North Hollywood / Toluca Lake

16 Parent and Me Swim Classes for Water Babies and Toddlers in LA & the OC

Kids dig water, and the younger we start them in it, the earlier they build the skills needed to swim confidently and safely. Mommy and Me – or Daddy and Me – classes are a fun and bonding introduction to a lifelong love of swimming. We know some great private swim classes for LA kids, but the group lessons below are all about getting in the pool alongside your baby or toddler. Dive into our extensive list of area Mommy or Daddy and Me classes.

Celebrating Purim at Carnivals All Over Los Angeles

Not too sure what Purim is? Imagine something between Hebrew Halloween and Middle Eastern Mardi Gras, and you'll more or less have it. Jewish families know Purim as a time of uncharacteristically raucous rabbinical revelry, marked by costumes, noisemakers, interactive storytelling, triangular pastries, and enough drink (for the grown-ups) to muddy the lines between good and evil. Gentile families generally don't know it at all. But Purim is worth knowing. Its story has all the best elements: a party-hearty king, a beautiful and courageous queen, a resourceful good guy, and a bad guy so hateful that everyone drowns out his name with noisemakers at community carnivals all over town. Check out one of the events below for classic Purim activities, costume parades, and boisterous retellings of the Purim story.

And if you know of a celebration we've missed, please let us know!

Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat on Halloween Night with Los Angeles Kids

Trick or treat! Los Angeles consistently makes the top 5 cities on Zillow's Halloween list of the country's best spots for trick-or-treating. 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!

Best Pumpkin Patches for LA, Ventura, & Orange County Kids

The time has come to surrender to the Great Pumpkin. Mind you, the big guy is spoiled for choice around the Southland in Halloween season. We won't presume to call one pumpkin patch more sincere than the others, but LA’s pumpkin patches (and pseudo pumpkin patches) run a satisfying gamut from small to large, folksy to commercial. Whether you're hoping for a hit-and-run Halloween photo or a day's outing in autumnal reverie, your destination is below...

Do You Know These 10 LA Spots Made Famous in TV and Movies ?

When you live in the movie-making capital of the world, there can be surprisingly cool things to see around every corner. Looking to entertain bored tweens or visiting relatives—or even compliant, happy-to-go-anywhere little ones? Why not remind them (and yourself) that LA is home to many of the locations they've seen on the big and small screen. All over Los Angeles there are places that look strangely familiar, and it can be fun taking a closer look to figure out why. Check out some of these locations from your favorite movies and television shows. 

Taking the Ice Cream Sandwich up a Notch in NoHo

When is an ice cream sandwich more than an ice cream sandwich? Maybe when the Care Bears get involved.

We went to check out NoHo's uber-cool gourmet ice cream sandwich spot, Cream, last week, on a quest to find out just how exceptional an ice cream sandwich can be. Not only did we get a deliciously satisfying answer to that question, we also managed to hit the store the night the Care Bears were there launching their month-long special flavors. We even got to sink our teeth into a new version of the decadent cronut. If you've got a hankering for ice cream (and who doesn't?) coupled with kids who love Care Bears (ditto), you'll want to stop into one of the LA area's three Cream locations before the end of March.

Cooking Schools with Summer Camps for Kids

Check out these summer cooking camps around the LA area for those happy little campers who love to make food. Your little chef will learn to bake, fold, stir, and maybe even clean-up!

We also recently pulled together 10 Great Outdoor Summer CampsHorseback Riding Camps, and Summer Art Camps for LA Kids bursting with possibilities for the outdoorsy and artsy crowds.

Find more types of camp for your kids in our LA and Orange County Vacation Camp Guide. Search by age, interest, and location in our Directory of Listings.

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.

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