Orange County

26 Must-Do Summer Festivals around Los Angeles and Orange County

What's summer without a good festival? And what's LA without at least 25 of them? We've pulled together more than 25 of the best summer festivals in Los Angeles and Orange County, from June through September. Whether it's celebrating community or something more specific—like salsa or lobster!—fairs and festivals are an essential part of a Southern California summer. Here's our guide to help your family make summer plans to bond over fried food, carnival rides, art, boats, and lots of outdoor music. 

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.

10 Stroller-friendly Hiking Trails for LA Parents To Hike with Toddlers

If a stroll to the neighborhood park is not enough to stretch your limbs, pack that stroller and head for a trail—preferably one that accommodates said stroller. Backpacking moms can enjoy our suggestions for traditional kid-friendly hikes; back-aching moms should read on to see ten suggestions for LA hikes with room for strollers to stride. We're sure there's one to please! (And for more suggestions, check out our family hiking guide!)

Water Parks Where LA and SoCal Kids Can Get Their Water Slide Fix

Nothing is more fun on a too-hot day than some water play—just ask the kids. And if you want to give them a big surprise, take them to a water theme park. There are several water parks in Southern California, with large scale splash parks to please every kid from toddler to teen. Of course, if you're looking for something smaller, closer, or more low-key, you can always check out our list of water play features at city parks; but if you're looking to make a big splash, check out one of the SoCal parks below.

12 Very British Experiences in LA for Kids with Royal Fever

Whether we're getting excited about a royal wedding or just in the mood for a crumpet, it's always jolly good fun to let our inner Anglophiles run wild. After all, the British royal family is poised to include a gal from Los Angeles. Once Prince Harry and Megan Markle are officially hitched, that makes us all members of the extended royal family, so let's have some fun checking out kid-friendly ways to explore English culture (and cuisine) while staying planted right here in town. 

Mother's Day Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Fire Service Day, Rocket Launch, and Gibbons

It's Mother's Day, and Momma wants something good. Something unique. Maybe something handmade. Most likely something handmade.

For the record, Momma is well-rounded. She likes apes, and she likes dinosaurs. She likes gardens. She likes cars big; she likes cars small. She likes firemen and Julie Andrews. She likes birds; she likes planes; she likes Superman

Momma likes getting in free and being treated like royalty. She likes rockets in flight and stars on ice. (Also good: stars in the sky.)

But mostly she likes spending time with her kids. You get one weekend to call your own, Mommas: make it count!

Keep reading for our best suggestions for a Mother of a weekend! 

10 Special Libraries in LA & OC Worth a Drive Beyond Your Branch

Local libraries are a key part of the parenting experience, and most of us are aware of the goings-on at our nearest branch—from toddler storytimes, to homework help, to family movie nights. Some savvy parents are even on top of the many extra perks that come with a library card. But what about venturing beyond the local branch? With so many libraries in the greater Los Angeles area, some are really exceptional and merit a visit even if they're not your local. The 10 SoCal libraries below all boast something extra that makes them worth a drive.

Mommy Freebies! Free Stuff for Los Angeles Moms on Mother's Day

Hopefully someone is making brunch reservations for you this Mother's Day—but what to do with the rest of the day? Well, there's nothing like feeling appreciated, and what says, "We appreciate you, Mom!" better than free admission (or a free meal, free champagne, or free joust)? Check out these places around town where the free carpet is rolled out just for mamas on Mother's Day.

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