Los Angeles

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

September is bitter-sweet. The relief of having back all those hours in the day is tinged with the loss of long, balmy summer evenings without homework or lunches to prepare. And who among us is ready to hear the word "Halloween"? No, better to look to the September weekends as an opportunity to pretend that summer is still with us. Luckily the weather and the SoCal fun generally cooperate! Read on for the best of September in LA, Ventura, and OC. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletter in time for each weekend, but here's your chance to plan ahead for these September favorites.

Language Immersion and Bilingual Options in LA's Public Schools

There are a things kids can do better than adults: cartwheels and crawling under beds, for example. And then there's learning languages. Kids have a huge capacity for learning languages that will never be as powerful and flexible later on as it is in the early years, and an increasing number of parents are taking advantage of that window by sending their kids to bilingual and dual immersion schools (and preschools). Southern Californian families are lucky to have an unusually wide variety of public school options to support raising bilingual kids. At a time when gifted programs, arts programs, and extracurricular classes have been cut from public school budgets at an alarming rate, parents can still seek out an extra enriching curriculum by choosing language immersion.

Fun and Free Things To Do with LA Kids Labor Day Weekend

It had to happen sooner or later. After many fits and false starts, folks trying to bring our season of fun to a ridiculously early close (props to Torrance and Hermosa for doing it right), and a whole lotta bellyaching about how it’s not fair (um, that would be me), the time has come to acknowledge: summer break is over. It’s Labor Day weekend, and, while it may mark the end of summer, it’s also known in some circles as the biggest weekend of them all. We’re going to fill every moment with fairs and festivals, (hello, Sailor!), cook-offs and concerts, and enjoy the last hurrah of some favorite summer series.

It's time to face the extinction of a favorite ride at Universal Studios, and the curtain falling on a favorite exhibit at the Skirball. But never fear: while your white-wearing days may be over, the fun is just beginning. Why, this weekend alone sees the return of a much loved festival in Santa Monica, massive movie marathons, and a struggle between Greeks and Hawaiians for dominance in Long Beach.

Now get out there and enjoy summer's last gasp, because the best is yet to come. And we're going to have every last bit of it on our calendar.

Keep reading for our most Laborious picks for the weekend...

How to Pick a Daycare That You Actually Love

Whether it's your first child or your third, finding the best daycare option for your family comes with its share of challenges. Most parents are looking at factors like cost, hours, location, safety, and child-teacher ratio, but of course, another major requirement is an environment that's warm, inviting, and family-friendly. While trying to find the perfect daycare can make any parent anxious, the relationships and beautiful memories you'll create as a family will make all the effort worthwhile.

To help guide your search for the right daycare, we reached out to childcare program directors, Mommy Poppins editors, teachers, and professional moms to collect their stories and consolidate their advice. These daycare veterans have had time to reflect on their choices, and are ready to share their wisdom and lessons learned, which, together with your area's Daycare Listings, can help you pick a daycare that you actually love.

17 Festivals To Catch this Fall around Los Angeles County

Other places have a season called fall; LA has something more like summer with school and a pumpkin aisle at Trader Joe's. Of course, the beauty of an endless summer that fades gently into Halloween or Thanksgiving—usually right up until that guy in the red suit arrives—is that summer festivals keep right on going, all the way through September and October. Check out some of our favorite annual faux fall festivals below.

Catalina Island: 27 Fun Things To Do with Kids

Want to get away from it all—but not too far away—and not in the mood for one of our favorite drives from Los Angeles? Head to Catalina Island. It's about an hour by boat from Long Beach or San Pedro (even faster by helicopter), and there's plenty for kids to do, especially if they're active. From zip lining to hiking to tracking the famous Catalina bison, there's more than enough to keep little ones and grown-ups happy for a day or a weekend trip. 

Animal Birthday Parties for Los Angeles Kids: Parties That Come to You

Looking to hold an animal-themed birthday party? There are lots of places around LA where you can throw great a party, with animals, hosts, and treat bags; or you can just take everyone to the zoo or aquarium. But what if you would rather have a party at home—where you don't need to limit sibling and adult attendance, you won't have to deal with transportation issues, and you can serve your own food? There are several businesses offering a variety of animals and party packages, happy to bring the party to you.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Cardboard Regatta, Fiesta La Ballona, LA Birthday, Avengers

Fair warning: your days are numbered. One by one your minions are being picked off. That's right, Summer, get ready to fade away, because this weekend sees the end of a barrage of favored seasonal activities. Hasta la vista, sandy reads. Sayonara, Sunny Days. The end has come for our our Shakespearean Avengers, and I'm not sure even one will survive past Sunday. 

That doesn't mean the fun is ending. Our beachy streets are ripe for some exploring and possibly some musical numbers. It's a race to the finish in vessels of questionable seaworthiness. No pretending, we've got a birthday party for kids from 9 to 99 and one for a city whose appeal is timeless. We're celebrating bricks, books, and ballonas. The king is dead; long live the king!

Is our calendar full of ridiculously fun things to do? Guilty as charged. Is there a conspiracy to put all the good things on the same day? No comment. So is the hunt over? Which hunt? The hunt for summer fun?  Or the hunt for year-round revelry?  Those questions we will leave to you.

Just know this: Labor Day is coming.

Keep reading for best picks for the weekend to end all weekends.

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