Orange County

Best Spots for Tea Parties or High Tea with Los Angeles Kids

While I miss the days of my son's impromptu tea parties, these days his (and our) tea party tastes are far more grown-up. Forget make-believe beverages and fake cakes—we're now in the market for three-tiered trays of pastries and little sandwiches with the crusts cut off (because why not?). Lucky for us, we have many options in and around Los Angeles for pretending we're in an episode of The Crown or Downton Abbey. So here's a toast (with pinkies raised) to the best afternoon tea spots in the Southland.

100 Things To Do with LA Kids Before They Grow Up

Kids. We can't stop them from growing up so fast, but we can try not to miss any of the best, most memorable things to do in their home town. LA is probably the best city in the country for raising kids, but that just means there are more things to remember to do before the little chickens spring the coop. Being phenomenal Southern California parents, you've certainly already done several of these; but which of these 100 not-to-be-missed, family-fun outings have you not yet done? There's always this weekend!

If you're in the mood for a more local itinerary, check out one of our neighborhood bucket lists. And finally a tip: Keep an eye on our list of ages that kids get in free at SoCal attractions as you make your plan.

NEW: We have a free printable checklist of our favorite LA activities from this list. Print it out and stick it on your fridge to inspire you any time you need an activity idea.

Adventure Playground: Orange County's Park for Free-range Kids

I had been hearing rave reviews about Orange County’s Adventure Playground—the so-called free-range playground—ever since I first moved to the area. The hype around this place makes it sound something like a time machine, throwing back to a day of mud puddles in the vacant lot. I finally loaded two kids, a bag of snacks, extra clothes, and beach towels into my car and headed to Irvine to see what the fuss was all about.

New Year's Day in Los Angeles: 17 Fun Things To Do with Kids

The last holiday of winter break or the first holiday of the new year—however you look at it, New Year is a day for family time; and if you opt for a kid-friendly New Year's Eve activity, you could even have the energy for an early start. You might just choose an outing from our list of 47 Things To Do While Everyone Else Is Out of Town, but how to know if it's an option on the holiday? All of the outings below are great choices for a New Year's Day activity—in fact some of them can only be enjoyed on January 1st. Happy New Year!

Disneyland with Baby? All You Need Is This Game Plan

Disneyland is free for kids under the age of three, but can you and your baby enjoy it? I've taken my 15-month-old daughter at least nine times, allowing me to hone my baby strategy. For many, Disneyland is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. For locals it's different; while the House of Mouse has temporarily suspended SoCal resident passes, Southern California families can still take advantage of the Resident Select Pass and visit Disneyland more often than the dentist. Parents of little ones will discover the park is the ultimate in family-friendly fun, no matter what your age. Here are twelve tips to have a more magical day with your baby.

47 Things To Do around LA When Everyone Else Goes Away for Christmas

Shhhhh. Do you hear that? Wait—I think.... Yep! They're gone! All those people whose families live on the east coast, in the Midwest, in the Bay Area—they're all standing in their socks at airport security, telling their kids to hurry up and knock back that juice box before they miss their plane. Doesn't it make you glad to be in LA?

The marvelous secret I never knew in my childless, travel-at-will days is that for roughly 10 blessed days in December every year the highways of Los Angeles open up—and I'm not talking the San Andreas Fault way. While all those other Angelenos are away, you can do anything, anywhere, and it need not take you more than 20 minutes to get there. Have friends you miss in Burbank? Never get to the beach? Now is the time to start checking items off our 100 Things To Do in LA Bucket List, or try a few of the far-fetched and fun outings below that won't feel nearly so far during LA's true Holy Week!

Christmas Weekend: Best Activities for LA Kids Dec 23-25

Happy Holidays, folks! We're smack dab in the middle of a festivity frenzy, with Christmas and Kwanzaa coming on strong. (Those of us who are been-there, dreidel'd-that, done with Hanukkah can turn our attention to the Baby New Year's impending arrival. And Star Wars.)

This weekend offers the last chance to put the finishing touches on Christmas, before the big guy comes down the chimney late Sunday night. Across Southern California, lights are twinklingnuts are cracking,  and reindeer are romping, as moms and dads scramble to buy last minute gifts (while finding time for a seasonal spectacle or two).

And then comes Christmas. No doubt many of you plan to spend Christmas Day at home with friends and family. For those of you looking for activities outside the home, good news: we're here to help. First up, we offer 15 Things To Do on Christmas. And if your kitchen closes on Christmas Day, we present a list of restaurants that are open. Christmas is the gift that keeps on giving, and after the presents are all exchanged we can still enjoy the gift of other people being gone. (Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the freeways much more bearable.) For holiday cheer that continues on into next week, might we suggest some of LA's finest Christmas light displays, or some in Orange County (and, if you're willing to spend a little, some holiday light displays are worth the ticket price). 

What's Open on Christmas Day in LA: 15 Fun Things To Do

Not everyone spends Christmas Day opening presents and singing Christmas carols. If Christmas at your house feels much like any other day but without as much to do—or if your family are just really fast unwrappers—Mommy Poppins has you covered with everything from whales to festivals, and someplace to eat at the end of the day. Ready for 15 suggestions of things to do and places to go on Christmas Day that have (mostly) nothing to do with chestnuts or open fire?

Public Holiday Light Displays Worth Paying To See this Christmas

An after-dinner drive to take in one of LA's classic neighborhood holiday light displays is a treat we all can and probably should indulge in. It's an easy, cheap way to get in the Christmas spirit (or just enjoy someone else's). Of course, counting on other people to decorate their lawns is only so reliable. To be sure of a full evening of light and good cheer, sometimes it's worth splurging on a pay-to-play light display. Several local destinations indulge us in our desire to see grand scale holiday lights, from Zoo Lights to walks in the woods. The bigger the group you can round up, the more festive—but also the more expensive it can get. It helps to know which of LA's big public light shows are worth the ticket price this holiday season.

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