Skye and I were walking down Rodeo Drive finishing our Christmas shopping (ok, we were window shopping, I’m not taking a toddler with candy cane hands into any store on that street). She was utterly unimpressed with the jewelry stores, the clothes, the watches, the handbags. Even some of the more inventive window displays didn’t catch her interest (though the sketchy ice cream van pulled up along the side of the street was a definite draw).
She was on her best behavior because we’d just gone to see Santa and she’d asked him for a pair of ballet slippers and he’d told her to be good, be loving, and leave a carrot out for his reindeer on Christmas Eve. We’d had a bit of hot chocolate and she was working on the candy cane Santa gave her, posing for pictures for me, but calmly hoping we would stop soon or go to a playground.
We almost walked past the store front – it looked like an expensive art gallery (much like the one we’d just past that was selling Rembrandt) – except that, when I glanced in, the whole room was colorful and people were going in with their kids. Whatever it was, it was clearly kid friendly. Skye, being on her best behavior, agreed to go in with me, though I don’t think she was particularly excited about the idea.
We watched for a minute as people dressed up, explored the art display, and I helped several people take group pictures. Skye got the idea quickly. Almost every display had a little girl sized dress, generally with a fluffy skirt, that she could put on. There appeared to be eight different sections, each painted floor to ceiling in vibrant colors with furniture, props, costumes, accessories, and more. We went from section to section exploring, dressing up, playing with the scene, and then moving on.
Watching other kids, Skye quickly got the hang of posing, moving the parasol around to the side, or pretending to bite into the colorful food. We tried out every section before we left, with Skye declaring that a “fun stop.”
I love finding unexpected things in our explorations. We try to hit the touristy high points, but often it’s the small random discoveries that bring the biggest smiles and make the best memories.