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Kids Can Play in Temecula, Too

Painted Earth Pottery and Art Studio
Painted Earth Pottery and Art Studio
Photo by Aaron Linsdau

Where do you take the children to have a good time in Temecula? The massive growth of the population over the last few years has brought businesses in droves to this San Diego-area community, but not too many businesses were child-friendly or dedicated to children. That has since changed. Read on for some options of where to take the little ones and what to do once you’re there.

Venture down to the corner of Rancho California Road and Ynez Road to spend some quality time with the semi-indigenous waterfowlat theTemecula Duck Pond. If you go across the street to Vons, you can purchase inexpensive bread to feed the ducks. The ducks have never seemed particular about their bread, so you need only purchase the cheap stuff and save the organic seven-grain loaf for yourself. After doing that, go over to Pat and Oscars overlooking the pond, and pick up a lunch of chicken, salad and breadsticks. You’ll end up eating the salad and chicken and the kids will happily wolf down the child-satisfying breadsticks. Bring a blanket so you can sit on the grass surrounding the pond. Make sure to watch the little ones, as they will not be able to resist attempting to swim with the ducks. The pond area is surrounded by a low-slung fence with a gate at the parking lot, as both adjacent roads are quite busy. A small Japanese shrine and garden decorate the entrance to the duck pond. Park benches surround the walkway around the pond, and picnic tables are available on the opposite side of the parking lot. There is a massive grass area and a small slope where you can keep an eye on your brood while taking in the warm California sun. Public restrooms are near the picnic area.

Is your child an artist? Then visit Painted Earth Pottery and Art Studio. Here, you will find literally hundreds of different molded pottery items ready to be stenciled and painted. There are pots, plates, dishes, mugs, frames and more artsy pieces to choose from, with multiple varieties of each. You can spend several hours choosing your paints, style and artistic approach to your work, as there is only the cost of the item plus a flat studio fee. If you need some guidance, the helpful staff are able to provide you with inspiration from a completed selection of works. Once you complete your own painted rendition of Michelangelo’s David, leave it with the studio and they will fire it in their kilns. The piece will be ready in one week. 27507 Ynez Road, Temecula. 951-676-2447. Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Child’s Play in southern Temecula is a massive indoor play area for children, six months to six years, to climb on the broad selection of indoor jungle gyms, slides, miniature tree houses, cushioned vehicles and more. The entire facility has brightly painted walls and a white ceiling, giving the feel of a play area even more expansive than it actually is. A broad sweeping counter with elementary school chairs allows your kids to sit and watch, draw or just take a moment of down time before getting back into the fun. Children above seven years old are allowed to be with the smaller children but are required to play at an age-appropriate level, as the facility is targeted toward toddlers. Child’s Play requires parent or guardian attendance with the children at all times, as it is not a day care facility. You don’t have to worry about leaving your children in the hands of others while still having access to a dizzying array of play pens, ball pits and massive plastic toys that won’t fit in the average household. The adults are also required to sign a waiver form on their first visit, too. It’s important not to bring your children when they have the sniffles, and Child’s Play is good about enforcing this. They make sure you wash your hands when entering and leaving the play area. Also, they sanitize and clean the play area daily. Socks are required and can be purchased if you forget them. Although food is not allowed in the play area, birthday parties, where the whole building is rented out after normal business hours, can be arranged. Make sure to contact Child’s Play for timing and arrangements. You can pay for a single visit or purchase multiple visit passes. Call for current prices. 28860 Old Town Front Street, Suite A2, Temecula. 951-699-7696. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Friday 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Temeku Cinemas located near K-Mart on Ynez Road is a best-bet for watching movies with the kiddies without breaking the bank. Instead of the wallet-busting $12 tickets that the bigger theaters in the valley charge, consider $3.50 for matinee and $4.25 for the evening. For adults at the big theaters, the last time we saw these prices was in the early 1990s. Here, you can spend less than $20 for movies with the whole family and still have enough left over for drinks to wash down a buttery, salted tub of popcorn. For the more well-heeled, it’s even possible to rent out an entire theater for $65 per hour (at the time of this writing) to play Xbox, Playstation, Wii or just watch your own DVD. You need to call the theater at least two weeks in advance to make arrangements and pay the deposit. Even though this sounds expensive, if you consider that two parents with three children will cost at least that much to watch a movie minus any of the concessions, it can be a great way to have the memorable ultimate blow-out birthday party or other special occasion. 26463 Ynez Road, Temecula. 951-296-9310.

Pennypickle’s Workshop, the Temecula Children’s Museum is the place to have your children play and learn at the same time. With over 7,000 square feet of learning space in Temecula’s Old Town, children can get their hands on both old and new inventions. They will be educated on how these items work and the history behind them. The museum is divided into several different themed rooms, reflecting the Jules Verne approach to packing as many entertaining and singular items into a small space as possible. The museum has different session hours that are led by museum docents. Although you are not required to reserve a session, it is advised in case there is a special event such a birthday party already arranged. Call for specific session hours. 42081 Main Street, Old Town Temecula. 951-308-6376.

Just off Murrieta Hot Springs and I-15 is Mulligan Family Fun Center, one of the ultimate kid and adult playgrounds in the valley. Here, you will find a few hours or even a full day of entertainment to keep both you and the young ones busy. Outside, there are two 18-hole miniature golf courses with different themes complete with sand and water traps to test your putting and sportsmanship skills.If you have a little Dale Earnhardt or Danica Patrick in the family, the go-kart racing track is perfect (children must be over four years old and 40 inches tall as passengers, and over 56 inches tall for drivers). For the little ones, there is a rookie go-kart track for children between 40 and 58 inches tall. The center even has rides like the classic tea cups, train ride and a kangaroo jump. No amusement center is complete without batting cages, with speeds ranging from 40 m.p.h. to 70 m.p.h. Inside is a laser tag room where you can make teams and zap each other with lasers until one team is eliminated. You might choose to pit the children against the adults and find out if all those hours spent playing Black Ops and Halo video games translates to the real world. The arcade is full of first person action, racing and docile classic video games. You can duke it out over several air hockey tables, an indoor rock wall, miniature bowling alley, and play area. Check out the $12 Tuesday special, which includes unlimited use of laser tag, the rock wall, bowling, kiddie korral and more. Call for hours, as there can be a special event. 24950 Madison Avenue, Murrieta. 951-696-9696. Monday - Thursday 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday 12 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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  • City: Temecula