Make, play and be inspired at Twirl, an art and play space for kids that opened last spring in Alameda. Kids and adults are welcome to drop in and make art, with themes ­– ranging from nature to time travel – changing regularly. The play space for younger children inspires imaginative play with a construction zone, book nook and more. Classes and Friday evening drop-offs for kids ages 3-10 ($35) are also available. Drop-in: $12 per child, adults free. 1424 Park St., Alameda. 510-473-0812. 
The Butterfly Joint
Children as young as 18 months can learn the art of woodworking at The Butterfly Joint, a new woodworking studio opened by parents Danny Montoya and Erin Feher. Kids clock in with punch cards, don kid-sized aprons and, at the sound of a whistle, get started on projects that teach traditional joinery techniques, instead of using nails and screws. The youngest artisans work with prefabricated projects. Those ages 8 and up create projects from scratch. Camps, drop-in classes and series classes range from $30-75. 2640 Mission St., San Francisco. 415-894-2685.
Billy Beez
San Jose’s newest indoor play space opened in June in Westfield Oakridge mall. The 22,000-square-foot space offers tons of fun for kids big and little – and their parents, too – with slides, trampolines, ball canons, a jungle gym, sports courts and more, plus a separate village area for toddlers with large-scale playhouses and cars. There’s also a full café. All-day drop-in play is $19.95 for ages 5 and up, $9.95 for 4 and under and $6.95 for adults. Discount 10-packs are also available. In addition, Billy Beez offers drop-off date nights every Friday from 7-9:30 p.m. for $29.95 per child. Drop-offs are also available by reservation at other times. 925 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose. 408-300-9547. 
La Petite Playhouse
This 10,000-square-foot indoor play space has been drawing rave reviews since it was opened in 2014 by parents Christian and Anya Hall (whose parents own the La Petite Baleen swim schools). The huge undersea-themed play structure includes plenty of climbing and sliding for kids 10 and under, and there’s a separate structure for kids 3 and under. There are also two sport courts, a climbing wall and free WiFi. The admission price for all-day play (no in-and-out privileges) is just $10, and discounted passes for multiple visits are available. 1264 Oddstad Drive, Redwood City. 650-642-9444. 
 Things We Like celebrates the best products, people and places that make parenting fun. Got a suggestion? Email [email protected] or submit your idea at


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