Spring Fun at Los Angeles County Parks

L.A. County is offering a spring edition of its popular and award-winning Parks After Dark program, providing opportunities for residents to come together and have fun in safe and welcoming spaces.

2 minute read

April 3, 2024, 12:00 PM PDT

By Clement Lau


Palm trees sillhouetted against dark evening sky at Santa Monica Beach with pier with illuminated Ferris wheel in background.

oneinchpunch / Adobe Stock

The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is once again offering fun events and activities as part of the Parks After Dark (PAD) program. Specifically, the spring edition of PAD provides extended hours and free recreational activities, including dancing, movies, concerts, and more, at 34 County parks located across the county.

PAD started in 2010 at three County parks and expanded to 34 parks this year. For an eight-week period each summer, PAD extends hours of park operation by several hours at participating parks. The program offers family entertainment (like movies, concerts, arts and crafts, and free meals), sports and recreational activities (like swimming and dance), cultural and educational programming (like healthy cooking and financial literacy classes), and employment and volunteer opportunities for youth and adults.

PAD parks also host resource fairs through which public agencies and community-based organizations provide health, social, economic, and legal resources to participants. Throughout all events, deputies from the Sheriff’s Department patrol and engage in activities alongside participants, which help to ensure safety and foster positive interactions between law enforcement and community members.

The program outcomes and benefits of PAD have been well-documented. According to a recent evaluation by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, 92 percent of people who attended a nighttime events program in L.A. County parks in the summer of 2022 felt safe. The program was also highly rated by attendees for giving them the chance to spend quality time with family (94 percent of respondents agreed) and providing a sense of belonging within community (93 percent agreed). About 96 percent of attendees said they would attend again. Among the study’s other findings:

  • 84 percent of people attended with children
  • 62 percent of attendees were Hispanic/Latinx and 19% were Black or African American
  • 89 percent of attendees agreed that deputy sheriffs engaged “positively” with community members
  • 81 percent of attendees participated in physical activity at the events

To better serve children and families during school breaks, DPR launched the first ever winter edition of PAD in December 2018 and a spring edition in March 2019 with free programs and events for all to enjoy. 

Friday, March 1, 2024 in Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

Aerial view of homes on green hillsides in Daly City, California.

Depopulation Patterns Get Weird

A recent ranking of “declining” cities heavily features some of the most expensive cities in the country — including New York City and a half-dozen in the San Francisco Bay Area.

April 10, 2024 - California Planning & Development Report

Close-up of maroon California 'Clean Air Vehicle' carpool lane access sticker on the back bumper of a silver Tesla vehicle.

California EV Owners To Lose Carpool Lane Privilege

A program that began in 1999 to encourage more electric car ownership is set to expire next year without Congressional and state action.

April 2, 2024 - San Francisco Chronicle

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Google street view of grassy lot next to brick church with elevated freeway on other side in Houston, Texas.

Houston Supportive Housing Development Sparks Debate

Critics say a proposed apartment building would negatively impact the neighborhood’s walkability.

2 hours ago - Houston Chronicle

Closed black wrought iron gate in front of gated residential community with large palm trees along sides of street.

Friday Funny: Gated Community Doubles Down

The Onion skewers suburbia.

3 hours ago - The Onion

Aerial view of Chicago with river in foreground.

‘Cut the Tape’ Report Takes Aim at Inefficiencies

A set of recommendations from the Chicago mayor’s office calls for streamlining city processes to stimulate more residential and commercial development.

4 hours ago - Block Club Chicago

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.