Our 5 Fave Los Angeles Weekend Freebies (April 28-29)

This coming weekend’s picks are a festival of festivals, with an arts and children’s festivals downtown, a music festival and art walk in South Pasadena and a fiesta on Broadway. And we’ve thrown in a poetry slam for good measure! The festivities start Friday in Grand Park, as the Our L.A. Voices: L.A. Arts Festival kicks off from 6-10 p.m. The weekend-long celebration, continuing 1-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6...

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Enter to Win a Jenny Lind Convertible Crib!

We’re partnering with our pals at the National Parenting Product Awards on a great giveaway. Enter now for your chance to win a Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib, plus a toddler conversion kit to adapt the crib as your little one grows. The timeless and vintage-inspired Jenny Lind Crib is one of DaVinci's best-selling cribs, and it’s an award winner. It is GREENGUARD Gold certified and screened for 360 volatile...

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Win Tickets to See Just Dance Live! at The Hollywood Palladium!

Our friends at Just Dance Live! have partnered with us for an exclusive giveaway! Win tickets for your family to see the world’s first live interactive JUST DANCE experience, running March 29-March 31st at the Hollywood Palladium.  We're giving away four family four-pack of tickets to see Just Dance Live!, an immersive live show based on the #1 music videogame franchise of all time according to The NPD Group. The...

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7 Fun Things to do in February

Travel around – to New Orleans, Bali and Eric Carle’s world – or explore the L.A. travel show. You can also dive into all things ooey gooey and see two types of circus performances that will leave you amazed during this month’s fun events.

11 Free Things to Do This Weekend in Los Angeles

Made it through the holidays with your budget not quite as intact as you’d hoped? Or maybe your 2018 resolution to spend less but play more needs some help.   We’ve got this! Read on for almost a dozen (just one short!) things you can do this weekend without pulling out your wallet.  Music Just for Kids: Loyola Marymount University presents its Concerts of Music for Children at 1 and 3...

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7 Great Spots to Get Hot Chocolate

The temperature never drops below freezing in L.A., but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy winter treats. These places all offer a great cup of hot chocolate that’s sure to warm you up.

7 Don’t Miss Events in January

In January you can meet pirates, Ben Franklin and the Peanuts Gang, frolic with whales and golden dragon acrobats, enjoy free entertainment and learn about Japanese culture.

We Love Our Readers Holiday Giveaway

Just because we love you, we’ve partnered with our friends at the National Parenting Product Awards to give away some of the season’s hottest toys and games. We’ll be giving away a different toy each day – Dec. 5-19. Visit our Facebook page daily at Facebook.com/LAParent/. You may also enter by visiting the contest landing page here or by clicking the contest form below. Each giveaway will kick off at...

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best bakeries in los angeles

Cookie Time: Six Great Spots to Buy Your Holiday Treats

If sweet treats are among your holiday traditions but baking is not, you might be looking for a spot to snap up some festive cookies for your family or special gathering.   I’m happy to report that there are many, many options in Southern California, but let’s keep things simple. Here are six bakeries that are guaranteed to please – if you plan ahead and order early.  Proof Bakery  At this...

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Stratford School Expands with Fourth SoCal Campus

Stratford School touts itself as, "an unparalleled education where tradition meets 21st century learning." Its unique and nurturing school environment motivates students through high expectations in a collaborative and fun learning environment. Opening its first SoCal location a year ago, the school continues its expansion. Its fourth Southern California campus will be located at 2000 Stoner Ave. in West Los Angeles. This campus, which is currently accepting applications for Preschool...

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7 Don’t-Miss Events for December

So many ways to celebrate the season this month – from a very L.A. Hanukkah to CHILL ice shows and ice bikes, innovative performances from Kubinek and Cirque, our county’s free annual show and reindeer at the zoo.

Don’t-Miss Events For November

In November, run away with the circus or go on a color run, hang out with the Shopkins or PJ Masks, flip out, bubble up or take to the seas.

Cover Kids Search 2018

Welcome to our 2018 Cover Kids search. We love showcasing some of L.A.’s most delightful young faces on our cover each year. Here is your family’s chance to be a part of the fun. To enter, fill out the registration form below, submit payment of $25 per entry and upload a high-resolution photo of your child. High-resolution photo files are generally at least 1MB in size. Vertical photos (portrait, not...

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paw patrol roll patrol tour

The PAW Patrol Roll Patrol Road Tour Prize Pack Giveaway

The PAW Patrol Roll Patrol Road Tour is currently making its way across North America, and is set to stop in the L.A. area Oct. 27-29. The PAW Patrol Pups and L.A. Parent want to see you there. Two lucky winners who pre-register for the event and send upload a screen shot of their pre-registration confirmation email via the Rafflecopter giveaway on the L.A. Parent Facebook page will be chosen...

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Don’t-Miss Events For October

This month, you can check in with Doc McStuffins and Doktor Kaboom, work a vintage printing press, go on a Paw Patrol Adventure or enjoy California’s past, the jazzy age and a fairy tale about feathers and fire.

Best Places to See Fall Colors in L.A.

These fun spots to check out fall foliage in the L.A. offer a great way to spend the afternoon with the family. Enjoy the cooler air and sip some cider as you experience all the season has to offer.

Best Cafés For After-School Snacks

Help your kids unwind after a long day at school at one of these cute spots perfect for an after-school treat. Some offer play areas or indoor playgrounds.

Best Places for Apple Picking

Skip the grocery store and see what these fun U-Pick farms have to offer. Little ones will love exploring these fun farms and filling their bags to the brim with apples they picked themselves.

