Hollywood

School Start & End Dates: 2019-2020 Academic Year Calendars for LA County Schools

Summer vacation ain't what it used to be. The majority of SoCal school districts now opt for an August start date, with vanishingly few stragglers sticking with the old-school, post-Labor Day start. And beware assuming that school starts and finishes roughly when it did last year, because schedules seem to change all the time. 2020 is a leap year, and that extra day may impact the school calendar as well.

This year Alhambra is first out of the gate, leading the back-to-school race with a pool-party-pooper start date of August 9; but in a radical change of course, Torrance goes from last man standing to a late August start. Hermosa Beach is now the only district on our list with a September start date, with classes beginning on September 5. 

Wondering where your district fits in, and how much time you have left for these 50 Free Things To Do in Summer? Bookmark our list below with start and finish dates for the 2019-2020 school year all over 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 Cinco de Mayo Celebrations that Are Great for Families

First let's set the record straight: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican 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? Many of the Cinco de Mayo events you'll see advertised are pub crawls, but we've hunted down celebrations the whole family can enjoy.

There are free Cinco de Mayo fests throughout LA and the OC, starting as early as a week before, so get in the spirit to dance, watch parades, and (of course) eat.

Water Feature: 16 Water Playgrounds and Parks with Splash Pads in LA

Splash pads and spraygrounds have replaced the old running through the sprinkler on a lazy summer afternoon. There may be parts of the country where soaking the lawn is still OK, but here in SoCal turning on the hose for entertainment is frowned upon. Still puddle-loving Angeleno kids can splash through hot days at parks with free and fabulous water features, like the ones below—many of which are open year-round. So if a pool or a water park sounds like too much work today, cool those kids down at a splash park!

Best Summer Horse Riding Camps around Los Angeles and Orange County

It's hard to believe that only a few decades ago many LA kids could pat and even ride horses in their own neighborhoods. My friend who hails from Brentwood remembers feeding carrots to front yard horses just blocks from the now bustling and trendy San Vicente Blvd. Wouldn't that be nice? If you have a little rider-wanna-be but no riding ring next door, don't despair: there are many horseback riding summer camps with lessons for kids right around the corner.

Along with our recommendations for the LA area's best art camps, classic outdoor summer camps, and science camps, we offer our picks for LA and Orange County's best summer horse riding camps. Be sure to check our camp guide for more camp ideas!

Family-Friendly Beer Gardens: 9 Spots for LA Kids and Parents To Chill Together

After a long week of parenting, there’s nothing more rejuvenating to me than sitting outside in sunny California gorgeousness and tossing back a cold beer and pretzel while my toddler runs around like a maniac. If our recent review of family friendly wineries sounds great but too far, a kid-friendly brewery in town may be just the ticket. Here's a list of inviting places in the Los Angeles area to drink outside with the kiddos, ranging from super traditional German beer gardens to family-friendly brewpubs with outdoor spaces. 

10 Kid-Friendly Hollywood Restaurants

Hollywood is full of things to do with kids—we have collected 25 of them—and you can easily spend the entire day. Which means you will need food! Hollywood is also full of restaurants. But once you weed out the fast food chains and big tourist chains, there are still plenty of kid-friendly local chains and independent restaurants, and we have selected 10 options. There is something for you if you want something quick, something historic or old-timey, or something new and fun. And even if your kids are picky eaters or have food allergies, they will enjoy something from this list!

40+ Easter Egg Hunts and Bunny Events for Kids in LA and Orange County

Some of us have lovely gardens and the inclination to creatively hide eggs in them early on a Sunday morning. Others have an inclination to sleep late and find eggs hidden in someone else's garden. We find no shame in that and are more than happy to help guide you to lots of places where Peter Cottontail has evidently just been moments before. Most of the egg hunts below take place Easter weekend; keep an eye on our Event Calendar for last-minute additions, and check out these other places to find the Easter Bunny for more photo ops!

Spring Break Camps: 14 Fun Solutions for April Vacation around LA

Spring Break around Los Angeles is a moving feast; some districts have one week, and some have two. Some take a vacation in March, and some in April. Add to the mix the complications of Easter, Passover, and parent work schedules, and Spring Break camp can be a tough knot to untie. Whether your family needs two weeks full time or a day here and there, we've chosen a few of our favorites that run the gamut. From the Valley to the sea, surfing to soccer, we think you'll find something worthy of a few days away from school among the camps below.

And if you're so on the ball that spring is already covered and you've moved on to summer, check out some of our favorite art, cooking, horse, and classic outdoorsy camps in our Summer and Vacation Camp Guide!

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