brush up on your sciences in over 100 mind-stimulating exhibits. Wearing the lab coat and goggles are totally optional. On your way out, make sure to visit the souvenir shop where there are all sorts of crazy, science thingamabobs.
Color Me Mine (various locations; colormemine.com): Pick your ceramic piece, design and color it, fire it in the kiln and finally, take your masterpiece home.
Golf N’ Stuff (10555 E. Firestone Blvd., Norwalk; golfnstuff.com): The Karate Kid (1984) featured this place. Need we say more? This Norwalk fun spot has it all: an arcade, bumper boats, a miniature golf course.
Kids Castle (2814 W. Empire Ave., Burbank; kidscastleusa.com): Go back to medieval times. This lair involves dragons, games, rides and royal packages. There’s an arcade and a Castle Cafe, where you can feast on a variety of choices like a grilled New York steak or good old-fashioned pizza.
The Park: It’s the place that felt like Narnia. It’s where you seemed to run forever and went higher and higher on the swings. Be spontaneous and explore a new park. You can have a picnic, eat ice cream and unleash your imagination. Here’s an idea: Switch up your indoor gym for the monkey bars or challenge a buddy to a little one-on-one in the paint.
Read to Kids/Volunteer: There’s nothing wrong with being a bookworm on a Saturday morning. Surround yourself with smiling faces that are eager to learn and create an imaginary world for kids by reading to them.
Spontaneous Fantasia: Get in touch with your imagination inside the Glendale Planetarium (1500 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale; spontaneousfantasia.com). In this one-hour animation, J-Walt creates an entire 3-D world right before your eyes.
Ultrazone Laser Tag (231 E. Main St., Alhambra; lalasertag.com): Take cover and get physical in Ultrazone’s high-tech domain just a few miles from downtown. Every game is $8 per person, but on Wednesdays and Thursdays you can play forever (till closing) for $15 per person.
World on Wheels (4645 1/2 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles): Dust off those skates and groove. Don’t have balance? No sweat. They offer skating lessons for $25, which will have you gliding on the rink like Tony Manero on wheels.