Learn About Middle School From Experts on Sex, Tech and Academics

Once parents have passed through the diapers and sleep deprivation of their child’s infancy and those “terrible twos,” the middle-school years are the next mountain to climb. Children at this age are entering puberty, grappling with its changes to their bodies and brains – and sharing their conflicted and confusing feelings in our continuously connected digital world. At the same time, things at school reach a whole new level of...

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Win Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies for Your Kid’s Class!

Looking for a way to spice up your kid’s snack time? Or maybe they’re tired of the same snacks each week? Don’t worry, Otis Spunkmeyer has your favorite student and their classmates covered with a new giveaway, a chance to win 20 boxes of Otis Spunkmeyer’s NEW Grab-N-Go Chocolate Chunk Cookies.   As pioneers in the cookie-making business, Otis Spunkmeyer has spent 40 years making memories and creating smiles, and is...

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Why We Believe in Love

We have two theories about love: 1) We’ve watched enough TV to convince us that people like Ross and Rachel or Lorelai and Luke should always end up together; 2) we have grown up in a house where love was a constant. Now, we know it is cliché to believe that one person is made for another, but every day we believe it more and more, and here’s why. Our...

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7 Things You Should Do In September

Celebrate early learning, ukuleles and bubbles, visit the County Fair and the dinosaurs, and enjoy festive culture and a bilingual Aladdin during the month of September.

7 Things You Should Do In August

This month, venture out to the Ventura County Fair, support TreePeople with animals and magic, celebrate Elephants and LEGOs, enjoy a uniquely local Wonderland, and say hello to Taiko drummers and good-bye to summer.

We Want to Include You!

L.A. Parent’s Inclusive Day is coming to Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Recreation Center (14201 Huston St., Sherman Oaks) from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 16. This celebration of children of all abilities and their families will include adaptive activities and workshops, fun prize giveaways and a chance for kids to enjoy an adaptive playground with equipment that is accessible to wheelchairs and all others. Parents of kids with disabilities can attend...

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Super Splash Spots for Summer Fun

Looking for the perfect destination to get the kids out of the house for the day? Pack your swimsuits and sunscreen and check out these local water-play parks, pools and beach houses that offer the ideal afternoon getaway.

Our Favorite Ice Cream Shops

If you’re like me, your sweet tooth tend to be stronger in the summer. These fun and innovative L.A. area ice cream shops offer unique and creative ice cream combinations that are sure to satisfy. Cool off this summer with the family and check out one of these fun shops!

Summer Fun at L.A. County Libraries

There are few finer places to spend a summer afternoon than at your local library - or one nearby. We called up a host of libraries in the area and asked what type of summer fun they have in store for families. And we gathered all the information - and links - below just for you. Scroll down, and you're likely to find fun for every day of the week....

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Our 7 Top Picks for Family Fun in July

There’s more than fireworks going on this month. Check out mud and melon mania; celebrate lobsters, seahorses and rubber ducks and take on sand-castle and obstacle-course challenges in our don’t-miss events.

Don’t-Miss Events for June 2017

In June, you’ll find hula dancers, arts and artists, paddlers, dogs, tigers and a zoo full of fun.

Don’t-Miss Events for May 2017

There’s fun coming under the Big Top, on the big screen, under water, in the air, on Sesame Street, in the strawberry patch and the Arroyo this month. Check out these great events for families in L.A.

Personalogy Family Fun Giveaway April 2017 Terms and Conditions

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 1. Promotion Description: The 'Personalogy Family Fun, The Laugh Out Loud Discovery Game for the Whole Family' ("Sweepstakes") begins on 03/31/2017 at 12:00 AM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) and ends on 04/30/2017 at 12:00 AM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) (the "Promotion Period"). By participating in the Sweepstakes,...

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7 Don’t-Miss Events For April

Love abelskivers, puppets and princesses? Want to take wing with the butterflies or celebrate kids from around the world? Or maybe cowboys and cats in hats are more your style. There’s something for every family this month, and our top picks won’t steer you wrong.

7 Don’t-Miss Family Events In March

Ready for spring? Whether it’s rain or shine, you won’t want to miss the pirates, peacocks, leprechauns, ninja turtles, flying colors, loveable dogs and music we’ve got lined up on our don’t-miss family calendar.

engineering our world

Join Us For Coffee and Big Dreams!

We’ve partnered with the California Science Center to host a special advance screening of the new IMAX film “Dream Big: Engineering Our World” from MacGillivray Freeman Films, and we’re inviting you and the kids. The film celebrates engineering marvels – large and small – that help create better lives for people around the world, as well as the engineers whose compassion and creativity made them possible: Menzer Pehlivan, a Turkish-American...

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7 Don’t-Miss Events For February

We’ve got a great roundup of events in the coming month. On stage you’ll find Alice in Wonderland, Golden Dragon Acrobats, a WWII cat and a vintage circus. On the basketball court, The Harlem Globetrottoers. And festivals this month include Cookie Con and the Ooey Gooey Weekend. Enjoy!

Our Top Picks for January Fun

From a bilingual Aladdin to celebrations of roosters, whales and human abilities, there are great events on tap for January. These are a few of our favorites.

We’re Looking for Amazing Folks

We at L.A. Parent are always on the lookout for stories about amazing moms, dad heroes and really cool kids. We want as many eyes and ears as possible to help with our search, and that’s where you come in! Amazing moms: We think all moms are amazing, just because they’re moms. But maybe you know one who gives it a little something extra. Maybe she founded an arts program...

