Hollywood

The Nutcracker: Holiday Performances of the Classic Ballet for LA & OC Kids this Christmas

Most of the year, most of us parents don't attempt to take our children to full-length ballet productions, but Christmas just doesn't feel like Christmas without one good Nutcracker. And if one good Nutcracker begins to make it feel a lot like Christmas, then LA, Orange, and Ventura counties are evidently hitting Uber-Christmas in the coming weeks with more than two dozen professional Nutcracker productions.

Incidentally, we've got answers to the two questions posed most often by LA parents in search of a Nutcracker Ballet for their families: Yes, there is a condensed version staged specifically for kids, offered by the Pacific Ballet down in Costa Mesa or Classical Ballet Theater in Palos Verdes; and yes, there are local productions performed with full orchestra - at the Long Beach Terrace Theater, the Broad Stage, the Dolby Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and the Anaheim Ballet. There is even the odd Nutcracker Tea or two—in case you were wondering.

Christmas Trains: All Aboard the Polar Express for Kids in LA, Ventura, & Orange County

Trains in Los Angeles are more or less novelties all year round, which means they hold onto that wonderful Thomas-the-Tank-Engine, Polar-Express mystique far longer for LA kids than for urban kids who take the A train regularly. And for anyone who loves trains, Christmas trains offer the ultimate "old world charm" rail experience. Add an appearance by Santa Claus and a few Christmas trees, and you have a recipe for a memorable holiday experience. Some of the dates are limited, though, so booking ahead when possible is the best way to make sure this train doesn't pass you by. All aboard the Santa Express!

10 Fun Things To Do with Preschoolers and Toddlers This Week

As the unstoppable force of the holiday season picks up pace, it's a good time to enjoy the expert ability of toddlers and preschoolers to be in the moment—and enjoy some free and affordable events together.  From indoor play spaces to outdoor playgrounds, from a day in the Science Center to a day out in DTLA, we know some exceptional things to do for not-quite-school-age kiddos and their parents this week and beyond. Many of the great exhibits that began this summer come to an end in the next month or two, including the Spider Pavilion which wraps up its webs this month, so catch them now before the crowds take away your moment of Zen.

November GoList: Best Things To Do with LA and OC Kids This Month

When Halloween is over, that can only mean one thing: time for Santa. You get a couple of days to donate or cash in all of that Halloween candy before the advent calendars, candy canes, and Hanukkah gelt start arriving. Rip down the Halloween decorations, quick, because some of your neighbors are already prepping their amazing holiday light displays. Yes, November is the sandwich month, and we're not just talking turkey. Read on for our top November things to do in LA, Ventura, and OC. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletter in time for each weekend, too; with so much going on, we'll have to!

10 Free Things To Do Halloween Week, Beyond Trick-or-Treating

A week that brings not one but two holidays is full of options, and our favorite way to narrow those down is to focus on what's free. You don't need us to tell you that Halloween is this week, but you might appreciate knowing some free ways of celebrating beyond trick-or-treating. You probably also know that Day of the Dead (aka Día de los Muertos) is this week, but you might not know how many of those parties are free. Then again, maybe you'd just like to find some quiet fun that gives your weary wallet a break; we know a few free ways to do that this week, too. Check out our 10 free weekday picks below.

Things To Do Halloween Weekend with LA Kids: Oct 28 - 29

Our calendar, just like a treat bag, is overflowing this weekend. With tons of carnivals and festivals and parades and celebrations, LA is aquiver with the pumpkin-mania that is Halloween. Find the fun at parksparks, and parks; at zooszoos, and zoos; and at theme parkstheme parks, and theme parks... you get the picture. There's no way we can fit them all here, so this weekend more than ever I encourage you to check out our full listings.

As if our schedule weren't full enough, there's another major holiday nipping at Halloween's heels. Many Día de los Muertos events are this weekend, and there's no better place than LA to rejoice in the memory of our departed loved ones. There are even a few events with no holiday affiliation this weekend, though it's not hard to see the synergism between Halloween and, say, Stan Lee's Los Angeles Comic Con or the Spider Pavilion.

Whatever your plans, I advise you to conserve your strength: Tuesday is coming. (Don't worry, you'll get yours; it is a perfectly acceptable parenting technique to keep any trick-or-treat candy you deem bad for your kids' teeth.)

Keep reading for our trickiest treats for this weekend...

Safe, Organized, and Indoor Trick-or-Treat Options for LA Kids on Halloween Night

We may have grown up cruising the streets unchaperoned eating loosely wrapped candy on Halloween night, but we’d no sooner let our own children do that than bounce around the back of a station wagon without a car seat. And while some of us are fortunate enough to have friendly, festive neighborhoods to walk our Moanas and Elsas through, many parents prefer the safety and self-contained nature of a mall, museum, or other organized trick-or-treat event.

Keep an eye on our events calendar and Halloween Fun Guide for complete listings; some venues hold their Halloween celebrations before Saturday, to maximize the weekend. October 31, of course, is the night for ringing doorbells, but for those who prefer to collect their candy in a confined space, we have more than 20 local options below.

Ultimate Halloween Guide: 24 Best Celebrations in LA for Spooky or Free Fun

If you've already spent on the Halloween costume (and perhaps a second one if you bought too early), and the pumpkin (and perhaps a second one if you bought too early), and the Halloween candy (and perhaps an extra aerobics class, if you bought too early), then you might have reached your limit with spending money on this mother-of-all kids' holidays. That's when it's time to start sniffing out which are the key Halloween activities, and which are the free ones, that keep the mood going at this haunting time of year. The following 24 events are the Halloween parties not to miss—the scream of the crop!

Universal Horror Nights: for Families Who Love Halloween So Much It's Scary

Sooner or later, the Halloween is coming when your kids will hang up the Disney costumes and ask about tickets to Universal Studios' Horror Nights. Braving Universal's big Halloween event is part of growing up Angeleno. The question is will you experience it as a family, or send your kids on a mass teen rite of passage? The passage is happening younger every year; these days the teen packs screaming the night away at Universal start at 13 or so. So... will you drop your middle schooler at Halloween Horror Nights? Or, if yours is a family that likes to scream through scary movies together, will you go together? Knowing what the scene is like can help you decide, and we've got the info to make either plan a screaming success.

10 Prime Spots To Hang with a Baby on the Eastside of LA

Having a new baby is a blessing. An exhausting, isolating blessing. To remember what a gift it can be, new moms and dads need to get out of the darn house every once and awhile. If you live on the Eastside of Los Angeles, whether it’s Boyle Heights or Echo Park, you’ve got some cool options to catch your breath with baby in tow. Here are a few of the best spots to get some hang time in with your mini-me.

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