Los Angeles

Free in November: 22 Free Things To Do with Kids In Los Angeles

With the Holiday Season fast approaching, pocketbooks can start to feel a little light. If you’re in need of some family fun but don’t want to break the bank, look no further. There are still plenty of things to do in Los Angeles this November, without ever cracking open that wallet. From the Day of the Dead to Santa’s Sled, it's time to kick off winter with a frugal bang.

Sweet Ways to Donate Halloween Candy

Got a Halloween candy hangover? Come November 1, parents across the country are wondering how they're going to get rid of all the candy their kids brought home. Some of it will be eaten, sure, but just one look at the amount of calories in an average Halloween haul and you'll want to make sure the bulk of it goes anywhere besides your family's stomachs.

There are a number of creative ways to get rid of Halloween candy, like using it for crafts or science experiments, having the Switch Witch take it in exchange for a small toy, or, you know, saving it until Easter and throwing it in the basket. (Hey, it's only six months away—how stale can that candy get?) But perhaps the best thing to do with Halloween candy is donate it. That way your kids can enjoy a truly special treat: The feeling of helping others. Here are seven charitable organizations who accept donations of unopened candy.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Grand Avenue Arts, Dia de los Muertos and Exploring Your Universe

Bet you're feeling pretty proud of yourselves now, Mommas. Costumes worn and instagrammed, pumpkins carved and launched into the ethercandy collected and eaten in the dead of night (er, traded with the Switch Witch), and now it's time to chill out before the next wave of holidays starts up.

Yeah. Uh uh. Not even close.

See, first of all, the holidays ain't even over, as we are still going strong with Día de los Muertos weekend. It's marigolds from here to Sunday, and Los Angeles offers endless opportunities to honor your dearly departed loved ones. Diwali is coming up soon, and we are also celebrating farms, babies, and the universe (because that last one covers just about everything).

And lest we forget the biggest holiday, nay, holy day of them all, on Tuesday we get to exercise our constitutional right to participate in our democracy. Vote vote vote like a baby goat! (Feel free to vote early, but just once please!)

Keep reading for our most celebrated picks for the weekend.

PS:  Don't forget to reset your clocks on Sunday. You get an extra hour of sleep, and it would be a shame to waste it.

Best Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in LA, from Downtown to the Valleys to the Beach

One thing Angelenos love doing during the winter months is pretending that it’s winter, and the most fun way we do it is by turning parking lots and other open spaces into outdoor skating rinks for the holidays. Whether your family is trying skating for the first time, or you've got budding athletes looking for a change of scenery from indoor skating lessons, nothing says Southern California quite like the sight of kids and families in tank tops and mittens gliding merrily in the sunshine.

Christmas Trains: All Aboard the Polar Express for Kids in LA, Ventura, & Orange County

Trains in Los Angeles are more or less novelties all year round, which means they hold onto that wonderful Thomas-the-Tank-Engine, Polar-Express mystique far longer for LA kids than for urban kids who take the A train regularly. And for anyone who loves trains, Christmas trains offer the ultimate "old world charm" rail experience. Add an appearance by Santa Claus and a few Christmas trees, and you have a recipe for a memorable holiday experience. Some of the dates are limited, though, so booking ahead when possible is the best way to make sure this train doesn't pass you by. All aboard the Santa Express!

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

When Halloween is over, that can only mean one thing: time for Santa. You get a couple of days to donate or cash in all of that Halloween candy before the advent calendars, candy canes, and Hanukkah gelt start arriving. Rip down the Halloween decorations, quick, because some of your neighbors are already prepping their amazing holiday light displays. Yes, November is the sandwich month, and we're not just talking turkey. Read on for our top November things to do in LA, Ventura, and OC. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletter in time for each weekend, too; with so much going on, we'll have to!

Día de los Muertos: What Other City Has This Many Day of the Dead Celebrations?

Hauntingly close to Halloween, El Día de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead – is a magical holiday that's also a living history lesson, demonstrating the tendency of conquerors to absorb indigenous customs into their own. Christian Europeans arrived in Mexico already fans of All Hallows Eve (modern day Halloween), only to stumble upon an ancient tradition celebrated by the Aztecs on November 2, with a spookily similar theme. Day of the Dead is a time when the door between worlds is meant to open, so that celebrants can honor departed loved ones and hopefully lure them back for a visit.

Things To Do Halloween Weekend with LA Kids: Oct 27 - 28

Our calendar, just like a treat bag, is overflowing this weekend. With tons of carnivals and festivals and parades and celebrations, LA is aquiver with the pumpkin-mania that is Halloween. Find the fun at parksparks, and parks; at zooszoos, and zoos; and at theme parkstheme parks, and theme parks... you get the picture. There's no way we can fit them all here, so this weekend more than ever I encourage you to check out our full listings.

As if the schedule wasn't full enough, there's another major holiday nipping at Halloween's heels. Many Día de los Muertos events are this weekend, and there's no better place than LA to rejoice in the memory of our departed loved ones. There are even a few events with no holiday affiliation this weekend, though it's not hard to see the synergism between Halloween and, say, Los Angeles Comic Con or the Spider Pavilion.

Whatever your plans,  conserve your strength: Wednesday is coming. (Don't worry, you'll get yours; it is a perfectly acceptable parenting technique to keep any trick-or-treat candy you deem bad for your kids' teeth.)

Keep reading for our trickiest treats for this weekend...

Safe, Organized, and Indoor Trick-or-Treat Options for LA Kids on Halloween Night

We may have grown up cruising the streets unchaperoned eating loosely wrapped candy on Halloween night, but we’d no sooner let our own children do that than bounce around the back of a station wagon without a car seat. And while some of us are fortunate enough to have friendly, festive neighborhoods to walk our Moanas and Elsas through, many parents prefer the safety and self-contained nature of a mall, museum, or other organized trick-or-treat event.

Keep an eye on our events calendar and Halloween Fun Guide for complete listings; some venues hold their Halloween celebrations on the weekend, to maximize the holiday. October 31, of course, is the night for ringing doorbells, but for those who prefer to collect their candy in a confined space, we have more than 25 local options below.

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