East LA

Best Pumpkin Patches for LA, Ventura, & Orange County Pumpkin Picking

Ready to talk pumpkin patch? Yes, the time has come to surrender to the Great Pumpkin—who is, frankly, spoiled for choice around the Southland in Halloween season. We would never presume to call one pumpkin patch more sincere than the others, but LA’s pumpkin patches (and pseudo pumpkin patches) run a satisfying gamut from small to large, folksy to commercial. Whether you're hoping for a hit-and-run Halloween photo or a day's outing in autumnal reverie, your pumpkin picking destination is below...

18 Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in Los Angeles and Orange Country

The tree is trimmed, the presents wrapped, and the cookies baked and boxed. Hmm. Now, what to make for Christmas dinner. Our suggestion? Reservations. That’s right. Many Southland restaurants are open and happy to serve you on Christmas Day. You’ve already done so much to get ready for the holidays—instead of holing up in the kitchen, pile your family and out-of-town guests into the car and give yourself the gift of dining out. That way you all get to enjoy the day!

Best Petting Zoos around LA Where Kids Can Get Their Animal Fix

Kids of all ages love animals, from babies barely aware that the cow goes "moo" to older kids who can somehow spit out the full Latin name of a rare South American pig most adults don't know exists. So it's very special when children get the opportunity to go beyond the classic zoo to meet critters in closer quarters, and even get their hands on them (gently, of course). 

8 Free Cinco de Mayo Celebrations that Are Great for Families

First let's set the record straight: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16, and—while the festivals might look similar—confusing the two holidays is as gringo as, say, putting pastrami in a taco. (Actually, scratch that—LA is pretty darned proud of its pastrami tacos.) Let's simply agree that just because the US named its independence holiday 4th of July doesn't mean that Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is Mexico's independence day. What the day actually celebrates is an underdog Mexican victory over a French military attack on Puebla, Mexico in 1862. The holiday is mostly observed in Puebla and in Southern California, where there's little mention of the French, but much swinging at piñatas and dancing to mariachis. After all, by the first weekend of May, who needs more excuse than that to revel in the sunshine?

Earth Day with LA Kids: Green Festivals, Events, and Fun for Families

You say it's your Earth Day; well it's my Earth Day, too, yeah! And yes, we're gonna have a good time. Earth Day is one of those holidays that just screams kids. And when we say scream, we mean outdoor voices. Oh sure, Halloween has its ghosts and goblins; Christmas has its presents, and Easter has its chocolate bunnies (melting in the SoCal sun if not found quickly). But Earth Day is a holiday when families of all backgrounds can come together to appreciate our planet and keep our outdoors great for generations to come. And since loving the environment is something Californians take particular pride in, it's not surprising that we're spoiled for choice for celebrating Earth Day around LA.

A Playground in a Movie Theater? For Real? For SoCal!

Cinépolis, the Latin American movie theater chain, debuts one of its most family-friendly features in Southern California this weekend—but when we say feature, we're not talking movies. The cinema giant has had big success with its innovative movie theater playgrounds for antsy kids south of the border, and two of its US locations are poised to let local kids give it a try. Thinking of seeing Beauty and the Beast this weekend? Why not see it where little ones can romp if the action feels slow, scary, or otherwise less appealing than a giant slide?

Kite Festivals and Places for LA Kids To Fly Kites

"With tuppence for paper and strings / You can have your own set of wings..."

Okay, so the Mary Poppins tune is a bit dated; kites cost more than tuppence these days. But not much. And now that it's spring, and the sea (and mountain) breezes are tickling our cheeks, why not let them lift our kites as well? Read on for suggested places to buy (and ways to make) a kite—as well as where you and your kids can set them to soar—with your fist holding tight to the string of your kite. Come on! Let's go fly a kite!

Christmas at the Missions: Holiday History for LA and SoCal Kids

California is home to several historical and architectural gifts, in the form of the Spanish Missions of California. Built in a period ranging from the mid 1700s through the mid 1800s, the Missions are a part of local history we can claim as our own and share with our children. Though the Missions host events throughout the year, Christmas offerings at these historic sites are sure to take your family's SoCal holiday activities to the next level; as nice as your neighborhood's holiday lights and nativity scenes are, it's tough to beat a 200 year-old setting.

Piñatas: Where to Find the Real Piñata for LA Kids' Parties

On the hunt for that perfect piñata for your kids' birthday party? If you've checked the local chain stores, you've probably found the same designs, the same small sizes and large prices, and the same styrofoam construction. If you're looking for something simple and traditional, check the neighborhood Mexican markets first. But if your need is for a black horse or a taxi cab or a specific character for a child's birthday party; for a one-of-a-kind custom piece for a themed event; for a larger piñata that won't open on the fourth whack of the stick, or for a traditional large Mexican star for Cinco de Mayo—then you need to go to one of these independent party stores that specializes in traditional papier maché piñatas.

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