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Six Places You Can Still Pick a Pumpkin

Halloween is Monday. Is your jack-o’-lantern carved yet? Just in case you’ve been procrastinating, here are six great spots where you can find a great pumpkin in need of a face. Even if you’ve met your quota for the year, you and the kids can have a great time exploring corn mazes, creating crafts and having other spooky fun. Forneris Farms Annual Harvest Festival www.fornerisfarms.com 15200 Rinaldi St., Mission Hills...

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kids' health

AAP’s New Sleep Recommendations Say Rooming-In is Best

Infants should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents – but on a separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet, and never on a couch, armchair or soft surface – to decrease the risks of sleep-related deaths, according to a new policy statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics Oct. 24. “SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment,” draws...

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los angeles events

23 Things to Do in L.A. for Halloween With Your Family

Like the candy bag of a child who has been out trick-or-treating for hours, this October comes stuffed with a tasty variety of Halloween events. At Theme Parks Disneyland’s nighttime holiday spectacular, Mickey’s Halloween Party, continues through Oct. 31 and also has some new twists this year, including the Frightfully Fun Parade and appearances from the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. Over at California Adventure, “Late Check-Out” lets you experience...

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los angeles events

Nisei Week Is A Nice Time To Explore Japanese Culture

For the 76th year, Nisei Week will make Little Tokyo a little more magical. This popular festival, held over two weekends, presents an entertaining lineup of cultural events. The first weekend, Aug. 13-14, offers several of Nisei Week’s signature events. The Tanabata Festival will fill Little Tokyo with vibrant colors from 10:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. Aug. 13 and 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 14. This salute to the summer skies is...

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L.A. Parent Asks … How you feel about the election

Share your priorities and a comment or two. You might find your feedback featured in our next e-newsletter.

A Giveaway For Your Babymoon – and After

You’re pregnant with your first child, your marriage is entering a new phase and your body is starting to feel like a foreign country. What better time for an exotic vacation? So many couples do take one last trip together before becoming parents that this type of travel is now called a “babymoon.” And the trend has inspired the indie action-adventure comedy The Babymoon, making its debut June 10 at...

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Your Summer Camp Search – Solved

If you’re looking for help in comparing summer camps, check out the new Summer Camp Guide at LAParent.com. You’ll find it at the top of the homepage, in the “What’s Hot” menu. The guide has links to our articles about choosing a summer camp, traditional camps and camps for kids with disabilities, and it’s also where you’ll find our Ask the Camp Director section filled with tips from local camp...

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Walk-up Registration Still Available For Cover Kids 2016!

L.A. Parent’s 2016 Cover Kids Contest is coming to The Point at Rosecrans and Sepulveda (850 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo; www.thepointsb.com) from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 24. Join us at this wonderful new addition to Plaza El Segundo for a day of fun. Have your child’s picture taken by one of our professional photographers, visit our activity tables and enjoy shopping and dining at The Point. We will choose four lucky...

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Enter Dad Heroes 2016!

For the third year in a row, L.A. Parent is ready to meet L.A.’s most excellent dads. Do you know a guy who goes above and beyond for his family? Are you the man who’s busy transforming your child’s school, volunteering in your community or even building a great tree house for the neighborhood kids? Let us know. If you are a dad, or know a dad, who should be...

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L.A. Parent is Looking for Amazing Moms

We had such fun last year with our Amazing Mom Makeover that we’ve decided to make it an annual tradition. Our motives are pretty selfish. We just love hearing about all these fantastic people who are mothering families all over L.A. And our 2015 Amazing Mom, Holly Carson, inspired us with her tireless support of her husband, Wil, during his battle with cancer – which began just weeks after their...

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Simon Youth Foundation Seeks Scholarship Applicants

By Carolyn Richardson As you wait for your teen's college acceptance letters, you’re probably also worrying about what their college decision means for your pocket book. Thank goodness for scholarship programs to help you bridge the gap. Simon Youth Foundation(SYF) is continuing its annual giving to students earmarking over $1 million for scholarships nationwide. Simon Youth Foundation Community Scholarships are for students graduating in the class of 2016 and living...

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Mom’s Treat: Time to Relax

Bring a five-star spa massage to your home with Zeel Massage On Demand. Win a 60-minute in-home massage from a vetted, licensed therapist from Zeel ($99 value each, www.zeel.com). Relax and enjoy at your convenience – book as little as an hour in advance on the Zeel app or website. Zeel Massage Therapists come to you – just relax and enjoy on your own schedule! Available for start times 8am...

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Top L.A. Ice Skating Spots

While nothing really freezes during the winter in Southern California, there are still several great spots for family ice skating. The Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square (532 S. Olive St., L.A.; www.holidayicerinkdowntownla.com) returns for its 18th season Nov. 13-Jan. 19. This year’s special events will include a Snoopy On Ice showcase, the Polar Bear Skate and a Winter Holiday Festival, and the rink is even open on the holidays!...

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How To Add Your Parent Support Group To Our Calendar

We are always happy to learn about a new support group for parents of children with special needs. These groups provide community connections and tremendous support for families facing challenges including autism, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, blindness, deafness and other special needs. It is easy, and free, to add your support group to our online calendar. Once you have submitted your event, it should go live on our site within...

