Cheviot Hills / Palms

Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat for Los Angeles Kids

Los Angeles moved from second to third place this year in Zillow's annual list of the country's 20 best cities for trick-or-treating—but that's not slowing down anyone around here. The real estate website bases its trick-or-treat ranking on criteria like home value and crime rates. That's good, but what about special effects and Halloween decorations? If one figures in the number of film industry creatives living in a given metropolitan area, LA wins first place by a country mile. Speaking of country miles, if you've walked the distance between houses in the most expensive LA neighborhoods, you know that higher home value does not always translate to better trick-or-treating. What does? Well, keep your Halloween hats on, because we've got a list of some of LA and Orange County's most legendary trick-or-treat neighborhoods. I defy anyone in San Francisco to beat these!

Frozen Yogurt: 10 Cool Spots for Fro-Yo from Hollywood to Torrance

Name a neighborhood – Studio CityHollywood, the South Bay, or Santa Monica – and chances are you will find an impressive number of places to indulge in frozen yogurt. I freely confess that we here at Mommy Poppins enjoy our frozen treats; many a meeting is held on the patio of our local Menchie’s, and rounding up great places to go for ice cream was one of our summer priorities. It may seem harsh to put our kids to work this way, but hey, somebody has to help with the taste testing, and they don't complain too much.

Ice cream is great, of course, but sometimes it’s nice to go a bit lighter. And I think we can all agree to pretend that frozen yogurt is a healthy choice; it can have just as much sugar as ice cream, but the fat content of fro-yo is significantly less, and then there is the possibility that the probiotics have actually survived the freezing process. Many of the yogurt establishments below are self-serve and offer an array of toppings that are a kid's dream buffet. One way to be healthy is to cover your sweet treat with fruit and nuts instead of candy – not that I'll be talking my children into that any time soon. 

Gated Playgrounds: Westside Parks with Fences for LA Kids

I only have two kids, but at times I've had the likes of four or five. You know the drill: offer to take your friend's kids to the park, and the bodies multiply. Even crazier, all those little legs start running in multiple directions. Gah! Suddenly you're dashing around like a crazy woman wondering whom to rescue first: the kid dangling from the tree branch, or the kid who's booking it to the distant ball field to watch the Little League game? CLINK! "Foul Ball!" Thankfully, there are many area playgrounds with locked gates. (Oh, the peace that comes with children contained!) So, until they learn how to climb the fence, consider bringing your herds to these paddocks, err, parks on the Westside.

Free Archery Classes for Los Angeles Kids Who Love Bows and Arrows

Maybe your younger kids are fans of Brave, or your older kids saw The Hunger Games. Maybe the whole family watched the Olympics together. Whatever the inspiration, lots of families are curious about archery lately, leading to lots of parents scratching their heads, saying, "Where do we do that??" Gymnastics, yoga - that's easy. But where to bring a would-be archer to string a bow and shoot some arrows? Less obvious, perhaps, but not as hard as you might think. And the even better news? It's usually free!

Co-op Preschools and Nursery Schools on the Westside

I'll be honest: when my kids were preschool age, I didn't think they needed school yet. I was full-time with them. So, hrmph. What could a nursery school give them that I couldn't? But I now know that whether or not they needed preschool, the truth is I​ needed preschool. Or, more specifically, I needed to be a parent at a coop nursery school. 

Whether or not you think you might, too, we bring you our series of greater Los Angeles cooperative preschools. We start here with the Westside, but we have similar shout outs to coop preschools in the Valleys and Hollywood/Los Feliz.

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