Family life on LA's Westside


Save it for a Rainy Day: A Guide to Weathering LA’s Wet Winters

May showers bring spring flowers, and also a lot of gloomy days.  In sunny LA, where local meteorologists call any atmospheric conditions outside of 69 degrees and sunny “bad weather,” many denizens get a bit down when rain comes down. 

For those prone to cabin fever, here’s a short list of the gear and supplies you’ll need along with a Plan B of activities for you and your family to weather the weather.

Lighten Up 


Be ready if the power goes out.  Every self-respecting Angeleno has an emergency preparedness kit stashed away at home, with a basic flashlight, batteries, duct tape, bandages, yadda, yadda, yadda; but you can do yours one better with  the compact Verilux ReadyLight LED Lantern.  It illuminates 70 lumens of bright natural spectrum light, and its long-life battery can be recharged via USB or with an optional wall socket charger.  Operates with a touch brightness control. and at retail locations nationwide.


Baby its Cold Outside

Nothing’s worse on rainy days than being cooped up inside, except being cooped up inside with a stir crazy baby.  Grab your poncho and get outdoors for a breather with the Maclaren Quest Sport Stroller ($230 and up).  They don’t call it an umbrella stroller for nothin’.  It features a water resistant hood and a rain cover with a viewing window so tiny tikes stay happy and dry inside.  Keep them super cozy with an optional Footmuff ($59 and up).  Go to or for more information or to locate a retailer near you.

Winter Cleaning

Why wait for spring to spruce up?  Give those hard floors a shine to brighten up a gray day, but save your knees, and give the Hoover FloorMate a spin.  It’s a vacuum, it’s a mop, it’s a super machine!  This dandy three-in-one cleaner picks up loose dirt, washes and scrubs the floor and then dries it.   Perfect for quick clean ups when the kids track in mud for the fourth time in a day.  $149.  Retailers nationwide or

Hot Spot


Southern California homes just weren’t built for cold, wet weather, but you don’t have to blast the heat throughout the house to keep cozy.  Fire up the Bionaire Tower Ceramic Heather, a sleek compact portable heater that quickly warms a room with a powerful  oscillating fan.  And you can adjust the temperature while you stay cuddled on the couch with the remote control.  $69.99. Home Depot.


Brave New Wet World

When the streets are wet in LA, it’s comparable to a blizzard in New York.  People stay home, which can be a good thing, since many Angelenos have no idea how to drive on slick pavement, but it’s also a great chance to visit some exciting indoor venues you might never otherwise explore.

Take advantage of being in the entertainment capital of the nation.  Go to a live taping of a show at one of the studios around Hollywood; catch a play at one of the countless hidden treasure black-box theatres around town, like the Complex on Santa Monica Boulevard or the LGBT community CelebrationTheatre on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood; or make a day of movie watching at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood where you can get a bite and take in a flick under the same roof.

If you’ve been sitting around the house all day and can’t bear sitting around anywhere anymore, get off your behind and get to one of the many indoor active play places in LA.  Bowl a few games at one of the many classic bowling alleys around LA, like the AMF Bay Shore Lanes in Santa Monica, where you feel like you just popped back into the 50s for some wholesome family fun; or get a rainy day pass to the LA Athletic Club in downtown Los Angeles, where you can work out, shoot some hoops, swim laps or check out daily classes including kickboxing, dance aerobics and private climbing lessons on the rock climbing wall; or check out one of the many local indoor kid hot spots, besides the one ruled by the big rodent, like Under the Sea in Beverly Hills or Culver City, or Adventure Plex in Manhattan Beach, or there’s always the freebie mall play area at Westside Pavilion where kids can romp on a giant hotdog and spilled shake overlooking the food court.


Don’t let the damp weather put a damper on your days.  In the city where’s there’s always something to do, places to go and someone to see, you can still do it all, in a rain slicker.