Family Travel

family travel

Family Travel: Ojai Rising

There’s something in the air in Ojai for family travel. Or, perhaps, in the earth. Whether it’s the sedative effect of spring’s sweet citrus harvest wafting over the breeze, the breathless awe of sunset’s famed “pink moment” against the Topa Topa Mountains, or the unseen pull of an actual electromagnetic vortex, Ojai has long drawn artists, spiritual seekers and those of us looking to escape L.A. for a spell. “When...

Read Full Article

disney's aulani

A Plunge Into Culture at Disney’s Aulani Resort

On a visit to an island, you expect to see lots of water. My family certainly did on a recent visit to Ko Olina, on the western side of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. But during our stay at the Aulani Disney Resort and Spa, we were also surrounded by a dose of Hawaiian culture. In the Aulani’s Maka’ala (eyes wide open) lobby, we found floor-to-ceiling windows, polished wood and...

Read Full Article

Family Travel Tips: Hawaii Island-By-Island

The Hawaiian Islands are just one flight away and have so many things to do. Here are the island-by-island highlights. Hawaii Island You can enjoy free Polynesian dance performances on the streets, at libraries, shopping centers and even churches year round, and the world’s most recognized hula competition, the Merrie Monarch Festival (www.merriemonarch.com), takes place here. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is off limits to young children, but kids will enjoy...

Read Full Article

maui travel

Maui Three Ways: The Valley Isle in All Its Splendor

Every year, when we start thinking about where to go for our annual family getaway, my husband puts his vote in for his favorite spot: Maui. The Valley Isle is a great place for families, but Maui has a diverse landscape. The resort areas of Kaanapali and Kapalua to the west and Wailea to the south all offer gorgeous beaches and great swimming and snorkeling. The fun part is deciding...

Read Full Article

vacation cruise with kids

Cruising Out of L.A.

If you’re looking to take to the sea for your next  vacation cruise with kids, 2018 is the year to do it. A number of cruise lines have added new and renovated ships, expanded services for kids and unique fun just for families. Many of these ships depart from San Pedro’s World Cruise Center, the Long Beach Cruise Terminal at the Port of L.A. and the not-too-distant Port of San...

Read Full Article

orlando family travel

The Magic of Orlando Stretches Beyond Disney

I’ve been visiting Orlando once or twice a year since my mother moved there 20 years ago, and while Walt Disney World held its magic during those early years – and then again when I became a mom, watching my little boy’s eyes light up with wonder – these days, my family and I rarely make it to the home of the Magic Kingdom. As L.A. residents, we’ve got Disneyland...

Read Full Article

Family Travel Products We Love

When your family is on the go, you’ll be ready to snack, sun (safely), play and give the kids a boost with these travel-friendly finds.

Quick Getaways: Adventure is just 2 Hours Away

Roar & Snore in San Diego If you’ve dreamed of getting snooze-close to elephants, giraffes, gazelles and antelopes but can’t swing a 22-hour flight to Africa, head down to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. The park’s Roar & Snore Safari features some exciting programs, including the Safari Sampler Sleepover and Happy Hoppers Sleepover. Happy Hoppers comes with a wild egg hunt, and Safari Sampler finds you on an...

Read Full Article

After the Wildfires, Show Ojai Some Love

Many SoCal residents who view it as a great nearby getaway breathed a sigh of relief when Ojai was saved from the Thomas fire. While the quaint downtown was spared, many locals lost their homes and businesses in blazes that scorched nearly 282,000 acres in Ojai and beyond. The community continues to welcome visitors back to their beautiful valley, and the hotels of Ojai have banded together to raise funds...

Read Full Article

Playa Del Carmen

Family Travel: Magical Mahekal in Playa Del Carmen

There are places in the streets of modern-day Playa del Carmen, along the Caribbean shoreline in Mexico, where it is possible for families to take a step away from the bumping music and partiers and into the richness of Mayan history. There are quiet cobblestone paths and white-sand beaches that pave the way from layers of aquamarine ocean to jungles thick with the same sounds of birdsong and chatter familiar...

Read Full Article

fall camping los angeles

Fall Camping at El Capitan

For Angelenos, camping in the fall is an opportunity to cozy up to nature after the crowds have gone back to their grind. November is our family favorite and this year, Park Rangers Tony Annia and Rick Humphrey from El Capitan State Beach, or “El Cap” as locals refer to it, gave us some advice on how to make the most of our annual trip there. Keep things simple during...

Read Full Article

kid-friendly beaches

Best Kid Friendly Beaches Along the Highway 1 Discovery Route

In our land of endless summer, fall is a great time to hit the beach with the family. Pack up the sunscreen and head to one of these beaches along the North Coast of the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route, (H1DR). Each beach community has something unique to offer. Ragged Point Beach:  Ragged Point Beach is a remote beach that is just waiting to be discovered. The steep but short...