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What You’ll Learn At School Open House

While searching for private schools for their son Kevin (now in college), Tony and Kristy Adler of Bel Air eagerly attended several open houses at L.A. schools with him. They quickly learned the do’s and don’ts of open-house protocol. “We were doomed at one school from the beginning when I grabbed our son’s name badge. Apparently, that was one of the tests, to see if a child recognizes his own...

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Things to do in LA – Journey to Space: Exhibition & 3D Film

An Exclusive Liftoff For L.A. Parent Readers: The California Science Center, K2 Films and Giant Screen Films invite you and your family to a special event on Oct. 25. If you are looking for things to do in L.A., here is a great opportunity. L.A. Parent readers and their families are invited to take an in-depth look at the hazards, as well as the possibilities, for human space exploration with Journey to...

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Halloween Makeup Tips From SyFy

Last Halloween, McKenzie Westmore’s 9-year-old son, Maddox Volpone, wanted to be a zombie. Fortunately, she had resources – and creativity. “It started out just as a zombie,” says the L.A. mom, who hosts Face Off, an extreme makeup competition show on the SyFy Channel. “But then I said, ‘You could have a career choice.’” Maddox settled on “zombie army sergeant” and the family got to work. Westmore’s father, legendary movie...

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Trendy Timepieces for Mom

Q&Q SmileSolar (www.smile-qq.com) is known for its solar-powered technology and expertly crafted color-driven watches. Win a “mix and match” package that includes two watches from the Core Collection ($40.00 each), two from the Spice Collection ($45.00 each), a watch from the Mini Collection ($35.00) plus two interchangeable straps ($10.00 each) so you can switch it up day-to-day! Total value: $225. Deadline to enter for a chance to win is Tuesday,...

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PCDA Hosts A Taste of Summer: Rosé Soiree July 22

Professional Child Development Associates (PCDA), a nonprofit organization that offers a range of multidisciplinary screening, evaluation, therapy and specialized services for children and young adults with special needs, is hosting A Taste of Summer: Rosé Soiree at 6:30 p.m. July 22. Guests are invited to enjoy wine and food selections, music and mingling at a beautiful historic garden in South Pasadena, with the proceeds to benefit children with autism and...

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New Quilted Koala Eric Carle Collection

Quilted Koala started as a little boy’s dream to be a part of his family’s business and continue the tradition of providing quality fabrics and designs. We've partnered with Quilted Koala to give away pieces from its new Mommy and Me Eric Carle collection. One winner will receive one large tote, a child bag, and a large makeup bag from the collection (shop.quiltedkoala.com, total value: $173.50), which is launching this...

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Fourth of July Fun Without the Fireworks

Fireworks are synonymous with Independence Day, but sometimes it is nice to celebrate the holiday without the cacophony of pyrotechnics. Here are a few events that don’t need fireworks to create fun. Pedal your way to a patriotic day at Long Beach’s Great American Kids’ Bike Parade, at 10 a.m. along the Granada Avenue bike path. Children can decorate their bicycles and participate in the parade and take part in...

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Four Explosive Ways To Celebrate July 4th

The skies above Southern California will be filled with fireworks on the Fourth of July. Some fireworks festivities, however, come with added entertainment. AmericaFest returns to Rose Bowl Stadium (1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena) for the 89th year, and this year the celebration, which lasts from 2-11 p.m., is bigger than ever. The afternoon FanFest features rides, crafts, exhibits and an array of food vendors. There will also be performances...

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L.A. Parent’s Awesome Kids Contest

Deadline to enter is midnight July 17. Chosen winners must be present at L.A. Parent’s Birthday Bash from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. August 2 to receive their award and prize, including a gift card to The Original Farmers Market. Submit your nomination below!

Los Angeles Things to do

Things to do in L.A.: Family Friendly Beaches

Heal the Bay conducts annual water quality reports for beaches in Southern California. It’s important, if you’re planning on taking a family trip to the beach that you are aware of the water’s cleanliness and conditions. Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey Because of its sheltered spot, Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey is the perfect place for kids and parents to enjoy the ocean water and not have to...

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Positive Parenting: Kind Families at the LA Zoo

On May 16, KIND Snacks held a Kindness Safari at zoos across the country, including the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. KIND team members set up a booth by the entrance of the zoo and welcomed families to join in on the fun. Kids were given a scavenger hunt booklet to complete, noting all of the wonderful things at the zoo, writing special messages and drawing their favorite animals. Once...

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fun ideas for kids free comics 2015

Get Yourself Some Free Comics May 2

Comic book lovers can enjoy some of their favorite things in life – for free – May 2 during Free Comic Book Day. Diamond Comic Distributors and The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund have teamed up with the literacy organization Every Child a Reader and The Children’s Book Council for this nationwide event full of fun ideas for kids. This feast for freebies features a dozen kid-friendly titles, including SpongeBob,...

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Look Good and Feel Better

  Win a dedicated session with a beauty expert! We’re giving away a makeup session with Felicia Alva, creator of the Flutter Beauty cosmetic line and a resident makeup artist at the Butterfly Loft in Encino (makeup session value: $95, www.flutterbeauty.net). Her extensive training and experience have catapulted her career in the cosmetic industry. Two lucky winners will be chosen.          

Los Angeles Events: Shooting Stars 2015

 The Original Farmers Market Welcomes Shooting Stars! We are thrilled to be hosting this year's Shooting Stars Cover Kids Event at The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles (6333 W. 3rd St. Los Angeles, 90036) on Sunday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join us for a fun family day filled with activities and entertainment, and have your child's photo taken for a chance to be on the cover of...

