Arcadia

Got Early Risers? What To Do in LA While Everyone Else Is Sleeping In

If your life is like mine, it can sometimes feel like you're living on a farm... for many reasons—one of them being that your children wake up when the chickens rise. My kids are often revved up and ready to go at 6am or even earlier. So what should you do with all of that early morning energy? From indoor playgrounds to trampoline parks, we've got eight great ideas.

9 Waterfall Hikes Every LA Family Should Know

There's no question that winter 2019 got LA's water flowing; and as long as it isn't flowing through your yard or your roof, you might be ready to get out there and watch it flow. What better way than with a hike to one of our wonderful LA area waterfalls? Some of these beautiful gems hide their light under a dry bushel some seasons, but not this year. Every one of the waterfalls below is worth a visit this season, as once dry creek beds are again rushing with water and sporting green. A hike to one of these Southland waterfalls is the stuff that family memories (and Facebook posts) are made of.

And if spring hikes are what your family loves, you'll probably want to try one of these wonderful wildflower hikes next!

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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. 

Top 10 Kids' Resale and Consignment Stores around Los Angeles

Kids grow fast, and they need everything from swimsuits for the beach to (even just for a little while) snow gear for tubing. Having a few go-to consignment and second-hand stores for that next growth spurt is an absolute must. Bonus if you can sell or offload items, too! Here are our top picks for kids' consignment shops (plus a huge kid consignment event) around Los Angeles that are worth the trip. Just remember: inventory changes, so visit often.

A Day at the Races: Is Santa Anita Park a Place To Bring Kids?

Kids love horses; this we know. We can indulge their fascination with a quick round on the ponies at Griffith Park or a stint at horse camp—or we can think outside the box and remember there are more ways to appreciate horses than sitting on one. How about cheering them on as they run? If hanging out at the track is not part of your world, you may not think horse racing sounds like a family activity, but guess what? It absolutely can be. Not only that, it can be totally free.

Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns: Halloween at Santa Anita Racetrack and Descanso Gardens

This post is from 2015. For current info see our 2016 post.

There are many levels of pumpkin carving. There's picking up a pumpkin at the grocery store and jabbing it with a knife until is makes a crooked smile. There's downloading a stencil and spending an afternoon with a $5 carving kit turning your pumpkin patch purchase into Jack Skellington. And then there's taking 5,000 fresh pumpkins per week and carving them into multi-gourd masterpieces never before conceived out of fruit. That last thing is what you'd call Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns.

The Rise, as those in the know call it, has been a popular Halloween event near NYC, on Long Island, for years; SoCal got its first peek at the hard-to-describe pumpkin phenomenon last year, when it moved into Descanso Gardens. This year The Rise is at two LA locations (adding the Santa Anita Race Track), as well as the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. And it is pretty darn different from any other Halloween event I've seen.

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