Los Angeles is all about outdoor activities at Christmastime—and nothing says "This is why I moved to Southern California" quite like a Christmas boat parade. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, boat owners gussy up their crafts and parade them up and down waterways for applauding spectators, who line the harbors and marinas from Dana Point to Ventura. Driving around looking at holiday lights is great; letting them float by you at one of these dozen sailing holiday parades is even better.
Years spent at Nickelodeon prepared Roberta to launch Mommy Poppins' Los Angeles branch. She served as LA Editor for GoCityKids, National Editor for ParentsConnect, and Editor for NickMom. After two years as Mommy Poppins' LA Editor, Roberta became Editor-in-Chief at Mommy Poppins - which works out well for her son, who enjoys his role as Chief Guinea Pig for all things fun in LA and beyond.
Latest posts by Roberta
Wracking your brain for family activities on Thanksgiving Day? Filling your house with family during Thanksgiving is wonderful, but sometimes you just want everyone to get out of your house. We mean this, of course, in the nicest possible way. After all, this is sunny SoCal, and maybe your guests have traveled far to enjoy LA. Telling them where to go is just being a good host, right? Even if the family members in your home on Thursday are the same ones who are always there, knowing what's open could be invaluable—both for clearing the house to prepare the meal and for walking it off afterward. Our event calendar has the full listing of Thanksgiving day happenings, and our holiday guide has a few ideas, too; the suggestions below are 19 places you may not have realized have opening hours on the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!
London is a city so famous for fun things to do that they say when you tire of it, you're tired of life. Of course, try impressing a kid with a quote like that, and he'll show you tired of life! The proof for kids is always in the pudding (so we've included several restaurants that have delicious pudding). Each of the 50 items on our Best of London list is a tried and true kid pleaser, from pirate ships to princess' palaces, with a good dose of Harry Potter, the Beatles, all the king's horses, and all the king's men thrown in. Some of these items need planning ahead; others make for neat spontaneous adventures when you've got an hour to fill in Greenwich Mean Time. One thing's for sure: these 50 great things to do in London will leave no one time to get bored.
Mall Santa photos have a special place in many of our hearts at Christmas time, and holiday activities really aren't complete without that Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street. Still, we're raising Southern California babies, not little Manhattanites, and that calls for an outside-the-box kind of Santa Claus photo. If you're in search of quantity, Santa can be found in every mall, at every Christmas tree lighting, and at any number of holiday shopping events. But for a real Angeleno Christmas photo, snap a selfie with Santa at one of these fun, funky, and totally LA Father Christmas experiences.
November is time to hit the berms!
Rumor has it that in some parts of the country sledding involves getting cold and wet. How very... un-Californian. Oh, sure, there are places near LA to go sledding on snow if that's your thing, but we're raising California kids—and that means beach sledding. Every winter a few Los Angeles area beaches get their annual sand berms—intended as protection against winter storms and violent surf. Or so they say. The real purpose is clearly to lay the groundwork for the ultimate SoCal winter sport: sand sledding. We've got the lowdown on when those
sledding hills storm berms are going up.
One thing Angelenos love doing during the winter months is pretending that it’s winter, and the most fun way we do it is by turning parking lots and other open spaces into outdoor skating rinks for the holidays. Whether your family is trying ice skating for the first time, or you've got budding athletes looking for a change of scenery from indoor skating lessons, nothing says Southern California quite like the sight of kids and families in tank tops and mittens figure skating in the sunshine.
When Halloween is over, that can only mean one thing: time for Santa. You get a couple of days to donate or cash in all of that Halloween candy before the advent calendars, candy canes, and Hanukkah gelt start arriving. Rip down the Halloween decorations, quick, because some of your neighbors are already prepping their amazing holiday light displays. Yes, November is the sandwich month, and we're not just talking turkey. Read on for our top November things to do in LA, Ventura, and OC. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletter in time for each weekend, too; with so much going on, we'll have to!
Trains in Los Angeles are more or less novelties all year round, which means they hold onto that wonderful Polar-Express mystique far longer for LA kids than for urban kids who take the A train regularly. And for anyone who loves trains, Christmas trains offer the ultimate "old world charm" rail experience. Add an appearance by Santa Claus and a few Christmas trees, and you have a recipe for a memorable holiday experience. Dates are limited, though, so booking ahead is the best way to make sure this train doesn't pass you by. All aboard the Santa Express!