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Celebrate 35 Years with L.A. Parent

You're Invited to Our Birthday Bash at The Original Farmers Market! 2015 is a special year for L.A. Parent; it's our 35th anniversary and to celebrate, we're throwing a Birthday Bash at The Original Farmers Market, an iconic location for Los Angeles events. Our Birthday Bash will be hosted by Whit Johnson and Daniella Guzman, anchors of NBC4’s Today in LA, and feature appearances by "Extra" host Mario Lopez and Disney's Skai Jackson! Join us on Sunday,...

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Flora Frame (Diaper) Bag

Diaper Bags never looked this stylish. Elegant and functional, the Flora Frame Bag by The Bumble Collection (approx. $200, www.thebumblecollection.com) features a hand-embroidered floral pattern and 18 karat gold-plated hardware.

10 Quick Healthy Tips for Busy Moms

It may be difficult for moms to set aside time for themselves. They are often more focused on their children's health, and the thought of sticking to New Year’s Resolutions may add to stress rather than alleviate it. However, eating well and exercising benefits moms and everyone in the family. As a physician practicing at Kaiser Permanente in Panorama City and a working mom to active preschool twins, I know...

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Win tickets to see Potted Potter at The Wallis!

Our friends at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts have partnered with us for an exclusive giveaway! Win tickets to see POTTED POTTER: The Unauthorized Harry Experience - A Parody by Dan and Jeff, February 25 - March 1, 2015. We're giving away a family four-pack of tickets to see this Olivier Award-nominated performance. Watch as Dan and Jeff take on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and...

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Lakeshore’s Holiday Giveaway

Enter to win a prize-pack filled with the season's hottest toys from Lakeshore Learning! Deadline to enter is Saturday, December 20th.   Click HERE to visit the online form and enter to win.  Good luck!

Lakeshore Holiday Giveaway!

Enter to win a prize-pack filled with the season's hottest toys by Lakeshore Learning! Deadline to enter is Saturday, December 20th.   Click HERE to visit the online form.  Good luck!

L.A. Moms Share Special Friendships

In September, we asked moms to write in and tell us about the important friends in their lives. Then we partnered with Terranea Resort to put together a getaway for one special group of women. Dozens of touching stories came in, and we chose Kristine Willis as our winner. Here’s how she describes her group of mom friends: Getaway Winner: Kristine Willis I have known these amazing women from 20-35...

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Stella & Dot Essentials

Stella & Dot (www.stelladot.com) designs an irresistible line of fashion jewelry and fashion accessories that can be purchased exclusively at home jewelry parties or online.


The IMUSA Granite Molcajete ‘Guacamole Set’ (www.imusausa.com) from the GlobalKitchen Mexico product line gives every home cook the ultimate tool kit in throwing an authentic fiesta. Made from ultra-durable natural granite, this mortar & pestle extracts essential oils from herbs and spices – dried & fresh.

JILL-E Designs

The slender and stylish Calhoun Smartphone Clutch (www.jill-e.com) by JILL-E Designs will capture the heart of any woman serious about flexibility and fashion. With interior pockets designed to hold Apple or Samsung smartphones, and extra room for everyday essentials, this will be your new BFF.

Meet Boy 5A: Representing 20,000 L.A. County Kids Who Need Families

By Elena Epstein The reception room inside Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts was filled with community supporters, families, and employees of Five Acres, a nonprofit organization focused on finding safe and permanent family solutions for children in L.A. County. But, the most anticipated guest remained under cover most of the evening. Boy 5A, a four-foot sculpture of a boy representing the 20,000 children currently living in foster care in...

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Great Skate Spots In Southern California

Los Angeles may have more sand and sunshine than snow, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want our wintertime fun. One splendid way to feel the chill of winter is to stop by one of the temporary ice rinks that pop up this time of year. ICE at Santa Monica, 2-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 2 p.m.-midnight Fri., 11 a.m.-midnight Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun. Nov. 1-Jan. 22, 1324 5th Ave., Santa...

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Win a Mobile Karaoke System!

Fill out my Wufoo form!

See A Holiday Family Favorite

Win a family four-pack of tickets to see A Christmas Carol on December 5 at 8pm at A Noise Within Theatre!

Win Tickets to See Dan Zanes at The Wallis Oct. 19

Enter by 4 p.m. Friday (Oct. 17) to be part of this exclusive online giveaway! Get a family four-pack of tickets to the show.

Photographers We Love

Rena Durham - Rena is a wonderful photographer specializing in kids and celebrities. She is a veteran of many L.A. Parent cover shoots, and if your child needs headshots, we highly recommend her. Lauren Pisano - Lauren is a warm and wonderful photographer who turns her lens toward families and a variety of other subjects. Lauren studied photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where she was...

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Happy Anniversary, PathPoint

PathPoint, a nonprofit organization focused on assisting adults with disabilities or disadvantages to live and work as valued members of the community, is celebrating 50 years of service to people with special needs at the Grammy Museum Oct. 18. “This is a special event for us here at PathPoint as we celebrate our 50 years of service,” says Marielle DeFazio, Vice President/Director of Ventura and Los Angeles counties. “But what’s...

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It’s a Festival for All Families!

Families with children of all abilities are invited to Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services, 3200 Motor Ave., from noon-3p.m. Oct. 19 for the 3rd Annual Festival of Families Fall Carnival. Vista Del Mar works to provide comprehensive, family-centered social, educational and behavioral health services that encourage children, adolescents and families to lead self-reliant, stable and productive lives. The carnival’s festivities will include arts and crafts, a petting zoo,...

