Northridge isn't a must-visit destination for parents the way DTLA, Hollywood, and even Santa Monica are, but that's no reason to avoid it. You may just find that this little Valley suburb west of the 405 has a lot of the cute restaurants, fun shops, and awesome playgrounds found in other parts of the city—but with fewer crowds, less traffic, and tons of free parking. Sounds better now, doesn't it? This not-entirely-sleepy suburb has plenty of locations for kids (and even one for college-age kids, at least if they attend CSUN). Here are a few ways to enjoy a visit to this corner of the San Fernando Valley.
Latest posts by Li Starr
Worried about the looming teachers' strike that may start on Thursday? Join the club. While many Los Angeles parents who send their kids to LAUSD public schools have been concerned about how to keep their kids learning and busy during the first teachers' strike in 30 years, there may be a (small) silver lining: Students will get free admission to some favorite LA museums and free Metro rides as long as the strike continues (if it happens).
Ah, New Year's Eve. What was once a wild night out can be downright grueling for parents already running on empty after weeks of holiday planning and organizing, er, fun. Wouldn't it be nice to convince the little ones that 5pm is the perfect time to ring in the New Year? Break out the confetti and sparkling apple cider, because Netflix has your back with 14 on-demand New Year's Eve countdowns, many of them featuring your kid's (or even your) favorite stars.
It's the no-cry solution to an early bedtime for all, because the new year can now happen any time you want it to happen. It's also a simple way to get kids in on the festivities, celebrating new adventures as a family.
Looking for more New Year's Eve fun? Venture out armed with our list of the best kid-friendly celebrations in your town: New York City, Los Angeles, Long Island, New Jersey, Boston, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and Houston.
Still sad about the DWP shuttering their holiday lights? In the five years since that free public display closed, a number of shows have popped up around town. The LA County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is the latest to join the LA Zoo and Descanso Gardens with its own event. Moonlight Forest features more than 60 Asian-created lantern displays. The festival isn't free, but you might find it blows the old DWP display (and a few others) away.
The idea of teaching kids how to ski sounds great—until you tally up the cost. While it's possible to just let little ones sled or play in the snow for less, there's good news for anyone with a hankering to ski and a fifth-grader at home: The 5th Graders Ski Free Program has returned to the ski resort nearest you—Mountain High in Wrightwood.
If previous efforts to drag your kids to something as high falutin' as the ballet have misfired, Sweet Sorrow: A Zombie Ballet may be a game changer. In fact, it could make this Halloween season the perfect opportunity to convince your kids that there's more to classical music than just predating 1990.
Want to inspire your kids to do their math homework, or maybe visit JPL, La Cañada's Jet Propulsion Labratory? Maybe this amazing mom, who is a professor at CalTech, has a son who also works at JPL, and just won a freakin' Nobel Prize, will inspire your little ones to get more excited about STEM stuff (and might just inspire you to think big, too).
Planning a birthday party for your kid can be tough, no matter how easy-going your little one might be. Beyond balloons and party favors, there's the question of where to have the shindig (unless you have a large home you're willing to clean extensively before and after). The location has to be family-friendly, fun—and has to serve food your kids (and a lot of other kids) will eat. A restaurant is a good pick, but which one will let you bring in a horde of hungry, bouncy kids? We've found six that serve up lunch and a side order of playtime so you can relax (or, more likely take lots of photos) while the kids run off all that great food you didn't prepare.