Newport Beach / Costa Mesa

16 Parent and Me Swim Classes for Water Babies and Toddlers in LA & the OC

Kids dig water, and the younger we start them in it, the earlier they build the skills needed to swim confidently and safely. Mommy and Me – or Daddy and Me – classes are a fun and bonding introduction to a lifelong love of swimming. We know some great private swim classes for LA kids, but the group lessons below are all about getting in the pool alongside your baby or toddler. Dive into our extensive list of area Mommy or Daddy and Me classes.

4th of July Fireworks Cruises and Boat Rides for Families in LA and OC

We landlubbers love our fireworks, don't we? Well, if you think the view from the shore is stunning, try witnessing the pyrotechnics spectacle from a boat. That's a holiday memory your kiddos won't soon forget. Several small cruise boats and ships set sail this Independence Day, with 2-3 hour tours to delight you and your first mates. Snuggle on deck under a blanket and watch the sky come alive as the water sparkles below. Read on to find a boat leaving a port near you.

59 Things To Do with Orange County Kids Before They Grow Up

Orange County may sometimes be considered second fiddle compared to Los Angeles for fun eats, kid-friendly parks, family outings, and outdoor adventures; but the OC has plenty of all of these—with the benefits of better air and less traffic (sorry, Angelenos!). If your kids are growing up the OC way, here are some key places to take them for the ultimate childhood experience behind the Orange curtain.

12 Things Dads Actually Want To Do for Father's Day in LA

There are lots of ways to celebrate Father's Day around LA, including special occasion meals among sharks, ex-presidents, and the night market masses. The trick is figuring out what the dad at your house really wants. If you want this Father's Day to revolve around something more exciting than a new tie, check out our dozen ideas for dad-friendly, kid-friendly activities that he won't see coming. We guarantee there are some ideas on our list you hadn't thought of.

Splash Parks, Sprinklers, and Water Playgrounds in Orange County Parks

When summer finally hits, Southland families are looking for water, water everywhere. There's hanging at the beach or playing in a pool, but fun places with splash pads and water features rank pretty high on a summer bucket list. Little kids, bigger kids, and even the occasional parent (yes, you!) can cool off on a hot day without tons of planning or tons of waste. Let's face it: playing in the water is just plain fun—and if you keep an extra towel in the car, you're always ready.

Check out some of these free water play parks and sprinklers around Orange County. Most are open Memorial Day to Labor Day, though we recommend calling to confirm before heading out, as water conservation efforts may sometimes be in effect.

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!

Celebrating Purim at Carnivals All Over Los Angeles

Not too sure what Purim is? Imagine something between Hebrew Halloween and Middle Eastern Mardi Gras, and you'll more or less have it. Jewish families know Purim as a time of uncharacteristically raucous rabbinical revelry, marked by costumes, noisemakers, interactive storytelling, triangular pastries, and enough drink (for the grown-ups) to muddy the lines between good and evil. Gentile families generally don't know it at all. But Purim is worth knowing. Its story has all the best elements: a party-hearty king, a beautiful and courageous queen, a resourceful good guy, and a bad guy so hateful that everyone drowns out his name with noisemakers at community carnivals all over town. Check out one of the events below for classic Purim activities, costume parades, and boisterous retellings of the Purim story.

And if you know of a celebration we've missed, please let us know!

These 8 Trampoline Parks Offer LA & OC Kids Wall-to-wall Jumping

Bounce and repeat. What else do we need to say? Big kids, little kids, they all like to jump. Even Mom and Dad can occasionally enjoy trampoline time (though they might just prefer the trampoline park below that offers massage chairs on the sidelines). Bring a pack of kids for a birthday party, and they'll all sleep well afterwards; bring an antsy one on a rainy day, and watch the mood change for the better. Note that the 8 jumping gyms below can get seriously rambunctuous, but most offer special times or areas for toddlers and preschoolers. And if there's a stuntkid in your family, these are definitely addresses you need to know.

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!

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