Friday, August 11, 2023

Cardboard City LA Eco Kid Free Family Fun

Family Fun

MBE partnered with Cardboard City for this post

by Rachel Marks
MBE Kids Editor

Cardboard City Open July 21 through September 3

There's an exciting activity available for families to do together in Southern California this summer. Part eco-friendly kids museum, part recycled arts and crafts hands on workshop for the whole family, Cardboard City is open to the public at Westfield Century City shopping center in Los Angeles now through Labor Day weekend, September 4.

Dad Son Family Recycled Cardboard Crafts

At Cardboard City, parents, kids and extended family members can view and enjoy inspirational museum-quality works by LA-based artists. They can also make cardboard creations of their own with crafting materials provided, chat with the artists-in-residence, participate in story time, and visit the Cardboard City gift shop. 

The interactive exhibit and family art program evolves throughout the summer as the staff artists create new works each week, incorporating elements created by Cardboard City participants. This rare opportunity allows for youth and adults to come together from a variety of cultures and explore their creativity. In addition to the free components of the event venue's space, there is also select paid programming taking place throughout the summer.

Young Boys CheckOut Giant Red Dragon Recyled Cardboard Sculpture Kids Art Museum

My Family's Hands On Experience

I'm thrilled to share my wonderful personal experience at Cardboard City with my two sons, Izzy (age 5) and Ori (age 2). From the moment we stepped into this magical, creative wonderland, we were met with warmth and enthusiasm by delightful staff members, Emeeka Simmons and Jennifer Racusin. Their patience and genuine interest in making our visit enjoyable made all the difference. The main highlight of our visit was the opportunity to let our imaginations run wild as we embarked on two fantastic cardboard crafting projects. 

With the assistance of Emeeka and Jennifer, both full-time art teachers, we embarked on creating a cardboard version of Catboy from PJ Masks, one of my boys' favorite characters. The excitement and joy in the kids' eyes as we transformed a simple cardboard into a superhero together were truly priceless. Next, we decided to construct a cardboard house and decorate it with cork people.

Toddler Girl Playing With Recycled Cardboard


The creativity flowed effortlessly, and I was impressed by how skillfully staffers guided my sons, helping them bring their ideas to life. As a parent, it was heartwarming to see them working together and bonding over their shared craft projects. Even my youngest, my 8-month-old daughter, wasn't left out of the fun! She was provided with a safe and enjoyable play area where she could explore and interact with cardboard in her own way. Watching her laughter and curiosity as she explored the cardboard sizes textures and shapes was truly heartwarming. 

But the experience didn't end with crafting projects alone. Jennifer, with warm storytelling vibes, captivated all of us, young and old alike. She painted vivid worlds with her words, and it was evident that she loved her craft. My boys were mesmerized, hanging on to every word she said as she read to them. It was a beautiful and interactive storytelling session that left us with cherished memories. 

Throughout the day, Emeeka and Jennifer made us feel as if we were more than just customers; they made us feel like family. They went above and beyond to ensure our visit was enjoyable and memorable, from start to finish. From offering helpful tips during the crafting process to engaging in light-hearted conversations, their genuine care and attention to detail were evident in every interaction. 

Family Kids Recycling Cardboard Into Art

Cardboard City at Westfield Century City truly excels in fostering creativity and family bonding. The cozy and inviting atmosphere combined with the attentive staff created an environment where all ages from a variety of backgrounds can feel comfortable exploring their imaginations. As a parent, I appreciated how the activities catered to children of various ages, making it a perfect family outing.

The joy of crafting with my hubbie and sons, seeing their smiles and laughter, and experiencing the magic of storytelling all in one place was an unforgettable, fanciful experience. Thank you, Cardboard City and staff for providing us with such a pleasantly positive and memorable day. We can't wait to return and transform recycled cardboard into more beautiful crafts and artwork together as a family.

To sum it all up, I can confidently say that this visit to Cardboard City will be etched in our hearts for years to come and those of you with children who are lucky enough to be living (or visiting) the LA-area this summer should definitely consider taking your family here.

Where and When

Families are invited to discover Cardboard City for yourselves at Westfield Century City shopping mall, 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, located on the 2nd floor, next door to Eataly and Macy's. Through September 4, 2023, operating hours are Wednesday to Friday Noon - 6 pm and weekends Saturday and Sunday from 10 am - 6 pm, including toddler-friendly crafting specially-designed for kids 2-5 years old  from 10 am - Noon. reDiscover Cardboard City is free and is open to the public.

Recycled Cardboard Angel Wings Skirt DIY Costume
image courtesy of Cardboard City

About Cardboard City 2023

Now in its third season and considered by many to be among LA's best family art education programs, the annual pop-up art center Cardboard City runs for 7 weeks from July 21 - September 4 and is produced by reDiscover Center. Partnering with Westfield Century City, this summer museum-style exhibition will have 12' sculptures, massive collaborative art installations, cardboard costuming, skills building classes, and community connections. Sponsored by City of Los Angeles DCA, Los Angeles Department of Arts and Culture, CA Arts Council, Herb Alpert Foundation, Adobe, Makedo, Clif Family Foundation, and the Getty Foundation. Get more information about Cardboard City, see special programming schedule and register for art classes.

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