Parenting in the Valley

Resources for Moms and Dads in Los Angeles / SFV Valley

My husband and I live in Encino and are the lucky parents of a precocious kindergartner. In my day job I spend a lot of time organizing and managing. I love to color-code, create charts in Excel, and make pros-and-cons list before making decisions about anything from what car to buy to what hotel to stay at on our next vacation.

Yes, I’m one of THOSE people.

Because of my desire to gather data, organize it, and sort it, I tend to have a lot of helpful charts. And now that I’m a mom, most of these charts have to do with parenting in the valley.

What are some fun things to do with my kid this summer? I’ll make a list. Where can I find a splash pad? I’ll make a chart. What preschools/daycares are in my area? I’ll compile all of the schools I can find and then chart how many miles away they are from my home and work. (Yes, I actually did that).

After sharing my various lists/charts with family, and then friends, and then random people who asked me for it online, I decided to just publish them on my blog. So, here we go.

I hope you’ll find this information helpful. Please keep in mind that I’m just a mom, I don’t do this for a living, so don’t take any of this as gospel. If you see anything that is incorrect or outdated, or if you have a suggestion for something that should be added, please feel free to let me know.

Stuff to do with your Kids in Los Angeles

Want to get out of the house, but don’t know where to go? Looking for some new haunts for you and your kids to check out? Here’s a list of museums, indoor play spaces, outdoor activities, family-friendly hiking trails, and every other activity I could think of in LA to keep you and your kids occupied. I’ve included links to each location’s website, as well as data about the costs, hours of operation, target age groups, etc. 

Summer Camps


I’ve compiled a list of various summer camps in or around the San Fernando Valley. In this document I’ve included the camp names, websites, weekly costs (for summer 2020), hours, extended hours info, types of activities offered, etc. As always, check out the locations’ website for the latest hours/costs/details as my information may be outdated.

[NOTE: I’ve also included the age ranges, but please be aware that since my daughter is in Kindergarten, the information for each camp is tailored to that age group. For example, UCLA’s Camp Bruin Kids summer camp has a variety of age levels/groups, but the information on this chart is specific to Level A (ages 5-6). Please check out the camps’ websites for details on other age groups.]

Splash Pads and Water Play Areas


Finding a place to cool off in the Valley during the summer is always hard to do. There are several parks that have public pools and I encourage you to check them out, but if you’re looking for a water-play area instead of a pool, it is a lot harder to find a list of where they are. So here’s my list of splash pads and water play areas within a reasonable drive of the valley. This list includes the names, addresses, hours, costs, brief descriptions, and photos of all the splash pads and water play areas that I know of. As always, check out the locations’ website for the latest hours/costs/details as my information may be outdated.

Daycares and Preschools


I remember how hard it was to find the right daycare/preschool for my daughter. I didn’t know where to start, and once I did, the options were overwhelming. So I wrote down every place my friends recommended, every location that Google Maps displayed, any any relevant result I found through online searching. I compiled the locations’ names, websites, addresses, phone numbers, hours, part-time vs. full-time availability, and more. Before posting here, I removed my personal notes/impressions as well as the pricing information (since that fluctuates too much to keep updated), but otherwise here’s my complete list of Daycares and Preschools.  This list is skewed to the south end of the San Fernando Valley since we’re located in Encino and didn’t want to travel too far, but it includes places as far west as Woodland Hills and as far north as North Hills/Northridge. I hope it serves as a good starting point for any other parents out there trying to find the right place for their child.  I’ve also included my own note-taking template (on the second tab) if you need some ideas regarding what to look for or ask about when touring a facility (e.g. ratio of caretakers to children, outdoor and indoor facilities, security, food policies, etc.).

Activities at Home for Little Ones 


Is it a rainy day and are your littles going stir-crazy? Are you bored and in need of fresh ideas for keeping them occupied at home? We’ve all been there. Here are some of my favorite age-specific activity ideas for things to do at home with your little ones:

Activities for 1-Year-Olds

Activities for 2-Year-Olds (coming soon)

Activities for Pre-schoolers (coming soon)

Idea Board for 5-10-Year-Olds (This is a list of things your kid can do with little or no oversight from you. Feel free to download, edit to fit your needs, print, and then hang this list up in your kid’s bedroom. Then refer them to it the next time they say “I’m bored,” or “I don’t know what to do!”)