Topanga

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.

Best Summer Horse Riding Camps around Los Angeles and Orange County

It's hard to believe that only a few decades ago many LA kids could pat and even ride horses in their own neighborhoods. My friend who hails from Brentwood remembers feeding carrots to front yard horses just blocks from the now bustling and trendy San Vicente Blvd. Wouldn't that be nice? If you have a little rider-wanna-be but no riding ring next door, don't despair: there are many horseback riding summer camps with lessons for kids right around the corner.

Along with our recommendations for the LA area's best art camps, classic outdoor summer camps, and science camps, we offer our picks for LA and Orange County's best summer horse riding camps. Be sure to check our camp guide for more camp ideas!

5 Fun-Filled Los Angeles Day Camps and Summer Programs for All Ages

When it comes to summertime, the stakes are kinda high, right? With eight to ten school-free weeks to fill, kids expect nothing short of serious fun, and we want to deliver. Fortunately, Los Angeles summer day camps and programs do not not disappoint—and we're sharing a few of our top picks!

These five camps offer everything from camp classics, like archery and horseback riding, to out-of-the-box activities like aerial arts and go-karts; from hands-on STEAM-centric projects to swim classes for water lovers. There's even a camp where each day is pretty much a new choose-your-own adventure. This summer is bound to be a blast. And if you don't see a summer camp below that speaks to your kiddo's idea of fun, there are loads more to choose from in our LA Camp Guide and Camp Directory.

7 Awesome Summer Day Camps and Programs for Los Angeles Tots Through Teens

If you would give just about anything to dodge the dreaded "what are we doing today?" question from bored kiddos this summer, you've come to the right place. And lucky for you, the Los Angeles area offers so many different day camp options that there's sure to be a program that'll keep your tots and teens blissfully occupied until school starts back up again.

There are performing arts camps for LA's youngest aspiring actors, where kids can make their own music videos or create an original comedy show. There are swim programs for water lovers, and coding classes for future female engineers. You'll even find STEAM camps jam-packed with hands-on projects and experiments, and more traditional camp options offering water play, crafts, sports, and field trips.

Memorial Day Parades Around LA and the OC

One thing about Los Angeles - it's not a one-parade town. If festivals are too stationary for you, if you need a parade to drum up an appetite for that Memorial Day BBQ, then you've got it made in the shade (as long as you've found a shady spot for your  chair) in Los Angeles and Orange County on Monday. The good news for the parade abstainers is that none of the parades on this holiday marches down a major thoroughfare (unless the 405 gets shut down - in which case Topanga is going to hear plenty of honking that isn't for peace). For parade fans, the patriotic fanfare never sounded so good.

Great Summer Horse Riding Camps near Los Angeles

It's hard to believe that only a few decades ago many LA kids could pat and even ride horses in their own neighborhoods. My friend who hails from Brentwood remembers feeding carrots to front yard horses just blocks from the now bustling and trendy San Vicente Blvd. Wouldn't that be nice? If you have a little rider-wanna-be but no riding ring next door, don't despair: there are many horseback riding summer camps with lessons for kids right around the corner.

Along with our recommendations for the LA area's best art camps, classic outdoor summer camps, science camps, and cooking camps, we offer our picks for LA and Orange County's best summer horse riding camps. (Be sure to check our camp guide periodically for more camp categories being added all the time!)

Weekday Picks: Horses, Puppets, Stars, and Holiday Festivals, Sept. 26-Sept. 30

As September comes to a close, horse jumping comes to Long Beach, and holiday festivals come to Costa Mesa and Ventura.

The Longines Masters makes its one stop in the US as part of the Grand Slam Indoor of Show Jumping in Long Beach beginning Thursday. Organizers say it's the first prominent event in the international equestrian scene to take place in the Los Angeles area since the 1984 Summer Olympics. Beyond the competitions, the event includes a Kids Corner with educational and fun activities, to draw in a new generation to the world of show jumping.

For those wanting to get a jump on their fall and winter holiday shopping, the Sugar Plum Arts & Craft Festival at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa and the Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show in Ventura both open their doors at the end of the week. Kids are likely to appreciate the crafting demonstrations, including woodworking and glass blowing. Meanwhile, smaller local events include a Puppet Musical: Jack and the Beanstalk in Marina del Rey and Garvey Nights, a night of astronomy and star-gazing in Monterey Park.

For more ideas, visit the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar, as well as our picks for the month in our September GoList. Our favorite outings this week follow...

Imaginary Invalid: A French Farce in Topanga for Summer Evening Giggles

One of my favorite things about summer is outdoor theater. There is something magical about seeing a live show under the stars, and Topanga’s Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum has long been one of LA's most delightful places to experience this magic. The rustic theater’s Sunday morning program for young children is a summertime staple, but choosing the right show to share with bigger kids from the Botanicum's evening line-up can be trickier. It would be understandable to assume that you could skip the 17th century Moliere play, for example, but you’d be missing out on some major giggles—including the biggest collection of high-brow fart jokes I have ever witnessed. Scoff if you like, but any play that makes my middle schooler laugh himself breathless makes my recommend list.

Memorial Day Weekend Festivals and Parades for LA Families

Quick, hit the brakes—there's a three-day weekend just ahead! Memorial Day, the holiday generally considered the first harbinger of summer, is on the horizon, and the forecast is for one of those LA Story, 70s-and-sunny weekends. There's only one problem: you were so busy looking for summer camps that you forgot to book a campsite or a beach getaway, right? No worries—when your kids ask why you're not going anywhere this weekend, just tell them you're staying in town to catch some of the great Memorial Day festivals and parades that only happen once a year.

Flying Under the Big Top: Circus Classes for LA Kids

Acrobatic Angelenos no longer have to run away to join the circus. Classes offering big fun under the big top are available for all ages and abilities in many neighborhoods in and around town. The lithe and limber and even the physically challenged have multiple options for learning and practicing the circus arts. Classes in clowning, contortion, tight rope walking, high wire flying, and Wushu, can be found in multiple locations.

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