25 Things To Do in Laguna Beach with Kids

Laguna Beach in Orange County is a beach- and art-lovers paradise, a land of scuba diving and gallery exploring. The town was originally created as an artists' colony, known to this day for its many art festivals, but Laguna has plenty of other great amenities and events, too, that make this town a great place for kids and the whole family. Whether you are a local, a daytripper, or just looking for a SoCal staycation to please all ages, heading to Laguna Beach is a great idea!

10 Best Beaches near Disneyland, for a Break from Mouse Madness

Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth, but eventually even the most enthusiastic Disney fans need a break from crowded shows, long lines, and sugary treats. When your little princess or prince melts down for the third day in a row because the line to meet Cinderella is longer than your trip home, it may be time to take a breather on the beach.

15 Great Barbecue Grills and Pits in LA Parks for Cooking Out with Family

Nothing says “summer” like barbecue. Many of our local parks are standing by with grills and pits to satisfy that craving for charred food. And the beauty of life in Southern California is that "summer" can be practically any time of year; the 15 parks below have year-round, mostly free barbecue facilities, ready for birthday parties, holiday celebrations, spontaneous picnics, or family dinners al fresco.

Pageant of the Masters in Laguna: These Paintings Aren't What They Seem

Every city has something uniquely its own, some quirky event or phenomenon that defies description yet defines by association. Houston has its rodeo; Boston has its tea party, and Laguna Beach has the Pageant of the Masters

If you've never experienced this curious gem, the private treasure of the people of Laguna, opportunity awaits you every night all summer long. But get ready to clean your glasses, because you won't always be sure what you're looking at. The extraordinary event is unlike anything else I've seen; it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you're raising a budding artist, or if you love hitting museums en famille, you owe it to yourselves to check the Pageant of the Masters off this summer's bucket list.

Great Summer Horse Riding Camps near Los Angeles

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, science camps, and cooking camps, we offer our picks for LA and Orange County's best summer horse riding camps. (Be sure to check our camp guide periodically for more camp categories being added all the time!)

Christmas Light Displays and Home Holiday Decorations around Orange County

It’s time to flip the on-switch for Orange County’s annual show of over-the-top holiday light displays, which are at least as extreme as the ones in LA. From the north end to the south, Orange County boasts a number of spark-tacular holiday adventures to walk or drive through. Some are individual homes; some are entire neighborhoods, and let’s not forget one illustrious Boat Parade. All in all, you and yours can take joy, with oohs and ahhs, in the mega-watt experience sans the hefty Edison bill. So, pack up your gloves, scarves, hot chocolate, and flip-flops. Pile in the car and take a drive to see a bounty of wintry wonderland lights.

7 Holiday Shows that Aren't The Nutcracker: Christmas Carol, Pantos, and Disney on Ice

Christmastime. It's well nigh impossible to overstate the number of options SoCal families have for wholesome entertainment at this Yuletide time of year; in fact I'll go out on a Christmas tree limb and say it is impossible to exaggerate the array of lights, boats, Santas, and Nutcrackers that Angeleno kids could be enjoying at any given moment this month. But the theaters of LA and OC offer more theatrical experiences than just the 26 different productions of The Nutcracker (and counting). Looking for a Christmas show without a Sugar Plum Fairy? Try one of the seasonal classics below.

Secret Parks of Orange County: 5 Hidden Gems Only Locals Know

Tired of visiting the same old parks? If your local jungle gym has recently lost its luster, be grateful that you live in (or are visiting) Orange County, where you can take your tykes to explore one of the hidden gems below. From giant Legos to beachfront slides to fountains and duck ponds, there are plenty of captivating playgrounds to explore throughout Southern California, but it takes a real OC native to know all five of these boredom-busting tot lots. Pick any one of them for an outing the whole family can enjoy.

Dinosaurs in Orange County: 5 Spots for Dino-Loving Kids

Are Jurassic World, Dinosaur Train, and Dino Dan playing on an endless loop in your home? Does your 4-year-old frequently reference the differences between a Stegosaurus and a Brachiosaurus without batting an eye? Have you often found yourself in heated discussions at the dinner table about whether or not an Apatosaurus would, in fact, eat all of his vegetables?

If this sounds like your family, why not encourage your budding paleontologist to embrace his current obsession by walking (or playing!) with dinosaurs? Orange County has a plethora of places to take Cretaceous-crazed kids to fuel all of their prehistoric passions.


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