Los Angeles

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. 

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.

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