You might have a love-hate relationship with Waze, but you’ll have nothing but love for these awesome time-saving apps that make life as an LA parent just a little bit easier, especially as back to school time creeps up on us. Steal your sticky iPhone back from your Pokèmon Go addicts and download these apps ASAP; they make mornings (and mealtimes, commutes and everything else) a little easier.

photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

DriveThru Finder
When you’re an exhausted mombie, coffee is essential. In fact the only thing standing in the way of that morning Starbucks run is the thought of having to get your toddler in and out of the car seat. Luckily, the universe bestowed tired parents with Starbucks Drive-Thrus. While a regular map search won’t tell you the difference between a regular Starbucks and the toddler-friendly drive-thru variety, this amazing app will. Using your current location, the app will show you the nearest Starbucks and McDonald’s in your area.

The Low Down: The app is free to download and very simple to use like a regular map. No login needed.


photo: Washos

If the inside of your car looks like a tornado of Cheerios and empty coffee cups just swirled through, don’t fret. There’s an app for that, and it’s called Washos. A few taps is all it takes to schedule a car wash team that will arrive in your own driveway and magically erase the floor crumbs and sticky handprints on the windows.

The Low Down: A professional detailer can arrive within as little as three hours to clean your car inside and out. Prices start at $29 for a basic wash and you can add extra services, like mold removal (think spilled juice boxes!) for an additional cost. Coverage extends to most LA neighborhoods, but check the app to make sure your area is included.


photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

Miss out on signing for that uber popular baby class? Don’t worry, your activity loving tot can still enjoy an educating experience on the fly with the CityMoms app. Scroll through the daily schedules to see a list of all the classes, drop-in play, and other activities for kids up to age 5, available in your area. Each listing shows the times, location, and cost of each class and allows you to book a spot.

The Low Down: The app is free to download and use, with the cost of booking classes varying based on the activity. You can also purchase a membership plan ($99 per month for an unlimited package or $49 per month for five classes) that allows you to pay for activities with points and enjoy a discounted rate.



Between work and kids, who has time to pick up dry cleaning, let alone fold the laundry? Instead of letting your overloaded dryer turn into your new clothes dresser, take some of the stress out of cleaning clothes with the awesome app that takes care of it all for you. Sure it might be cheaper to buckle down and do the laundry yourself, but can you really put a price tag on the bliss of skipping laundry? We don’t think so.

The Low Down: Pick up and delivery is available seven days a week from 8 p.m.-10 p.m., so you can send off the wash and enjoy a glass of wine and a moment of peace instead. Dry cleaning prices vary based on the item. Wash and fold is $1.75 per pound with a 15 pound minimum.  They even handle “hang dry” items, prices based on item. Standard delivery is free or you can rush for an additional $5.


photo: Jolie Loeb

Just because you forgot to make a dinner plan, doesn’t mean you have to resign your family to a night of freezer burned nuggets or take out pizza. With a few taps on your smartphone you can serve up a delicious and actually healthy meal. With creative dishes, family-style dinners, and even kids meals you’ll be able to find something to please everyone. Scroll through the app to see the daily offerings for the week ahead with pics and prices.

The Low Down: Packaged, cooked meals are delivered chilled between 4-9 p.m. All you have to do is heat and serve. Main dishes average around $10, kids $6, and a family dinner for 4 around $28. A $4.50 delivery charge is added for on-demand ordering, or if you place an order in advance, the charge is $2.95.


Driving anywhere in LA traffic with kids is tough enough. Trying to find a parking spot before you hear “Are we there yet?” would take a miracle. Instead of circling the block with your fingers crossed, tap open the Parker app and instantly locate the nearest open parking spots, both street and parking lots. The app also has a mobile pay function, a timer so that you won’t miss your expired meter, and a parked car locator so you won’t have any trouble remembering where you parked. When you use it, you can feel your sanity being saved.

The Low Down: The app is free to download and use. Parking rates vary based on venue and location.


What LA-based parent apps are must-haves on your phone? Share any we missed in the comments!

—Shahrzad Warkentin

additional main photo by Jenifer Castillo

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