The Valleys

Water Feature: 16 Water Playgrounds and Parks with Splash Pads in LA

Remember those great summer afternoons running through a sprinkler with the neighborhood kids? Over in New England and Nebraska that’s probably still happening, but here in SoCal turning on the hose for entertainment is frowned upon these days. Instead, packs of puddle-loving Angeleno kids splash through hot days at parks with free and fabulous water features, like the ones below—many of which are open year-round. So if a pool or a water park sounds like too much work today, cool those kids down at a splash pad!

The Children's Museum in Pasadena You Don't Know Yet

A few weeks ago, I randomly stumbled upon a children’s space that I didn’t even know existed. I was genuinely stunned and wondered how I could have missed the Southern California Children’s Museum before. Determined not to let another day go by, I made plans to visit the museum immediately with my two-year-old (I was actually way more excited to check out this place than he was!).

Best Summer Horse Riding Camps around Los Angeles and Orange County

It's hard to believe that only a few decades ago many LA kids could pat and even ride horses in their own neighborhoods. My friend who hails from Brentwood remembers feeding carrots to front yard horses just blocks from the now bustling and trendy San Vicente Blvd. Wouldn't that be nice? If you have a little rider-wanna-be but no riding ring next door, don't despair: there are many horseback riding summer camps with lessons for kids right around the corner.

Along with our recommendations for the LA area's best art camps, classic outdoor summer camps, and science camps, we offer our picks for LA and Orange County's best summer horse riding camps. Be sure to check our camp guide for more camp ideas!

Family-Friendly Beer Gardens: 9 Spots for LA Kids and Parents To Chill Together

After a long week of parenting, there’s nothing more rejuvenating to me than sitting outside in sunny California gorgeousness and tossing back a cold beer and pretzel while my toddler runs around like a maniac. If our recent review of family friendly wineries sounds great but too far, a kid-friendly brewery in town may be just the ticket. Here's a list of inviting places in the Los Angeles area to drink outside with the kiddos, ranging from super traditional German beer gardens to family-friendly brewpubs with outdoor spaces. 

40+ Easter Egg Hunts and Bunny Events for Kids in LA and Orange County

Some of us have lovely gardens and the inclination to creatively hide eggs in them early on a Sunday morning. Others have an inclination to sleep late and find eggs hidden in someone else's garden. We find no shame in that and are more than happy to help guide you to lots of places where Peter Cottontail has evidently just been moments before. Most of the egg hunts below take place Easter weekend; keep an eye on our Event Calendar for last-minute additions, and check out these other places to find the Easter Bunny for more photo ops!

Spring Break Camps: 14 Fun Solutions for April Vacation around LA

Spring Break around Los Angeles is a moving feast; some districts have one week, and some have two. Some take a vacation in March, and some in April. Add to the mix the complications of Easter, Passover, and parent work schedules, and Spring Break camp can be a tough knot to untie. Whether your family needs two weeks full time or a day here and there, we've chosen a few of our favorites that run the gamut. From the Valley to the sea, surfing to soccer, we think you'll find something worthy of a few days away from school among the camps below.

And if you're so on the ball that spring is already covered and you've moved on to summer, check out some of our favorite art, cooking, horse, and classic outdoorsy camps in our Summer and Vacation Camp Guide!

15 Best Campgrounds for Tent Camping with Kids Near LA

Marshmallows. Check. Bug spray. Check. Air mattress. Check. Camping season is upon us. Hurrah! And thankfully in this multi-terrain region of ours, you don't need to go far to enjoy a night or two under the stars. A weekend without electronics, breathing fresh air, and enjoying meals over the campfire: all this can be yours without driving more than an hour or two—in some cases even less! Read on to find an easy destination for you and your happy campers. (And if the one you want is full this weekend, check out a few last minute camping spots.)

Easter Bunny Photo Ops and Events: Where To Find the Bunny in LA & OC

Hippity hoppity, hippity hoppity: your kids might not want to sit still, but at least the Easter Bunny will! There are plenty of spots to set up the perfect Easter photo in LA and Orange County in the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. We've lined up a whole Bunny Trail to hop down, ranging from mall photo ops to trains and spring festivals. Have fun catching up to Peter Cottontail in one of the following Southland locations.

10 Free Classes Kids Can Take at Stores and Businesses around LA

"I never run out of enriching activities for my kid," said no one EVER! Well, there are lots of classes in LA, some of which could send your bank account into cardiac arrest, but we have 10 classes your kid can do for FREE at local stores in your community. Okay, we say free; stores offer classes for free because, well, they think you just might consider a stroll down the aisles before you leave, and they're hoping a few items make their way into your basket. Stores are counting on your kid to scream, "I gotta have that!" before you leave. If you can manage to get the kids into the "free" activity and out again before the cash register rings, though, these free events are for you. (Oh, and you are a super parent!)

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