Westside

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 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.

Kids Bowl Free: Truly Free and Cheap Bowling for Kids All Over LA

My son went to a bowling party recently that sparked an obsession with the game -- and I've since realized that bowling is a really great sport for kids. The ingrained turn-taking structure, team camaraderie, and relaxed competitiveness offer kiddos a dose of sportsmanship at a fun pace. Accommodations like gutter bumpers and starting ramps guarantee success for even the youngest bowlers. Seriously, bowling is like the unsung hero of children's athletics. And it must have been this idea that fueled the creation of Kids Bowl Free, a fantastic nationwide program designed to give youth a constructive way to beat the heat. Read on to find out how your kids can bowl free every day this summer.

12 Best Beaches for Kids and Families in Los Angeles & Orange County

Don't be scared off by sand-filled diapers or tired little legs; there is nothing quite like a day at the beach for summer memories. But in the years when making it happen feels challenging, you want to be sure you've chosen a beach worth the effort. That may mean heading for a beach with a playground (we know some good ones), or it may just mean the most idyllic SoCal family beach you can find. That describes the dozen beaches below. So gather the shovels, sandwiches, and sunscreen, and go west, young families. Beachy adventures await.

Noah’s Ark at the Skirball: Is LA's Best Indoor Playground at a Museum?

Imagine a 65-foot-long ark and more than 400 animals that you must rescue before an epic flood engulfs the world. Yes, you’re Noah and your mission is to save everyone, but also have fun doing it. And there's no need to go all the way to Mount Ararat to relive the tale; just head up the Santa Monica Mountains to the Skirball Cultural Center, a few miles away from the Getty Center, at the highest point on the 405.

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