School is starting for LAUSD this week, while other schools have already has entered the 2011-2012 session. While kids need time to complete homework after school, they also need to time to unwind. Playing at home or in the backyard is great…but how about an outing? There are many opportunities for kids to get out and about after school here in the Southland. Check these leads out:

The city of L.A. now has a kids’ website. There’s not too much up there yet, but it looks like the city will be building it in the future, and there are some useful links you might want to look at. Here’s ITS link!

Libraries – Los Angeles and Beverly Hills both have evening library hours, at least on some days of the week. Check with your local branch for read alouds and other special events. A great evening outing is putting the little ones into PJs and going to the library for their bedtime story! By the way, you don’t need to be a Beverly Hills resident to enjoy its library.

Parks – Early in the fall, there’s still enough daylight to play at the park before dusk. Additionally, many city-sponsored rec centers have afterschool athletic and arts lessons available, and much more affordably than you’ll find through private providers. You can find out the L.A. parks and rec centers closest to you, as well as what amenities they have, through this website. Don’t forget to check other neighboring municipalities, such as Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, too!

Also, with our pleasant SoCal weather, you can share a picnic dinner at the park until November. Particularly good locations for that are Coldwater Canyon Park in Beverly Hills, Lacy Park in San Marino, Elysian Park, and the Exposition Park Rose Garden (use the picnic tables between the garden and the Science Center). You can also catch gorgeous sunsets at the Korean Peace Bell Park in San Pedro, almost any park in Palos Verdes, or at the beach!

See a little art – LACMA is open late on most nights of the week and free with NextGen membership all the time (except for special exhibitions).

Check out the stars – The Griffith Observatory is open in the evenings. There are educational and fun museum exhibits, as well as opportunities for star gazing.

I hope everyone has a great school year!

About beccakinla

Freelance writer and unrepentant homemaker. Writer of many genres and author of "A Dozen Daisies for Raizy," "Sliding Doors and Other Stories," and "Mazal's Luck Runs Out."

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