Hollywood

Kids Bowl Free: Truly Free and Cheap Bowling for Kids All Over LA

My son went to a bowling party recently that sparked an obsession with the game. Ever the supportive parent, I soon found myself at bowling outings all around town on behalf of his newfound interest. And I realized something: bowling is a really great sport for kids. The ingrained turn-taking structure, team camaraderie, and relaxed competitiveness offer kiddos a dose of sportsmanship at a fun pace. Accommodations like gutter bumpers and starting ramps guarantee success for even the youngest bowlers. Seriously, bowling is like the unsung hero of children's athletics. And it must have been this idea that fueled the creation of Kids Bowl Free, a fantastic nationwide program designed to give youth a constructive way to beat the heat. Read on to find out how your kids can bowl free every day this summer.

Free Admission for Active Duty Military Families with Blue Star Museums

Free museum admission is not just for kids in the summer months. More than 2000 museums across the country have joined the Blue Star initiative, offering free admission to active military personnel and their families* all summer long, from Memorial Day (Monday May 29 through Labor Day (Monday September 4). Spread the word; if you don't have active military in your own family, let your friends know that from the Automobile Driving Museum to the Santa Monica Aquarium and a whole slew in between, the men and women who protect all of our families can treat their families this summer.

Free Summer Concerts and Outdoor Concert Series in LA and OC

Check back often; we continue adding concerts throughout the season!

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or better yet, get out of the house. Summer in the Southland means outdoor concerts galore (and many are free!) at a host of local parks, museums, and public spaces from the coast to the hills to the Valleys. Go on, get out. Throw down a blanket, spread out the snacks, uncork the wine, and watch the kids boogie under the evening stars as you sway to some cool and breezy melodies. Below are some of our favorite free concert series that return every year; check our daily calendar to find dozens more!

Universal Studios Hollywood: What's New this Summer and 10 Insider Tips

Things just got a little more magical at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In case the end of a long day at Universal Studios ever felt like it needed an extra something to send everyone off with a smile, the theme park has added a new lights display for the summer (and, rumor has it, for Christmastime as well). Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle is a dazzling and delightful light show projected on and around Hogwarts Castle, accompanied by John Williams' familiar score and narration by the Sorting Hat. This goes way beyond pyrotechnics, creating a breathtaking effect that is definitely worth hanging around until nightfall to see—just like it's worth hanging around to the end of our list of insider tips for our advice on the best way to view it.

Universal is a big park, as your calf muscles will no doubt remind you the day after you visit. While parks like Knott's or Seaworld can be approached with a devil-may-care, keep-your-stinkin'-map sort of spontaneity, Universal's size is better served by a plan. Consider including these ten tips when you form yours.

Fireworks! 45 Different 4th of July Displays in Los Angeles & Orange County

Who's ready for some rockets' red glare? LA and Orange County's many communities compete for sky space on July 4th, launching fireworks willy-nilly at the stroke of 9pm. From the mountains, to the valleys, to the ocean, Angelenos have plenty of directions to look on Independence Day. Whether your plan is to book a fireworks cruise, to lay a blanket in a park, or to close all the windows and try not to wake the baby, it helps to know where those firecrackers are being aimed. Below is a list of locations lighting up the night sky on the 4th of July (plus one on June 24). We'll keep adding more right up to the day!

50 FREE Things Kids Can Do in LA this Summer

Summer's great, isn't it? So much time, so much to do. All the things that can't be squeezed into the cursedly short time between school, homework, and dinner can be enjoyed at leisure, without stress of school night bedtimes. Summer means not a care in the world—except how to pay for all this frivolity, right? 'Cause we sure aren't getting a whole lot of work done! The answer? Summer freebies. Become an expert on how long your kids can get in free to Southland activities. Hit all the free museum days. And then start working your way down this list of totally free things to do with LA kids over the summer!

Freebies & Free Stuff for Dad on Father's Day in Los Angeles

There are lots of ways to celebrate Father's Day. You can do a special-occasion meal among sharks, presidents, or the night market masses. You can brunch among vintage airplanes. We've got Father's Day adventures to recommend for every kind of dad. But most of these ideas require parting with a little of that Tooth Fairy cash. Wouldn't Dad prefer something more, well, FREE? Sure he would! Dad loves a freebie as much as the next guy. So check out these free offers just for dads, and just on Father's Day.

15 Parent and Me Swim Classes To Keep LA & OC Babies and Toddlers Afloat

I wasn't born in water like some babies are, but I certainly could have lived in it when I was young. It's no wonder, because kids dig water, and the younger we start them in it, the earlier they build the skills needed to swim confidently and safely. Mommy and Me – or Daddy and Me – classes are a fun and bonding introduction to a lifelong love of swimming. And lucky for us and our tots, there are classes galore all around the Southland. We know some Great Private Swim Classes for LA Kids, but the classes below are all about taking the plunge alongside your wee one. Dive into our extensive list of area Mommy or Daddy and Me classes.

A Wand Goes Out in LA: Whimsic Alley To Close Soon

We're sorry to hear that Whimsic Alley, the we're-not-supposed-to-say-Harry-Potter style fan store and party space on the Miracle Mile, is closing later this month. That means no more birthday parties, costume balls, and High Teas set in the faux Hogwarts Great Hall, no more SciFi fan weekends, and no more summers spent at "The Camp that Lived." After several years of having this underground Potter fix at our fingertips, Los Angeles is to become a one-Hogwarts town, with Universal's Wizarding World as the only quidditch game in town.

There is, at least, one silver lining.

Free (or Almost Free) Summer Movies for Families All Over LA

And... action! As summer kicks off, a familiar annual scene is playing out at locations throughout the Southland: the season of free, nearly free, and gloriously cheap outdoor summer movie series has started rolling. At museumsparks, beaches, and malls, indoors and outdoors, in the early morning and by the light of the moon, families can catch both recent blockbusters and timeless classics for free or close to it. (While free is awesome, we think a dollar is still pretty good!)

Below you can find our comprehensive guide to free (and darn close to it) summer movie screenings and festivals. Click on the event names for more details, including movie titles. And keep checking back, because we'll continue to post more listings as they are announced, throughout the 2017 summer movie season.

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