Splash pads and spraygrounds have replaced the old running through the sprinkler on a lazy summer afternoon. There may be parts of the country where soaking the lawn is still OK, but here in SoCal turning on the hose for entertainment is frowned upon. Still puddle-loving Angeleno kids can splash through hot days at parks with free and fabulous water features, like the ones below—many of which are open year-round. So if a pool or a water park sounds like too much work today, cool those kids down at a splash park!
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
Southern California is blessed with some of the world's most famous theme parks; families travel from all over to experience Disneyland and the original Universal Studios Hollywood (including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter)—but just 90 miles to the south, in the San Diego suburb of Carlsbad, is a park that has at least as much to offer as the mouse and the wizard. There is a whole lot more to Legoland California than bricks, and truth be told I prefer a day there to any other major theme park.
Themed Nighttime Lights over Hogwarts shows return for most school holidays; watch for them at Christmastime, summer vacation, and spring break.
Wouldn't it be great if you could go camping this weekend? Well, guess what—you can! Just because you didn't plan your camping trip months in advance—like all of those annoyingly organized people on Catalina Island this weekend probably did—doesn't mean your tent has to stay in the bag. Pitch that tent tomorrow at one of these SoCal campgrounds that accommodate last minute campers, and then break out the marshmallows.
Our picks for April are in, and we've chosen a dozen plus of the most special activities from our Event Calendar, including literary outings, a pow-wow, and escapes into the mists of time. Easter and Earth Day are in the mix as well. Of course, we'll send our newsletters with even more ideas as the weeks unfold, and we'll keep adding to our calendar daily; but we want to give you enough time to snag tickets for some of these extra special events in advance—or leave your day open—so you don't miss out on any favorites.
Click through to the full listings, and you can automatically add them to your personal calendar.
Spring Break around Los Angeles is a moving feast; some districts have one week, and some have two. Some take a vacation in March, and some in April. Add to the mix the complications of Easter, Passover, and parent work schedules, and Spring Break camp can be a tough knot to untie. Whether your family needs two weeks full time or a day here and there, we've chosen a few of our favorites that run the gamut. From the Valley to the sea, surfing to soccer, we think you'll find something worthy of a few days away from school among the camps below.
And if you're so on the ball that spring is already covered and you've moved on to summer, check out some of our favorite art, cooking, horse, and classic outdoorsy camps in our Summer and Vacation Camp Guide!
Hippity hoppity, hippity hoppity: your kids might not want to sit still, but at least the Easter Bunny will! There are plenty of spots to set up the perfect Easter photo in LA and Orange County in the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. We've lined up a whole Bunny Trail to hop down, ranging from mall photo ops to trains and spring festivals. Have fun catching up to Peter Cottontail in one of the following Southland locations.
Everyone's all a-flutter at the Natural History Museum. The seasonal re-opening of the Butterfly Pavilion takes place this month, giving us six months of access to the unfettered joy that is an afternoon among the butterflies. The new, expanded pavilion which debuted in 2017 is still on the museum’s South Lawn, offering delightful flutterby time on the same site where the creepier Spider Pavilion sets up in autumn. From chrysalis to butterfly, the Butterfly Pavilion is full of magical moments, which is why it rates as one of our 100 things to do with LA kids before they grow up.