Los Angeles

The Best Los Angeles Area Hiking Trails for Families

We've all found ourselves—on long weekends, spring breaks, sick days, you name it—feeling like we might be ready to climb the walls. If that's not an option, maybe it's just time to take a hike

We've compiled a list of some of LA's best hiking destinations for you and your little cherubs (though if you're pushing someone up that mountain, you may want the stroller-friendly hikes). Each of the self-led hikes below is an LA classic. Of course, if you like to add a goal to hike toward, you might try this list of hikes with waterfalls, or maybe even do a little geocaching along the way.

100 Things To Do in Chicago with Kids Before They Grow Up

Chicago is home to so many incredible parks, playgrounds, museums, and things to do with kids that one childhood doesn't seem like enough time to fit them all in—though who could blame you for trying? That's why we rounded up this list of great things to do with kids in Chi-town. Whether it's racing with your toddler through the sprinklers at Mary Bartelme Park, wowing your preschooler at the Field Museum, gliding with your grade-schooler on the skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, or taking in engineering marvels with your tween at the Chicago Architecture Center, take advantage of everything this beautiful city has to offer kids of all ages. We're also big fans of FREE fun, so we included as much of that as possible.

Whether you're a local or a visitor to the Windy City, we hope you can use this list to make some great new memories with your kids. Now I'm off to scarf some Chicago-style hot dogs at Portillo's.

11 Free Perks That Come with Your LA Public Library Card

What’s small and plastic, hides in your wallet, and comes packed with free surprises for the whole family? You may think your Los Angeles Public Library card is all about books you can check out from one of LA or the OC's fabulous public libraries—and that’s certainly one of its charms—but it also contains some little-known perks that can save you money and entertain a few restless kiddos. Bonus: Many of these freebies can be enjoyed 24/7, from the comfort of your own couch.

Preschoolers Get a Year of SeaWorld San Diego for $20, and Teachers Go Free in 2019

Need an excuse to have fun in San Diego this year? How about a deeply discounted, unlimited admission pass for your little kiddos to get into SeaWorld—all year? If you're a teacher, you get an even better deal, because you can have an unlimited admission pass completely free (and we know how much some teachers could use some good news this week). The Preschool Fun Card for preschoolers ages 3 to 5 is just $20 and good to visit through the end of 2019. If you're wondering, a regular, single-entry ticket for kids is $86.99, so to call this a good deal is almost an understatement.

The Best and Worst States for Raising a Family

Everyone wants to raise their family in a healthy, safe, and yes, fun community. But, how do you go about finding the right corner of this country for your family? Trial and error perhaps, but WalletHub is also throwing a little data our way on just this subject. The credit report and personal finance site just released its ranking of the best and worst 50 states in which to raise kids.

It weighed a number of factors to determine the top family-friendly states, looking at schools, housing, crime, childcare costs and quality, parental leave options, salaries, and of course, the amount of family fun per capita, including access to parks and playgrounds.

Read on to find out how your state stacks up—and where you might want to consider relocating to with the kids!

Fun for LA Kids this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Weekend

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?'" This weekend, families can join together to answer that question, by participating in the MLK Day of Service. A day spent giving back is just one way to honor Dr. King's memory. There are paradescelebrations, and concerts throughout the weekend to bring our families and communities together in honor of his legacy.

Little ones can learn from Dr. King's example as well, with a number of events this weekend particularly geared toward young children. Kids can listen to inspiring stories , participate in service projects, and share their dreams for the future.

Inspiration can be found on other fronts with founding fathers  and kung fu figure skatersblood moons and behind the scenesbulldogs and boarsephemeral art and fast moving motocrosshigh flying acrobats and dancing on, what do call em? feet, all serving as examples of what one can achieve. Now is a good time to ask our children: how do you try to make a difference? And where do you find your inspiration?

Keep reading for some of our most inspired picks for this weekend.

Where To See Whales in LA: Whale Watching Cruises, Festivals, and Viewpoints

Winter is prime whale watching season in Southern California, and there are several ways to spy on the giant mammals as they pass through on their 6,000-mile quest for Mexican romance. Each year, between December and April, roughly 20,000 Pacific gray whales migrate past our beaches, and March brings particularly high traffic because that's when the underwater procession starts to turn around. Pregnant, south-bound she-whales still trying to make it to Baja before the contractions start are blasted past by upwardly mobile young he-whales, finished with romance and headed for an appointment in the Arctic Circle. All that toing and froing is the inspiration for many a whale cruise and festival. With a little luck and clear skies, even a hike or sand sledding can turn into a whale watching activity.

12 Places LA Families Can Drive To Pretend It's Winter

When most of the country is covered in snow, LA is typically enjoying fall temperatures with highs in the 70s. This is great for those who of us love the warm weather, but if you or your little snow angels are longing to chill out and experience ice and snow, all it takes is a drive to higher elevations and the whole family can experience the thrill of winter sports, explore alpine landscapes, and take in the magic of winter for the day. Other people survive winter; Angelenos visit it.

17 Free Indoor Activities for a Rainy Day in LA

There is no limit to what a family can do outdoors in Los Angeles, and our clichéd weather makes enjoying these activities possible most days of the year. But on the occasional day when the mercury drops below 50 degrees—or when water falls perplexingly from the sky—we need a back-up plan. Indoor activities are sprinkled throughout our bucket list of 100 Things To Do with LA Kids Before They Grow Up, but wouldn't it be handy to have one list of totally free things to do with kids indoors? We thought so, too!

25 Fun Things to Do with Kids in the Phoenix Area

At first glance, Phoenix might seem like just cactus and desert as far as the eye can see. Yet, there is so much more to this western city than scorching heat and golf. Families will find fantastic museums, unique attractions, such as a stunning desert botanical garden and a Butterfly Wonderland, as well as a fascinating history that makes this capital city come to life.

A trip to the Valley of the Sun makes a perfect winter getaway or spring break for sun seekers. There are water parks, pools, hiking, spas for the grown-ups and plenty of resorts from which to choose. We've already explored neighboring Scottsdale, Arizona, and now we want to take you on a tour of the 25 top things to do in Phoenix for families with kids. Whether you stay at a five-star resort or spend your vacation with family and friends, this gem of the Grand Canyon State has a little something for everyone.

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