Los Angeles

15 Best Indoor Birthday Party Ideas for LA Kids

There is a special kind of stress—both emotional and financial—that planning a birthday party can cause if you have kids born between the months of November and March. Oh sure, everyone struggles with the great birthday party question, but those moms who gave birth in LA in August are pretty safe claiming a corner of a public park or throwing down some blankets on the beach. If you have a December baby, you may have tried that, but at some point probably cried "Never again!" LA might not have a proper winter, but it has a proper Indoor Birthday Party season, if only for the sanity of the parents. Allow us to share some of our favorite options for entertaining the masses without stressing about the weather.

The Paley Center for Media: A Fun Trip Down TV & Radio's Memory Lane

Does having kids bring back memories of TV shows, cartoons, and jingles from your own childhood? Wouldn't it be cool if there were a place where you could watch them? Enter The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. Whether you're making peace with some weekend screen time, or you've simply exhausted the other great LA museum and library options, this place is worth checking out. With an archive of more than 160,000 radio and television programs, this small but mighty museum offers a fun (and free!) way to connect with the family over TV past and present. 

These 8 Trampoline Parks Offer LA & OC Kids Wall-to-wall Jumping

Bounce and repeat. What else do we need to say? Big kids, little kids, they all like to jump. Even Mom and Dad can occasionally enjoy trampoline time (though they might just prefer the trampoline park below that offers massage chairs on the sidelines). Bring a pack of kids for a birthday party, and they'll all sleep well afterwards; bring an antsy one on a rainy day, and watch the mood change for the better. Note that the 8 jumping gyms below can get seriously rambunctuous, but most offer special times or areas for toddlers and preschoolers. And if there's a stuntkid in your family, these are definitely addresses you need to know.

Cheap Spring Break Travel Ideas for Families on a Budget

Is there a way to travel for cheap with kids during spring break? The short answer is... yes!

While some might automatically head to Orlando or even the Caribbean for spring break, airfare for a family of four can quickly add up to waaaay over budget. Families-in-the-know deploy a few tricks to plan a fun spring break vacation for the kids without blowing their mortgage payment, from scoring a secret deal to compromising a bit on the location.

There are plenty of family-friendly cities and destinations that cost a bit less but don’t scrimp on the family attractions, including top museums, eateries, beaches, and even amusement parks.

Read on for some of our editors’ favorite hacks in planning a cheap spring break and where they like to vacation as a family!

Love Hot Wheels? Make a Pit Stop at the Discovery Cube Los Angeles

Ever wondered what makes a car go? Why some cars sound different? What safety gear is most effective when racing? Why is it important to use weather compliant tires and steering wheels? The Hot Wheels: Race to Win exhibit at the Discovery Cube Los Angeles is providing all these answers through interactive videos, displays, and “hands-on” stations giving the whole family opportunities to learn while unleashing their inner race car drivers. The iconic miniature vehicles, which have been igniting kids’ and collectors’ imaginations since 1968, are the centerpieces of this traveling show: some vintage models are enclosed in glass cases, while others serve as die-cast models to experiment with high-speed racing.

Best Indoor Play Spaces for Entertaining Orange County Kids

Rain or shine, a list of indoor play spaces can be like a Golden Ticket in your pocket. On a rainy day, it can be the place to let your kids run (or jump) free and stay dry. Even on a sunny day, an indoor play space can be the answer to “What are we doing today?” If you’re in the Los Angeles area, there are plenty of indoor play spaces to choose from; but Orange County also has many play places that are fun to visit—and even worth the drive if you’re outside the area. And of course all of the indoor playgrounds below are great birthday party options, too.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Zimmer Closing, Golden Dragon, and Valentines

This is a weekend about love, loss, and (spoiler) finding love again. With Valentine's Day only days away, our kids and/ or spouses need to act fast to buy and/ or make objects to show us their love. Also acceptable is taking us out on the town and showing us a good time.

We spoke of loves; now let us speak of loss. Last week we discovered The LEGO Space Hollywood, the free interactive installation powered by The LEGO Movie 2. Alas, poor LEGO Space, we only just met and now, come Sunday, it is over. But the brick-shaped hole it will leave in our hearts is small compared to the loss we will be feeling at the closing of the Zimmer—truly, the place where childhood lived (not to mention a giant ball pit and a kid-sized Wailing Wall). On Sunday we say goodbye to the Zimmer as it opens its doors, for free, for one last playdate.

But remember I said this is a story of love found again. Yes, the LEGO Space Hollywood is closing, but the LEGO Movie 2 is opening. (We saw and—you guessed it—love love love it. ) And as for the Zimmer, the goodbye is only temporary. The beloved museum will be reborn sometime in April 2019, emerging with a new name and a new zipcode. (We srsly cannot wait.)

Love triumphs and love conquers all, creating a happy ending to our love story, and to your fun-filled pre-Valentine's weekend.

Keep reading for the part where we all live happily ever after...

The Cutest Animal Ever Was Just Born at the LA Zoo—and You Can See Him!

Squeee! The Los Angeles Zoo has an adorable new baby, and your kids will consider visiting this little guy a must-do. Born December 19 to first-time parents and zoo residents Steph and Mario, this southern pudu—a tiny and super cute deer species from South America—is now out and about. Allow us to help you set a beeline for him so you can stop by the zoo to say hi (and call him by his surprising name)!

Cartoon Network Hotel to Open in Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Fans of Cartoon Network's Adventure Time, We Bare Bears, Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls, and other programs are getting a treat this summer. The TV network and Palace Entertainment are working together to open the Cartoon Network Hotel, a kid-friendly resort steeped in the channel's animated world, for summer 2019.

The nine-acre, 165-room property will be located in central Pennsylvania's Lancaster County along Route 30. It will neighbor Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, which is also owned by Palace Entertainment, so a family could easily enjoy both attractions in one trip. It is the Cartoon Network's first themed hotel.

Seems like there's one more reason to plan a Pennsylvania weekend getaway with the kids.

10 LA Libraries with Great Play Spaces You Have To Try

The Southland's rainy season may be short lived, but even if we're thrust into blazing heat again next week, either way having fun, free, indoor options for the kiddos is a must. You probably already know some local storytimes at LA libraries. Maybe you've checked out a few of our drive-worthy special libraries or any number of the awesome free perks your library card offers. But do you know the libraries where you can get a great book and engage your little one in some good old-fashioned indoor fun? You're in luck; here are our picks for LA's 10 best libraries with play spaces where you can do just that. 

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