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SUREFIRE Girls Conference to Bring Local Teens Together for a Day of Leadership and Life Skills

As a teen growing up in Idaho Falls, Heather Mason says she was shy and not very sure of herself. She credits several key adults in her life, who became her mentors, with teaching her the life skills she needed to push through her insecurities. “I was so lucky to have a high school history teacher who pushed me to take on leadership roles and join the debate team and...

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Wilmington YMCA Makes a Splash!

Jump in at the Wilmington YMCA (1127 N Avalon Blvd.) from 9a.m.-3p.m. Oct. 4 as the brand-new indoor heated pool officially opens to the public. Olympic Medalist and World Record Swimmer Jessica Hardy will be at the opening, signing autographs and conducting swim clinics for children and adults. Wilmington YMCA, built in 1996, is a nonprofit organization that serves more than a quarter-million families each year. The organization offers programs...

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Welcome Home, Baby

Three years ago, babies born prematurely generally spent their first three weeks of life in intensive care. Now, Cedars-Sinai’s Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit, part of the Maxine Dunitz Children's Health Center, has shortened the average stay to 17 days, sending premature babies back home to their families much sooner. In recent years, notable medical advances in nutrition, nonsurgical procedures and delivery protocols have helped improve the health and shorten the...

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September 16th: National PLAY-DOH Day

In honor of National PLAY-DOH Day and Back-to-School season, the folks at PLAY-DOH have sculpted six schools and students from favorite family movies and TV shows made from 100% Play-Doh! Parents will take a trip down memory lane with Cher’s iconic plaid back-to-school suit from “Clueless,” the Plastics' infamous Burn Book from “Mean Girls,” Rydell High’s infamous T-Birds & Pink Ladies, Mike & Sulley from “Monsters University" and two memorable scenes inspired by “Ferris Bueller’s Day...

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A Good (Green) Beginning

Green Beginning Community Preschool in L.A. is a recipient of Green America’s “People & Planet Award,” which recognizes innovative small businesses that deeply integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations. The award comes with a $5,000 prize. Green America is a green economy organization that provides economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve social and environmental problems. This round of the...

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Back To School For Healthy Habits

At Sunrise Elementary School in Boyle Heights, teachers were noticing their students having fried food and a Coke for breakfast, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and another Coke for lunch. They knew a change had to be made. This inspired bariatric surgeon Gregg Kai Nishi, M.D., and his partners at the Khalili Center for Bariatric Care in Beverly Hills to volunteer at LAUSD schools to teach kids about obesity awareness and...

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A Healthy and Helpful Halloween

Halloween can often mean sugar, cavities, and weight gain, but this year, Halloween can mean a healthy treat and comfort for a soldier overseas. Kids love to go trick-or-treating, but they often bring home more candy than they need. With the help of the Halloween Candy Buy Back program, in which local dentists “buy back” kids’ Halloween candy, those treats can bring a Happy Halloween to U.S. troops overseas. As...

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Listen to Your Heart

When people imagine heart disease, they usually think of older people. In reality, children of all ages can be affected by heart disease. Sudden cardiac arrest is the top cause of death among children on school property nationwide. That is why the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation (CCF) has named September as Children’s Cardiomyopathy Awareness Month, and why national lawmakers are getting involved. Children’s cardiomyopathy is a chronic and potentially life-threatening heart...

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Go Green!

Calling all environmental enthusiasts! Grades of Green is now collecting applications for its 2014-2015 Youth Corps Student Leadership Program. The environmental education nonprofit encourages kids to go green by selecting a group of students to create and implement a yearlong Green Project in their school community. The team receives regular guidance and leadership training from passionate Grades of Green staff and a supportive peer network of fellow Youth Corps students....

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A Party and A Portrait

Two L.A. moms have joined forces to open a boutique photography business with a twist: 30-minute portrait parties. Jennifer Howard and Kim Butan, both graduates of the UCLA Photography Certificate Program, created the fun photography concept to capture more spontaneous moments, rather than focusing on the “smile for the camera” type of images. The idea started as a school fundraiser and has evolved into a fun business. The team schedules...

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Happy Anniversary, Lakeshore!

Lakeshore Learning Materials has had one focus for the past 60 years: listening to customers and learning what they need. This year, Lakeshore is celebrating 60 years of learning and making real connections with customers. Lakeshore produces hundreds of new products every year for infants and toddlers, preschoolers and elementary-age children- covering a variety of subjects, from language to science to arts and crafts. The company’s product developers are all...

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One Note Can Go A Long Way

Wesley Wells, 9, of Mar Vista, does something that not all 9-year-olds do: he plays the violin. Wesley also did something that even fewer 9-year-olds do: he met famous violinist Joshua Bell. After seeing a YouTube video of Wesley playing violin, he was offered tickets to Bell’s July 8 concert at the Hollywood Bowl and backstage passes to meet the violinist following the show. Bell introduced himself to Wesley, encouraged...

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Win a Terranea Girlfriends Getaway!

Has it been awhile since you and your gal pals got away? Here is a fantastic opportunity!

New Kids’ Club Offers Lots of Fun Activities at the Glendale Galleria

The Glendale Galleria has a fun new Kids’ Club featuring different activities from 10 a.m.-noon every Tuesday. Presented by the Zimmer Children’s Museum, the free activities and entertainment are designed for children ages 10 and younger. Activities include theater skits, craft projects, interactive sing-alongs, musical performances, carnival games and much more. For a listing of Kids’ Club events, visit: http://www.glendalegalleria.com/events/kids-club-at-glendale-galleria The Galleria is also working in collaboration with the Glendale...

