Martha Hall

Martha Hall

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Latest posts by Martha

These Bakeries Make the Best Birthday Cakes in Los Angeles

"Good things come in small packages" - or so my mother told me. And though she's always right, I'd argue that good things from bakeries come in large packages: as in, I'd take a whole cake over a cupcake any day, wouldn't you? If your little guy or gal has a birthday on the horizon, have a look at our long list of delectable bakery possibilities below, including vegan and gluten-free options. And just a heads up: though we've all been told that "good things come to those who wait," don't feel you must wait for a birthday to take home a confection! Oh go ahead, let them eat cake!

Best Spots for Tea Parties or High Tea with Los Angeles Kids

While I miss the days of my son's impromptu tea parties, these days his (and our) tea party tastes are far more grown-up. Forget make-believe beverages and fake cakes—we're now in the market for three-tiered trays of pastries and little sandwiches with the crusts cut off (because why not?). Lucky for us, we have many options in and around Los Angeles for pretending we're in an episode of The Crown or Downton Abbey. So here's a toast (with pinkies raised) to the best afternoon tea spots in the Southland.

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.

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