Westside

Free (or Almost Free) Summer Movies for Families All Over LA

And... action! As summer kicks off, a familiar annual scene is playing out at locations throughout the Southland: the season of free, nearly free, and gloriously cheap outdoor summer movie series has started rolling. At museumsparks, beaches, and malls, indoors and outdoors, in the early morning and by the light of the moon, families can catch both recent blockbusters and timeless classics for free or close to it. (While free is awesome, we think a dollar is still pretty good!)

Below you can find our comprehensive guide to free (and darn close to it) summer movie screenings and festivals. Click on the event names for more details, including movie titles. And keep checking back, because we'll continue to post more listings as they are announced, throughout the 2017 summer movie season.

Memorial Day Weekend for LA Kids: Greeks, Scots, Music, and Fireworks

First and foremost, Memorial Day is about the members of the armed forces who gave their lives in our nation’s service. Their sacrifice is unimaginable, our debt to them beyond measure. To those lost, and to those who serve our nation and all it stands for, we salute you.

The weekend is not all somber reflection: Memorial Day also means a long weekend, and the unofficial start of summer. Festival is the word of the day: throughout the Southland folks gather to enjoy yummies and wild art, and to celebrate different cultures (including Greek, Scottish, and Topangan). Discovery Cube LA opens a new exhibit, and Discovery Cube OC flies in with two of its own.

And, of course, Memorial Day weekend closes with tributes to our fallen heroes. Ceremonies are being held at the Nixon Presidential Library, in Burbank and Canoga Park, and at Woodlawn and Forest Lawn Cemeteries.

Read on for some of our favorite picks for this three-day holiday weekend...

Memorial Day Parades Around LA and the OC

One thing about Los Angeles - it's not a one-parade town. If festivals are too stationary for you, if you need a parade to drum up an appetite for that Memorial Day BBQ, then you've got it made in the shade (as long as you've found a shady spot for your  chair) in Los Angeles and Orange County on Monday. The good news for the parade abstainers is that none of the parades on this holiday marches down a major thoroughfare (unless the 405 gets shut down - in which case Topanga is going to hear plenty of honking that isn't for peace). For parade fans, the patriotic fanfare never sounded so good.

15 Great LA Parks for Birthday Parties Kids Will Rave About

Lucky for us, hosting mostly free kids’ birthday parties at the many glorious parks around Los Angeles is available year round; and with our famous weather, it’s a pretty safe perk to gamble on. From rustic to scenic to built-in activities, the city’s bounty is near limitless. And the best part: no sticky floor and dirty fingerprints to scour afterward. Be sure to check whether there are additional fees around parking or other rules; LA City parks, for example, require a permit fee for bounce houses (we have an entire post just on parks that allow bounce houses). Read on for some of our favorite party parks, with ideas for themes at each one. And check out these other parks with barbecue grills and parks with gated playgrounds, too.

Mother's Day Weekend Things To Do with LA Kids: Fire Service Day, Airport Day, and Brunch

Here's what Momma wants for Mother's Day: ice cream, firemen, and frappuccinos. All the rest is just whipped cream on said frap. Sure, there are other things that will be greatly appreciated. Ice show with world champions? Don't mind if I do! A magical musical movie screening? Are you a wizard reading my mind, Harry? And yes, I would be delighted to accompany you to brunch. Is there bacon at said brunch? More's the better.

Of course, every mom is different. One size does not fit all, which is why frappuccinos come in grande, venti, and some other size. Did I mention I'm a mom? I totally deserve this.

There are some other things going on this weekend: the final weekend of the Flashlight exhibit (with a free photo for Grandma or Mom), a breakfast with gibbons (see how well they treat their mamas), the Anaheim Baby Show (for Moms new to the momming business), and a bunch of clever craft activities that can double as gifts for Mom (aw, isn't that thoughtful!). There are even freebies for Mom, because, really, where would you be without her?  

Call your mom; send her some flowers, and keep reading for some of our most maternal picks for this weekend.

Water Feature: 15 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 in parched SoCal we really can't be turning on the hose to while away a lazy afternoon. Instead, packs of puddle-loving Angeleno kids splash through the heat at parks with free and fabulous water features, like the ones below. So if a pool or a water park sounds like too much work today, cool those kids down at a splash pad! After the rainy 2016-17 winter, all of these should be fully operational this summer with no more drought restrictions.

Mommy Freebies! Free Stuff for LA Moms on Mother's Day

Naturally, we hope that someone is making brunch reservations for you this Mother's Day. But what to do with the rest of the day? Well, there's nothing like feeling appreciated, and what says, "We appreciate you, Mom!" better than free admission (or a free meal or cocktail or Starbucks)? Check out these places around town where the free carpet is rolled out just for mamas on Mother's Day.

May GoList: Best Things To Do with LA and OC Kids This Month

The weekends of May are packed with activity; there's Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and that one weekend without a holiday. There are parades, festivals, shows, and people eating bugs. With so much going on, it's easy to miss something. To help you keep track, here's a list of the biggest, most once-a-year-ish events happening this month. We'll keep adding to our Event Calendar daily, and it's a good idea to make sure our weekly recommendations arrive in your inbox, but we figured you'd appreciate some advance notice on these May favorites.

Trash and Recycling Events: Sanitation Yard Open Houses for Kids Who Love Garbage Trucks

Vroom Vroom! Does the sound of the garbage truck coming down the street send your kids running to watch? Would they love to sit in the trucks and maybe even take a ride? Do they know all the different types of trucks and haulers? Earth Day inaugurates the season of city yard open houses and recycling fairs, and—if you haven't heard—these events register high on the LA insider scale. More than 6,000 residents attend an open house in an average year.

20 Mother's Day Brunch Restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County

Mother's Day, and the brunching is easy—and when we say easy, we mean the culinary version of a chick flick. This is not a day for the Denny's Lumberjack Slam (not that there's anything wrong with that); Mother's Day brunch begs sprigs of rosemary, ocean views, and maybe a harp plucked with a rose. Or, if that's not your thing, Fillmore & Western Railway is happy to Throw Mama on the Train. The key is Mom's Choice—all day!

Read on for some of our favorite restaurants that offer a pretty darn fabulous Mother's Day brunch.

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