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Shooting Stars 2014

Pre-registration for Shooting Stars 2014 is now closed, but you can still register and pay at the event. We hope you will come out and join the fun!   Join us for our 2014 Shooting Stars Cover Kids Contest sponsored by the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, coming to Plaza El Segundo Oct. 11 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Don't miss out!  Sponsored By: At the Event Whole...

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Special Needs Newsletter

Is this email not displaying correctly? View in a browser window Brain-training Holds Promise For Fragile X Memory Skills When mice bred to have fragile X symptoms were trained in three short sessions with hour long breaks between, they remembered information just as well as typical mice, say UC Irvine researchers. People with fragile X struggle with memory, and the study suggests that the technique could help children with fragile...

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Win Great Gear For Back-To-School!

Playing on Pinterest when you should be back-to-school shopping? Make the time productive by entering our giveaway. You could win great gear for the new school year!

Behind the Scenes: A Dad In the Mailbag

Last month, after our June issue came out, I received an email: Ms. Elston, I read your stories in the June 2014 issue of L.A. Parent about Hero Dads. Thank you for the coverage on Fathers. I have always believed that Dads get the shaft when it comes to celebrating their significance in the family construct. This believe is based sadly on fact. Money wise, much more is spent to...

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Girls in Sports

I played sports as a kid, as did most of you, I’m sure, and I have great memories from the experience. I played an assortment of sports, was on different teams (some won, others not so much) and learned much about how to work with others from being on a different team every year. There’s nothing like a team victory. To steal a line from Gene Hackman’s character in Hoosiers, which...

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Best of 2014 Social Media Showdown!

The nominees are in, and now it's time to rally around your family's favorite spots to play, learn and stay healthy. Visit our Facebook page and vote! Who will be the Best of 2014 Reader Favorites? We will publish the winners in our December issue. Click here, and let the Social Media Showdown begin!

Shooting Stars 2014

Here are details of our 2014 Shooting Stars Cover Kids Contest, coming to Plaza El Segundo Oct. 11 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Don't miss out! Sign up today for VIP gift bags and priority access!


Win a $100 shopping spree to zulily, a shopping destination for moms. zulily offers a daily selection of hand-picked quality children’s apparel, women’s apparel, toys, infant gear and home décor-all at an average of 50% off.

Words To Sweat By

Words to Sweat by Motivational Fitness Accessories

Words to Sweat by wants to fuel four (4) winners' fitness passion and fashion with a $50 gift certificate to the shop from which they can select motivational mantra workout towels, inspirational jewelry, or fitness-inspired infinity scarves. To your health!



The winner of the monthly treat will get $200 credit to VAULT! VAULT (ShopVault.com) features over 500 curated boutique designer brands on fashion, accessories and home décor by some of the biggest names in the fashion world.

Synergy Organic Clothing

We create fashion forward clothing and yoga apparel for women. Always striving to be mindful and conscious, we produce sustainable and fair trade clothing. Radiate effortless style while treading gently on the Earth. Two winners will receive $100 Gift Cards!

Swiss Diamond

Swiss Diamond Fry Pan Duo

Ranked #1 nonstick cookware, Swiss Diamond offers a full range of revolutionary kitchenware made in Switzerland. The innovative coating is reinforced with real diamonds to create a long lasting, naturally non-stick surface. Fry Pan Duo: 9.5" and 11".


We're giving away two $100 shopping sprees! babySTEALS.com features two deals a day (8 AM/8 PM PST) of the best baby brands at up to 80% off, until they sell out. It's not just a deal ... it's a steal!


Harveys Original Seatbeltbags

Harveys, made with love in sunny Southern California. Harveys handbags and accessories are gorgeous, well-crafted, and guaranteed for life. Win a $100 gift card that can be used on seatbeltbags.com or at one of our two retail stores!

Skin Authority

GO! Gorgeous Kit

Skin Authority is an award-winning, prestige skin care line chosen by beauty experts, and celebrities for skin care performance that produces immediately visible results. The GO! Gorgeous Kit is powerful and portable skin care ideal for travel and gym.


Gaiam Gift Card

Two winners will receive a $100 Gaiam gift card. Choose from hundreds in their collection such as the Wrap Waist Bootcut Pant featuring a tummy-flattening, wrapped waistband that won’t twist or bind; or the Releve Tank featuring a twisted racer back, mesh banding for breathability, and beautifully ruched fabric on the side.

Facial Magic Starter Kit

Facial Magic uses 18 isometric resistance exercises to firm, lift and tones the face. This increases oxygen and blood flow to the muscle and skin, for a youthful glow. Strengthening muscles, smooths and lifts brows and upper eye lids.

Burke Williams Day Spa

Burke Williams Day Spa

Enjoy a day of pampering with Burke Williams. Each spa location incorporates the finest amenities of a world-class European spa and dedicated, professional therapists to treat you to the ultimate in relaxation and renewal. Make your escape today!

Aventura Clothing

One winner will receive a $200 gift certificate for family-owned Aventura Clothing. Aventura's clothing that is flattering and functional for women who relish the everyday adventures and appreciate clothing crafted with natural fibers and a low environmental impact.

ADK Packworks Packbasket Grocer

The Grocer is an innovative new take on the classic Adirondack pack basket, and includes a semi-rigid internal frame and a flat bottom for increased stability.


