Westside

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.

May GoList: Best Things To Do with LA and OC Kids This Month

The weekends of May are packed with activity; there's Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and that one weekend without a holiday. There are parades, festivals, shows, and people eating bugs. With so much going on, it's easy to miss something. To help you keep track, here's a list of the biggest, most once-a-year-ish events happening this month. We'll keep adding to our Event Calendar daily, and it's a good idea to make sure our weekly recommendations arrive in your inbox, but we figured you'd appreciate some advance notice on these May favorites.

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.

School Start & End Dates: 2019-2020 Academic Year Calendars for LA County Schools

Summer vacation ain't what it used to be. The majority of SoCal school districts now opt for an August start date, with vanishingly few stragglers sticking with the old-school, post-Labor Day start. And beware assuming that school starts and finishes roughly when it did last year, because schedules seem to change all the time. 2020 is a leap year, and that extra day may impact the school calendar as well.

This year Alhambra is first out of the gate, leading the back-to-school race with a pool-party-pooper start date of August 9; but in a radical change of course, Torrance goes from last man standing to a late August start. Hermosa Beach is now the only district on our list with a September start date, with classes beginning on September 5. 

Wondering where your district fits in, and how much time you have left for these 50 Free Things To Do in Summer? Bookmark our list below with start and finish dates for the 2019-2020 school year all over LA County. And if what you read makes you wonder about what other school options are available to you, maybe our school guide can help.

Trash & Recycling Fun: Sanitation Yard Open Houses for Kids Who Love Garbage Trucks

Vroom Vroom! Does the sound of the garbage truck coming down the street send your kids running to watch? Spring kicks off city yard open houses and recycling fair season, and these events are hugely popular with kids of a certain age. If your kiddos have any curiosity about what goes on in a garbage truck, this is their chance to satisfy it, at one of the most eagerly awaited free activities in LA. Public tours (also detailed below) are often available throughout the year (call first); but the spring open houses are a must-do for little one who live for the roar of the garbage truck.

From Parties to Scouts, Why Annenberg PetSpace Is Such a Great Place To Bring Kids

We just got word that Annenberg PetSpace's new summer camp is already full for the season—that didn't take long! But even if you missed it, there are still a whole bunch of wonderful reasons to bring kids to explore this unique, critter-focused community space, many of which are free. The center has educational programs and play opportunities that include story hours, classes, scavenger hunts, birthday parties, and more—all created to strengthen the bond between pets and people. If you thought Annenberg PetSpace was just an adoption center, get ready to take a closer look.

Free Cinco de Mayo Celebrations that Are Great for Families

First let's set the record straight: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. What the day actually celebrates is an underdog Mexican victory over a French military attack on Puebla, Mexico in 1862. The holiday is mostly observed in Puebla and in Southern California, where there's little mention of the French, but much swinging at piñatas and dancing to mariachis. After all, by the first weekend of May, who needs more excuse than that to revel in the sunshine? Many of the Cinco de Mayo events you'll see advertised are pub crawls, but we've hunted down celebrations the whole family can enjoy.

There are free Cinco de Mayo fests throughout LA and the OC, starting as early as a week before, so get in the spirit to dance, watch parades, and (of course) eat.

Water Feature: 16 Water Playgrounds and Parks with Splash Pads in LA

Remember those great summer afternoons running through a sprinkler with the neighborhood kids? Over in New England and Nebraska that’s probably still happening, but here in SoCal turning on the hose for entertainment is frowned upon these days. Instead, packs of puddle-loving Angeleno kids splash through hot days at parks with free and fabulous water features, like the ones below—many of which are open year-round. So if a pool or a water park sounds like too much work today, cool those kids down at a splash pad!

25 Things To Do in Pacific Palisades with Kids

A short drive from Santa Monica or Malibu and worth the drive from anywhere else in LA, the Pacific Palisades sits nestled atop a cliff line from the beach to 26th Street (Allenford). While the neighborhood is certainly celebrity-dense and the real estate is one of the most pricey in the city, families are drawn to the Palisades for its small town feeling, its kid-friendly neighborhoods, and the fantastic schools. Whether you live in the Palisades or not, here are 25 bucket list items you may want to start crossing off your list in this city by the sea.

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