Read Full Article

kid-friendly winter sports

10 Winter Sports for California Families

Most of us think of our SoCal home as an oasis of beaches, palm trees and sunshine. But there are plenty of winter sports available in the L.A. area – or not too far afield. From the time my three kids were tots, we went sledding in Frasier Park and skiing in Big Bear and Mammoth Mountain. As my kids got older, mountain resorts became our winter playgrounds for snowshoeing,...

Read Full Article

Progressive Santa Barbara Family Travel With Kids In Tow

I’ve always been a traveler, and before my kids were born my trips were often to exotic destinations such as Argentina and Peru. I valued the challenges of those kind of trips: Figuring out the transit system, running the exchange rate in my head and picking up key expressions in the native language. To do any of those things successfully felt like its own reward. But having two small children...

Read Full Article

Budget Beach Getaways Near L.A.

If you’re like a lot of L.A. parents, the idea of a vacation with the family sounds amazing. The idea of going into debt to do it? Not so much. Maybe those dreams of a two-week stay in Hawaii have to be dashed, but don’t hit the snooze alarm. How about waking up to the idea of an inexpensive beach getaway? Here are five options, all within two hours of...

Read Full Article

A Mother-Daughter Trip To Hawaii

Ten years ago, my husband and I enjoyed post-wedding bliss on the island of Hawaii. I hadn’t been back since and booked a return trip on impulse, hoping we’d have family available to watch our 3-year-old twin boys. That would give Adriohn and me a chance to reminisce, and to enjoy some time with our 5-year-old daughter, Mirae. Our plans fell through and it turned into a girls’ trip. All...

Read Full Article

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music in Victoria and Vancouver

Ever since my daughters, Erin and Emily, were elementary-school age, they would spontaneously burst into songs from our family’s favorite movie, “The Sound of Music,” every time we were somewhere uniquely beautiful. The first time it happened, we were visiting the Vanderbilt Estate in Rhode Island. As we walked through the gorgeous flower beds and past the gazebos on the immense grounds, my girls started singing “You Are Sixteen Going...

Read Full Article

quebec with kids

Bonjour: Visiting Quebec with Kids in Tow

It is Paris without the jarring jet lag, a European experience wrapped in the warmth of Canadian hospitality. And in little more than five hours, you and your family can be there. A vacation in Montreal and Quebec City, in the Canadian province of Quebec, is the stuff family-travel dreams are made of. There’s just enough of the exotic – French as the common language, centuries-old stone buildings lining narrow...

Read Full Article

family travel

Reconnecting During Annual Snow Trip to Mammoth Mountain

It was 17 degrees with snow on the ground. My fingers were starting to hurt from the cold even though I had liners underneath my gloves, but I wasn’t about to head indoors. Numb fingers, who cares? I was with my daughters dancing to Flo Rida, Usher, Rihanna and Katy Perry mixed in with some old-school favs like Bon Jovi, Duran Duran and the Go’s Go’s. Friday night of New...

Read Full Article

california farms

Find Big Family Fun on California Farms

When Erin Mahoney Harris became a mom 10 years ago, she found herself becoming more and more interested in where her family’s food came from. That led to a passion for gardening – a challenge in her urban L.A. environment. She and her growing family moved to Santa Monica, where Harris built up an extensive vegetable garden in containers and pots. And she began taking her family to visit local...

Read Full Article

family getaway

Family Getaway: A Picturesque Holiday Weekend in the Santa Ynez Valley

This is the first year that both my daughters are in college, which makes the holiday time even more special. I’ve been looking forward to having our house full again since move-in day in September, so when we realized midweek that all four of us were free for the weekend, we knew we wanted to go somewhere fun together. We didn’t want to drive too far and we wanted somewhere...

Read Full Article

skiing with kids

First-Time Skiing Tips for Success

First time skiing with kids? Use these tips to have a great experience  An avid skier since I was a teen, I was eager to share my favorite winter sport with my three kids. Young adults now, each of my kids stepped into his or her first pair of skis by age 4. Our family ski trips are among our favorite memories: Snacking on Cheerios on chairlifts while watching skiers...

Read Full Article

holiday travel

The Great Wolf Lodge Gets Buried by Snow

When the leaves start falling in Autumn, turning the world into a basket of warm and wonderful colors, the Great Wolf Lodge also undergoes a dramatic transformation that shifts with the seasons. Santa arrives at the lodge’s lobby the Saturday after Thanksgiving, accompanied by the lodge wolves, Violet and Willey, driving behind his sled in their cool convertible. In the back of the lobby, the group comes upon a giant...

Read Full Article

family travel

Celebrate the Season in San Francisco

The City by the Bay offers merry fun that will revive your holiday spirit. The lead-up to the holidays can be an especially exhausting time for parents. It’s a special time, yes, but – let’s be honest here – it is difficult to embrace the magic of the season when you’re face-planting into bed every night. Perhaps it’s time to hit the pause button, pack up the kids and some...

