Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Day in Nerd Heaven With My Daughter...

Let's just start off with saying: I am not above bribing my kids to get them to do well with something.

It seems that even though my husband and I are HUGE bookworms, our 8 year old daughter struggles to share our enthusiasm sometimes. It's not that she doesn't like to read, because when she's into a book, she enjoys it. It's that she's an 8 year old who feel like she has better things to do, and gets lazy about reading.

Her school uses the Accelerated Reader, or AR, program, to test kids on reading comprehension, and each test rewards kids with points that accumulate throughout the year. The school sets a certain goal for each grade (The 3rd grade goal is 35 points for the school year, which in my opinion is really low, but I think it's so that it is achievable for all the kids. Most books are worth 0.5-3.0 points, but the bigger the book, the more points it's worth.) and when the students reach their goal, they get a t-shirt and are entered into book an prize raffles at an end-of-year assembly.

So we've started setting slightly higher goals for my girl, and she gets to choose what rewards she wants. When she reached 100 points, I took her shopping and to lunch at the mall. At 125 points, she got to go to an awesome locally owned paint-your-own-pottery place, called Missus Potts.

So for reaching 150 points, she said she wanted to go somewhere to eat that was fancy. She chose The Cheesecake Factory.

And since her earning 150 points coincided with the most awesome Doctor Who craft boutique ever hosted by Whimsic Alley in Los Angeles (brought to my attention by my good friend Kit, owner of Kit's Designs, who was vending there), I decided to take her to the Cheesecake Factory at The Grove in LA, about a mile from Whimsic Alley.

My girl and me, in our Disney-Who mashup shirts.
Mine is Rapunzel and the TARDIS, and hers is Merida and the TARDIS.
They're Karen Hallion shirts. Karen Hallion shirts are cool.
Also notice the TARDIS necklace, made by Kit's designs...

Even though we're still trying to instill that love of reading in our daughter, she's already a lover of all things geeky, especially Doctor Who and Harry Potter.

And, oh my, this store is HEAVEN for us nerdy types!

Whimsic Alley
Geeky T's! Love me some Firefly!

You walk in, and it's like you're walking into Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series.


There are all kinds of small shops inside, like a "robes" shop with clothes...

Robes Room!

And a wand shop...

The wand chooses you....

She's been chosen.

And shops themed after Game of Thrones and Sherlock and Doctor Who.

Then you walk through a T.A.R.D.I.S. door, and IT'S BIGGER ON THE INSIDE you guys!! It leads into the great hall, which is a large banquet room that looks like the Great Hall from Hogwarts, and is available to rent for parties and such. They even have a Yule Ball at Christmas, and a Time Lords Ball.

And even though the place was super busy, partly because of the Doctor Who boutique/craft fair going on, and partly because people just like to shop there, the staff are all super friendly, and knowledgeable, and just really cool.

Mommy in the phone booth....

Calling The Doctor...

This is the kind of place worth taking a road trip to LA for, even if it's just for the day.

Ready for flying lessons!
About to get a running start onto Platform 9 3/4!

And if you do get a chance to go to Whimsic Alley, check out the little cookie bakery right next door called Milk Jar. Best cookies ever, served with farm fresh milk, in a milk bottle-shaped jar no less! You can even choose whatever 2 cookies you want (and they are huge!) and they will make you a custom ice cream sandwich with their own homemade ice cream.

Talk about a fantastic day trip, making sweet memories with my girl who is growing up way too fast.

We'll so be going back!!


  1. Looks like you had a great time! Can't wait for my son to be into Harry Potter.

    1. My daughter is just now getting into it (reading the first book) and it makes me so happy! Definitely something to look forward to. :)

  2. This is great! You are such a great blogger! LOVE this one and hope you keep adding to it~ :D

    1. Thank you! It's a work in progress, that's for sure. :)

  3. How fun!! I've never heard of this place but I know at least two of my kids would have a blast here. We were just at The Grove not long ago and I need an excuse to go back. This may be it!

    1. It was such a great shop! I can't wait to go back, hopefully soon! It's probably a good thing we live in San Diego though, otherwise I'd be broke! ;)

  4. I have to go to this place and take my uber-nerdy hubby with me!! Thanks for letting me know it existed :) Also, I have no idea if you know about reading eggs ( It's the program they use at my daughter's school and she absolutely loves it. I will write a post about the program soon... but I thought I should mention.

    1. Thanks for the tip about I've never heard of it, but I'm going to check it out! Have fun when you go to Whimsic Alley!

  5. Wow that store is cool! We just went to WonderCon a couple weeks ago. My family is way into all this stuff. Me, not so much LOL But I am bookmarking this to tell my hubby!!!!

    1. I heard WonderCon was awesome! I've got to get up there sometime. Have a great time if you go to Whimsic Alley.

  6. I love that store! (I'd just discovered it a couple years ago, and now it's a regular stop whenever I'm in the neighborhood.) This could be a great ender to a trip to the La Brea Tarpits or LACMA. :)

    1. It would totally be a great end to a day trip to La Brea Tarpits or LACMA! With a cookie sandwich from next door to top it all off! Thanks for the idea... I think we'll be up there again this summer!

  7. What a fun store! and fun outing :) :)

    1. It was fantastic! We can't wait to go back! :)