Wow. Wow wow wow. WOW. I loveKid Ventures in Pismo Beach. I found it online, and decided that we as a family should go today. It was a little more expensive than I prefer- I'm used to Playwerx where we pay $10 total for entrance. This place was $20 total, but as a whole day, would be totally worth it. I didn't find out until we were close to leaving that they close early on Saturdays and Sundays for afternoon birthday parties. But I had made the lunches, and packed everything else, so we decided that three hours should be enough for the kids.
This place has it all. A grocery store. A diner. A fire engine. A pirate ship. A giant castle with two slides and a play area underneath. A disco room. A nursery complete with babies and doll-size high chairs, cribs, etc. An art room. A library. Each section I just mentioned has child-size accommodations which allow the kids to pretend they work at a diner, grocery shop, etc. Complete with costumes, props and cameras in every room which are fed into a big flat screen TV in the Parent's Cafe which is in the center of it all. Provided your children will play without your presence (Genny won't but Glenn will) you could sit and have a coffee or smoothie, or any of the yummy selections off the menu while your child plays happily- all the while keeping an eye on them via the cameras aforementioned. Each 'room' has a giant window cut out of the inside wall so that parents can see in if they need to, but it still gives the feel of a room all itself which I think enhances the imaginative play inside.
The only down side besides the price? The location. It took us 45 minutes to get there, so it's a bit of a drive. I'm not too worried about it, we have plenty of selections up here (not like this though!) but when I find myself going to San Diego for an appointment for Genny, I think we may end up at Kid Ventures after.