Los Angeles

Celebrating Purim at Carnivals All Over Los Angeles

Not too sure what Purim is? Imagine something between Hebrew Halloween and Middle Eastern Mardi Gras, and you'll more or less have it. Jewish families know Purim as a time of uncharacteristically raucous rabbinical revelry, marked by costumes, noisemakers, interactive storytelling, triangular pastries, and enough drink (for the grown-ups) to muddy the lines between good and evil. Gentile families generally don't know it at all. But Purim is worth knowing. Its story has all the best elements: a party-hearty king, a beautiful and courageous queen, a resourceful good guy, and a bad guy so hateful that everyone drowns out his name with noisemakers at community carnivals all over town. Check out one of the events below for classic Purim activities, costume parades, and boisterous retellings of the Purim story.

And if you know of a celebration we've missed, please let us know!

Star Wars, Potter, and More New Theme Park Rides at Disney and Beyond

Amusement parks are a spring break and family vacation staple. From coast to coast, amusement and water parks abound, offering fun and thrills to parents and children ranging from toddlers to teens alike.

While there's never any shortage of excitement, having an opportunity to check out new attractions only adds to the kids' enjoyment. Take a look at which popular destinations are introducing everything from state-of-the-art roller coasters to gentle kiddie rides, and which are celebrating the opening of entirely new sections of their already-enticing parks in 2019. We've rounded up new rides (including water park fun) from California's Disneyland to Orlando, Florida and even along the New Jersey Shore boardwalks and in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Texas.

Spring Wildflower Hikes To Catch this Season's Super Bloom

Spring is the time for enjoying wildflowers! With all the rain LA has seen, people are using that word superbloom again this season; local hills look more like Ireland than Southern California, and you don't have to go far to see carpets of flowers. There are several locations known for spectacular annual displays of spring wildflowers (not to mention the famous fields of Carlsbad), and areas recovering from recent fires can surprise us by bouncing back beautifully. Large displays typically last two to six weeks, so you need to make plans quickly when word comes of a good one. (Don't have time to drive outside the city limits? We know plenty of local hikes worth checking, too!)

If we hear of more great displays, we'll share in our newsletter! (Have you subscribed?)

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Kites, Female Heroes, and Daylight Savings Fun

If you do one thing this weekend, let it be this: change your clocks. It's okay to let the microwave be out of sync, and your VCR if you still have one. But make sure to adjust those timepieces that you use to plan your activities, because there's a lot going on this weekend and you're going to want to be on time.

We lose an hour of sleep, but Mommas don't need sleep to think clrbly, am i rtght? And what we gain in return is more hours of daylight to bask in the sunshine (takes two steps outside, comes back in to wring out clothing, hair, any exposed orifices) ....what we gain in return is more hours of our children being awake and needing entertainment.

Luckily we moms are superheroesSheroes you might say. Girl power, mom power, whatevs. Whether it's making a pinterest-worthy birthday cake or an endearingly bad pinterest fail that will get you many likes and LOLs on instagram, there's no one who's got us beat in the awesome category. Even when we're slepp drpveid.

Keep reading for our timeliest picks for this weekend...

Insider's Guide to Griffith Park: More Things To Do Than Most Angelenos Know!

Five times the size of New York’s Central Park, Griffith Park was designated as a historic-cultural monument in 2009, protecting it from future development. Angelenos should be thankful to Griffith J. Griffith, a Welsh real estate developer who gifted the land to the city in 1896 as a “place of recreation and rest for the masses.” The result for us has been access to fantastic hiking trails, a home to some of our most iconic museums, and a wealth of other family activities. Lucky Los Feliz and Burbank families can call Griffith Park their local; for the rest of us it's worth setting aside a little time to be surprised by all that Griffith Park has to offer; there are probably one or two items on this list even locals didn't know about!

Ski Free All Spring with the 2019 Ikon Pass - And Save $100 on Kids’ Passes

If you hit the slopes at least one week a year, a ski pass can mean serious savings for your family. Ikon Pass is an annual ski pass that gives you access to over 30 skiing and snowboarding destinations across 12 states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 4 continents. And even better, if you buy your pass now, you get this year’s spring skiing for free!

While you might think of skiing as a quintessential winter activity, the higher temps, longer days, and shorter chairlift waits make spring break the perfect time for a family ski trip. Whether you're a bunch of black diamond die-hards or some of your gang's still all about the bunny hill, an Ikon Pass will definitely help you make the most of spring on the slopes—and since the pass for the 19/20 season literally just went on sale, you can use it for the rest of this season, as well as all of next year.

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Kids: Where LA Families Can Get Their Green On

Here comes Saint Patrick's Day; time to brush up the Irish brogue for the one time per year (unless you're really Irish) that you use it. The holiday falls on a Sunday this year, which makes for a number of weekend opportunities to celebrate with parades, festivals, and corned beef. So top o' the marnin' to ye; Erin Go Bragh; that shade of green looks bonny on you, and let's go find that pot o' gold!

5 Fun-Filled Los Angeles Day Camps and Summer Programs for All Ages

When it comes to summertime, the stakes are kinda high, right? With eight to ten school-free weeks to fill, kids expect nothing short of serious fun, and we want to deliver. Fortunately, Los Angeles summer day camps and programs do not not disappoint—and we're sharing a few of our top picks!

These five camps offer everything from camp classics, like archery and horseback riding, to out-of-the-box activities like aerial arts and go-karts; from hands-on STEAM-centric projects to swim classes for water lovers. There's even a camp where each day is pretty much a new choose-your-own adventure. This summer is bound to be a blast. And if you don't see a summer camp below that speaks to your kiddo's idea of fun, there are loads more to choose from in our LA Camp Guide and Camp Directory.

9 Waterfall Hikes Every LA Family Should Know

There's no question that winter 2019 got LA's water flowing; and as long as it isn't flowing through your yard or your roof, you might be ready to get out there and watch it flow. What better way than with a hike to one of our wonderful LA area waterfalls? Some of these beautiful gems hide their light under a dry bushel some seasons, but not this year. Every one of the waterfalls below is worth a visit this season, as once dry creek beds are again rushing with water and sporting green. A hike to one of these Southland waterfalls is the stuff that family memories (and Facebook posts) are made of.

And if spring hikes are what your family loves, you'll probably want to try one of these wonderful wildflower hikes next!

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Family-Friendly Farm Stays: Meet the Animals and Work the Farm

Farm stays provide guests of all ages with a taste of farm life. Whether by milking cows and collecting eggs, or gathering fresh fruit from a pineapple plant for breakfast, families who choose to stay at a farm hotel, which might be cabin, house, or even a tent, will likely have more fun than Old MacDonald led you to believe is possible.

Time your farm stay with the kids for spring, summer, or even fall. Check out which seasonal activities might be going on before picking the dates of your farm vacation, as well as the location. We've rounded up 10 of our favorite farm "hotels" around the country, from Maine to Texas to California.

I've found that farmer-hosts have a strong desire to educate little farmers on how to live a more sustainable and balanced life. Unplug, relax, and enjoy the fruits of a hard day’s work around a campfire. Lessons learned on these farms will stay with you long after you return home. 

Find more vacation ideas and weekend getaways in our Family Travel Guide, or check out your local Farm Fun Guide for local petting zoos, harvest festivals, and pick-your-own fun.

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