Skyslide: The Thrill Ride High Above Downtown LA at Oue Skyspace
Skyslide is fast becoming an LA rite of passage. We are a family of thrill seekers, so for my daughter's fifth birthday we decided to try the ultimate LA thrill—Oue Skyspace and Skyslide in Downtown Los Angeles. California's tallest open-air observation deck and its all-glass slide sit atop the US Bank tower. The view alone is priceless, but the slide takes it to a whole new level. My kids are already asking to go back. Here is what you can expect:
So Many Photo Ops
One thing I was surprised by at Oue Skyspace was all of the fun things to do and see on the journey to the top. Even the elevator is lit up with twinkling lights. There's one room with a giant widescreen that plays aerial video of Los Angeles at its most gorgeous. Another room features sports memorabilia from LA's teams. On the walls, there are fun facts about movies and TV shows filmed in LA, and everywhere you look there are places to take pics, including a red carpet with paparazzi mannequins. The real eye candy, though, is on the top deck. The Skyspace terrace wraps all around the building, so visitors get a 360-degree bird's eye view of LA. "Mom! I see the swan boats!" my 5 year-old delighted in telling me after spotting Echo Park Lake. Other iconic landmarks that we saw included the Hollywood Sign, Dodgers Stadium, and Griffith Park Observatory. Needless to say, Oue Skyspace would be an excellent place to bring a visiting grandparent or friend from out of town.
Skyslide: More Fun or Fear-Inducing?
I'll admit it: when we got to the top and I first saw the Skyslide, my heart skipped a beat. It's 100% transparent, 45 feet long, and juts out of the exterior of the building, 1,000 feet above Downtown LA. A rep with Oue told me that the slide's three-ply glass could withstand the weight of two blue whales, but still I was nervous. I could tell my daughters were, too, but we're a proud bunch and decided to take the plunge... literally. What a rush! Yes, it's all over in a matter of seconds, but what an exhilarating few seconds. Sliders are given a sack to ride in, just like the ones kids use when going down those big slides at carnivals. The sacks promote better speed and give a bit of protection from slide burns. Riders land on a gym mat on the observation deck where cameras are waiting to catch their smiling (and screaming) faces. Oue reps say that parents can ride tandem-style with their children, though slide operators discouraged us from doing so. Kids have to be 5 years old to ride the Skyslide, though there is no age limit on visiting the Skyspace observation deck.
Not Cheap But There Are Deals
It's true—a trip to Oue Skyspace doesn't come cheap. A general admission ticket to Skyspace costs $25 for adults and $19 for kids under 12. A single slide ride costs $8. But there are plenty of promotions to take advantage of, both on the Oue website and on sites like Groupon. We decided to purchase Oue's Family Funday package, which I highly recommend for a family of four. This package is available every day from 10am to 4pm. For $80, the whole family gets access to the observation deck, kids under 12 get unlimited rides on the Skyslide, and each parent gets to try it out once. The Funday pack also includes four drink vouchers (my husband enjoyed a beer while relaxing on the terrace!) and coupons for Oue photos and the gift shop. When they say "unlimited rides" they really mean it, too. I think my daughters each went on the slide more than ten times. Plus, there's no time-limit on how long you can stay on the Skyspace deck. One more thing to note: be prepared to pay for downtown parking. Oue recommends that visitors park at the Westlawn Garage, directly across the street from the U.S. Bank Tower. Rates are $8 on the weekends and $8 for up to three hours during the week.
Know When to Go
We arrived at Oue Skyspace right when it opened at 10am on a Saturday morning. There were only a handful of people in line in the building's lobby, so the wait was virtually nonexistent. Ditto that once we got to the Skyslide. We never waited longer than three minutes to slide, and there is an entertaining video narrated by George Lopez all about LA trivia for those in line to watch. A slide operator told me that it gets much busier later in the afternoon and, at night, when adults come to enjoy cocktails in the Skyspace Bar. By the way, the bar does sell some snacks and light lunch options, and the building is within walking distance of several good restaurants on Figueroa Street. The US Bank Tower is also right across the street from the LA Central Library, in case your family needs a little downtime after all that action. Oue Skyspace is open 7 days a week from 10am to 10pm (with the last ticket sold at 9pm). It's also one of the few local attractions open on holidays, with modified hours on both Christmas and New Year's Day, so you can ring in the new year with a real bang!
Mom can slide, too!
Photos by Jackie Jones