Los Angeles

9 Kid Friendly Restaurants in Downtown Los Angeles

No one likes an uptight restaurant where eating experiences are peppered with looks of curiosity (disdain!) as to why children are even out in public. Well, don't kids have to eat, too? The list below is comprised of kid-friendly Downtown Los Angeles eateries that include a variety of menus, styles, and scenery. There is no need to revisit Chuck E Cheese's every time the family wants to get out of the house for a meal. If DTLA is a family vacation destination or just a change of scenery, the locales below are here to encourage you and your family to get a little sightseeing done while tantalizing everyone's taste buds!

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this Weekend: Railroad, Snow Days, and African American Arts, Feb 22 - 23

So what did you win? Gold? Silver? Honorary mention for showing up? Oh dear, don't tell me you haven't won anything yet! Best get a move on, Momma: the Olympics end this weekend and with them go your shot at glory. If you want to spare your child a similarly unremarkable fate, we've got the lowdown on where LA kids can get their Olympics right stuff.

Those of us who can't do, watch.  And maybe throw a party. (For a fun activity, try re-enacting favorite sporting events with mini figures).

Here's something simple you can win: our giveaway this week is for a family 4-pack of tickets to Baby Loves Disco, and no speedy movements are required. Just click enter (and tell us how to contact you if you win) and bingo, bango, you're in.

Keep reading for some of our favorite picks for the weekend...

Easy Valentine's Day Cards for Kids To Make

On a scale of 99¢ Store perforated cartoon cards to Martha Stewart shadow box masterpieces, most of us really just want to help our kids make a few Valentines without using up all of the week's homework time to do it. No doubt some of the Valentine's Day activities on our calendar can offer ideas slightly closer to the Martha Stewart end of the spectrum; here we're volunteering to help with the other end of the scale. And so we present really easy, really fast, really cute Valentine's Day cards that can cover a whole classroom of kids in no time - and still leave time to treat your own little Valentine to a Valentine's Day Breakfast Parfait...

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this Weekend: Camellias, Fresh Beat, and Boat Show Feb 8 - 9

We here in So Cal are suffering from what I would call an embarrassment of riches. True, one of our favorite pastimes is gloating about the weather to friends far and wide. Winter? What winter? You mean that time I had to wear long sleeves? But with yet another snowstorm slamming our cross-country brethren, it almost seems untoward to list off the many sunkissed activities that await us this weekend.

Almost. I mean it’s not as if we’re keeping anyone from joining us in our little corner of Paradise. Are we supposed to feel bad that we can make our summer plans while experiencing summer-like temps? That we can gaze at the stars without turning into icebergs? That our kids see snow in the movies and ask us “what’s that?”

Maybe we should send them a little something to show we care. We’re starting to feel the Valentine’s love with heart-shaped workshops aplenty. I’m sure some handmade cards and craffy gifties would go a long way towards warming their hearts. Or maybe they'd just prefer a sweater.

Keep reading for some of our favorite picks for the weekend...

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this Weekend: Golden Dragon, RockSTAR and Schoolhouse Rock: Feb 1 - 2

Well hello, Martha Poppins! We are seriously impressed by all the WeeWorking you guys have been doing. Up-cycled button rings, 60-second smoothies, no-mess fingerpainting... true, we put the instructions up, but you guys have really run with them! 

All that creativity deserves a reward, don't you think? Let's have a giveaway! Alls ya gotta do is share a pic of your WeeWork handiwork on social media (you know you're gonna brag about it anyway!), then hashtag us and post a link.  (All the deets are here). Every week now through April we're choosing one Mommy Poppins artiste to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Baby Loves Disco!

Want more inspiration? As per usual, LA has plenty to spare. You can spend a night with the creatures of Noah's Ark, watch a giant Golden Dragon weave through the streets of Chinatown, groove with junior rockstars in Hollywood, or sing along with the princesses of Frozen. Favorite shows will entertain you with evolution, adjectives, and Greek mythology. You can build a car, party among dolls, search for faeries, or watch speeding supercross. You can celebrate Lunar New Year, African American History Month, and even Groundhog Day. This weekend, LA has got it going on.

