Brawling dolls, running rugrats, Frog & Toad, a croquet affair (with champers & oysters for parents), fairy tailoring, green ogres, ice skating and pumpkin cooking—it’s all part of an average weekend packed with activities here in LA. Because our city is the best place on earth to have fun with kids. Pardon us, our civic pride is showing.



Gratitude & Gospel at CAAM
This is one great way to get in the thankful spirit of the upcoming holiday: The California African American Museum’s gospel and inspirational show. Sun., 1:30-4 p.m. Exposition Park. Free. All ages. Event details.

Catch the Clippers
The Dodgers season is done, but the Clippers are just getting started, and Doc Rivers and his team are promising a great year. Bring the kids to enjoy LA’s other basketball team (the one with affordable tickets!). Sat., 7:30 p.m. Downtown. $17 & up. All ages. Event details.

Derby Doll Brawl
The Dolls are LA’s all-female, banked track roller derby league.  Cheer on Darla Daredevil or Jackie Nimble. Plus catch a Jr. bout at half time; your kids will be inspired by these tough chicks of all ages. Sat., 4 p.m. East LA. $10 & up. All ages. Event details.


Croquet & Champagne & Kids
Don your fanciest frock and highest hat for an afternoon of croquet on the lush west lawn of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Hollyhock House. Parents can enjoy a 3-flight sparkling wine tasting by famed Silverlake Wine and everyone can take lessons with the Pasadena Croquet Association. Sun., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Los Feliz. $10-$40. Ages 3 & up. Event details.

San Gabriel Valley

Pasadena Railroad Open House
Check out one of the largest HO scale-operating model railroads in the world. Little Thomas fans will be amazed to see trains from all eras-steam, diesel, modern freight, old freight, classic passenger trains and Amtrak all in the middle of amazing scenery and cool lighting. Sat. & Sun., 1-5 p.m. South Pasadena. $1-$5. All ages. Event details.

Cooking with Pumpkin
Young chefs can whip up some delicious seasonal recipes made with everyone’s favorite autumn fruit. Time to get hands on in the kitchen, then spend the day in the gorgeous garden. Sun., 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. San Marino. $45 for one child & adult. Ages 7-12. Event details.

Japanese Festival in the Garden
This weekend long picturesque celebration of Japanese arts, crafts, and culture takes place in the beautiful Descanso Gardens. With examples of ikebana, taiko drumming, and Japanese food (and sake!) it’s a wonderful Autumn tradition. Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. La Canada. $4-$9. All ages. Event details.


Shrek the Musical
This musical featuring everyone’s favorite farting ogre also has a feisty princess, chatty donkey, a villain with a short temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits that will delight the whole family. Sat. & Sun., 2 p.m. Santa Monica. $15-$23. Ages 3 & up. Event details.

Fairy Tailoring
Ever wondered what would happen if Rapunzel met the Big Bad Wolf on a pirate ship? In this workshop kids write plays based on what would happen if characters from different fairy tales collided. Sun., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Westwood. Free. Ages 7-11. Event details.

Skate Over to ICE
After the hottest fall on record, we’re ready for a little chill. ICE at Santa Monica has frozen over the corner of 5th Street and Arizona Avenue with 8,000 square feet of real ice. So slap on the skates, pour some cocoa and pretend it’s winter! Fri.-Sun., Hours vary. Santa Monica. $15. Ages 2 & up. Event details.

San Fernando Valley

Calabasas Classic
With Thanksgiving coming up, closely followed by even more holiday eating, it’s time to get some preventative exercise. This is a perfect, easy, fun family run—and it’s all for charity. (There’s also a beach run and a hike-a-thon this weekend, if you’re looking for other ways to exercise while helping a great cause!)  Sun., 9:30 a.m. Calabasas. $15-$20. All ages. Event details.

Orange County

A Year with Frog & Toad
This song-filled year in the life of the beloved Frog & Toad was a Broadway hit that captivated kids and critics.  Now you’ll love it, too. Fri.-Sun., Various times. Costa Mesa. $26-$36. Ages 4-10. Event details.

Off with her head (croquet), track racing (Derby Dolls) or slam dunks—what’s your winter sport of choice? We’d love to hear about your family’s favorite weekend adventure in the comment section.

—Meghan Rose

Photo credits: Croquet players by Wired Witch via flickr and Derby girls courtesy of the Derby Dolls