Los Angeles

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Cinco de Mayo, Free Comics, and Grand Butterflies

We've got all the words this weekend. Santa Monica becomes the center of the YA universe with YALLWEST, a free festival populated by YA authors and the fans who read them.

If you like, we've got the pictures too! Saturday is Free Comic Book Day, which means there are funny books and superhero epics with your name on 'em. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, in which case reading a comic book counts as like, 100,000 books or something.

And if you're into numbers, ain't none better than cinco. Cinco de Mayo, that is. No one does Cinco like Los Angeles, with celebrations of Not Mexican Independence Day happening at the Citadel, in Venice, in San Clemente and Monterey Park, and of course Downtown, with the one on Olvera Street being a big draw. May the 5th be with you!

Keep reading for... just keep reading. Doesn't matter what you read! Word!...

Free in May: 20 Things To Do that Don't Cost a Thing

Summer is just around the corner, and so are the camp fees, vacation expenses, and hefty ice cream budgets that come with it. So why not be responsible for once and make May your month to get frugal?Whether you’re looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo free of charge, or just check out a movie without breaking the bank, here are a few free things to do this month with the whole family.

We have included a few great outdoor festivals with free admission; if you need to avoid shelling out for cotton candy and a carousel ride, just scroll on to the next fun thing!

Medieval Times: Knightly Dinner Theater with a Dose of Girl Power in Orange County

While nearby Disneyland has sucked me in repeatedly over the years, the truth is that watching jousting and eating chicken with my hands at Medieval Times has always inspired a hard pass. That said, when the opportunity to play pretend princess in a "real" castle came up recently, my daughters were over the moon—and I was on the hook. As the saying goes, let the games begin. 

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

The weekends of May are packed with activity; there's Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and that one weekend without a holiday. There are parades, festivals, shows, and people eating bugs. With so much going on, it's easy to miss something. To help you keep track, here's a list of the biggest, most once-a-year-ish events happening this month. We'll keep adding to our Event Calendar daily, and it's a good idea to make sure our weekly recommendations arrive in your inbox, but we figured you'd appreciate some advance notice on these May favorites.

25 STEM Activities Easy Enough for Preschoolers

STEM activities are all the rage in education right now, and for good reason. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) – and the Arts for STEAM – are crucial to kids’ learning and our future. But how to get your younger children interested?

They might not be ready for coding, but many preschoolers under age 5, and even toddlers, can enjoy some basic STEM principles through play. Although one of my family’s admitted guilty pleasures is relaxing with a little screen time, I was inspired by the upcoming national Screen-Free Week (April 30-May 6, 2018) to take my daughter on a STEM binge instead.

We built an apple boat, a toothpick-marshmallow castle, attempted a pom-pom drop, and indulged in baking soda science. Read on for a list of 25 tried-and-true screen-free STEM activities to do with your preschooler.

20 Mother's Day Brunch Restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County

Mother's Day, and the brunching is easy—and when we say easy, we mean the culinary version of a chick flick. This is not a day for the Denny's Lumberjack Slam (not that there's anything wrong with that); Mother's Day brunch begs sprigs of rosemary, ocean views, and maybe a harp plucked with a rose. Or, if that's not your thing, Fillmore & Western Railway is happy to Throw Mama on the Train. The key is Mom's Choice—all day!

Read on for some of our favorite restaurants that offer a pretty darn fabulous Mother's Day brunch.

Visit the Old West like the Brady Bunch at this Hollywood Style Western Town

Deep in the Mojave Desert, not far from Palm Springs and Joshua Tree, and just two hours from LA, tumbleweeds roll down dusty, unpaved streets. A saddle shop, an old bank, a bath house, and a saloon line the appropriately-named Mane Street, where transportation is horses-only. There are occasional cowboy brawls (mostly on Saturday afternoons) and a sense that some old character actor might be haunting the jail. If Pioneertown feels like an old movie, that's no surprise—it should.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: We All Play, Puppet Festival, and Steam Railfest

This weekend you're getting a sneak peak, a first look at some of the most cutting edge developments of modern times. First up: ride into the future on steam engines! There's an awesome two day festival, and you can ride trains. Who doesn't love that?

Next up, the future of entertainment comes no strings attached (except when they are): we're talkin' puppetry! The Skirball has 'em all, from marionettes to full body puppets. When the kids have their music on, ever feel like it's a whole other language that you just don't get? Could be it's because they're listening to opera.

And, last but not least, sometimes the new news really is new. That's the case with the Zimmer. The beloved-by-the-under-10-set museum is getting a new home...in a mall... by the ocean. And you can check it out, way before it opens, while enjoying a petting zoo, a Squishie wall, an appearance by Hatchimals, and Donut School. (I'm not sure what all that means, but it sounds awesome.)

Keep reading to find out what your future holds (for this weekend, at least)...

8 Free Cinco de Mayo Celebrations that Are Great for Families

First let's set the record straight: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16, and—while the festivals might look similar—confusing the two holidays is as gringo as, say, putting pastrami in a taco. (Actually, scratch that—LA is pretty darned proud of its pastrami tacos.) Let's simply agree that just because the US named its independence holiday 4th of July doesn't mean that Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is Mexico's independence day. What the day actually celebrates is an underdog Mexican victory over a French military attack on Puebla, Mexico in 1862. The holiday is mostly observed in Puebla and in Southern California, where there's little mention of the French, but much swinging at piñatas and dancing to mariachis. After all, by the first weekend of May, who needs more excuse than that to revel in the sunshine?

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