The Valleys

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!

Insider's Guide to Griffith Park: More Things To Do Than Most Angelenos Know!

Five times the size of New York’s Central Park, Griffith Park was designated as a historic-cultural monument in 2009, protecting it from future development. Angelenos should be thankful to Griffith J. Griffith, a Welsh real estate developer who gifted the land to the city in 1896 as a “place of recreation and rest for the masses.” The result for us has been access to fantastic hiking trails, a home to some of our most iconic museums, and a wealth of other family activities. Lucky Los Feliz and Burbank families can call Griffith Park their local; for the rest of us it's worth setting aside a little time to be surprised by all that Griffith Park has to offer; there are probably one or two items on this list even locals didn't know about!

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Kids: Where LA Families Can Get Their Green On

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 Sunday this year, which makes for a number of weekend opportunities to celebrate with parades, festivals, 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!

5 Fun-Filled Los Angeles Day Camps and Summer Programs for All Ages

When it comes to summertime, the stakes are kinda high, right? With eight to ten school-free weeks to fill, kids expect nothing short of serious fun, and we want to deliver. Fortunately, Los Angeles summer day camps and programs do not not disappoint—and we're sharing a few of our top picks!

These five camps offer everything from camp classics, like archery and horseback riding, to out-of-the-box activities like aerial arts and go-karts; from hands-on STEAM-centric projects to swim classes for water lovers. There's even a camp where each day is pretty much a new choose-your-own adventure. This summer is bound to be a blast. And if you don't see a summer camp below that speaks to your kiddo's idea of fun, there are loads more to choose from in our LA Camp Guide and Camp Directory.

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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Free in March: 25 Things To Do that Won't Cost a Thing

Spring may not have sprung quite yet, but it promises to at any moment. So get ready, because when the temps start to spike, there's loads of free fun to be had. Whether you’re looking for a lucky Leprechaun, or some Seussical silliness, Los Angeles has got it going on. With migrating whales and incoming swallows, you aren’t going to have any trouble keeping the family busy all month long; and if you want to do it all without spending a cent, we've got your back with the 25 free outings below!

10 Free and Cheap Summer Camps Los Angeles Parents Should Know

Summer camp can be a great way to keep Los Angeles-area kids busy and even intellectually and creatively stimulated through those long summer months—but rarely is it cheap. Amazingly, we came up with a list of LA summer camps that won't destroy your budget, and some of them are even (gasp) FREE. There are great STEM camps, art camps, and outdoor, sports fun, too!

Check out these summer camps with your kids, tweens, and teens now, because even though summer fun seems far away, spots will fill up before you know it.

Find more options in our LA Summer Camp Guide, or browse our Camp Directory of listings by interest, age, and area.

15 Best Indoor Birthday Party Ideas for LA Kids

There is a special kind of stress—both emotional and financial—that planning a birthday party can cause if you have kids born between the months of November and March. Oh sure, everyone struggles with the great birthday party question, but those moms who gave birth in LA in August are pretty safe claiming a corner of a public park or throwing down some blankets on the beach. If you have a December baby, you may have tried that, but at some point probably cried "Never again!" LA might not have a proper winter, but it has a proper Indoor Birthday Party season, if only for the sanity of the parents. Allow us to share some of our favorite options for entertaining the masses without stressing about the weather.

These 8 Trampoline Parks Offer LA & OC Kids Wall-to-wall Jumping

Bounce and repeat. What else do we need to say? Big kids, little kids, they all like to jump. Even Mom and Dad can occasionally enjoy trampoline time (though they might just prefer the trampoline park below that offers massage chairs on the sidelines). Bring a pack of kids for a birthday party, and they'll all sleep well afterwards; bring an antsy one on a rainy day, and watch the mood change for the better. Note that the 8 jumping gyms below can get seriously rambunctuous, but most offer special times or areas for toddlers and preschoolers. And if there's a stuntkid in your family, these are definitely addresses you need to know.

Love Hot Wheels? Make a Pit Stop at the Discovery Cube Los Angeles

Ever wondered what makes a car go? Why some cars sound different? What safety gear is most effective when racing? Why is it important to use weather compliant tires and steering wheels? The Hot Wheels: Race to Win exhibit at the Discovery Cube Los Angeles is providing all these answers through interactive videos, displays, and “hands-on” stations giving the whole family opportunities to learn while unleashing their inner race car drivers. The iconic miniature vehicles, which have been igniting kids’ and collectors’ imaginations since 1968, are the centerpieces of this traveling show: some vintage models are enclosed in glass cases, while others serve as die-cast models to experiment with high-speed racing.

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