Calabasas

Free in November: 22 Free Things To Do with Kids In Los Angeles

With the Holiday Season fast approaching, pocketbooks can start to feel a little light. If you’re in need of some family fun but don’t want to break the bank, look no further. There are still plenty of things to do in Los Angeles this November, without ever cracking open that wallet. From the Day of the Dead to Santa’s Sled, it's time to kick off winter with a frugal bang.

Ultimate Halloween Event List: 34 Best Celebrations in LA for Free or Spooky Fun

If you've already spent on the Halloween costume (and perhaps a second one if you bought too early), and the pumpkin (and perhaps a second one if you bought too early), and the Halloween candy (and perhaps an extra aerobics class if you bought too early), you might have reached your limit with spending money on this mother-of-all kids' holidays. That's when it's time to start sniffing out which are the key Halloween activities (and which are the free ones) that keep the mood going at this haunting time of year. The following events are the Halloween parties not to miss—the scream of the crop!

Beyond Splash Pads: 8 Places for Year-round Water Play in Los Angeles

It can be hot anytime in Los Angeles, so there’s almost always a good reason to look for splash pads, pools, and beaches when the mercury rises. In summer, you can rely on our list of splash pads in Los Angeles or the water play parks in Orange County, but what about the rest of the year? There is always somewhere to beat the heat in LA. The following eight places offer much needed water activities at any time of year.

Kid-friendly St. Patrick's Day Celebrations: Parades, Parties, and Leprechauns in LA

Here comes Saint Patrick's Day; time to brush up the Irish brogue for the one time per year (unless you're really Irish) that you use it. The holiday falls on a Saturday this year, which makes for a weekend of celebrating with paradesfestivals, and corned beef. So top o' the marnin' to ye; Erin Go Bragh; that shade of green looks bonny on you, and let's go find that pot o' gold!

Free, Kid-Friendly Workouts for Mom or Dad at Malls around LA

The malls of Los Angeles want you to visit, and they’re willing to do you a favor or two to get you there—including free workout classes. It may seem counterintuitive to head to the mall in search of free stuff, but, in the spirit of reeling us in, many malls offer kid-friendly, free workouts for moms. In other words, the mall is one of very few places where you can exercise without dropping a wad of cash. I can’t promise that you won’t end up splurging on lunch or a new pair of skinny jeans (that’s the whole point of the free workout, isn’t it?), but the sweat sessions listed below are free to anyone with an iron will.

Tree Lighting Celebrations To Kick off the Holidays around LA & OC

Carols, cocoa, and the Claus family deck the Southland halls in the coming weeks from the Westside to the Valleys and back down to Orange County. As the holidays get rolling, there are plenty of opportunities to snap photos with Santa, take in a boat parade, and marvel at some Angelenos' lawn decorations, but the best way to kick it all off is with a good old-fashioned tree lighting ceremony. Communities all over Los Angeles and Orange County have their own traditions—not to mention unspoken competitions for whose tree is the largest and whose lights up the earliest. It's all in good cheer, so pick whichever of the locations below is nearest to you, and go rock around a Christmas tree, SoCal style!

We'll keep adding more below as communities make their plans. Check our events calendar and sign up for our weekly newsletter to keep up with the latest info.

Historic Cemeteries and Spooky Graveyards in LA: The Final Forever

Cemeteries can be beautiful, historic, and filled with interesting people. On Halloween night or under a full moon they might be just a little bit spooky or awfully sinister, depending upon your tolerance. Regardless, my family loves them. For my daughter who relishes the macabre, there is always the hope and possibility of encountering a graveyard ghost. My husband and son are scholars of the past, and there is nothing quite so historic as a bunch of dead people. Me, I like the trees and the grass and the inscriptions.

A good boneyard has something for everybody (including some great Day of the Dead celebrations). While Los Angeles is a town where people come seeking eternal youth (or at least a botoxed rendition), nothing lasts forever. Nevertheless, our sundrenched landscape is not a bad place to spend eternity, and you may even find yourself alongside somebody quite famous in one of these LA final resting places.

Gated Playgrounds: Valley Parks with Fences for LA Kids

The idea of a gated playground is quite appealing. Sometimes we need the boundaries we set to be literal. Containment, especially when you’re dealing with toddlers, is the name of the game. That said, my daughter was a runner and no park fence would have been enough to keep her nearby if there was something on the horizon that caught her attention. Nevertheless, for some families a closed gate is all it takes to make a park visit work; and for the rest of us it is occasionally nice to have at least the illusion of security that an enclosed playground provides. Here are a few nice ones in the Valley (to add to our popular list of Westside gated playgrounds):

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