Keep reading for some of our favorite picks for the weekend...

Volunteer From Home: Host a Playdate with a Purpose

Children of all ages from toddlers to tweens love getting together with friends for playdates. And you love hosting them—except when the kids complain about being bored (yes, even with all those games and activity kits spilling out of the closet). The next time your child asks to have pals over, consider organizing a simple and fun service project that can be done at home to help people in need. It's a great way to keep the kids entertained while teaching them the importance of giving back to their community—and reminding them of how lucky they are to have a room overflowing with toys!

Whether you connect the project to something personal, like your child's birthday, or highlight a difficult social issue like homelessness, a service-focused playdate is a gentle way to incorporate helping others into your everyday lives. And of course, doing it with friends makes it feel all the more special.

Here's a list of easy projects for all ages that can be done at home, as well as charities that would love to accept your donations. Always remember to include a handmade card—a sweet personal message from a child can brighten anyone's day.

Piñatas: Where to Find the Real Piñata for LA Kids' Parties

On the hunt for that perfect piñata for your kids' birthday party? If you've checked the local chain stores, you've probably found the same designs, the same small sizes and large prices, and the same styrofoam construction. If you're looking for something simple and traditional, check the neighborhood Mexican markets first. But if your need is for a black horse or a taxi cab or a specific character for a child's birthday party; for a one-of-a-kind custom piece for a themed event; for a larger piñata that won't open on the fourth whack of the stick, or for a traditional large Mexican star for Cinco de Mayo—then you need to go to one of these independent party stores that specializes in traditional papier maché piñatas.

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this Weekend: Grossology, Grammys and Museums Free For All: Jan 25 - 26

I can't put my finger on it, but there's something different about you. You seem somehow...craftier. Hey, you've been dabbling in our WeeWork projects, haven't you! What's been your favorite so far? The Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dream Mobiles? Indoor bowling? I'm guessing it's not the ice lanterns, unless, to quote my favorite snowman, you wanted to finally learn what frozen things do in summer.

If you’re craving more inspiration, a score of Los Angeles area museums are free on Saturday. Seriously, the Hammer, the Skirball, the Pacific Asia Museum. Free, free, and totally free. You know what inspires me? Free. (Word to the wise: only those museums that are on the list are free. Don’t try waltzing into any other ones without paying. That’s called breaking and entering.)

Frankly, I don’t know how you can get any more inspired than by watching the exaltation of the human form that is the latest edition of Cirque du Soleil: TOTEM. (And it even gets bonus points for being spitting distance from Santa Monica Pier.) Leave the kids home if you have to. (You don't have to; they'll love it. But you might "have to." Because, you know, kids turn into pumpkins if they stay out too late. Or something like that...)

Keep reading for some of our favorite picks for the weekend, none of which will turn your kids into a winter squash...

Fun for Kids at Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM (Parent Review)

Forgive the rhetorical question, but can anyone make acrobatics more exciting than Cirque du Soleil? The Canadian circus phenomenon has umpteen touring productions in at least umpteen cities, and what keeps us all coming back for more goes beyond the gymnastics, the tumbling, the trapezes, the unicycles, the silks, the flying rings, the trampolines, and the tightropes. It even goes beyond those unexpected flourishes like the steampunk waterskiing flamenco rollerskating bullfights. What takes our breath away is the all-out drama of a celebration of the human body. Or, as my 10-year-old more succinctly put it midway through TOTEM at the Santa Monica Pier, "Talk about impossible!"

Museums Free-for-All in LA

The best things in life are free, right? Well, maybe. Raising kids is one of the best things in life, but it's certainly not free. Except on some days, like when several spectacular Los Angeles area museums waive their entrance fees. That's right, free admission. We've shouted from the rooftops about free museum days in LA and OC before. And now we're singing the praises of a special Museums Free-For-All happening Saturday, January 25. A free outing with the kids to explore a treasure-trove of art or science or craft or culture? One of the best things just got better.

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