Congratulations! You made it through baby’s first year, and now it’s time to celebrate. If you’re like me and totally not into hosting your child’s first birthday party at home (read: cleaning, shopping, cooking, decorating, hosting...cleaning again), don't worry. The weather in LA is so beautiful that outdoor birthdays are possible nearly any time of year. If that's not your speed, the Southland boasts plenty of awesome indoor options as well. Here are 12 great spots of both varieties—from pricey to free with one surprise at the end—to smash a cake and tire out the kiddos so everyone can go home and take a well-deserved nap.
Latest posts by Lindsay Halladay
Does having kids bring back memories of TV shows, cartoons, and jingles from your own childhood? Wouldn't it be cool if there were a place where you could watch them? Enter The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. Whether you're making peace with some weekend screen time, or you've simply exhausted the other great LA museum and library options, this place is worth checking out. With an archive of more than 160,000 radio and television programs, this small but mighty museum offers a fun (and free!) way to connect with the family over TV past and present.
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.
Let's just agree that you can never have too many holiday light displays. Enjoying things that go sparkle in the night is a great way to create a holiday outing without breaking the bank—but maybe you'd like something more interactive than the good ol' drive past the neighborhood lights? Then jump at the chance to check out Grand Park's free Winter Glow light display in Downtown LA.
If you thought vacations in ghost towns were only for sitcom families, think again! Just a short drive from LA is the Calico Ghost Town, an old mining town that boomed in the 1880s but was abandoned not long after. Walter Knott, of Knott's Berry Farm fame, restored the town in the 1950s into a Wild West locale perfect for a family vacation. And while Calico may or may not have actual haunted houses, it can be a wonderful Halloween month outing all the same.
Built in 1926, Downtown’s Central Library is an LA landmark famous for its remarkable art, architecture, children and family programming, dedicated librarians, and extensive collections for any avid learner. It can be a remarkable place to visit with kids—with an important caveat.
A journey to the Central Library is different from a jaunt to your local branch. Over the last year or two, the homeless population has taken refuge here at an unprecedented rate, and this has noticeably changed the experience. That said, we still found there are many ways for a family to enjoy this historic and delightful facility with a few key pointers.
Feeling a little "been there, done that" with some of SoCal's popular tourist stops? Can't say we blame you. But the famous Griffith Park Observatory is one iconic destination not to be overlooked. The most-visited public observatory in the world, Griffith is also a familiar sight from the many films in which it has (ahem) guest starred. If you or anyone in your family loves space exploration, stargazing, science, or even hiking it's a must-go. Here are 10 reasons why.