The Valleys

Where To See Whales in LA: Whale Watching Cruises, Festivals, and Viewpoints

Winter is prime whale watching season in Southern California, and there are several ways to spy on the giant mammals as they pass through on their 6,000-mile quest for Mexican romance. Each year, between December and April, roughly 20,000 Pacific gray whales migrate past our beaches, and March brings particularly high traffic because that's when the underwater procession starts to turn around. Pregnant, south-bound she-whales still trying to make it to Baja before the contractions start are blasted past by upwardly mobile young he-whales, finished with romance and headed for an appointment in the Arctic Circle. All that toing and froing is the inspiration for many a whale cruise and festival. With a little luck and clear skies, even a hike or sand sledding can turn into a whale watching activity.

17 Free Indoor Activities for a Rainy Day in LA

There is no limit to what a family can do outdoors in Los Angeles, and our clichéd weather makes enjoying these activities possible most days of the year. But on the occasional day when the mercury drops below 50 degrees—or when water falls perplexingly from the sky—we need a back-up plan. Indoor activities are sprinkled throughout our bucket list of 100 Things To Do with LA Kids Before They Grow Up, but wouldn't it be handy to have one list of totally free things to do with kids indoors? We thought so, too!

25 Fun Things To Do in Northridge with Kids

Northridge isn't a must-visit destination for parents the way DTLA, Hollywood, and even Santa Monica are, but that's no reason to avoid it. You may just find that this little Valley suburb west of the 405 has a lot of the cute restaurants, fun shops, and awesome playgrounds found in other parts of the city—but with fewer crowds, less traffic, and tons of free parking. Sounds better now, doesn't it? This not-entirely-sleepy suburb has plenty of locations for kids (and even one for college-age kids, at least if they attend CSUN). Here are a few ways to enjoy a visit to this corner of the San Fernando Valley.

How To Recycle Your Christmas Tree in LA

On the 12th day of Christmas my city gave to me - a chance to recycle my Christmas tree!

Whether from a lot at the corner or a cut-your-own farm in LA's outer regions, we lug those lovely-smelling, triangular chunks of evergreen wonder home on top of our cars each December amid singing, warm drinks, and family bonding. Thoughts of what will become of them a few weeks later are pushed to the outer regions of our To Do Lists. Well, the 12th day of Christmas is fast upon us, and our To Do Lists have come home to roost. Exhausting as it may sound after all the revelry, recycling a Christmas tree does not have to be difficult to arrange; all you need is a little information - which we've taken the time to assemble here!

Free in January: 15 Free Things To Do with Kids In Los Angeles

The holidays are over, and we all deserve a long winter's nap. But just because the decorations are getting packed up doesn't mean the fun has to stop. There are still plenty of free things to do this January, when all those Christmas & Hanukkah gifts start to lose their luster. From moon gazing to dance parties, if you're looking to keep busy without breaking the bank, we've got you covered. So grab the winter coat, and put away the checkbook, because who says you can't have fun on a budget? 

New Year's Day in Los Angeles: 19 Fun Things To Do with Kids for 2019

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!

A Different Sort of Christmas Lights: Check Out the Magical Lanterns at the LA Arboretum

Still sad about the DWP shuttering their holiday lights? In the five years since that free public display closed, a number of shows have popped up around town. The LA County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is the latest to join the LA Zoo and Descanso Gardens with its own event. Moonlight Forest features more than 60 Asian-created lantern displays. The festival isn't free, but you might find it blows the old DWP display (and a few others) away. 

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!

What's Open on Christmas Day in LA: 25 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 25 suggestions of things to do and places to go on Christmas Day that have (mostly) nothing to do with chestnuts or open fire?

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