Los Angeles

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Natsumatsuri, Wings over Camarillo, Tacos, & Rocket Fever

You hear that? Of course you don't, because that sound is the peaceful nothingness of the children being back in school. Weekdays are for reading, writing, and 'rithmetic, plus momma chillin' with her tasty drink while she finally gets something done around here. But don't fret; there's still lots of time for fun. That's why the calendar invented weekends, so we could have Saturdays and Sundays (and occasionally holiday Mondays) filled with concerts, festivals, and movies. There may even be a chance to learn something as well, but we will call it entertainment.

What are your options for fun this weekend, you ask? You can go full Little Tokyo at the closing weekend of the Nisei Week and at JANM's annual Natsumatsuri Festival (it celebrates summer, which in this case means back to school). You can chow down on BBQ and tacos. You can take flight, soaring through the skies, or reaching for the space just beyond that. (I'm told there are stars there.)

There's lots of music making and moving pictures (as well as some pictures that are moving). Plus things get smashed to bits. Just a typical weekend round these parts. Now that school has started.

Keep reading for our not going quietly back to school weekend picks.

Free and Cheap After-school Classes and Programs for LA Kids

Back-to-school season is also back-to-after-school season, when families look for enriching and fun programs for their children. Options for arts, sports, and other recreational classes for kids in the LA area are numerous and varied—lucky us!—but many are tough to manage on a budget. The good news is there are also several free and cheap ways to engage students’ minds and bodies in the hours after school lets out.

LA's Best Gyms and Tumbling Classes for Kids Who Love To Bounce

Every kid loves to jump around. While some kids channel that energy into competitive gymnastics programs at LA's gymnastics schools, others (toddlers particularly) really just want a place to bounce, tumble, climb, and swing. If you are looking for tumbling classes that are completely child-centered, fully non-competitive, and possibly closer to home (not to mention great options for birthday parties and summer camp), one of these kids' gyms may be just your speed.

Vancouver With Kids: 30 Great Things To Do as a Family

One of Canada’s most ethnically diverse and densely populated cities, Vancouver, British Columbia is the crown jewel of the country's West Coast.

Less than an hour by car from the border with the United States, Vancouver is the gateway to the Pacific Rim and draws visitors from all over the world. It’s not just the city’s location that makes people flock there, but also the stunning backdrop of mountains, temperate weather, and world-class parks and amenities.

With the ocean and mountains within a short drive, Vancouver is a veritable outdoor playground. This cosmopolitan city is waiting for your next adventure. With a favorable exchange rate in Canadian dollars, free public parks, and an easy-to-navigate public transportation system, Vancouver offers great value and seemingly endless and unforgettable experiences.

35 Ways To Keep Summer Going after School Begins

Whether you're relieved by the quiet or disturbed by the abrupt ending, most LA families are using those three little words (back to school) a whole lot earlier these days. Of course, dropping our kids off at school doesn't change the weather; there might be no child left behind at the beach, but it's still summer until close to Halloween. So if your family is not yet ready for summer to end, pick a few items off our Endless Summer List and go have some fun while the sun still shines!

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Elephants, Empire Strikes Back, and Pat Benatar

Let's talk about the elephant in the room. No, not the start of the school year: I mean the weekend festivities in Griffith Park. The LA Zoo is celebrating the pachyderm, and shedding light on the majestic beast's situation in the wild. It's the once a year chance to go behind the scenes and see how the "Ele" half lives.

They say an elephant never forgets. But you know who does forget? A kid who's been out of school too long. Luckily, the 2018/19 academic year is upon us, with many kids returning to school as early as next week. Time to get a move on if you have any unrealized summer plans, like perhaps attending a county fair. (Both the OC and Ventura County fairs end this weekend.)

We all know that parenting, like love, is a battlefield. But parents and kids, we belong together, perhaps at an open air concert. Several of the ongoing summer series come to an end this weekend. You wouldn't want to miss some of the big names you can see this weekend; that would be a heartbreaker

Keep reading for our most elephantine list of picks for this pre-school weekend.

Got Library Fines? A New Program Lets Kids Read Them Away

Any parent who has fished an overdue library book out from underneath the sofa knows the pain of late fees. When library fines add up, they can even take the allure out of reading, which is the last thing any of us wants. So here's the good news: Los Angeles County Library, Santa Monica Public Library, and even LAPL are changing the game with awesome new programs to make late fees vanish.

RELATED: 10 Free Perks that Come with an LA Public Library Card

How to Get the Most Out of a Caregiver Interview

Whether you’ve found them through personal recommendations, a nanny agency, a local parenting website, or even a chance encounter at the playground, you’ve narrowed your potential-Mary-Poppins list down to a few great choices. Now it’s time to conduct the in-person interviews. But can you really figure out, in one meeting, which caregiver will be the best fit for your kids—and for you? With preparation and some self-reflection, you can use a caregiver interview to help decide whether this is someone you feel not just comfortable with, but excited about. Read on for the top eight interview questions to ask in a caregiver interview. 

Free Play at Giggles 'n' Hugs!

Mommy Poppins and Giggles 'n' Hugs are teaming up again! On Tuesday, August 21st, it's time for a Mommy Poppins Playdate at Giggles 'n' Hugs. We invite you to enjoy free admission at either Giggles 'n' Hugs location (Topanga Canyon or Glendale), from 6pm-8pm.

Never been to Giggles 'n' Hugs? It's a great spot, whether you're looking to plan the perfect no-stress birthday party, enjoy a healthy family meal, or just chill out for an afternoon in the action-packed, 2000-square-foot playspace. The best part is it's as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids, because while little ones play, grown-ups can enjoy a coffee, glass of wine, or locally-sourced, organic meal.

Space is limited, so you must register in advance.

Harry Potter Heaven: Warner Brothers Studio Tour Is a London Must

Most American Potter fans know that Universal Studios has created a little piece of Hogwarts heaven in two locations—The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Hollywood and at Universal Studios Orlando—but it should come as no surprise that the true center of the Potter universe is in London, England, where all of Harry’s adventures began. Apart from all of the real life British places a muggle might want to snap a photo (e.g. Kings Cross Station for platform 9 3/4, which British Rail good naturedly erected a few years back), the true wizard Mecca is Warner Brothers Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, housed at the film studio that was Harry's world for the decade or so that the films were in production. Fans of wizardry and magic can walk in the very footsteps of their heroes at the Warner Bros Tour.

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