Santa Monica

Perfect Spots for Your LA Baby's First Birthday

Congratulations! You made it through baby’s first year, and now it’s time to celebrate. If you’re like me and totally not into hosting your child’s first birthday party at home (read: cleaning, shopping, cooking, decorating, hosting...cleaning again), don't worry. The weather in LA is so beautiful that outdoor birthdays are possible nearly any time of year. If that's not your speed, the Southland boasts plenty of awesome indoor options as well. Here are 12 great spots of both varieties—from pricey to free with one surprise at the end—to smash a cake and tire out the kiddos so everyone can go home and take a well-deserved nap.

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

Hopefully 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, free champagne, or free joust)? Check out these places around town where the free carpet is rolled out just for mamas on Mother's Day.

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

Summer is just around the corner, and so are the camp fees, vacation expenses, and hefty ice cream budgets that come with it. So why not be responsible for once and make May your month to get frugal? Whether you’re looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo free of charge, or just check out a movie without breaking the bank, here are a few free things to do this month with the whole family.

21 Mother's Day Brunch Restaurants To Book 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.

10 Great LA Restaurants Where Kids Can Play While Parents Eat

Whoever said that dining out with kids is an impossible task probably didn’t know that there are a few spots that make the whole experience a piece of cake. We’re not talking about pizza parlors or hot dog stands (we love those, too), but wonderful restaurants and hip cafes where parents can get delectable food while kids can go a bit wild, whether enjoying a play area, a babbling brook, or old school games. It’s a win for everyone (especially for the parents) at these very family-friendly eateries.

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.

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