Read Full Article

A Magical Winter Wonderland Comes to Westlake Village

If you’re looking for a charming winter wonderland for the whole family, the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village has snow, s’mores, cookies with Mrs. Clause and much more. The Four Seasons Westlake Village is one of my fav getaway spots. I have escaped work deadlines many times with my mom friends to find absolute tranquility and bliss in the hotel’s exquisite spa. I’ve enjoyed overnight stays here with my...

Read Full Article

family travel

Shop Talk: 6 Family Travel Must-Haves

Road trips, getaways, flights and daycations. Here are some fun finds for the family’s next vacation. For more product reviews, visit NAPPAawards.com. Wish You Were Here Share vacation highlights with friends by sending customized postcards with the Get Postly app ($1.99 per card, www.getpostly.com). Snap a picture with your phone, upload it to the app, write a message and send. Available for iOS and Android.        Sweet Dreams...

Read Full Article

family fun magazine

Swimsuit Shopping for Moms in LA

It's officially summer and the need for a swimsuit can no longer be ignored. Whether it’s an anniversary trip, beach day with the kids or a girls-only retreat, you may want to wear something new in the water. But for some Moms, the challenge of swimsuit shopping is one we'd rather avoid. Whether you struggle to find the right fit for your post-baby body or your focus on function has...

Read Full Article

family fun magazine

Picnic Perfection: Tips for Healthy, Safe and Delicious Meals On-The-Go

Whether you are headed to the zoo, a park, an amusement park or the beach, day trips provide excellent opportunities to spend time together, create memories and explore the areas surrounding Los Angeles.  These tips from our family fun magazine will keep you fed and maximize the fun. Bringing meals and snacks along for the ride will give you better control over food choices while helping to save money and...

Read Full Article

Family Travel in Thailand, Costa Rica and Bermuda

Some vacations are packed with such unique cultural experiences and thrilling adventures that they change how you see the world. Sharing a home-cooked meal with a local family, learning about cultural customs and exploring a country’s natural attractions are enriching opportunities. Here are three destinations I think will help you create amazing family memories. Thailand You can learn a lot about Thailand by visiting Buddhist temples, royal palaces, vibrant street...

Read Full Article

Put A Little Adventure Into Your 2016

It's still early enough in the year to make plans for 2016. This month offers a couple of family-friendly Los Angeles events that could help you figure out what exciting things you could make happen this year. Looking for an interesting place to visit? The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show on Feb. 27-28 (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; www.travelshows.com/shows/los-angeles, $11-$16; free for...

Read Full Article

Spring Break Family Travel

These all-inclusive getaways make your vacation even more relaxing. One of the best features of family travel at an all-inclusive resort is that it’s easy to plan. Lodging, meals and entertainment are all in one place. And with many options for all ages and varying interests, family members can either do their own thing or play together. “All-inclusive resorts give us freedom from thinking about planning meals, activities, excursions and nightly...

Read Full Article

5 Baby Sleep Challenges During Holiday Travel

Traveling and parenting during the holidays can be strenuous enough without a baby. Add a little one to the mix and you have a recipe for disaster! Trying to get from one family get-together to the next can wreak havoc on your baby’s sleep schedule, leading to less sleep for everyone in the family. Read on to learn how to tackle the most common travel-related baby sleep challenges including plane...

Read Full Article

Great Weekend Getaways for Families

School is back in session, but the days are still long and sunny. With tourist season winding down, now is a great time to take a study break and enjoy a weekend family getaway. Wide-Open Spaces Drive just a couple hours east from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park, where you can escape the city lights and hike, bike and climb your way around almost 800,000 acres of unique...

Read Full Article

Three Great Multi-generation Vacations

As families plan their summer activities and vacations, more are packing for multiple generations. More than one third of families surveyed last year by AAA said they were planning to take a multigenerational trip in the next 12 months, and it is easy to see why. Bringing the grandparents and the kids offers a great chance to relax, reminisce and make memories. Choose a “group leader” from among the family...

Read Full Article

Plan a Tropical Family Spring Break

Three Fun Island Destinations Offer Fun Ideas for Kids With spring break around the corner, a tropical family getaway might sound like just the ticket. There are plenty of excellent options fun of fun ideas for kids, but the Hawaiian islands, Puerto Rico and Nassau, Bahamas, are especially great for parents with kids in tow. San Juan, Puerto Rico Puerto Rico has miles of white-sand beaches near a lush Caribbean rainforest,...

Read Full Article

Find New Snow Options For Families On Local Slopes

An increase in families skiing, women skiers and the use of technology on the slopes has prompted mountain resorts to breathe fresh air into snow sports lessons and slope-side activities. Mammoth Mountain, Eastern Sierras (10001 Minaret Road; 800-626-6684; www.mammothmountain.com; App: Mammoth Mountain) Heard the big news? The Mammoth Mountain Ski Area – owner of Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain – recently acquired Big Bear Mountain Resorts (Bear Mountain and Snow...

Read Full Article

Sign up to receive our newsletters!

Sign up today to receive updates and information by email from L.A. Parent!

No Thanks