Necklaces From Altruette

Altruette is a classic line of charms with a philanthropic twist: each charm benefits a different non-profit. For decades, women have worn charms to tell their personal story. We think they also have the ability to tell the story of the causes they represent. Each charm is beautifully designed to symbolize the organization’s great work. We were inspired by our mother's charm bracelets. And our charms make the perfect mother-daughter...

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Taking the Blues Out of Jeans

By Christina Elston Stephanie Alves started sewing at age 10, and grew up with a brother with developmental disabilities. The clothing available made it truly challenging for him to dress himself. This was in the 1970s, when there wasn’t even Velcro on tennis shoes. “When I was a teenager, my mom said, ‘Why don’t you make clothes for people like your brother?’” Alves says. During more than 25 years as...

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Step Back From the Bustle In Larchmont Village

Step Back From the Bustle In Larchmont Village

Families find quaint shops and good food in this cozy part of town. by Erin Mahoney Harris Larchmont Boulevard, which runs between Melrose Avenue and 3rd Street, has long stood in as “Main Street USA” for the surrounding communities of Hancock Park and Windsor Square. Independently owned shops and restaurants still outnumber major chains, and every other person seems to be accompanied by a friendly, well-trained dog on a leash....

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Shopping, Culture and Fun In Century City and Westwood

Shopping, Culture and Fun In Century City and Westwood

Whether you’re in the mood for shopping, culture or good food, this slice of L.A.’s West side has you covered. by Erin Mahoney Harris Tucked among the towering buildings of Century City, the Westfield shopping center was designed with family fun in mind, while the cultural institutions of nearby UCLA provide a high-minded counterbalance to all that frivolity. Westfield Century City shopping center (10250 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310/277-3898; www.westfield.com/ centurycity)...

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Sea Life, Ships and Shopping in San Pedro

Sea Life, Ships and Shopping in San Pedro

See marine life, taste delicious seafood, shop for hand-crafted goods and see a bit of battleship history. by Erin Mahoney Harris The harbor city of San Pedro is loaded with hidden treasures. An excellent aquarium, whale watching excursions, a permanent craft fair, a historic battleship and more neat discoveries are in store for families willing to journey to one of the world’s busiest ports. This is the time of year...

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Historic Fun and Theme Park Thrills In Santa Clarita Valley

Historic Fun and Theme Park Thrills In Santa Clarita Valley

Take a family field trip to these popular family communities for history, ranch fun, and a great ride or two. by Erin Mahoney Harris Just a half-hour’s drive north of Los Angeles, Santa Clarita has in recent years become a popular place for young families to settle down, and with good reason. Boasting beautiful natural surroundings, excellent schools and all the comforts and conveniences of the city, the greater Santa...

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Head North For Family Fun In Montrose

Head North For Family Fun in Montrose

Quiet Montrose, west of La Cañada-Flintridge, offers family shopping, tasty treats for kids, great bookstores, and places to connect with nature. by Erin Mahoney Harris The quiet community of Montrose is nestled near the intersection of the 210 and 2 freeways, just west of La Cañada-Flintridge. It’s farther north than some Angelenos are used to venturing, but well worth a weekend day trip, particularly on Sunday mornings when the popular...

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Find a Big Boy and Small Trains Around Toluca Lake

Find a Big Boy and Small Trains Around Toluca Lake

Take a family field trip to the SFV neighborhood to find classic diner food, sophisticated sweets, gelato, playgrounds and trains. by Erin Mahoney Harris Toluca Lake is nestled between Studio City, North Hollywood and Burbank, offering convenient access to the nearby television and movie studios while maintaining a relatively quiet vibe. Distinctive restaurants and shops, classic architecture and close proximity to many of the San Fernando Valley’s best family attractions...

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Exploring Manhattan Beach

Exploring Manhattan Beach

Find seaside relaxation, upscale shopping, and plenty of family fun in this South Bay town. by Erin Mahoney Harris The well-heeled South Bay community of Manhattan Beach combines the laid-back vibe of a seaside town with the upscale dining and shopping of Beverly Hills. Every summer, its beautiful sandy beaches host the Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament and the International Surf Festival. In addition to surfers and pro athletes, the...

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The Embrace Kindness

The Embrace Kindness Mission: A Brainstorm Leads to Kinder Kids

An initiative at Laurel Hall School in North Hollywood was spearheaded by parents hoping to replace negative behavior with positive. by Ellen Byron Car magnets bearing the simple message, “Be Kind,” have sparked a lot of curiosity in the San Fernando Valley. They’re the latest brainchild of the Embrace Kindness Mission, a unique program created by parents and supported by the administration and faculty of North Hollywood’s Laurel Hall School,...

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Best of 2013 Reader Favorites

Great stuff for families, chosen by the moms and dads who read L.A. Parent At L.A. Parent, we love pointing families toward the very best places to go, things to do, and fun ways to fill an afternoon or a whole weekend in and around L.A. But we want this to be a two-way conversation, so we pay attention when readers check in on our website or via Facebook, Twitter...

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Soccer Player and Dad Marcelo Sarvas

Soccer Player and Dad Marcelo Sarvas Stays On the Ball

The L.A. Galaxy midfielder loves the game, but loves family time just as much. by Ron Epstein Marcelo Sarvas is a gifted midfielder for the L.A. Galaxy. Born in Brazil, he played professional soccer in Sweden, Poland and Costa Rica before joining the Galaxy in 2012. He’s played with and against some of the best players in the world, but ask him who he enjoys hanging with today and he’ll...

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