Universal City

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!

The Ultimate Roundup of Free LA Holiday Events for Families

The Holidays have arrived, despite what the palm trees outside your window might be telling you. With a Santa in every mall, and a shopping list as long as your arm, it’s time to ring in the most magical time of year. But if you need a little help finding some cost-cutting events to share with the whole family, look no further. From boat parades to menorah lightings, there’s plenty of free fun to be had this Holiday season.

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels for a Los Angeles Family Vacation

Finding bliss and relaxation on vacation is so much easier when the kiddos are happy. Whether you're visiting Los Angeles, housing out-of-town guests, or indulging in a staycation (though we can recommend some kid-friendly hotels all around the world), why not choose a hotel that caters to the smallest guests? These LA resorts offer a little slice of paradise, family-friendly amenities, and unique experiences that might make you want to ditch that faraway destination and spend the weekend in SoCal. The best part is watching the kids have a blast, too.

Beyond Splash Pads: 8 Places for Year-round Water Play in Los Angeles

It can be hot anytime in Los Angeles, so there’s almost always a good reason to look for splash pads, pools, and beaches when the mercury rises. In summer, you can rely on our list of splash pads in Los Angeles or the water play parks in Orange County, but what about the rest of the year? There is always somewhere to beat the heat in LA. The following eight places offer much needed water activities at any time of year.

What's New at SoCal Theme Parks This Summer

How is a theme park like your kids? Because just when you think you know everything about them, they up and change on you. And just like with your kid, those changes are (mostly) good. Sure, we may have to say good-bye to a couple of old favorites, but look at all we get in their place. Sit back, buckle up, keep your arms inside the ride at all times, and see what our local theme parks have in store for you this summer.  

27 Fun Things in Hollywood that Kids Love To Do

We say, "Hooray for Hollywood!" because it offers more than just glitz and glam, celebrity hangouts, expensive T-shirt shops, and infamous nightclubs. Believe it or not, Hollywood is also a go-to destination with kids in tow—from hiking to the Hollywood sign to watching Wonder Woman get her Walk of Fame star. Feeling skeptical? Have a look at our 27 favorite things to do in and around Tinsel Town. And if you've got out-of-town guests looking for Hollywood movie sightseeing, we've got that covered, too.

(Thinking bigger than just Hollywood? Check out out list of 101 Things To Do in LA with Kids!)

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.

Universal Studios Hollywood: 10 Insider Tips for the Park and Wizarding World

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, Christmastime, and certain other holidays. 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.

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