Brentwood / Bel Air

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.

18 Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in Los Angeles and Orange Country

The tree is trimmed, the presents wrapped, and the cookies baked and boxed. Hmm. Now, what to make for Christmas dinner. Our suggestion? Reservations. That’s right. Many Southland restaurants are open and happy to serve you on Christmas Day. You’ve already done so much to get ready for the holidays—instead of holing up in the kitchen, pile your family and out-of-town guests into the car and give yourself the gift of dining out. That way you all get to enjoy the day!

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Boo at the Zoo, Coast Open Streets, and Mark in the Park

It's beginning to look a lot like pumpkins, everywhere I go. And so it begins! The Harvest. The Corn Mazes. The Hatchimals  (not sure what that has to do with the season, but just go with it). We are on a crazed, giddy run to the end of the month.

But don't get spooked! Yes, there are scary things afoot. Yes, you can choose the dark and shadowy path. But you can also choose to welcome the season with laughs (and science!). You can fear the night or you can get in on the fun. Halloween is what you make it, and LA makes it easy to choose family-friendly. Or not.

Public service announcement for purists who wait to celebrate Halloween until, well, Halloween. There's still lots to do! This weekend sees festivals Greek and Korean, Manhattan Beachian and Encinoish. You can buy a ticket to the 20s, catch a plane, train, or (very small) automobileThis land is both your land and my land, and Children's Book World is 32. (Um, me too. More or less.) The streets of Santa Monica are open wide, and you can make your mark in Grand Park. So go out there and scare up some fun.

Keep reading for our favorite treats for this weekend, no trick!

Where Kids Eat Free: 21 LA Restaurants that Offer Free Meals for Families with Children

Ah, those three little words: kids eat free. Even if we suspect that a box of mac and cheese and a couple of chicken fingers have lured us into buying a $10 margarita, we don't regret the margarita for a moment if the kids ate free.

We’ve put together a list of restaurants throughout the Los Angeles area that offer free kids' meals at least one night a week (and up to four!). The restaurants vary from local joints to national chains, from the Valleys to the beaches, from Italian to Hawaiian, and from seafood to steakhouses—enough to satisfy picky and non-picky eaters.

Also check out our lists of birthday freebies with free meals for kids (and adults!), and, of course, kid-friendly happy hours on the Westside, in Silver Lake and Los Feliz, and in Orange County.

Free Admission Days at 20+ Museums in Los Angeles and Orange County

Love museums, but the prices make you think twice? If you have a large family, those tickets add up fast—which is particularly frustrating if you then need to beat a hasty retreat to avoid a meltdown. SoCal has some great museums that have free general admission every day of the year, including The Getty, California Science Center, and The Broad. As for the rest of them (once kids are old enough to have to pay), many LA and OC museums have monthly or even weekly free days or evenings, and we have collected a list for easy reference. Go ahead, bring the extended family, meet friends, or check out a place you have never been before—all for just the price of parking or Metro tickets. And if there's a meltdown? At least it's free. 

Free in September: 23 Things To Do That Don't Cost a Thing

School may be back in session, but that doesn't mean the family fun has to end. Whether you're looking for free movies or a little fleet week fun, we've got you covered. There's just one rule here: If it's free, we share it. So here's just about every awesome event happening this September that won't break the bank. 

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. 

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.

Muppets Take over the Skirball this Summer in the Jim Henson Exhibition

The Skirball Cultural Center is already a fantastic kids' destination, mostly because of the incomparable Noah’s Ark exhibit (add it to your list of great indoor places to take kids during the summer). Combine that awesomeness with this summer’s Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited (you know, Muppets?) and you have a must-go for Angeleno families. 

14 Reasons To Visit the Getty Center with a Preschooler

Maybe you and your preschooler have squeezed every last drop of fun from Travel Town or have soldiered through every stroller-friendly hike within driving distance. You're itching for a dose of culture that doesn't include a kiddie museum, stuffed animals, or squeaky toys (not that there's anything wrong with them); but at the same time a real museum seems daunting. Should you brave LA's iconic Getty Museum with the under-five set? Short answer? You definitely should. 

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