Westside

Kids Bowl Free: Truly Free and Cheap Bowling for Kids All Over LA

My son went to a bowling party recently that sparked an obsession with the game -- and I've since realized that bowling is a really great sport for kids. The ingrained turn-taking structure, team camaraderie, and relaxed competitiveness offer kiddos a dose of sportsmanship at a fun pace. Accommodations like gutter bumpers and starting ramps guarantee success for even the youngest bowlers. Seriously, bowling is like the unsung hero of children's athletics. And it must have been this idea that fueled the creation of Kids Bowl Free, a fantastic nationwide program designed to give youth a constructive way to beat the heat. Read on to find out how your kids can bowl free every day this summer.

12 Best Beaches for Kids and Families in Los Angeles & Orange County

Don't be scared off by sand-filled diapers or tired little legs; there is nothing quite like a day at the beach for summer memories. But in the years when making it happen feels challenging, you want to be sure you've chosen a beach worth the effort. That may mean heading for a beach with a playground (we know some good ones), or it may just mean the most idyllic SoCal family beach you can find. That describes the dozen beaches below. So gather the shovels, sandwiches, and sunscreen, and go west, young families. Beachy adventures await.

Noah’s Ark at the Skirball: Is LA's Best Indoor Playground at a Museum?

Imagine a 65-foot-long ark and more than 400 animals that you must rescue before an epic flood engulfs the world. Yes, you’re Noah and your mission is to save everyone, but also have fun doing it. And there's no need to go all the way to Mount Ararat to relive the tale; just head up the Santa Monica Mountains to the Skirball Cultural Center, a few miles away from the Getty Center, at the highest point on the 405.

Fireworks! 46 Different 4th of July Displays in Los Angeles & Orange County

Who's ready for some rockets' red glare? LA and Orange County's many communities compete for sky space on July 4th, launching fireworks willy-nilly at the stroke of 9pm. From the mountains, to the valleys, to the ocean, Angelenos have plenty of directions to look on Independence Day. Whether your plan is to book a fireworks cruise, to lay a blanket in a park, or to close all the windows and try not to wake the baby, it helps to know where those firecrackers are being aimed. Below is a list of locations lighting up the night sky on the 4th of July (plus one or two on June 30). We'll keep adding more right up to the day!

Hang Ten! Summer Surf Camps for LA Kids

Sun, sand, sea...it must be summer! Summer is the perfect time to learn to surf - and a surf camp can teach your kids everything they need to know. There is more to surfing than just the mechanics of getting up on the board; there is also wave selection, ocean safety, and the all-important surfing etiquette that is best learned from someone in the know. And, of course, our SoCal Summer Camp Guide wouldn't be SoCal without a listing of surf camps!

4th of July Fireworks Cruises for Families in LA and OC

We landlubbers love our fireworks, don't we? Well, if you think the view from the shore is stunning, try witnessing the spectacle from a boat. That's a holiday memory your kiddos won't soon forget. Several small cruise boats set sail this Independence Day, with 2-3 hour tours to delight you and your first mates. Snuggle on deck under a blanket and watch the sky come alive as the water sparkles below. Read on to find a boat leaving a port near you.

Muppets Take over the Skirball this Summer in the Jim Henson Exhibition

The Skirball Cultural Center is already a fantastic kids' destination, mostly because of the incomparable Noah’s Ark exhibit (add it to your list of great indoor places to take kids during the summer). Combine that awesomeness with this summer’s Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited (you know, Muppets?) and you have a must-go for Angeleno families. 

Freebies & Free Stuff for Dad on Fathers Day in Los Angeles

There are lots of ways to celebrate Father's Day. You can do a special-occasion meal among sharks, presidents, or the night market masses. You can brunch among vintage airplanes or on board a vintage train. But most of these ideas require parting with a little of that tooth fairy cash. Wouldn't Dad prefer something more, well, free? Sure he would! Dad loves a freebie as much as the next guy. So check out these free offers just for dads this Fathers Day.

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