Beauty and the Beast Parent Review: Disney's New Live-Action Feature

Regardless of whether this movie gets raves or pans, if you have a princess-obsessed child in your home chances are you're seeing this movie in the theater—probably opening weekend. So let me get right to the good news: my 11-year-old daughter and I, both fans of the 1991 animated original, quite enjoyed Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. It is, perhaps, overly faithful to the source material. But hey, if it ain't broke, right?

There really was no reason for Disney to reinvent this classic, since the sight of Hermione—er, Belle in her frilly yellow dress will probably catapult this movie to the top of the box office. However, this isn't a soulless brand-expanding cash grab, either. For all of its familiarity, Beauty and the Beast is lovely to look at and listen to, with a smattering of new songs and a fairly subtle injection of progressive politics.

Is it good for preschoolers? Is it worth splurging for IMAX? Be our guest and read on for our honest opinions.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Airport Art, Steampunk, and Beauty and the Beast, March 18 -19

It's going to be a marathon weekend, and by that I don't just mean a literal "run 26.2 miles/get a medal" kind of marathon—although come to think of it, there is one of those going on. Cutting a path from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica Pier, passing Olvera Street, City Hall, The Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Rodeo Drive along the way (seriously, how LA is that?), the LA Marathon sounds awesome, especially if you're still recovering from last week's time change.

But the marathon I am talking about is the one in which we attempt to shove a month's worth of entertainment into two measly days. On one hand, we've got the LA Nature Fest at the Natural History Museum, which takes a look at LA's wild things. (Insert joke about my offspring here.) On another, you've got the Santa Monica Airport Artwalk, where you can mix and mingle with the artists in residence. On another, you've got the highly anticipated live action version of Beauty and the Beast (which, if your wild things are too wild they can watch while swinging on a jungle gym). You can learn with Pete the Cat and the CSI team at the Columbia Memorial Space Center; you can sing along with Willie Wonka and Princess Beauty. You can clean the beach or clean out the lake. You can meet stars of your favorite shows, or meet stars of your favorite shows.

You can celebrate whales and swallows and cherry blossoms and anachronistic technology and awesome women. You can do just about anything, except find time to do it all. Where's a time-turner when you need it, Hermione Belle?

Keep reading for our picks of the best of what's running this weekend...

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Rodeo, St Patrick's Day, Mar 18-19

This Friday is your lucky day - It's St Patrick's Day! And we have ideas for a unique way to celebrate in our round-up of family friendly breweries with celebrations for the whole crew. In case you've been living under a rock, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is in full swing! Don't worry if you already spent all your money on turkey legs, funnel cakes, or fried Oreo's, we have the perfect list of FREE things you can do with your kids at the rodeo.

If you would prefer to stay away from the large crowds this weekend, head out to the many locations where bluebonnets are popping up for the perfect photo opportunity with the kids. Or for more family friendly events this month check out our lists of Spring Festivals and Crawfish Boils around Houston this season. 

With the year's first major school holiday almost over, it's time to start thinking about the summer. Let us help you plan with our summer and vacation Camp Guide! We have suggestions on a wide variety of camps, including Overnight Camps,  Outdoor CampsMusic and Theater Camps, Science Camps, Art Camps, and more. 

Our event calendar is loaded with fun, daily events for the whole family, and you can also submit your own events. For more activities and events to fill the each weekend of the month, pop over to our March GoList. And finally, don't forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive articles such as this in your inbox every week. 

Now, it's time to check out what's happening around town this weekend.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: OrKIDS, Spring Consignments, St. Patrick Day March 18-19

Many Philly families may be ready to kiss wintertime goodbye. And, even though this year's winter was milder than usual, Philadelphia is ready to welcome the new season thanks to many of the spring-like events popping up throughout the Delaware Valley.

View the exquisite orchids on display at Longwood Gardens, dig in the dirt to find artifacts at Newlin Grist Mill, or wander through the Grounds For Sculpture to take in the beautiful outdoors. Then, be sure to check out some of the many spring consignment sales going on this weekend. On the other hand, perhaps you want to savor some St. Patrick's Day fun. Celebrate with a treasure hunt and hike at Lock 60 at the Schuylkill Canal Park or enjoy an Irish menu along with Irish dancing and music at P.J. Whellhan's Pub and Restaurant in Blue Bell.

Stay connected to all the excitement by searching our events calendar using the filters for age and location. Now, go out and have a great weekend!

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: St. Paddy's Parade, Spring Sing, and Building Fun; March 18-19

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, and it's time to celebrate in Boston. Even the animals are getting in on the festivities with themed activities at the Stone Zoo and Franklin Park Zoo. The most well-known parade is taking place for the 110th year in South Boston; be sure to check the website for the new route information.

The Revels are ringing in the season with their annual Spring Sing, and there is a parent-child clay workshop where participants can learn how to create their own "cake boxes." Another cool, free event happening all weekend is the Pop-Up Build Zone. Budding engineers can learn how to design individual ball-runs with everyday household objects, and contribute to one big collaborative, community-built ball-run.

Also on Mommy Poppins this week:

Need more family fun ideas? Check out our full events calendar.

A Playground in a Movie Theater? For Real? For SoCal!

Cinépolis, the Latin American movie theater chain, debuts one of its most family-friendly features in Southern California this weekend—but when we say feature, we're not talking movies. The cinema giant has had big success with its innovative movie theater playgrounds for antsy kids south of the border, and two of its US locations are poised to let local kids give it a try. Thinking of seeing Beauty and the Beast this weekend? Why not see it where little ones can romp if the action feels slow, scary, or otherwise less appealing than a giant slide?

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: WHUD Kids' Fair, Parades, Family Shows

With the snowstorm behind us, this weekend is a great time to combat cabin fever and enjoy any of the many activities this weekend for Westchester and Hudson Valley families.

Though St. Patty’s Day is officially March 17, it isn’t time to pack up your “Kiss Me I’m Irish” garb yet! The fun continues at one several St. Patrick’s Day parades on tap this weekend, including the Annual Yonkers St. Patrick's Day Parade, for which Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, will serve as grand marshal. (Can’t wait till Saturday? There’s assorted other Gaelic fun all week long at the St. Patrick’s Day fun we’ve rounded up for you.)

The Irish aren’t the only ones hosting events this weekend; Francophiles are offering the Festinema Junior: A French Film Festival for Children, which is FREE to attend. Live entertainment is also on tap with Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat and a contemporary production of Romeo and Juliet. The Annual WHUD Kids Fair returns for more assorted kid fun. 

Believe it or not, there’s more in store! Read on for even more fun events this weekend, then click through to our Event Calendar for even more to choose from, both this weekend and beyond.

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