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October GoList: Best Things To Do with LA and OC Kids Halloween Month

Kids cannot live by Halloween alone—or can they? Just in case, we've included a couple of events on our October GoList that actually are not about Halloween. Just a couple. Of course, if Halloween festivals and pumpkin patches are what you're craving, they're with us all month long in abundance. Ghost trains and mega-haunts, too. But with all the activities October has to offer, a little guidance is definitely in order. Read on for our top (baker's) dozen October things to do in LA, Ventura, and OC. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletters, too; with so much going on, we'll have to!

Halloween Festivals and Theme Park Haunts for LA Kids

I have a mama friend who refers to this time of year as the High Holidays, and she's not talking about Yom Kippur. She's also not wrong; there really is no higher holiday on the kid calendar than Halloween. Southland families who enjoy a long slow build to All Hallows' Eve are fortunate, since Los Angeles and neighboring communities absolutely rise to the spirit of the occasion with more spooky celebrations, haunted happenings, and evil events per capita than any other urban area. Little ghouls and goblins have their pick of pumpkin patches, haunted houses, and ghost trains—but wait; there's more! SoCal theme parks get all creepy at this time of year, and the annual festivals below scream Halloween like nobody's business!

Rosh Hashanah: 6 Activities to Celebrate Jewish New Year with LA Kids

Whether you're Jewish, half Jewish, or just trying to figure out why your kids have a random day off school, you may want some suggestions for celebrating the Jewish New Year next week. Most LA area schools have a day off for Rosh Hashanah and/or Yom Kippur the following week (known, apparently, in biblical times as "Admissions Day"). We have some suggestions for family activities to ring in the year 5777; or, if the High Holidays are throwing a wrench in your week, we can suggest some camps that have your back on school holidays.

Pumpkin Patches for LA, Ventura, & Orange County Kids

The time has come to surrender to the Great Pumpkin. Mind you, the big guy is spoiled for choice around the Southland in Halloween season. We won't 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 destination is below...

Fun and Free Things To Do with LA Kids Labor Day Weekend

Well, after many fits and false starts, folks trying to bring our season of fun to a ridiculously early close (I’m looking at you, Glendale), and a whole lotta bellyaching about how it’s not fair (um, that would be me), the time has come to acknowledge: summer break is over. It’s Labor Day weekend, and, while it may mark the end of summer, it’s also known in some circles as the biggest weekend of them all. We’re going to fill every moment with fairs and festivals, (hello, Sailor!), cook-offs and concerts, and enjoy the last hurrah of many of our favorite summer series.

And never fear, while your white-wearing days may be over, the fun is just beginning. Check out our September GoList if you doubt me, for the scoop on the awesome awesomeness ahead. (Not to get all spoilery on you, but get ready to be blown away by mouth-watering lobster, festivals galore, the return of the butterflies, and the block party of the century.)

Now get out there and enjoy summer's last gasp, because the best is yet to come. And we're going to have every last bit of it on our calendar.

Keep reading for our favorite picks for the weekend...

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

September is bitter-sweet. The relief of having back all those hours in the day is tinged with the loss of long, balmy summer evenings without homework or lunches to prepare. And who among us is ready to hear the word "Halloween"? No, better to look to the September weekends as an opportunity to pretend that summer is still with us. Luckily the weather and the SoCal fun generally cooperate! Read on for the best of September in LA, Ventura, and OC. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletter in time for each weekend, but here's your chance to plan ahead for these September favorites.

Click through to the full listings, and you can automatically add them to your personal calendar.

26 Ways To Keep Enjoying Summer after School Begins

Whether you're relieved by the quiet or disturbed by the abrupt ending, most LA families are using those three little words (back to school) a whole lot earlier these days. Of course, dropping our kids off at school doesn't change the weather; there might be no child left behind at the beach, but it's still summer until close to Halloween. So if your family is not yet ready for summer to end, pick a few items off our Endless Summer List and go have some fun while the sun still shines!

2016-17 Academic Year Calendars for Los Angeles Area Schools

Summer vacation ain't what it used to be. The majority of school districts now opt for an August start date, with only a few stragglers sticking with the old-school, post-Labor Day start. Don't just assume you know when school starts based on last year, as there's always a bit of shuffling of the schedule. This year Glendale leads the back-to-school race with a party-pooper start date of August 8, while last out the gate is Torrance, at a more traditional September 8.

Wondering where your district fits in, and how much time you have left for these 50 Free Things To Do in Summer? Read below for our list of start and finish dates for the 2016-2017 school year in and around LA County! And if what you read makes you wonder about what other school options are available to you, maybe our school guide can help.

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 30 through Labor Day (Monday September 5). Spread the word; if you don't have active military in your own family, let your friends know that from the GRAMMY 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.

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!

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