The new Los Angeles County museum was created by the same organization behind the former Zimmer Children's Museum, which was located along the Miracle Mile, and offers up a kids’ museum in a city that can always use more. “A children’s museum design is meant to flip the way the world works,” Cayton CEO and founder Esther Netter recently told the Los Angeles Times. “You cross our threshold, and kids decide where to go. Nowhere else in the world do kids decide.” Such museums, she adds, are meant to be “played with, broken, destroyed, replaced, and revised.”
Certainly, the 21,000-square-foot museum is very hands-on: Kids can practice being on a rescue mission by sitting in a repurposed, first-responder helicopter, or boarding a recycled Coast Guard rescue boat set afloat in an ocean-like ball pit. Next, they can make their way up the Courage Climber, a web of ropes suspended from the ceiling. Or, they can put on a costume and get in front of the green screen in the on-site theatre.
The Cayton also offers two things that families already like: a shopping center and easy access to a beach. Santa Monica Place is also home to a Disney store, along with Barney’s, Tiffany & Co., and many places to eat, from classic food court options to foodie magnets such as Pinches Tacos and True Food Kitchen (or, take a cooking class at the Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories).
Check the museum’s home page for special art-making sessions or other activities. The Cayton also offers a pretty economical admission of $14 per person.