Los Angeles

10 Great Private Swimming Classes and Swim Schools for LA Kids

Finding goup swim classes at a local YMCA or community pool is usually easy and inexpensive; but since quality on these classes can vary widely (even within a single facility), we’re here to tell you where Angelenos who are serious about getting the job done keep their kids afloat—and it doesn't have to cost a mint. Private and semi-private lessons don't necessarily require a private pool, and they do get kids on the fast track to independent swimming. Several popular swim instructors and schools make use of public pools or swing deals with private pool owners to make private instruction accessible to everyone. Check out these great options...

Mostly Free Outdoor Summer Concerts for LA Families

They say music soothes the savage beast, but it's also pretty good at entertaining the easily bored child. Free (or almost free) outdoor concert series fill Los Angeles and Orange County parks and open spaces all summer long, so odds are you won't have to travel far to find an under-the-stars event. Throw down a blanket, spread out the snacks, uncork the wine, and watch the kids boogie the evening away as you sway to breezy melodies.

This year offers many returning favorites, plus a few changes: The Downtown Stage concerts in Pershing Square are still free, but now they are limited to 21 and older (excuse for a Moms Night out perhaps?); Santa Monica's Twlight on the Pier series doesn't kick in until near the end of the summer this year, but the Tiny Porch series anticipates returning to Peter Strauss Ranch in spite of damage from last fall's Woolsey Fires.

Once again Arcadia Summer Concerts and Summer Movies are joining for a combined event, and of course there are plenty of standalone free outdoor movie series all summer as well.

Click through for complete details, including dates and bands. And check back often, because we continue adding and updating concerts throughout the season!

Asheville with Kids: 40 Best Things to Do in Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC, is a popular destination for visitors, including families, with so many fun things to do like the Biltmore Estate, a thriving food and arts scene, a Vanderbilt mansion with extensive grounds, and its kid-friendly local breweries. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the plentiful hiking trails, waterfalls, and swimming holes. I frequently visit my sister’s family in Asheville and get to explore this charming Southern city with my young nephew, so I wanted to share the inside skinny on the best family-friendly attractions, restaurants, and what to do in Asheville with kids.

Find more family fun destinations in our Family Travel City Guides, and be sure to check our picks for North Carolina's best beaches for families.

12 Things Dads Actually Want To Do for Father's Day in LA

There are lots of ways to celebrate Father's Day around LA, including special occasion meals among sharks, ex-presidents, and the night market masses. The trick is figuring out what the dad at your house really wants. If you want this Father's Day to revolve around something more exciting than a new tie, check out our dozen ideas for dad-friendly, kid-friendly activities that he won't see coming. We guarantee there are some ideas on our list you hadn't thought of.

How Can I Find Free Summer Meal Programs for Kids?

Many parents rely on the free breakfast and lunch available through the local school system to keep their kids' engines running—but what happens in the summer? Thankfully, there are still free meal programs available when school lets out.

Parents will find free breakfast, lunch, and sometimes afternoon snacks and more meals served up at certain parks, schools, community centers, hospitals, and elsewhere this summer. Many of the summer meal programs are federally funded through the USDA's Summer Food Service Program, but administered by local organizations, cities, or states. Read on for tips on how to find a free kids meal near you.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Wooden Boats, Fun-A-Palooza, REDCAT, Playhouse Block Party

Can you feel that? That's summer getting ready to pop. Whether or not summer break has started for you personally is moot; if it hasn't it will soon, and enough Angelenos are in flipflops-and-beachbags mode that, on average, we are all on vacation anyway.

So how are you kicking off your summer break, which may or may not have started yet? You could be competing in the Special Olympics Summer Games (or cheering on the exceptional athletes who are). You could be winning a Tony (or cheering on the talented performers who are). You could be winning an award from the PBS SoCal Kids Writers contest (or cheering on the talented writers who are). You could be rounding the bases at Angels Stadium. You really could. If you're under 13. Otherwise, you can (checks notes) cheer on the kids who can. Remember: they also win who only stand and cheer.

More summer series are starting this weekend, and everyone is in a partying mood. We have kid-centric moviesfree videogame play, wooden boats, cardboard cars, hard-shelled heroes, a fun-a-palooza, sweet, sweet treats, oceans, fishcartoons, dance, and sanitation. Summer 2019 is go for launch!

Keep reading to get this summer started...

LA's Best Swimming Pools with Play Areas Worth a Drive this Summer

Sure, there are miles of great beaches in SoCal, but sometimes you need a break from the sand, and you want water that's a little less, well, wavy. It can be worth going a little farther to find a swimming pool that’s open to the public for recreational swimming and offers something special: Think slides, water play features, extended shallow areas for the little ones to splash in, or a beautiful, peaceful setting. Here’s our list of cool destination swimming pools worth a drive in LA and OC. Most range in price from $1 to $12 per person, and several of these pools offer discounted season passes (check websites for details).

55 FREE Things Kids Can Do in LA this Summer

Summer's great, isn't it? So much time, so much to do. All the things that can't be squeezed into the cursedly short time between school, homework, and dinner can be enjoyed at leisure, without stress of school night bedtimes. Summer means not a care in the world—except how to pay for all this frivolity, right? 'Cause we sure aren't getting a whole lot of work done! The answer? Summer freebies. Become an expert on how long your kids can get in free to Southland activities. Hit all the free museum days. And then start working your way down this list of totally free things to do with LA kids over the summer!

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

School lets out early these days, which means pretty much all the weekends of June count as summer. Summer movie series are already lighting up the Southland night; the beaches are hopping, and the water parks and splash pads are open. If you're ready to kick off summer with the biggest, most once-a-year-ish events happening in June, then read on. We'll continue to send our weekly picks, of course, and we'll keep adding to our Event Calendar daily; but consider yourself on notice for these June favorites—many of which are free!

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Lummis Day, Nick Gabaldon, and The Great Big Day of Play

If we had had confidence that there was nothing to do this weekend, we would have said so. But we did not. Because there isn't not. By which we mean to say there is. Lots to do this weekend. As full a calendar you're likely to see, to be surpassed only by next week's, and the one after that.

You may have heard tell that there was no illusion, no construction of golf greens, but the facts will show that there was and there are. We've laid it all out for you. We are not afraid to make waves. Or to surf them. If you want to know the facts of this coming weekend, check out the preponderance of events that can be found on our daily events calendar (conveniently sorted chronologically). The truth is out there if you're just willing to read

Of course, it's not our job to tell you what to do with your kids. You are the parents. You make those choices. And if your (correct) choice is to take them to a free outdoor concert at Pasadena City Hall that celebrates music that made the leap from Broadway to Hollywood, well all we can say then is bravo, encore, well done. Are you teaching your kids to put the steam in punk? You've turned this parenting thing into an art! Can we expect to see you at The Great Big Day of Play (of which Mommy Poppins is a humble media partner)? Well, then, cross out whatever picture is in the dictionary next to awesome parent, because your fresh-faced visage is what belongs there.

 Keep reading for our unredacted account of this weekend's worthiest picks...

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