Martha Hall

Martha Hall

You can also follow Martha on Google+.

Latest posts by Martha

Family Skiing and Ski Lessons for Kids near Los Angeles

On a clear day, as you head east in Los Angeles, you see them beckoning: those glorious snow-capped mountains. If we had bionic vision, we could watch skiers sashaying down the hills—the resorts are that close. And whether you're new to skiing or snowboarding, or you'd just prefer that someone else teaches your kids, you'll be happy to know how easy it is to arrange lessons.

So if you're ready for winter activities beyond skating and sledding, check out this list of area slopes that offer classes for kids and adults, from beginners to advanced. Plan it right, and you could be on the slope two hours after packing the car—because the mountains are even closer than they look.

12 Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in Los Angeles and Orange Country

The tree is trimmed, the presents wrapped, and the cookies baked and boxed. Hmm. Now, what to make for Christmas dinner. Our suggestion? Reservations. That’s right. Many Southland restaurants are open and happy to serve you on Christmas Day. You’ve already done so much to get ready for the holidays—instead of holing up in the kitchen, pile your family and out-of-town guests into the car and give yourself the gift of dining out. That way you all get to enjoy the day!

Snow Sledding or Tubing for Los Angeles and SoCal Kids

They whiz down the hill, rosy-cheeked and squealing, sometimes making it to the bottom and sometimes not, their sleds in one direction, their giggling bodies in another. The magical mixture of snow, cold air, velocity, and the unknown makes snow sledding and tubing endlessly enticing; skiing is great, but sometimes there's nothing quite like good, old-fashioned sledding. And lucky us: even though we live in Southern California (where sleds are more often used on sand than on snow), we can still partake in this splendid winter adventure.

Holiday Volunteering: Helping LA Kids Find Their Spirit of Giving

Sharing traditions with our children makes the holidays all the sweeter. The pies we bake, candles we light, songs we sing, and the gifts we give enrich the rhythm of this festive season. Volunteering to help those in need is another tradition we can offer to our kids. Giving our time and attention to our communities, whether we're dishing up food or singing Christmas carols, is often the best gift of all. And setting up our kids for a life of sharing and empathy is a gift we give to them and to the world they inherit.

35 Fun Things To Do with Kids around Pasadena

If you're working your way down our bucket list of 100 things to do before your LA kids grow up, you might start to notice how many of those things are in Pasadena—and we're not just talking Rose Parade. The inland community rivals Santa Monica for family friendly, walkable streets and variety of arts and entertainment. It's also one of the oldest communities in the LA area, which gave it a head start on collecting cool stuff. Let the tourists spend their days in Hollywood; we know there's more going on most weekends in Pasadena, a city so bursting with kid and family-friendly activities that we couldn't stop at just 25. Read on for 35 things to do around Pasadena.

25 Things To Do around Thousand Oaks with Kids

Thousand Oaks, named (and incorporated) in the 1960s to honor the many majestic oaks in the area, may be the perfect SoCal suburb; it can feel as far from city or as close to city as you like. If you have little ones and live in Thousand Oaks, you probably know some of the must-see spots on our list below—but have you visited them all? So much to do! And when you've exhausted your options and are ready to travel elsewhere in the Southland or beyond, take a peek at one of our many city lists. From Culver City to Pasadena, Redondo Beach to Hollywood, Marina Del Rey to Burbank our lists have got you covered. We'll even guide you through Anaheim on your way in and out of Disneyland. But today, the rolling hills and cultural allure of Thousand Oaks.

4th of July Fireworks Cruises for Families in LA and OC

We landlubbers love our fireworks, don't we? Whether we're in a back yard lawn chair, or pushing the kids up a ladder to the roof, or being wowed by a sky full of flare and color at the local pier, we don't want to miss this very American 4th of July custom. Well, if you think the view from the shore is stunning, try witnessing the spectacle from a boat. That's a holiday memory your kiddos won't soon forget! Several small cruise boats set sail this Independence Day, with 2-3 hour tours to delight you and your first mates. Snuggle on deck under a blanket and watch the sky come alive as the water sparkles below. Read on to find a boat leaving a port near you.

Free Summer Concerts and Outdoor Concert Series in LA and OC

Check back often; we continue adding concerts throughout the season!

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or better yet, get out of the house. Summer in the Southland means outdoor concerts galore (and many are free!) at a host of local parks, museums, and public spaces from the coast to the hills to the Valleys. Go on, get out. Throw down a blanket, spread out the snacks, uncork the wine, and watch the kids boogie under the evening stars as you sway to some cool and breezy melodies. Below are some of our favorite free concert series that return every year; check our daily calendar to find dozens more!

Pages