California

Why Legoland Is My Favorite SoCal Theme Park

Southern California is blessed with some of the world's most famous theme parks; families travel from all over to experience Disneyland and the original Universal Studios Hollywood (including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter)—but just 90 miles to the south, in the San Diego suburb of Carlsbad, is a park that has at least as much to offer as the mouse and the wizard. There is a whole lot more to Legoland California than bricks, and truth be told I prefer a day there to any other major theme park.

Driving Big Sur with Kids: 10 Spots Not To Miss Along the Way

California's rugged, woodsy, 90-mile-long Big Sur coastline is an enchanting and iconic wonderland of beautiful beaches, unspoiled state parks, and redwood forests we've recommended for families before. No doubt, Big Sur is an ideal destination for nature lovers—and perhaps in your pre-parenting days, just lovers. But while traveling this road with kids might be a little less romantic, it can be just as memorable. From hiking to exploring, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy this Central California paradise.

Santa Ynez Valley: a California Paradise of Kid-friendly Wineries

Located near Santa Barbara and just two hours away from LA, Santa Ynez Valley feels a world away — it features a cluster of picturesque towns with distinctive charm and hills that stretch for days. Its unusual mountain range orientation (from east to west, rather than north to south) creates microclimates that allow the growth of more than 50 varieties of grapes, making this region (like kid-friendly Temecula) every wine aficionado’s Valhalla.

Last Minute Campgrounds for Escaping LA on a Moment's Notice

Wouldn't it be great if you could go camping this weekend? Well, guess what—you can! Just because you didn't plan your camping trip months in advance—like all of those annoyingly organized people on Catalina Island this weekend probably did—doesn't mean your tent has to stay in the bag. Pitch that tent tomorrow at one of these SoCal campgrounds that accommodate last minute campers, and then break out the marshmallows.

15 Best Campgrounds for Tent Camping with Kids Near LA

Marshmallows. Check. Bug spray. Check. Air mattress. Check. Camping season is upon us. Hurrah! And thankfully in this multi-terrain region of ours, you don't need to go far to enjoy a night or two under the stars. A weekend without electronics, breathing fresh air, and enjoying meals over the campfire: all this can be yours without driving more than an hour or two—in some cases even less! Read on to find an easy destination for you and your happy campers. (And if the one you want is full this weekend, check out a few last minute camping spots.)

Star Wars, Potter, and More New Theme Park Rides at Disney and Beyond

Amusement parks are a spring break and family vacation staple. From coast to coast, amusement and water parks abound, offering fun and thrills to parents and children ranging from toddlers to teens alike.

While there's never any shortage of excitement, having an opportunity to check out new attractions only adds to the kids' enjoyment. Take a look at which popular destinations are introducing everything from state-of-the-art roller coasters to gentle kiddie rides, and which are celebrating the opening of entirely new sections of their already-enticing parks in 2019. We've rounded up new rides (including water park fun) from California's Disneyland to Orlando, Florida and even along the New Jersey Shore boardwalks and in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Texas.

Family-Friendly Farm Stays: Meet the Animals and Work the Farm

Farm stays provide guests of all ages with a taste of farm life. Whether by milking cows and collecting eggs, or gathering fresh fruit from a pineapple plant for breakfast, families who choose to stay at a farm hotel, which might be cabin, house, or even a tent, will likely have more fun than Old MacDonald led you to believe is possible.

Time your farm stay with the kids for spring, summer, or even fall. Check out which seasonal activities might be going on before picking the dates of your farm vacation, as well as the location. We've rounded up 10 of our favorite farm "hotels" around the country, from Maine to Texas to California.

I've found that farmer-hosts have a strong desire to educate little farmers on how to live a more sustainable and balanced life. Unplug, relax, and enjoy the fruits of a hard day’s work around a campfire. Lessons learned on these farms will stay with you long after you return home. 

Find more vacation ideas and weekend getaways in our Family Travel Guide, or check out your local Farm Fun Guide for local petting zoos, harvest festivals, and pick-your-own fun.

Temecula's Kid-friendly Wineries May Be the Perfect SoCal Family Getaway

Going wine tasting with kids in tow seems counterintuitive. How can you fully savor each red, white, and rosé, if you’re pulled in a thousand directions by your toddler? How can you go to a winery if children are not even allowed inside? It turns out that there are some kid-friendly wineries out there (hurray!), where being a wine enthusiast and a parent is totally feasible and enjoyable, too. Some of them are conveniently located just two hours away from LA in sunny Temecula Valley, Southern California’s Wine Country.

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