Westside

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!

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Kids: Where LA Families Can Get Their Green On

Here comes Saint Patrick's Day; time to brush up the Irish brogue for the one time per year (unless you're really Irish) that you use it. The holiday falls on a Sunday this year, which makes for a number of weekend opportunities to celebrate with parades, festivals, and corned beef. So top o' the marnin' to ye; Erin Go Bragh; that shade of green looks bonny on you, and let's go find that pot o' gold!

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.

9 Waterfall Hikes Every LA Family Should Know

There's no question that winter 2019 got LA's water flowing; and as long as it isn't flowing through your yard or your roof, you might be ready to get out there and watch it flow. What better way than with a hike to one of our wonderful LA area waterfalls? Some of these beautiful gems hide their light under a dry bushel some seasons, but not this year. Every one of the waterfalls below is worth a visit this season, as once dry creek beds are again rushing with water and sporting green. A hike to one of these Southland waterfalls is the stuff that family memories (and Facebook posts) are made of.

And if spring hikes are what your family loves, you'll probably want to try one of these wonderful wildflower hikes next!

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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!

10 Free and Cheap Summer Camps Los Angeles Parents Should Know

Summer camp can be a great way to keep Los Angeles-area kids busy and even intellectually and creatively stimulated through those long summer months—but rarely is it cheap. Amazingly, we came up with a list of LA summer camps that won't destroy your budget, and some of them are even (gasp) FREE. There are great STEM camps, art camps, and outdoor, sports fun, too!

Check out these summer camps with your kids, tweens, and teens now, because even though summer fun seems far away, spots will fill up before you know it.

Find more options in our LA Summer Camp Guide, or browse our Camp Directory of listings by interest, age, and area.

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.

25 Things To Do in Venice Beach with Kids

Venice, California is about as unlike Venice, Italy as two cities could be, but the Bohemian beachside community has nonetheless acquired nearly as much fame as its namesake. Both Venices can boast canals, beach, and some larger-than-life parties, but LA's famous seaside tourist attraction replaces old world charm with funkadelic grunge, opera with karaoke, and gondoliers with bodybuilders.

Sandwiched between Santa Monica and Marina del Rey, Venice may be small but has its own distinct personality. And the 25 kid-pleasing activites below are good for a few days' worth of fun in the sun, Venice style.

15 Best Indoor Birthday Party Ideas for LA Kids

There is a special kind of stress—both emotional and financial—that planning a birthday party can cause if you have kids born between the months of November and March. Oh sure, everyone struggles with the great birthday party question, but those moms who gave birth in LA in August are pretty safe claiming a corner of a public park or throwing down some blankets on the beach. If you have a December baby, you may have tried that, but at some point probably cried "Never again!" LA might not have a proper winter, but it has a proper Indoor Birthday Party season, if only for the sanity of the parents. Allow us to share some of our favorite options for entertaining the masses without stressing about the weather.

The Paley Center for Media: A Fun Trip Down TV & Radio's Memory Lane

Does having kids bring back memories of TV shows, cartoons, and jingles from your own childhood? Wouldn't it be cool if there were a place where you could watch them? Enter The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. Whether you're making peace with some weekend screen time, or you've simply exhausted the other great LA museum and library options, this place is worth checking out. With an archive of more than 160,000 radio and television programs, this small but mighty museum offers a fun (and free!) way to connect with the family over TV past and present. 

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