Los Angeles

Flag Football Leagues for Kids in LA and Orange County

So your little Peyton Manning is eager to strut his or her stuff on a 100 yard field, but you're not quite ready for helmets, shoulder pads, and -- yikes! -- the tackling part. Not to worry. Flag football  is an extra-curricular activity that offers the challenge, strategy, running, and "plays" that the other rough-and-tumble football has to offer, without the impact. And (yea!) you don't have to rent all that gear. Read on for a round-up of flag football opportunities and leagues in your neck of the field.

5 Little Known Museums in and around Los Angeles

"Been there, done that," you're thinking, but not in a ho-hum kind of way. You dig LA's flagship museums (LACMA, The Natural History Museum, The Getty, to name a few), but sometimes you crave some off-the-beaten-path cultural destinations to add to your repertoire. We hear ya! So allow us to provide some inspiration. Ta da! Five lesser-known local gems we hope you'll get to know.

Fun & Free Things to Do with LA Kids this Weekend: Exxopolis, Greek Festival & Brazilian Day, Sept 7 - 8

It happens every year. I whine and moan about the end of summer, and the incomprehensibly early start of school. Finally Labor Day comes and even I have to admit, it’s time for Back to School. And then I realize: no one in my house is in school yet. We're still at the pre-school phase. September, Shmeptember, it's all the same to us. Yay, problem solved. But then this year I realized, this is our last year pre school.  Our last chance to enjoy weekday activities (free museum days! Kids clubs at the malls!)  Time is ticking on free entry to museums and theme parks and the Metro

It’s not just about getting in free, it’s also about buying into the magic. Right now, my child truly believes that costumed character in front of her is the same animated friend she loves on TV. And this month alone I can take her to see the Octonauts, Doc McStuffins,  the Wiggles, and for the pièce de résistance Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Sofia the First in one show. (Seriously, if you’re bucking for Mommy of the Year, get your kids tickets to this one.)

Lucky you, no matter how old your kid is, you can still enter to win awesome back-to-school bootie in our Swagapalooza Giveaway. A few of the drawings have closed already (you snooze, you lose) but there’s still plenty of time to enter for a Target gift card, a Motorola MBP26 Baby Monitor and a $250 Sears Optical Gift Certificate, to name a few.

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

Rock Climbing Classes and Centers for LA and OC Kids

All parents talk about their kids "climbing the walls"—but are yours truly climbing the walls, the trees, and random objects not meant to be climbed? Do they take the game of hot lava so seriously that they have broken furniture? Or perhaps they just can't stop talking about the rock wall at summer camp? Maybe it is time for you to consider signing them up for a rock climbing class. Rock climbing is a full-body sport that builds strength, endurance, and stamina. It also challenges the mind as climbers make decisions, work out routes, and challenge themselves physically. And, as any kid who has been on a climbing wall at the park can tell you—it can be just plain fun! Due to proliferation of rock climbing gyms, this is now both an indoor and outdoor sport, and you no longer have to go far to find some challenging terrain.

Nearly every climbing gym in the LA/OC area offers birthday parties for kids, and most permit children to climb with an adult present. If your child really enjoys climbing, a youth team (many gyms offer non-competitive and competition teams) is the best way to get lots of practice and instruction. If your kids have not found a sport they like (amongst the many on our classes guide), maybe this is the one!

Riding LA's Subway: 7 Family-Friendly Outings on the Eastside Made Easier with the LA Metro Rail

A transformation is slowly taking place in our great, sprawling city. It's taken some Angelenos time to warm up to the idea, but it is happening: Car-huggers everywhere are loosening their grips on their beloved steering wheels, and they are giving LA's latest mode of public transportation a try. I was initially coerced by my kids into taking the plunge. For them, a ride on the subway is the highlight of the outing, forget what's at the end of the line (and kids ride free until ages 5). But like many car owners in LA, my fear of being stuck somewhere without a car is overwhelmingly strong. However, lately I've been stuck in my car commuting from museums and family events much too often, and that's even more stressful. So, much to my children's delight, we are now card-carrying Metro Rail riders.

SoCal Moms Toddler Camp: Traveling Playgroup for Parents & Toddlers

For some moms, the toddler years are a golden era in which every outing is a glorious and gleeful first to be experienced together. For others, the toddler years feel like a string of stressful, overwhelming days in which entertaining an 18-month-old seems sooo much more complicated than it was supposed to be. Either way, SoCalMoms offers a great way to get more enjoyment out of the toddler years. The group's Toddler Camp treks around some of LA's most kid-friendly destinations (like the ones on our 100 Things To Do with Kids Bucket List), making all of the arrangements as a sort of traveling playgroup - with SoCal as the playground. (And read on for the Mommy Poppins discount!)

Long Weekend Trips: 8 Family Getaways and Day Trips near LA

Labor Day weekend approaches, and that means that if the kids are not already back to school, they're about to be. Traditionally Labor Day is the last hurrah of summer, but frequently by the time it arrives we moms are all hurrahed out. If you haven't made a plan yet or just can't face hitting the airport with half a million other summer junkies, we can think of a few places close to home that are an easy drive for an overnight, or even a day trip - letting you enjoy the day without the labor!

Fun & Free Things to Do with LA Kids this Weekend: Fiesta La Ballona, Malipalooza, and Puppetry , Aug 24 - 25

Here's what we do: we give. We give and give and then give some more. We're givers. Day in, day out, we give you our best. We find fun things for you to do. Free things. Cute things. Super things. Disney things. Dancey things. We find the most thank-you-mommy-for-bringing-me-here activities for you and yours because we're like that. We want you to be happy.

But every so often we want to go even further in our giving. We think about you guys and what you've got going on and we ask ourselves, "Selves?  How can we help these folk? How can we make their lives just that much brighter?" Now, for example. You're all wrapped in up Back-to-School-a-rama, and we'd like to help. By giving. Actual stuff. Stuff like, oh, I don't know, two Schwinn Kids' Bikes, $150 worth of personalized school supplies from My Chronical Books, a Disney Junior package that includes Disney bedding and a backpack, $100 off at Famous Footwear, and a year's supply of French Toast School Uniforms. That kind of stuff. Awesome stuff.

Want to know how to get your hands on this booty? And while you're at it, want the scoop on getting a discount for the upcoming show that's so out of this world that it's over the rainbow?  We'd be glad to give it to you. Just keep reading for the 411, and for some of our favorite picks for this weekend as well...

Best Pizza and Pizzerias on the Westside

You answer the door, pay the guy, slide the box across the table, and presto! Dinner is served. You know what I'm talking about: Pizza, that glorious complete meal in a slice. Whether eaten at home or at your favorite pizzeria, pizza offers a satisfying, stress-free dinner-in-a-pinch option we all need from time to time. And just try throwing a birthday party without ordering a few! So the next time you have no dinner menu planned (and, heck, even if you do) go ahead, give yourself a break and grab a pizza - but make it a good one. Here's our list of favorites on the Westside.

Summer Sounds: Daytime Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl

Summer Sounds concerts offer younger kids an introduction to music at the Hollywood Bowl in a lively and engaging format without the logistical challenges of evening shows. The concerts have an international flare, introducing little ears to sounds from around the world.

The Hollywood Bowl has always been one of my favorite venues in LA: the finest music offered in an open air, festive environment.  But as a parent, I began to see the scope of the Bowl in a different way. The size of the crowds could be overwhelming, the hour past little ones’ bedtimes, the length of the show beyond little ones’ attention spans. How then to instill in my child the same excitement I feel for this most beloved institution?


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