Los Angeles

Orange County's Best Kept Secret Is a Water Park Right on the Beach

Apologies, but I am about to blow a well kept secret wide open: Newport Beach has a cove hidden in plain sight that may be the best family beach day in the Southland. Of course the definition of "best family beach day" may not be the same for everyone; only continue reading if your ideal beach day would include kayaks, SUP boards, paddle boats, and an inflatable water park in a warm surf-free lagoon surrounded by clean sand, fire rings for s'mores, easy parking, and clean bathrooms. Only head to Newport Dunes if you're prepared for that level of nirvana.

These Hotel Pools Will Wow the Kids on a Family Vacation

When you have kids, finding a hotel with an awesome swimming pool is usually right at the top of the vacation-planning list. After a long day of activity, you can kick back and watch them splash around at the hotel pool. On a rainy day, hotels with indoor swimming pools will be a saving grace. While most kids will be satisfied with any hole that contains water, impress them with something unique to make that next family vacation one that they won't soon forget.

Here are some of our favorite U.S. hotels with pools sure to satisfy the whole family. We've included both outdoor hotel pools, indoor options, and even those hotels that let you swim in the pool without staying there overnight. The options run from a Las Vegas hotel pool to a Texas-shaped rooftop pool in Houston to a day-pass-friendly NYC hotel pool.

For more vacation ideas on where to stay, check out our Hotels & Resorts Guide.

10 Great SoCal Beach Towns for a Classic California Seaside Day

Southern California's balmy beach towns are a treat worth seeking out at any time of year, whether you're an LA family looking for escape, or a visitor wanting to experience the best of our famous California beaches. Right in the heart of LA County we have a few seaside gems; drive an hour or two farther and you'll find towns that feel like they're a world away.  

 The 10 seaside towns below not only have fabulous sand and surf, there's plenty worth exploring once you head off the beach, too. Find out for yourself why these are our favorite SoCal beach towns.

Dance Classes Where LA Kids Learn Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, or Ballroom

Want a dance class for your kid? You live in the right city. Whether you want your kid to learn to be just a little more coordinated, or you dream of the "World of Dance" competition track, Los Angeles has incredible recreational and professional training for your tiny dancer. Get your ballet shoes on and "chasse" through these dance studio options.

Find more great class ideas in our Los Angeles Classes and Enrichment Guide.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Hollywood CicLAvia, Wings over Camarillo, Tacos, & Rocket Fever

Things are about to change around here. Say goodbye to the nonstop fiesta filled with concerts, festivals, and moviesA huge chunk of kids in the LA area are going back to school sometime in the next week, and that means ...{checks notes} ...a continuation of the nonstop fiesta filled with concerts, festivals, and movies. Huh. Go figure.

This weekend, for instance: you can go full Little Tokyo at the closing weekend of the Nisei Week, with a gyoza eating contest and the Rubik's Cube Open. You can chow down on BBQ and tacos. You can take flight, soaring through the skies, or reaching for the space just beyond that. 

There's lots of music making and moving pictures.There may even be a chance to learn something as well, but we will call it entertainment. No need to put up a stink. It's just a typical weekend round these parts. Now that school is starting.

Keep reading for our not any different, totally back-to-school best picks for the weekend 

The New Jurassic World Ride at Universal: Is It As Good As Jurassic Park?

A year without the Jurassic Park ride was like... a year without being splashed by dinosaurs. This summer's relaunch of the favorite Universal Studios ride was eagerly anticipated, though truth be told some of us who were big fans of the old ride were also just a little bit wary. Would Jurassic World: The Ride live up to its Jurassic predecessor? Or would it become just another virtual reality replacement of a classic analog adventure? It's a relief to be able to report that Jurassic World remains one of the best reasons to visit Universal Studios—and that Universal really did find ways to make our favorite ride even better.

Iceland with Kids: 10 Things You Will Want To Do on a Family Trip

Iceland has become the place everyone talks about. It's dramatic. It's beautiful. It's rugged, unspoiled, totally different, and the perfect stop between North America and Europe. In fact, it's where the two continents actually meet (cue photo op)! But without amusement parks, warm weather, or any kind of branded entertainment, will it hold your kids' attention? The answer is heck yeah—tell the kids you're bringing them to the Land of the Midnight Sun, and check out as many as you can of the 10 extra-special Icelandic highlights below.

Free and Cheap After-school Classes and Programs for LA Kids

Back-to-school season is also back-to-after-school season, when families look for enriching and fun programs for their children. Options for arts, sports, and other recreational classes for kids in the LA area are numerous and varied—lucky us!—but many are tough to manage on a budget. The good news is there are also several free and cheap ways to engage students’ minds and bodies in the hours after school lets out.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Elephant Day, DOGust, and Natsumatsuri

Let's talk about the elephant in the room. No, not the start of the school year: I mean the weekend festivities in Griffith Park. The LA Zoo is celebrating the pachyderm, and shedding light on the majestic beast's situation in the wild. It's the once-a-year chance to go behind the scenes and see how the "Ele" half lives.

They say an elephant never forgets. But you know who does forget? A kid who's been out of school too long. Luckily, the 2019/2020 academic year is fast approaching, with some kids returning to school as early as next week. Time to get a move on if you have any unrealized summer plans, like perhaps attending a county fair. (Both the OC and Ventura County fairs end this weekend, as do several of the summer concert series.)

You might be seeing double; it's really quite incredibles, this sorta summer, sorta schooltimeway out, out of this world. There's so much going on my brain is exploding. Or maybe that's just the fireworks.

Keep reading for our most elephantine list of picks for this pre-school weekend.

This New Indoor Playspace in the Valley Has a Fun Twist

The San Fernando Valley has a new indoor playspace, treating kids to a giant jungle gym, plenty of pretend play, climbing walls, and spontaneous dance parties on a hot or rainy day. My Lil' Town is a great addition to the family scene in Granada Hills (just next door to Northridge), but it's more than just an indoor playground; My Lil' Town is an inspiring space, with a creative design that has something for kids of all ages, from babies and toddlers to big kids.

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