Orange County

Free in May: 20 Things To Do that Don't Cost a Thing

Summer is just around the corner, and so are the camp fees, vacation expenses, and hefty ice cream budgets that come with it. So why not be responsible for once and make May your month to get frugal?Whether you’re looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo free of charge, or just check out a movie without breaking the bank, here are a few free things to do this month with the whole family.

We have included a few great outdoor festivals with free admission; if you need to avoid shelling out for cotton candy and a carousel ride, just scroll on to the next fun thing!

Medieval Times: Knightly Dinner Theater with a Dose of Girl Power in Orange County

While nearby Disneyland has sucked me in repeatedly over the years, the truth is that watching jousting and eating chicken with my hands at Medieval Times has always inspired a hard pass. That said, when the opportunity to play pretend princess in a "real" castle came up recently, my daughters were over the moon—and I was on the hook. As the saying goes, let the games begin. 

May GoList: Best Things To Do with LA and OC Kids This Month

The weekends of May are packed with activity; there's Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and that one weekend without a holiday. There are parades, festivals, shows, and people eating bugs. With so much going on, it's easy to miss something. To help you keep track, here's a list of the biggest, most once-a-year-ish events happening this month. We'll keep adding to our Event Calendar daily, and it's a good idea to make sure our weekly recommendations arrive in your inbox, but we figured you'd appreciate some advance notice on these May favorites.

20 Mother's Day Brunch Restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County

Mother's Day, and the brunching is easy—and when we say easy, we mean the culinary version of a chick flick. This is not a day for the Denny's Lumberjack Slam (not that there's anything wrong with that); Mother's Day brunch begs sprigs of rosemary, ocean views, and maybe a harp plucked with a rose. Or, if that's not your thing, Fillmore & Western Railway is happy to Throw Mama on the Train. The key is Mom's Choice—all day!

Read on for some of our favorite restaurants that offer a pretty darn fabulous Mother's Day brunch.

8 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. Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16, and—while the festivals might look similar—confusing the two holidays is as gringo as, say, putting pastrami in a taco. (Actually, scratch that—LA is pretty darned proud of its pastrami tacos.) Let's simply agree that just because the US named its independence holiday 4th of July doesn't mean that Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is Mexico's 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?

32 Indoor Play Spaces: for Rainy Days or Other Odd Weather in LA & OC

It never rains in LA—except when it does. It's common knowledge that the roads around here become insane when water falls from the sky, but it's special mom knowledge that the living rooms become insane, too. And speaking of insane, ever try planning a birthday party outdoors in January? Sure, you might have one of those gorgeous days Manhattan moms covet, or you might end up calling 25 kids and rescheduling. Either way—rainy day or birthday—you need to know where the indoor playgrounds are in LA and Orange County.

Jumping Around at Orange County's Latest Extreme Sports Park

Bouncing off the walls in Orange County just got a whole lot more interesting. We recently checked out Circus Trix, Mission Hills' latest and greatest extreme sports park. Part trampoline park, part aerial sports gym, part Ninja Warrior training course, this place offers thrill-seeking kiddos plenty of opportunities to take flight. We went on a mission to see just how many ways a kid could could bounce there.

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 Best Campgrounds for Tent Camping with Kids Near LA

Marshmallows. Check. Bug spray. Check. Air mattress. Check. Camping season is upon us. Hurrah! And thankfully in this multi-terrain region of ours, you don't need to go far to enjoy a night or two under the stars. A weekend without electronics, breathing fresh air, and enjoying meals over the campfire: all this can be yours without driving more than an hour or two—in some cases even less! Read on to find an easy destination for you and your happy campers. (And if the one you want is full this weekend, check out a few last minute camping spots.)

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