Ready to talk pumpkin patch? Yes, the time has come to surrender to the Great Pumpkin—who is, frankly, spoiled for choice around the Southland in Halloween season. We would never presume to call one pumpkin patch more sincere than the others, but LA’s pumpkin patches (and pseudo pumpkin patches) run a satisfying gamut from small to large, folksy to commercial. Whether you're hoping for a hit-and-run Halloween photo or a day's outing in autumnal reverie, your pumpkin picking destination is below...
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
While some may ring in the Halloween season by smearing shrubs with 99-cent store fuzzy webbing and plastic spiders, the arachnid purists over at the Natural History Museum have a more organic approach. This weekend the screened pavilion on the museum’s South Lawn becomes seasonal home to more free-range, eight-legged tenants than anyone in his right mind could want – in short, an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare and an eight-year-old boy’s version of heaven.
Let the record show that there is more than one way to smash a pumpkin, and handing it to a hippo is definitely one of them. A gorilla does the job pretty well, too, as does a tiger, or—well, just about any other animal at the zoo. This discovery by our nation's zookeepers has led to a peculiar Halloween tradition—that we highly recommend!
Each year Southern California's zoos (and Griffith Park is only one of the options, as you'll see below) plan Halloween events, usually treating resident critters to their favorite delicacies stuffed inside pumpkins. For some, the delicacy may actually be the pumpkin itself (chomp chomp), while the more carnivorously inclined seem to view the pumpkins more as wrapping paper (smash smash). Either way, zoo animals smashing pumpkins ups the ante on traditional pumpkin patches. Check out all the beastly fun at Southland zoos this season.
What goes on at LA's theme parks in October is nothing like the wholesome thrill of a Tigger-clad child ringing doorbells for candy. It may seem like Los Angeles celebrates a night that's all about children with an awful lot of entertainment that is clearly not for children, but these frightful haunts keep the Halloween fun going for older kids, for teens, and even for adults who indulge in guilty gruesome pleasures. But how to know which haunts are best for which ages? We've braved a few of them to share our reviews of just how scary is scary.
Looking for something not quite so scary, and a good deal cheaper? Check out these haunts that are mostly free and in private yards.
September is bitter-sweet. The relief of having back all those hours in the day is tinged with the loss of long, balmy summer evenings without homework or lunches to prepare. And who among us is ready to hear the word "Halloween"? No, better to look to the September weekends as an opportunity to pretend that summer is still with us. Luckily the weather and the SoCal fun generally cooperate! Read on for the best of September in LA, Ventura, and OC. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletter in time for each weekend, but here's your chance to plan ahead for these September favorites.
Chances are you've had a healthy, well-packed school lunch delivered back into your hands virtually untouched at the end of the school day. There should be a special name for the heartbreak one endures at the words, "I told you I hate peanut-butter and jelly," when not only is this the first you're hearing of it, but you spent extra on organic jelly and freshly ground peanut butter. And if not PBJ, then what? Well, we've got 65 answers to the question of what to pack in a successful school lunch.
Apologies, but I am about to blow a well kept secret wide open: Newport Beach has a cove hidden in plain sight that may be the best family beach day in the Southland. Of course the definition of "best family beach day" may not be the same for everyone; only continue reading if your ideal beach day would include kayaks, SUP boards, paddle boats, and an inflatable water park in a warm surf-free lagoon surrounded by clean sand, fire rings for s'mores, easy parking, and clean bathrooms. Only head to Newport Dunes if you're prepared for that level of nirvana.
A year without the Jurassic Park ride was like... a year without being splashed by dinosaurs. This summer's relaunch of the favorite Universal Studios ride was eagerly anticipated, though truth be told some of us who were big fans of the old ride were also just a little bit wary. Would Jurassic World: The Ride live up to its Jurassic predecessor? Or would it become just another virtual reality replacement of a classic analog adventure? It's a relief to be able to report that Jurassic World remains one of the best reasons to visit Universal Studios—and that Universal really did find ways to make our favorite ride even better.