Special Occasions

20 Free Ways to Celebrate Your Kid's Birthday

Do an internet search for "NYC Birthday Fun for Kids" and you'd think, based on the results, that what city parents really want more than anything is to find the most outrageously expensive ways possible to celebrate their child’s special day. Clowns! Mermaids! Mermaid clowns!

Nothing against mermaids or clowns, of course, but we’ve got 20 super simple and fun ideas to make your kid's birthday as extraordinary as he or she is, without coughing up the equivalent of next month’s rent. All it takes is a bit of imagination and ingenuity to create new traditions that make the birthday child feel special...without spending a dime.

Check out our Birthday Party Guide for more ideas for the big day, or our 100 Things to Do in NYC list for more memory-making inspiration.

Where to Find Pumpkin Patches Around Houston

With Halloween right around the corner and fall finally in the air, it's time to gather up the kids and head out to do some pumpkin picking. We've rounded up several different locations throughout the city hosting pumpkin patches and fall festivals throughout the month of October, so no matter where you are in Houston, you're sure to find a pumpkin patch nearby. 

Grandparents' Day in Philly: Time to Send the Kids to Grandma's

Whether you call them Grandma, Granddad, Nana, or Poppop, grandparents add an enormous amount of value to the life of a child. They're the best babysitters, treat sharers, spoilers, and we love them so. And what better excuse than Grandparents Day (September 9) to send the kids out for some fun with their grands...and get some time to yourself! To help you and the extended family out, we've rounded up some wonderful ways to celebrate grandparents. From sporting events to nature excursions, there is something for everyone. Keep reading to discover all the ways to show Mom Mom and Pop how much you love them this Grandparents Day. So, #DoSomethingGrand, #TakeAGrandie and make #GrandparentsDay special for the loved ones in your family.

What You're Missing If You Don't Know Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater

Seeing a puppet show is not only one of the many fun things kids can do in Downtown LA, it's an experience that a child will remember for life. Here in LA we are lucky to have our local treasure, Bob Baker Marionette Theater, the oldest children’s theater in Los Angeles. Although the founder passed on a few years ago, the puppets carry on his legacy, walking, running, and dancing in front of their audience—and even reaching out to little audience members to pat heads and shake hands. Put your kid's iPad away, because this slice of LA history offers real interactivity that is sure to delight.

Is that the London Eye in Long Beach? Giant Observation Wheel Visits Queen Mary

Well take a look at that! An Observation Wheel—which is another way of saying a really huge Ferris wheel with a great view—is setting up shop in Long Beach next to the Queen Mary, for one month only. No mere amusement park ride (though we like those very much!), the Observation Wheel offers birds-eye views of the picturesque Long Beach sky line, the majestic Queen Mary, and beyond. This thing is so tall you may be able to spot the buffalo grazing on Catalina Island.

Santa Monica Food Truck Lot - A Family Night Out

Santa Monica’s Tuesday Food Truck Night at the California Heritage Museum is the ideal venue for a stress-free dinner with children; plus, as an added bonus, you can cross off item #80 on our LA with Kids Bucket List!

Inspired by reading Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing Up Bebe, about French children’s perfect eating habits, I resolved to expand my own son’s limited palate. I mean, these children eat foie gras in preschool while my son turns his nose up at anything besides goldfish crackers and squeezable fruit crushers. Visiting the food trucks seemed like the perfect scenario for venturing into new culinary territory. As my very male son loves all vehicles, I thought that being served directly out of vehicles might entice him to try something new - and there is free parking on site.

12 Very British Experiences in LA for Kids with Royal Fever

Whether we're getting excited about a royal wedding or just in the mood for a crumpet, it's always jolly good fun to let our inner Anglophiles run wild. After all, the British royal family is poised to include a gal from Los Angeles. Once Prince Harry and Megan Markle are officially hitched, that makes us all members of the extended royal family, so let's have some fun checking out kid-friendly ways to explore English culture (and cuisine) while staying planted right here in town. 

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