Los Angeles

Memorial Day Weekend for LA Kids: Greeks, Scots, Star Wars, and Fireworks

First and foremost, Memorial Day is about the members of the armed forces who gave their lives in our nation’s service. Their sacrifice is unimaginable, our debt to them beyond measure. To those lost, and to those who serve our nation and all it stands for, we salute you.

The weekend is not all somber reflection; Memorial Day also means a long weekend, and the unofficial start of summer. Festival is the word of the day: throughout the Southland folks gather to enjoy yummies and winged wonders, and to celebrate different cultures (including Greek, Scottish, and Topangan). Discovery Cube opens new exhibits that explore the different sides of super powers. (It's just science.) The Aquarium of the Pacific opens a new wing that encourages us all to be super heroes for the ocean.

And, of course, Memorial Day weekend closes with tributes to our fallen heroes. Ceremonies are being held at the Nixon Presidential Library, in Burbank and Canoga Park, and at Woodlawn and Forest Lawn Cemeteries.

Read on for some of our favorite picks for this three-day holiday weekend...

Got Early Risers? What To Do in LA While Everyone Else Is Sleeping In

If your life is like mine, it can sometimes feel like you're living on a farm... for many reasons—one of them being that your children wake up when the chickens rise. My kids are often revved up and ready to go at 6am or even earlier. So what should you do with all of that early morning energy? From indoor playgrounds to trampoline parks, we've got eight great ideas.

Best Camp Clothing Labels and Name Tags for Kids' Gear

It's just one of those mundane chores that need to be done: labeling every article of clothing, towel, backpack, and other gear that will travel with your child to summer camp—or to school or daycare—in the hopes that when it inevitably gets lost, it will find its way home to you. Nothing's going to make this job of labeling camp clothes, baby bottles, or school supplies fun, but we've rounded up the whole range of different ways you can label your kids' stuff, from swimsuits to water bottles and sippy cups, with beautifully embroidered personalized labels to fun, custom name tags with cute, colorful designs, to ones you can make at home.

Here are a few the best name labels for kids' and baby gear that we've found, and yes, most all offer dishwasher-safe, easy peel-and-stick options!

Still searching for the perfect summer camp for your kid? Check out our local guide to summer camps near you.

8 SoCal Campgrounds with Extra Entertainment To Keep Kids Happy

Camping with kids is a smorgasbord of sights and sounds, loaded with opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Hiking and biking, telling stories fireside, and unplugging from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives is good for the soul; but let’s face it, even with the whole of Mother Nature at their fingertips, kids sometimes get bored.

It’s time to up the ante on family camping, and you don’t have to ditch the tent to inject a bit of pep in your sulking teen’s step or enchant your tantrum-prone three-year-old. Southern California is home to several awesome family campgrounds that offer kids exciting alternative activities and entertainment when they tire of forest tag. Zip lining, anyone? Fishing? Rock climbing? Movies? Even ghost tours? All these and more are offered at the Southland campgrounds below. Get ready for the best of both worlds, cause we dare your kids to get bored at one of these campgrounds.

35 Fun Things To Do in Atlanta with Kids

Atlanta may be famous as the genteel home of Gone with the Wind, but these days it's a diverse, cosmopolitan Southern city with lots of fun for the whole family. There are museums galore, offering a world of kid-friendly culture and history, and Atlanta is one of only a few US cities where you can see giant pandas and walk through a shark tunnel. Kids will also have a blast at the many outdoor amusements, including the local Six Flags and a stunning children's garden.

There's plenty to do for families in Atlanta, Georgia, for a weekend, a week, or longer. Check out our list of the 35 best tourist sights and hidden fun before your trip. See our US City Guides for more great places to visit with kids.

30 Things To Do in Long Beach with Kids: Day Trip or Weekend

Like most Angelenos, I've been to Long Beach—but until recently I had never considered taking a weekend getaway there. Without traffic I can make it to Long Beach in roughly half an hour, meaning that a trip to the aquarium or to see the holiday lights at the Queen Mary is no big deal. So why would I commit to a full weekend there? The folks at the Long Beach Visitors Bureau invited me to find the answer to that rhetorical question, and I am so glad they did. What a wonderful surprise it was to discover that Long Beach is much more than just a busy port wrapped around an aquarium! In fact, this gem, hidden in plain sight, is a delightful beach town full of family activities and indulgent recreation.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Strawberries, JPL, Museums of the Arroyo, and Bugs

One of the things I have learned as a parent is not to give too many options when presenting a choice. It's "do you want waffles or French toast?" not "choose from any potential foodstuff consumed by man or beast." Well, this weekend is a full-menu, free-for-all-at-the-mega-mart, you-name-it-you-can-have-it kind of weekend. This weekend, your options are all the things.

First up is the open house at JPL, doorway to the stars and window on the origins of the universe (though if you don't already have tickets you're probably not getting in). For your number one choice this weekend, go under the sea to Hollywood, for a Gleeful live-to-screen performance of a Disney classic. Also first up is the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Fest, the pickingest pick there is (that's a pick pun). Your other first choice is the Bug Fair at the Natural History Museum, because if there is one truism about moms, it is that we love bugs. (And trash, we love that too!)

You can edumacate your offspring on scienceliterature, and history, then learn 'em about art and opera and long ago things. You can tour the Southland by landby sea, or by Cozy Coupe.

And, like all first choice weekends, your best pick is anything that involves play, fun, frivolity, and festivity. (And because we're moms: cleaning up after yourselves.)

Wondering what your other first choices are? Keep reading for our choicest picks for the weekend, all tied up in a bow...

Splash Parks, Sprinklers, and Water Playgrounds in Orange County Parks

When summer finally hits, Southland families are looking for water, water everywhere. There's hanging at the beach or playing in a pool, but fun places with splash pads and water features rank pretty high on a summer bucket list. Little kids, bigger kids, and even the occasional parent (yes, you!) can cool off on a hot day without tons of planning or tons of waste. Let's face it: playing in the water is just plain fun—and if you keep an extra towel in the car, you're always ready.

Check out some of these free water play parks and sprinklers around Orange County. Most are open Memorial Day to Labor Day, though we recommend calling to confirm before heading out, as water conservation efforts may sometimes be in effect.

Best Water Parks and Water Slides around LA and Southern California

Nothing is more fun on a too-hot day than some water play—just ask a kid. If you want to give the kids a welcome surprise on a summer day, take them to a water theme park. There are several water parks in Southern California, with large scale splash parks to please every kid from toddler to teen. Of course, if you're looking for something smaller, closer, or more low-key, you can always check out our list of water play features at city parks; but if you're looking to make a big splash, check out one of the SoCal parks below.

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