Los Angeles

Everything Is Awesome at The LEGO Space Hollywood

If your kids are hyped up about The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part opening February 8, you could make them feel special by taking them to experience it live and interactive right now at the LEGO Space Hollywood. The free pop-up photo op experience offers tons of Instagrammable moments, interactive installations, and fun reveals from the new movie. And don’t think for a second they would make a LEGO space without giving you the opportunity to play with LEGOs. 

Mall of America's Most Amazing Attractions for Kids of All Ages

Mall of America, located in the heart of the American Midwest in Bloomington, Minnesota, is nothing short of an indoor entertainment epicenter for kids. Sure, it has over 500 stores, but there’s way more to do than just go shopping at the country's largest mall (so big that it requires its own zip code: 55425).

From Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower to the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee, the Midwest is full of fun, interesting, and educational things that kids and their parents will love. Mall of America might possess a more commercial feel than some of the area's other travel destinations, but it also likely offers the most entertainment per square foot (5.4 million square feet to be exact) with some of the most popular kids' characters and brands on hand, including Lego, Nickelodeon, American Girl, and Paw Patrol. There's an indoor amusement park, aquarium, arcade, mini golf, and so much more, all within just a few minutes of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

Read on to check out our list of the top 25 amazing things that kids of all ages can do at Mall of America.

10 Traditional Outdoor Summer Camps for LA Kids

Los Angeles is blessed with a whole bunch of summer camps (just check our camp guide and directory). Parents with kids who are driven to spend their summers focusing on their music, their art, their particular sport, science, or even cooking have all the options they could wish.

But sometimes summer needs to be about good old-fashioned swing-on-a-rope, splash-in-a-pool type fun. Sometimes what our kids really need is to spend a couple of weeks in the fresh air doing things that won't necessarily fill a college application, but sure will fill a memory book. For those types of summers, we offer 10 great summer day camps in the Los Angeles area that are all about playing outdoors.

February GoList: Best Things To Do with LA Kids

February is a time to appreciate where we live perhaps more than any other—not simply because of the opportunity to celebrate the valentines, presidents, parades, and whales below, but also because we live in a place where we can ski if we want to without ever having to move our cars out of the way of snowplows. Our hearts go out to our friends and family in other states, of course; they really should come to visit. We'll use our weekend event roundups, our 100 Things List, and this February GoList to show them a good time, while they escape that winter thing they're all suffering from.

All of the cooler-than-cool activities below are on our daily events calendar, but a little extra notice helps to make sure your kids don't miss out. Click through to the full listings so that you can automatically add them to your calendar. Happy February!

Free STEM Summer Camp from Girls Who Code Opens Registration

Looking for more than mindless hanging out and screentime for your teenage daughter this summer? Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that aims to increase the number of women in computer science fields, is once again offering its FREE summer immersion program for girls entering their junior or senior year of high school. The 7-week STEM summer camp offering FREE coding lessons and more crucial skills will take place in select cities across the country, including the NYC metro area, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Chicago.

Keep reading to find out who is eligible, how to apply, and when and where the program is happening in summer 2019. Hurry, because the early application period for this FREE summer program is already open!

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Lunar New Year, Cookie Con, Museums Free-for-All

Are you ready? It feels like all of LA is pumped for the big event, and no wonder, since a local favorite is in the center of the action. Everybody,  let's say it together:  "Let's go.....

"...COOKIES!"  Just thinking about it makes me very hungry.

But we're no one trick hedgehog. LA being LA, we have tons for you to do, and this being your lucky weekend, tons of it is free. We're talking venerable spacesOpen spacesLEGO spaces.

Word to the wise: rain is in the forecast this weekend, so some events may be postponed or modified. We have noted a few on our calendar, but double checking is always a good idea, particularly for outdoor events.

Another word to the wise: The Zimmer is in countdown mode for the goodbye to its Mid-Wilshire location. But if you're hoping to get in a last visit before the Santa Monica move,  your timing couldn't be better, because this weekend it's free!

Keep reading for our wisest and freest picks for this weekend.

Free in February: 24 Things To Do that Don't Cost a Thing

Yes, it's the month with Valentine's Day smack in the middle, but that doesn't mean every day has to be strictly focused on hearts and flowers (unless you and your little ones want it to be). In a month full of eclectic holidays, it isn't hard to find some free fun for the whole family. From Chinese New Year to Black History Month, President’s Day to Groundhog Day and Mardi Gras, LA is hopping in February, and joining in doesn't have to cost a thing. So put down the box of chocolates (momentarily) and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

Stay on a Houseboat in Amsterdam for a Total Family Vacation Win

Amsterdam is a wonderful city to visit on a European family vacation. The city is kid friendly with lots of fun things to do for families, including wonderful parks, engaging museums, and many delicious restaurants to try. It's also relatively easy to navigate with children in tow.

The city is full of canals, which is another plus for kids as they often love to watch the boats or even take a ride. One of the most special (and affordable) ways to visit Amsterdam is to stay on an actual houseboat instead of in a hotel. 

When you visit Amsterdam, you can’t help but notice these charming houseboats lining the canals and Amstel River. They look so cozy, and many even have gardens growing around them. Our family stayed on a houseboat in Amsterdam for a long weekend and found it to be a comfortable and fun way to visit the city with children.

There's A New Co-Working Childcare Lifesaver for East LA Parents

Let’s face it, it’s extremely hard to squeeze in some extra hours to work with a toddler at home. These days, my son’s schedule and needs are unpredictable: naps are shorter and hanging out with mommy is much more fun. The right daycare can come to the rescue, and the Eastside of LA now has a creative new childcare option with an appropriate name—Wiggle & Work. 

Tidying Up Kids' Stuff: 2 Easy Takeaways from Marie Kondo

While the world binge-watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and my social media feeds filled up with photos of freshly organized sock drawers, I didn't bother tuning in. After all, I'm already a Very Organized Person—the kind of mom who sorts her kids' toys according to category, and who may have an addiction to The Container Store. What could I possibly have to learn?

Then an image sprang to mind of me, huffily sorting papers on the kitchen counter while a hundred other urgent matters vie for my attention. When things get hectic, the piles of mail, magazines, kids' artwork, school forms, and other random papers crowding our countertops suddenly seem like a five-alarm fire. My husband calls it "angry organizing."

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