Los Angeles

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Garden Concerts, Superhero Shakespeare, and Surf Fest

Can you believe it's August already? The summer's almost over. Last call for school break fun, cause we'll be back in school before you know it!

Oh, hey, look at that: the Actors' Gang free summer Shakespeare for kids is starting up this weekend. The Gang is doing an Avengers tinged Much Ado About Nothing, quite a Marvel if you ask me. Nothing like your kids quoting Shakespeare when they go back to school, which they will be doing shortly because the summer is practically over...

Oh, hey, look at that: The Getty Garden Concerts for Kids are starting up this weekend. It isn't summer until the Garden Concerts have started, I'll tell you that. Jazzy Ash gets things going with her fun, New Orleans inspired jazz. You can dance or chill on the Getty Center Lawn to this family favorite. And then after that you can turn in your swim fins and sunscreen, because the summer is just about over...

Oh, hey, look at that: the Ventura County Fair is starting up this weekend. Nothing says summer like funnel cakes, carnival rides, and pig races. And then the summer is over for most intents and purposes, so maybe we should all be buying ski garb and looking into Christmas trees. 

Oh, hey, look at that: There's a new Disney movie coming out this weekend. I say "summer"; you say "blockbuster"!  I say "Winnie", you say "Pooh"! And we both say that maybe there's a little bit of summer left after all.

Keep reading for our best picks for what is clearly another awesome summer weekend.

Free in August: 21 Free Things To Do with Kids in Los Angeles

It’s the waning days of summer, and the pocket book may be feeling a little light. Thankfully, you live in Los Angeles, a city never short of fun things to do for free. Whether you want to hit the beachdance under the stars, or catch a show, there's nothing to stop you, short of heatstroke. So why not gather up the fam and squeeze those last drops out of your summer fun, because if you do what we tell you to, you won't need to spend a dime. 

School Start & End Dates: 2018-19 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 only a few South Bay 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. This year Alhambra is first out of the gate, leading the back-to-school race with a pool-party-pooper start date of August 10; Torrance kids still get the most out of summer with their September 6 first day.

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 2018-2019 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.

100 Awesome Kids Crafts for Creative At-Home Fun

Did you know that plastic milk jugs make awesome fairy houses, or that sugar cubes are a fun substitute for Lego bricks? Sometimes we all need a little push to get the creative juices flowing. Here is a mega list of 100 art projects that you can do with your kids in the comfort of your own home. From paper crafts to slime, from STEM activities to boredom busters, this list has something for everyone.

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

This month's GoList looks at a summer half over and sees it as half full! There's still time to catch some of the best of LA's summertime fun, including free summer concerts, free summer movies, camping, beaches galore, or just taking one more rollercoaster ride while the weather is blissfully warm. Read on for the best of August in LA, Ventura, and OC. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletter in time for each weekend, but here's your chance to plan ahead for these August favorites.

26 Things To Do in Santa Barbara with Kids

There is more to SoCal than just Los Angeles; only slightly farther afield families can explore Ojai, play in Palm Springs, and indulge in Santa Barbara. A 150-mile jaunt up the coast from LA, Santa Barbara is chock full of fun and educational things to delight kids and adults. Day-trippers can make it an extra-special jaunt (or maybe just avoid traffic and parking) by taking Amtrak from any of the LA or OC stations then spending the day or weekend riding Santa Barbara's downtown and waterfront shuttles—or the water taxi—to enjoy the 26 local attractions below.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Annie, Dragonboats, Sandcastles, and Watermelon

Are you scared? I am not scared, though there are some scary things afoot. School will be starting soon. That's okay because learning is awesome. But what happened to summer?

There is still time. Some of our favorite summer events haven't even started yet. There are good things, very good things coming. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there will be good things. And it is still July. July = summer. Summer is good. (And also: ridiculously hot.)

Have you ever seen a dragon boat? Dragon boats are things of wonder. They keep us safe, I think. Castles definitely keep us safe—unless they're made of sand. And as long as no one's having fun storming them

Keep reading for our best picks for an awesome summer weekend. Just to be safe.

Angels Flight: An Only-in-LA Moment To Share with Kids (Sometimes)

Angels Flight is one of the more whimsical novelties of downtown Los Angeles. It's objectively adorable, ubiquitously beloved, and for the life of me I can't quite express why. It’s also a fun addition to a Downtown trip with kids. For a two-dollar round-trip, it is a goofy little local history lesson—and a chance to see and even ride on the world's shortest railway. 

Why You Might Enjoy a Disney Cruise to Europe As Much As Your Kids

When my husband suggested a Disney cruise as a way to introduce our kids to Europe, I was doubtful. Our girls had yet to take a plane ride, and we were going to tackle the great cities of Rome, Barcelona, Cannes, Genoa, and others with them? Couldn't we just hit a theme park instead? Ultimately, though, I gave in, even as I imagined dragging a reluctant kindergartener through scenic city streets as she begged to watch "DuckTales" instead. 

The Last Bookstore Is LA's Reading Playground for Kids Who Love Books

Getting kids excited about reading is one of the most important things a parent can do—so it's worth thinking outside the box. When kids start to grow tired of the pastel children’s section, take them downtown to The Last Bookstore, LA's unusual book playground. It is undeniably cool and, best of all, it makes reading seem edgy and funky, rather than something a bunch of lame adults try to trick them into doing. 

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