Santa Monica

10 Best Children's Museums near LA and Orange County

A museum in Los Angeles where kids are encouraged to touch all of the exhibits, climb on the furniture, and ask as many questions as they want (not in an inside voice either): Fellow parents, this is the beauty of a children's museum, and in the greater Los Angeles area, we are blessed with several of them. Now don't get me wrong—LA has plenty of local museums to excite and inspire visitors of all ages. But the 10 museums below are specifically designed to entertain and enrich the lucky kiddos of Southern California.

10 Great SoCal Beach Towns for a Classic California Seaside Day

Southern California's balmy beach towns are a treat worth seeking out at any time of year, whether you're an LA family looking for escape, or a visitor wanting to experience the best of our famous California beaches. Right in the heart of LA County we have a few seaside gems; drive an hour or two farther and you'll find towns that feel like they're a world away.  

 The 10 seaside towns below not only have fabulous sand and surf, there's plenty worth exploring once you head off the beach, too. Find out for yourself why these are our favorite SoCal beach towns.

Santa Monica's All New Cayton Children's Museum Is a Game Changer!

The Zimmer is gone. Long live the Cayton!

The long-awaited Cayton Children's Museum opened its doors this summer at Santa Monica Place Mall. The new museum is a reinvention of the much loved Zimmer Children's Museum, which closed last January. While we looked forward to this new museum with great anticipation, we had to wonder: could anything warm our hearts the way the Zimmer did? Spoiler! The Cayton is up to the job!

Keep reading to find out what you can expect on a visit to the Cayton...

Free in August: 28 Free Things To Do with Kids in Los Angeles

End of summer is a time when the pocket book starts feeling light, so it is also a time to feel thankful we have lots of free things to do in Los Angeles. Whether you want to hit the beachdance the day away, 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. 

10 Best Hotel Pools in Los Angeles with Day Passes for Families

Hotel pools have a certain magic for kids; in fact, book a hotel without a pool at your peril. Whether you're vacationing in the City of Angels, or just looking for a staycation that puts your kids' swim lessons to good use (while waiters bring you delicious food and decadent adult beverages), there's always a good reason to take advantage of LA's bounty of hotel pools. Any of the hotels below is worth a weekend for the pool alone. Don't want to spend the night? These hotels are not only great spots to base a vacation or staycation—they all offer day passes for their pools, too. And while not all hotel pools are kid-friendly, this list of family favorites can turn any swim day into a family vacation, whether you're staying or day-playing.

12 Kid-friendly Beaches for Families in Los Angeles & Orange County

Beach is what SoCal is all about, but with so much sea and sand around it can actually be hard to choose which is the best spot to stake the family beach umbrella. In the years when sand-filled diapers and tired little legs feel challenging, you want to be sure you've chosen a beach that will pay off with those great summer memories. You could head for a beach with a playground (we know some good ones), but for just enjoying the wonderful Pacific Ocean with easy parking, bathrooms, snacks, or other amenities, we love to return to the dozen beaches below. Gather the shovels, sandwiches, and sunscreen, and go west, young families!

Free in July: 30+ Free Things To Do with Kids in Los Angeles this Month

Summer break has a funny way of reminding you how many hours there really are in the day. Without school, kids can turn into restless little monsters, desperate for a little entertainment. If only you could keep the whole family busy for free! Well, it's actually not hard in Los Angeles, a city with a never ending supply of frugal fun. July isn't just for fireworks. We've got music! We've got movies! We've even got slime! Here is a healthy sample of the events happening this July that won’t cost you a thing.

16 Parent and Me Swim Classes for Water Babies and Toddlers in LA & the OC

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. We know some great private swim classes for LA kids, but the group lessons below are all about getting in the pool alongside your baby or toddler. Dive into our extensive list of area Mommy or Daddy and Me classes.

LA's Best Swimming Pools with Play Areas Worth a Drive this Summer

Sure, there are miles of great beaches in SoCal, but sometimes you need a break from the sand, and you want water that's a little less, well, wavy. It can be worth going a little farther to find a swimming pool that’s open to the public for recreational swimming and offers something special: Think slides, water play features, extended shallow areas for the little ones to splash in, or a beautiful, peaceful setting. Here’s our list of cool destination swimming pools worth a drive in LA and OC. Most range in price from $1 to $12 per person, and several of these pools offer discounted season passes (check websites for details).

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