The Valleys

Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat for Los Angeles Kids

Trick or treat! Los Angeles moved down to fifth place this year in Zillow's Halloween list of the country's 20 best cities for trick-or-treating—but that's not slowing down anyone around here. The real estate website bases its trick-or-treat ranking on criteria like home value and crime rates. That's good, but what about special effects and Halloween decorations? If one figures in the number of film industry creatives living in a given metropolitan area, LA wins first place by a country mile. Speaking of country miles, if you've walked the distance between houses in the most expensive LA neighborhoods, you know that higher home value does not always translate to better trick-or-treating. What does? Well, keep your Halloween hats on, because we've got a list of some of LA and Orange County's most legendary trick-or-treat neighborhoods. I defy anyone in Philadelphia to beat these!

Halloween Ghost Trains, Rides, and Haunted Boats near LA

So you've already been to the pumpkin patches, and you're ready to take Halloween to the next level; you're ready, in fact, to put it in motion. Well, we know seven deadly ways to take this haunt on the road – or the sea – with everything from an old-fashioned train ride through fields of pumpkins, to a spooky tour through the bowels of a haunted ship, to a scream-filled hay ride through fields of zombies. Whatever Halloween means to your family, you can make it a ride at one (or more) of these vehicular annual haunts. After all, the family that guns down armies of zombies together stays together.

Tacos and Toddlers: 5 Hidden Gem Glendale Taco Restaurants Kids Love

The taco has overtaken the burger as the cheap-and-cheerful, kid-friendly meal choice of so many Los Angeles families, and the best tacos don’t just come from trendy food trucks or hole-in-the-wall stands. In fact, Glendale sports some of the most kid-friendly, parent-friendly taco spots in the city.

From chicken tacos to cheese quesadillas, these five taco treasures satisfy both big and little foodies in a casual, tot-friendly environment.

Say Boo at the Zoo: 5 LA and OC Zoos with Cool Halloween Events

Let the record show that there is more than one way to smash a pumpkin, and handing it to a hippo is definitely one of them. A gorilla does the job pretty well, too, as does a tiger, or—well, just about any other animal at the zoo. This discovery by our nation's zookeepers has led to a peculiar Halloween tradition—that we highly recommend!

Each year Southern California's zoos (and Griffith Park is only one of the options, as you'll see below) plan Halloween events, usually treating resident critters to their favorite delicacies stuffed inside pumpkins. For some, the delicacy may actually be the pumpkin itself (chomp chomp), while the more carnivorously inclined seem to view the pumpkins more as wrapping paper (smash smash). Either way, zoo animals smashing pumpkins ups the ante on traditional pumpkin patches. Check out all the beastly fun at Southland zoos this season.

Top Parks for Eagle Rock Preschoolers: 9 Prime Playgrounds near the 90041

Need a new place to play? There's a whole lot of green space to explore north of Downtown and east of Los Feliz. If your days involve entertaining a toddler or preschooler in the Northeast Los Angeles region, specifically Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Mt. Washington, or even reaching up toward Glendale and Pasadena, you'll want to check out our list of the best local parks and playgrounds. Because moms cannot live by Griffith Park alone...

Weekday Picks: Celebrating Prime Pumpkin Season, Oct. 10-14

The calendar is a cornucopia of fall events, from pumpkin patches to fall festivals, from creepy crawlies at the zoo to hay mazes and tractor-drawn wagon rides. For more holiday ideas and inspiration, check out our lists of pumpkin patches and mazes, as well as this comprehensive guide of Halloween fun and activities throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties. 

If escaping from the approaching holidays is more your speed, there are lots of activities to help you do that as well, including film screenings and theater performances. Head on over to the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar, as well as our picks for the month in our October GoList. Read on for some of the highlights for this week.

25 Fall Day Trips & Weekend Getaways for LA Families

Fall is in the air! Although Los Angeles is known as a city without seasons, we all know that it isn’t quite true. Pumpkin patches spring up under palm trees. Multi-million dollar mansions in Santa Monica morph into haunted houses. And nothing screams fall in the City of Angels more than walking into your local Starbucks and ordering up a no whip Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Fall is also a beautiful time of year to take the kids on day trips or away for the weekend. Colorful sunsets, cool afternoons, and a laid-back serenity are all traits we have come to love about autumn in Southern California. If the travel bug has hit and your children are good in the car, try heading to one of California's premiere spots, Carmel. There are also plenty of closer activities that are perfect for children and parent alike. So pack the car, grab some snacks, and head out to one of these twenty-five day trips and weekend getaways.

7 Scary Halloween Haunts for Spooking LA Teens, Tweens, and Adults

There is nothing like the wholesome thrill of introducing a Tigger-clad child to the joys of a night spent ringing neighbors' doorbells in return for candy. And what goes on at most of LA's theme parks in October is, indeed, nothing like that wholesome thrill. It may seem like Los Angeles celebrates a night that's all about children with an awful lot of entertainment that is clearly not for children, but these frightful haunts keep the Halloween fun going for older kids, for teens, and even for adults who indulge in guilty gruesome pleasures. But how to know which haunts are best for which ages? We've braved a few of them to share our reviews of just how scary is scary.

Looking for something not quite so scary, and a good deal cheaper? Check out these haunts that are mostly free and in private yards.

The Country School: The No-Homework School in Valley Village

Oh, those two wonderful words: no homework. The rare days when those words are uttered, children can play outside, and adults can plan satisfying family time. Wouldn't it be great if our kids' schools supported that sort of routine every day? If evenings could be spent reading together, playing games as a family, or even taking advantage of free museum nights instead of hovering over a pile of worksheets due tomorrow?

That’s where The Country School comes in— a progressive, project-based school in Valley Village that prioritizes the whole child and his or her creativity, compassion, and emotional intelligence. The mission of the school is to provide kids from preschool through eighth grade with a warm environment where they can approach learning in their own way. Instead of focusing on pop quizzes and worksheets, kids might be planting trees, making their own movies, creating maps, or learning to play instruments. The idea is that kids should be excited to tell their parents what they did at school that day.

Weekday Picks: A Toy Story of Legos and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Oct. 3-7

The start of a new month also brings the start of new exhibits at a couple of SoCal museums. Two cool new interactive experiences are the LEGO Travel Adventure at Discovery Cube Los Angeles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Discovery Cube in Santa Ana. Smaller kids not in school have the advantage that they can easily visit on a weekday to get hands-on experience building and playing with familiar characters and toys, as well as checking out the other interactive exhibits at the facilities, in which they can make a cloud ring, experience hurricane or earthquake simulations, climb a rock wall, or go in depth with the Science of Hockey.

Of course museum exhibits are just the beginning. For new and ongoing exhibits plus a variety of other events, check out the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar, our picks for the month in the October GoList, and our favorite outings for this week below.


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