The Valleys

Language Immersion and Bilingual Options in LA's Public Schools

There are a things kids can do better than adults: cartwheels and crawling under beds, for example. And then there's learning languages. Kids have a huge capacity for learning languages that will never be as powerful and flexible later on as it is in the early years, and an increasing number of parents are taking advantage of that window by sending their kids to bilingual and dual immersion schools (and preschools). Southern Californian families are lucky to have an unusually wide variety of public school options to support raising bilingual kids. At a time when gifted programs, arts programs, and extracurricular classes have been cut from public school budgets at an alarming rate, parents can still seek out an extra enriching curriculum by choosing language immersion.

10 Swimming Lakes You Should Know Near Los Angeles

With our new normal somewhere between hot and hotter, SoCal families are eagerly looking for ways to cool off. Did you know that there are some wonderful lakes within spitting distance of sizzling Los Angeles? And if you're willing to drive a little farther, lake options get even more plentiful. Whether you want to take a dip in a secluded swim hole, or join the masses at a lavish lake resort, here are some of the best spots to take a swim before the entire family melts.

Free and Cheap After-school Classes and Programs for LA Kids

Back-to-school season is also back-to-after-school season, when families look for enriching and fun programs for their children. Options for arts, sports, and other recreational classes for kids in the LA area are numerous and varied—lucky us!—but many are tough to manage on a budget. The good news is there are also several free and cheap ways to engage students’ minds and bodies in the hours after school lets out.

LA's Best Gyms and Tumbling Classes for Kids Who Love To Bounce

Every kid loves to jump around. While some kids channel that energy into competitive gymnastics programs at LA's gymnastics schools, others (toddlers particularly) really just want a place to bounce, tumble, climb, and swing. If you are looking for tumbling classes that are completely child-centered, fully non-competitive, and possibly closer to home (not to mention great options for birthday parties and summer camp), one of these kids' gyms may be just your speed.

35 Ways To Keep Summer Going after School Begins

Whether you're relieved by the quiet or disturbed by the abrupt ending, most LA families are using those three little words (back to school) a whole lot earlier these days. Of course, dropping our kids off at school doesn't change the weather; there might be no child left behind at the beach, but it's still summer until close to Halloween. So if your family is not yet ready for summer to end, pick a few items off our Endless Summer List and go have some fun while the sun still shines!

Free Play at Giggles 'n' Hugs!

Mommy Poppins and Giggles 'n' Hugs are teaming up again! On Tuesday, August 21st, it's time for a Mommy Poppins Playdate at Giggles 'n' Hugs. We invite you to enjoy free admission at either Giggles 'n' Hugs location (Topanga Canyon or Glendale), from 6pm-8pm.

Never been to Giggles 'n' Hugs? It's a great spot, whether you're looking to plan the perfect no-stress birthday party, enjoy a healthy family meal, or just chill out for an afternoon in the action-packed, 2000-square-foot playspace. The best part is it's as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids, because while little ones play, grown-ups can enjoy a coffee, glass of wine, or locally-sourced, organic meal.

Space is limited, so you must register in advance.

Free in August: 21 Free Things To Do with Kids in Los Angeles

It’s the waning days of summer, and the pocket book may be feeling a little light. Thankfully, you live in Los Angeles, a city never short of fun things to do for free. Whether you want to hit the beachdance under the stars, or catch a show, there's nothing to stop you, short of heatstroke. So why not gather up the fam and squeeze those last drops out of your summer fun, because if you do what we tell you to, you won't need to spend a dime. 

School Start & End Dates: 2018-19 Academic Year Calendars for LA County Schools

Summer vacation ain't what it used to be. The majority of SoCal school districts now opt for an August start date, with only a few South Bay stragglers sticking with the old-school, post-Labor Day start. And beware assuming that school starts and finishes roughly when it did last year, because schedules seem to change all the time. This year Alhambra is first out of the gate, leading the back-to-school race with a pool-party-pooper start date of August 10; Torrance kids still get the most out of summer with their September 6 first day.

Wondering where your district fits in, and how much time you have left for these 50 Free Things To Do in Summer? Bookmark our list below with start and finish dates for the 2018-2019 school year all over LA County. And if what you read makes you wonder about what other school options are available to you, maybe our school guide can help.

15 Parent and Me Swim Classes To Keep LA & OC Babies and Toddlers Afloat

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. And lucky for us and our tots, there are classes galore all around the Southland. We know some Great Private Swim Classes for LA Kids, but the classes below are all about taking the plunge alongside your wee one. Dive into our extensive list of area Mommy or Daddy and Me classes.

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