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Where children are free to play and learn.

Since 1949, Play Mountain Place has provided a revolutionary learning environment in Los Angeles, California. We currently support preschool and elementary aged children. 

Our mission is to provide children with a play-based, child-directed, non-authoritarian educational environment and to provide parents with tools to build respectful communication within their families.

Watch this short film to learn more about our program!

Let’s Play!

Save the Date

Our 75th Anniversary Event

October 10 – October 12, 2025
Plenty of time to start planning!

There’s a big 75th Birthday headed our way at Play Mountain Place, and we want you to come celebrate! So mark your calendar for October 10th through October 12, 2025, and plan on attending a weekend full of events, including a Friday Night Cocktail Hour, Saturday at School, Saturday Night Dinner, and a Sunday Breakfast Gathering. We hope you plan on joining us! More information to come soon, but we wanted to give you plenty of time to plan on attending.


Play Mountain Place is located on a quiet street close to Ballona Creek, on the edge of Culver City. Shaded by a canopy of trees, children spend the majority of their days, rain or shine, playing outdoors on the spacious and historic campus.

Photos of the Campus


We envision a just world where children are treated with respect, allowed to play freely, and trusted to direct their own learning.

Our Long History

For close to 75 years, Play Mountain Place has offered a unique and revolutionary learning environment to generations of children.

Our Alumni often return to our campus and wonder at the similarity of what they see today in relation to their days here. That Play Mountain Place has offered this type of program, to so many children, for so many years, is a strong testament to our collective commitment to providing and offering a radical alternative to traditional schooling.

Visit our historical photo gallery, and timeline to learn more about our long history.

Core Values and Practices

Play Mountain Place is one of the earliest humanistic alternative schools in the U.S. We remain committed to upholding the long-held and deeply rooted traditions of our school, as expressed in our Core Values and practices.

#1. We love and respect children.

Read about them all

Literacy at Play Mountain Place

We often receive questions from parents about how students learn to read and write at Play Mountain Place. Read a teacher’s reflections on the topic.

Read more

Statements from the Board of Trustees

Black Lives Matter

We want you to know that we stand firmly in support of the Black community. Black Lives Matter.

Read the full statement from our Board

On Israel and Palestine

At Play Mountain Place, we believe all children have the right to live in peace and safety.

Read the full statement from our Board

Some words we use to describe our school:

Revolutionary, humanistic, self-directed, alternative, experiential, play-based, child-centered, child-directed, progressive, primarily outdoors, fun, and radical!

Play Mountain Place is not associated with any other school. It’s a unique, independent, and private school.

Support our long tradition of innovative, child-initiated, experiential education.