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.
Latest posts by Li Starr
If you have little kids (or even big ones), you've undoubtedly been hit with the unicorn trend. Whether it's selfiies with rainbow sprinkles or a different sort of birthday treat, kids' appetite for rainbow-colored, glitter-filled edibles shows no sign of fading. Here are 10 places in LA where you can enjoy some unexpected silly, sparkly, edible treats in every color of the rainbow.
When Boney Island ended its run after 19 years in a residential Sherman Oaks neighborhood, fans of the pun-tastic haunt were heartbroken. But mourn no more (unless that gets you into the Halloween spirit, of course). Boney Island is teaming up with the Griffith Park Ghost Train to create a double-feature event that isn't too scary for little kids but is definitely a treat for everyone.
What if there were a lake in Los Angeles County big enough to accommodate swan pedal boats, fishing, and kayaks? What if it were home to dozens of ducks and geese, and there were playgrounds and a 1.3 mile jogging path? What if there were cherry blossom trees and even a Japanese tea garden? Sounds nice, right?
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.
Any parent who has fished an overdue library book out from underneath the sofa knows the pain of late fees. When library fines add up, they can even take the allure out of reading, which is the last thing any of us wants. So here's the good news: Los Angeles County Library, Santa Monica Public Library, and even LAPL are changing the game with awesome new programs to make late fees vanish.
Looking for a kid-approved way to spend an afternoon in the OC? The iconic Balboa Fun Zone has been serving up family fun SoCal-style for more than 80 years—and now with an educational twist. In addition to the delicious food, eclectic shopping, and famous Balboa Ferris Wheel that have made this destination a Newport Beach favorite for ages, Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest Museum is now bringing exciting learning opportunities to the revitalized boardwalk.
When my husband suggested a Disney cruise as a way to introduce our kids to Europe, I was doubtful. Our girls had yet to take a plane ride, and we were going to tackle the great cities of Rome, Barcelona, Cannes, Genoa, and others with them? Couldn't we just hit a theme park instead? Ultimately, though, I gave in, even as I imagined dragging a reluctant kindergartener through scenic city streets as she begged to watch "DuckTales" instead.