Los Angeles

25 Ways To Enjoy the Beauty of Banff with Kids

Nestled in the Canadian Rockies is the majestic town of Banff. Built as a tourist destination on the Canadian Pacific Railway, this charming mountain town has entertained the likes of royalty, presidents, and my entire crazy extended family for an whole week around New Year's. Our family trip to Canada was definitely one for the memory books. 

Empowering Kids and Parents After a School Shooting

By Susan Jara

It’s a terrifying scenario that has become all too familiar: A gunman walks into a school and starts shooting. Parents rush to the scene and wait in desperation to find out whether their child survived. Some of them do not.

The shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is one of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. Since the tragic 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, more than 400 people have been shot at schools, according to the New York Times.

As a parent watching these tragedies unfold over and over again, I felt powerless, frightened, and bewildered as to how to discuss these events with my children—and really, how to keep them safe going forward. Many parent friends say they’re afraid to send their kids through the school doors every day in light of these mass shootings. We wonder: Are the active shooter drills they’re participating in even helping?

“Every day I leave the house, thinking, ‘What if something happens at my school or at my child’s school,’ says Jill Murray, a mom and social worker in a high school near Newtown, Connecticut. “What if this is the last time I see my son?”

So I sought the advice of experts to help guide myself and other parents through this. What can we do to keep them safe, and what can we do to prevent anxiety from taking over?

14 Best Indoor Birthday Party Ideas for LA Kids

There is a special kind of stress—both emotional and financial—that planning a birthday party can cause if you have kids born between the months of November and March. Oh sure, everyone struggles with the great birthday party question, but those moms who gave birth in LA in August are pretty safe claiming a corner of a public park or throwing down some blankets on the beach. If you have a December baby, you may have tried that, but at some point probably cried "Never again!" LA might not have a proper winter, but it has a proper Indoor Birthday Party season, if only for the sanity of the parents. Allow us to share some of our favorite options for entertaining the masses without stressing about the weather.

Best Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend: Scots, Lunar New Year & Founding Fathers

This weekend is about more than just the long weekend (though it is a long weekend). This weekend asks us to examine the power of the individual, to do goodto excelto achieve greatness.

Whether your skill is slam dunkingtrick shotting, or sheep herding, whether your area of expertise is geekdom or slime or onomatopoeia, this weekend reminds us that we can all rise up and achieve great things.

On Monday in particular, we look at the American presidency and the power of one individual to impact the lives of so many. LA is lucky to have two presidential libraries in the region, both of which offer up free observances of the holiday. Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you are going to do with your kids on this long weekend. 

Read on for our most statesmanlike picks for this weekend …

10 Chinese Lunar New Year Festivals for Families around Los Angeles

Time to say Gung Ha Fat Choy to our kids, wish them a happy Year of the Dog, and bring them to a Chinese New Year festival! LA families have several opportunities to greet the Lunar New Year, from low-key neighborhood events to Chinatown's century old grand scale festival. One thing they all have in common is beautiful imagery, so bring a camera and get ready for the Year of the Dog at one of the family-friendly events below.

Roller Skating Rinks Are Still Great Spots for SoCal Family Fun

If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, you probably have great memories of rockin' and rollin' at the roller rink. Birthday parties, end of year school trips, disco evenings, or just plain having fun inside on a hot or rainy day—roller rinks were the best. Even though inline skates are the outdoor skate of choice these days, we can still put on some quads at these LA- and OC-area roller rinks. Take the kids for a taste of your childhood. And, Mom and Dad, you can go ahead and skate too. It is great exercise and just as fun as you remember.

Dinosaurs Invade a Shopping Mall in Redondo Beach

Part museum, part play space, Wonder of Dinosaurs at the South Bay Galleria is a tantalizing collection of animatronic dinosaurs of all varieties, in the setting of a mini amusement-park-toy-shop combo that offers a full day of family friendly exploration (and shopping). Spanning two floors of retail storefront, this dino destination has such wow-worthy draws as Triceratops bouncies (some reserved for the many birthday parties being held on the premises) and a movable dinosaur with reigns for riding like a horse. This natural history museum of play gyms, Wonder of Dinosaurs is a welcome addition to the many kid-friendly places in Redondo Beach.

30 Things To Do with Kids in Downtown Los Angeles

From the outside looking in, Downtown LA can seem somewhat daunting and unfriendly. Isn't it just another part of LA with tall buildings and not enough pedestrian zones? Tourists and LA natives alike often find themselves wondering what kid-friendly activities there are to do Downtown. Well, I'm happy to be the messenger as well as the reminder of all the wonderful family-friendly activities that there are in this bustling metropolis. Read on for a list of 30 kid friendly things to do in Downtown LA. Then hop on the Metro or the Expo Line and start the adventure!

Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebrations that Are Great for Kids

In New Orleans, it's Mardi Gras. In Venice, Italy, it's Carnevale. In Austria they call it Fasching, and in England Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, or just plain old Fat Tuesday. Whatever the name, it's a party; and with its traditions of masks, music, and bling, this party deserves to be shared with kids. We've collected LA's most family-friendly Mardi Gras celebrations below, and they're mostly FREE. Let the good times roll!

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