Whoever said that dining out with kids is an impossible task probably didn’t know that there are a few spots that make the whole experience a piece of cake. We’re not talking about pizza parlors or bagel shops (though we love those, too), but wonderful restaurants and hip cafes where parents can get delectable food while kids can go a bit wild, whether enjoying a play area, a babbling brook, or old school games. It’s a win for everyone (especially for the parents) at these very family-friendly eateries.
Latest posts by Arianna Menon
Visiting Joshua Tree National Park is an otherworldly experience: groves of twisted trees and giant boulders create enchanting settings so unique, you might think you have stepped into a fairy tale—or landed on an alien planet. Approximately a two-hour drive from Los Angeles and a stone's throw from Palm Springs, this park is great for a family camping adventure or just a day hike because it captures everyone’s imagination. Stroller-friendly trails make it a great option for little trekkers, as do several walks easy enough for young kids (or tired grown-ups) to maneuver. But teens and tweens who never tire won't run out of rocks and boulders to climb over.
Read on to get the latest information on what's open, what to see, and how to explore this spectacular local national park.
When most of the country is covered in snow, LA is typically enjoying mild temperatures with highs in the 70s. This is great for those of us who love the warm weather, but if you or your little snow angels are longing to chill out and find snow in LA for snowball fights and more, all it takes is a drive to higher elevations and the whole family can experience the thrill of winter sports, explore alpine landscapes, and take in the magic of winter for the day.
So, where can you find snow in SoCal? Most people think of the tranquil beauty and snow-capped splendor of Yosemite, or the abundant snowfall and ski season that lasts well into summer at Mammoth. But in this crazy Covid year, we pulled those snowy wonderlands off our list due to the December 2020 stay-at-home order for almost all of California. Mammoth isn't even renting places on their properties this year, making a weekend away a tricky prospect. Luckily, LA is vast and varied and there are over a dozen places where families can ski, sled, or tube all day, and still be home for bedtime.
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.
Update 2020: All of the wineries below have reopened as of June 15, 2020.
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.
A few weeks ago, I randomly stumbled upon a children’s space that I didn’t even know existed. I was genuinely stunned and wondered how I could have missed the Southern California Children’s Museum before. Determined not to let another day go by, I made plans to visit the museum immediately with my two-year-old (I was actually way more excited to check out this place than he was!).
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.
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that California is also known as the Golden State. With breathtaking sceneries extending from mountains to desert and ocean, a mild climate, and exciting big cities and quaint towns, California offers golden opportunities to experience different worlds within its borders. The best part is that no matter where you go, the kids will be alright; these 12 destinations are perfect for families who want to create memories for a lifetime.