Cheviot Hills / Palms

Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat on Halloween Night with Los Angeles Kids

Trick or treat! Los Angeles consistently makes the top 5 cities on Zillow's Halloween list of the country's best spots for trick-or-treating. The real estate website bases its trick-or-treat ranking on criteria like home value and crime rates. That's good, but what about special effects and Halloween decorations? If one figures in the number of film industry creatives living in a given metropolitan area, LA wins first place by a country mile. Speaking of country miles, if you've walked the distance between houses in the most expensive LA neighborhoods, you know that higher home value does not always translate to better trick-or-treating. What does? Well, keep your Halloween hats on, because we've got a list of some of LA and Orange County's most legendary trick-or-treat neighborhoods. I defy anyone in Philadelphia to beat these!

10+ Preschools with Last Minute Options for Westside Kids—No Waiting Lists!

Before we became parents, we may have thought this business of LA parents asking expectant mothers what preschools they'd applied to was a joke. Then we found out it's only kind of a joke; there really are parents who focus on preschool applications as soon as the contractions stop. Then there are the parents who are reading this post. There really are preschools that feed the frenzy with a waiting list that starts before a child can talk; and then there are the preschools that are in this post. Whether you've procrastinated, just moved to town, didn't get the acceptance letter you wanted, or just woke up one day and realized that your baby isn't a baby anymore, it's possible to figure out preschool at the last minute—even on the Westside of LA. You could try your luck for an opening at one of LA's newest preschools, but more likely you need to know about the great preschool options below that don't have extended waiting lists, and just might rescue your family at the very last minute.

Top 10 Kids' Resale and Consignment Stores around Los Angeles

Kids grow fast, and they need everything from swimsuits for the beach to (even just for a little while) snow gear for tubing. Having a few go-to consignment and second-hand stores for that next growth spurt is an absolute must. Bonus if you can sell or offload items, too! Here are our top picks for kids' consignment shops (plus a huge kid consignment event) around Los Angeles that are worth the trip. Just remember: inventory changes, so visit often.

Frozen Yogurt: 10 Cool Spots for Fro-Yo from Hollywood to Torrance

Name a neighborhood – Studio CityHollywood, the South Bay, or Santa Monica – and chances are you will find an impressive number of places to indulge in frozen yogurt. I freely confess that we here at Mommy Poppins enjoy our frozen treats; many a meeting is held on the patio of our local Menchie’s, and rounding up great places to go for ice cream was one of our summer priorities. It may seem harsh to put our kids to work this way, but hey, somebody has to help with the taste testing, and they don't complain too much.

Ice cream is great, of course, but sometimes it’s nice to go a bit lighter. And I think we can all agree to pretend that frozen yogurt is a healthy choice; it can have just as much sugar as ice cream, but the fat content of fro-yo is significantly less, and then there is the possibility that the probiotics have actually survived the freezing process. Many of the yogurt establishments below are self-serve and offer an array of toppings that are a kid's dream buffet. One way to be healthy is to cover your sweet treat with fruit and nuts instead of candy – not that I'll be talking my children into that any time soon. 

Gated Playgrounds: Westside Parks with Fences for LA Kids

I only have two kids, but at times I've had the likes of four or five. You know the drill: offer to take your friend's kids to the park, and the bodies multiply. Even crazier, all those little legs start running in multiple directions. Gah! Suddenly you're dashing around like a crazy woman wondering whom to rescue first: the kid dangling from the tree branch, or the kid who's booking it to the distant ball field to watch the Little League game? CLINK! "Foul Ball!" Thankfully, there are many area playgrounds with locked gates. (Oh, the peace that comes with children contained!) So, until they learn how to climb the fence, consider bringing your herds to these paddocks, err, parks on the Westside.

Co-op Preschools and Nursery Schools on the Westside

I'll be honest: when my kids were preschool age, I didn't think they needed school yet. I was full-time with them. So, hrmph. What could a nursery school give them that I couldn't? But I now know that whether or not they needed preschool, the truth is I​ needed preschool. Or, more specifically, I needed to be a parent at a coop nursery school. 

Whether or not you think you might, too, we bring you our series of greater Los Angeles cooperative preschools. We start here with the Westside, but we have similar shout outs to coop preschools in the Valleys and Hollywood/Los Feliz.

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