Santa Monica

Spring Break Camps: 14 Fun Solutions for April Vacation around LA

Spring Break around Los Angeles is a moving feast; some districts have one week, and some have two. Some take a vacation in March, and some in April. Add to the mix the complications of Easter, Passover, and parent work schedules, and Spring Break camp can be a tough knot to untie. Whether your family needs two weeks full time or a day here and there, we've chosen a few of our favorites that run the gamut. From the Valley to the sea, surfing to soccer, we think you'll find something worthy of a few days away from school among the camps below.

And if you're so on the ball that spring is already covered and you've moved on to summer, check out some of our favorite art, cooking, horse, and classic outdoorsy camps in our Summer and Vacation Camp Guide!

Celebrating Purim at Carnivals All Over Los Angeles

Not too sure what Purim is? Imagine something between Hebrew Halloween and Middle Eastern Mardi Gras, and you'll more or less have it. Jewish families know Purim as a time of uncharacteristically raucous rabbinical revelry, marked by costumes, noisemakers, interactive storytelling, triangular pastries, and enough drink (for the grown-ups) to muddy the lines between good and evil. Gentile families generally don't know it at all. But Purim is worth knowing. Its story has all the best elements: a party-hearty king, a beautiful and courageous queen, a resourceful good guy, and a bad guy so hateful that everyone drowns out his name with noisemakers at community carnivals all over town. Check out one of the events below for classic Purim activities, costume parades, and boisterous retellings of the Purim story.

And if you know of a celebration we've missed, please let us know!

Free in March: 25 Things To Do that Won't Cost a Thing

Spring may not have sprung quite yet, but it promises to at any moment. So get ready, because when the temps start to spike, there's loads of free fun to be had. Whether you’re looking for a lucky Leprechaun, or some Seussical silliness, Los Angeles has got it going on. With migrating whales and incoming swallows, you aren’t going to have any trouble keeping the family busy all month long; and if you want to do it all without spending a cent, we've got your back with the 25 free outings below!

Tyra Banks' New Modelland in Santa Monica: Will It Be a Place To Bring Kids?

Model Tyra Banks is opening a theme park in Santa Monica—Santa Monica Place, to be exact—based upon her 2011 YA book and decades as a top model. While details about what the 12,000 square foot attraction will include are still vague right now (the space is due to open later this year), the hype is big, and your America's Next Top Model-addicted kids may already think they want to go. The question is whether you will want to take them.

Free in February: 24 Things To Do that Don't Cost a Thing

Yes, it's the month with Valentine's Day smack in the middle, but that doesn't mean every day has to be strictly focused on hearts and flowers (unless you and your little ones want it to be). In a month full of eclectic holidays, it isn't hard to find some free fun for the whole family. From Chinese New Year to Black History Month, President’s Day to Groundhog Day and Mardi Gras, LA is hopping in February, and joining in doesn't have to cost a thing. So put down the box of chocolates (momentarily) and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

10 Super Science & STEM Summer Camps for Los Angeles Kids

Ten summer science camps—try saying that 10 times fast! Or you could stop muttering to yourself and just check out our top 10 picks for great STEM and science-focused camps around the Los Angeles area. We've collected a variety of local STEM summer camps for kids—indoor, outdoor, animal-driven, coding, game design, biology, and robot-driven—all of which have been test-driven by parents we trust. 

But if your children's summer cannot live by science alone, check out the Los Angeles art, cooking, horse, and classic outdoorsy camps in our Summer Camp Guide and Directory!

12 Family Memberships Worth Having As You Raise Your LA Kid

It can be hard to find places to go with the whole family without spending a bundle. When your kids let you know they love a place, it's a lot easier to go back there again and again (and again) if you become a member. Annual memberships allow you to enjoy all the perks and discounts a venue can offer (plus the tax write-off!). Here are a few of the most affordable and enjoyable places in LA to get memberships for the whole family. 

Free in January: 15 Free Things To Do with Kids In Los Angeles

The holidays are over, and we all deserve a long winter's nap. But just because the decorations are getting packed up doesn't mean the fun has to stop. There are still plenty of free things to do this January, when all those Christmas & Hanukkah gifts start to lose their luster. From moon gazing to dance parties, if you're looking to keep busy without breaking the bank, we've got you covered. So grab the winter coat, and put away the checkbook, because who says you can't have fun on a budget? 

Breakfast with Santa Claus: Where LA Kids Can Share a Bagel with Father Christmas

Doing lunch might work for some LA types, but Santa Claus does breakfast. So before you take a train with Santa, see The Nutcracker with Santa, do some holiday shopping with Santa, wave to Santa on a boat, call Santa on the phone, or take funky LA photos with Santa, first you, your kids, AND Santa all need a good breakfast. The holidays are a busy time of year after all.

Most (though not all) of the events below require reservations, and some fill up surprisingly early. It's worth making the effort, though, if for no other reason than to see how good some people's table manners can be when the man at the head of the table is wearing a red suit and wielding a list.

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!

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