La Cañada/ Flintridge

Free in May: 24 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.

12 Family Memberships Worth Having As You Raise Your LA Kid

It can be hard to find places to go with the whole family without spending a bundle. When your kids let you know they love a place, it's a lot easier to go back there again and again (and again) if you become a member. Annual memberships allow you to enjoy all the perks and discounts a venue can offer (plus the tax write-off!). Here are a few of the most affordable and enjoyable places in LA to get memberships for the whole family. 

Breakfast with Santa Claus: Where LA Kids Can Share a Bagel with Father Christmas

Doing lunch might work for some LA types, but Santa Claus does breakfast. So before you take a train with Santa, see The Nutcracker with Santa, do some holiday shopping with Santa, wave to Santa on a boat, call Santa on the phone, or take funky LA photos with Santa, first you, your kids, AND Santa all need a good breakfast. The holidays are a busy time of year after all.

Most (though not all) of the events below require reservations, and some fill up surprisingly early. It's worth making the effort, though, if for no other reason than to see how good some people's table manners can be when the man at the head of the table is wearing a red suit and wielding a list.

10 Reasons to Explore La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge

Most LA parents know that Pasadena has loads to offer families, but far fewer have discovered nearby La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge. These quiet suburban enclaves remain two of the San Gabriel Valley's best-kept secrets, boasting an outdoorsy, family-friendly appeal, with bucolic highlights like Descanso Gardens and its unique Enchanted Forest of Light. These communities are just a short drive up the 2 freeway yet feel like a world away from Los Angeles' big-city bustle.

Enchanted: Forest of Light Is Descanso Gardens' Christmas Walk in the Woods

If you are one of the many Angelenos whose paths rarely lead them through La Cañada-Flintridge, then perhaps you've never visited Descanso Gardens. It would be understandable; most of us need to drive a befuddling combination of highway numbers to get there. Well, 'tis the season to download Waze and get there, because Descanso's holiday light display, Enchanted: Forest of Light, is worth the drive and then some. Home holiday lights are lovely and cheery. Boat parades are delightful and so SoCal. But Descanso's holiday woodland light show is an experience unto itself and one to bundle up the kids and make time for.

Memorial Day Parades Around LA and the OC

One thing about Los Angeles - it's not a one-parade town. If festivals are too stationary for you, if you need a parade to drum up an appetite for that Memorial Day BBQ, then you've got it made in the shade (as long as you've found a shady spot for your  chair) in Los Angeles and Orange County on Monday. The good news for the parade abstainers is that none of the parades on this holiday marches down a major thoroughfare (unless the 405 gets shut down - in which case Topanga is going to hear plenty of honking that isn't for peace). For parade fans, the patriotic fanfare never sounded so good.

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