The Coop: A Modern and Hip Play Place in the Valley

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carole-rosnerBY CAROLE ROSNER

I’ve driven by The Coop on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City for months, wondering what kind of place it is. I’ve seen the bright and sunny sign and the big tables inside, but couldn’t figure it out. Is it a new restaurant, production house or design studio? I decided to stop in and find out.  Good thing. What a find it is.

The Coop owners Lucinda Lent and Julia Boydston

The Coop friends and owners (L-R) Lucinda Lent and Julia Boydston

“Play, Party, Shop, Coffee…Built for kids. Designed for you,” is not just a motto at The Coop — it’s a whole new play culture for kids and their parents.

Balls

Owners and moms Juliet Boydstun and Lucinda Lent opened The Coop in October, 2008. The two women have been friends for more than 15 years.  Lent was raised in Australia, while Boydstun is from Maryland. “We had mutual friends from Nantucket,” said Boydstun.  “When Lucinda was heading this way a couple of months after I had made the move, I offered her a couch to crash on… our lives have been entertwined ever since!”  It’s nice to have great friends when you are so far from home. We really are like family.”

When they had kids, the two women decided they wanted a place to take them that wasn’t as crazy and loud as what was around town.  They wanted it to be hip, cool, modern and playful — and a place where adults could relax while their kids played.

As for the name, Lent said,  “I wanted to name the space “Kid” but Disney owned that name. I was watching the movie “High Noon” with Gary Cooper and I thought of The Coop.”   Once they found the space, they enlisted their kids to help them choose the toys and furniture to fill it.

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Inside the doors of the 3000-square-foot play and party center is a ball pit overflowing with 30,000 orange, yellow and white balls (sanitized every night), a giant rope-climbing tube that takes you up to the second floor, a custom moon bouncer and a huge spiral slide.

Star Wars party

There’s a beautiful, sleek outdoor patio with lounging couches and redwood tables. Also, free Wi-Fi,  a full coffee bar  with cappuccinos, mochas, lattes and biscotti, and a slew of fabulous issues of current lifestyle and fashion magazines (no old ripped copies of People and Redbook here).   There are snacks for kids, such as bananas, pretzels, fig newtons,  pretzels, animal cookies, as well as organic popsicles from thepopshoponline.com.

Parties are a huge and unique part of The Coop’s business. “Our parties are so painless for the parents,” said Boydstun, who explains that The Coop does everything for you—from kid-friendly food and  floor-to-ceiling decorations to non-stop activities and party favors that often outshine the gifts brought to the party.  Boydstun and Lent say it’s hard for both kids and parents to leave the parties.

With themes like “Mid-Summer’s Nights Dream,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Pinkalicious” and “Star Wars,” The Coop often books six parties per weekend. Parents have brought in live music, petting zoos, jewelry-makers and even fire trucks to add to these themed parties.

Outside patio

And it doesn’t just end with kids parties. They’ve also done several cocktail parties (kid/adult combos) as well as baby showers, including co-ed, evening, and traditional ones.

Once you’ve been to The Coop, you’ll never look at a play place again the same way.

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The Coop. 11118 Ventura Blvd Studio City (818) 760-9613 Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm Closed weekends for parties. Free parking in private lot, metered on street.  Open play is $8 per child. www.thecoop-la.com

Carole Rosner is a native Valley Girl who has lived in Studio City for the past 11 years. She is a strong supporter of her local public schools and an active volunteer in her neighborhood. Some of her favorite things to do in Studio City are to celebrate 4th of July at CBS Radford, walk along Ventura Blvd. and browse through the racks at Crossroads Trading Company.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • http://www.jackiehouchin.com Jackie Houchin

    WOW! What a place. It’s worth a trip to Studio City…even if you don’t have kids.

  • http://mommyadventureclub.com Carrie Robertson

    I’m so glad you reviewed the Coop! This is one of our family’s FAVORITE indoor play spaces. It’s a space that *I* enjoy going to as much as my kids…and I have to bribe them out of the ball pit, lol!
    Thumbs up, four stars, must-see, all that stuff…worth the trip!

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