Los Angeles

Weekday Picks: YALLWest, Circus, Grunion, and iFLY All-Abilities Night

YALLWest reaches out to teens and tweens this week with its third annual, two-day YA literary festival in Santa Monica. Actor Chris Colfer, author of Stranger Than Fanfiction, headlines this year’s festival, which features more than 100 authors. Friday is a preview event that includes Story Ball presentations, author panels, and food trucks. Saturday continues with a full day of panels, signings, music, book sales, Quidditch gaming, Scrabble tournaments, giveaways, and more.

This week also brings several events specifically aimed at the special needs community. The Family Autism Event at Pretend City and AMC Theatres Sensory-Friendly Films provide opportunities for kids on the autism spectrum and their families to enjoy community activities in a sensory-friendly, accepting environment. iFLY Hollywood Indoor Skydiving's All-Abilities Night offers the chance for people with mental and physical challenges achieve the dream of flying.

Add to that a little circus, festival, and fireworks, and we've got the makings of a great week!

For lots of other ideas of what to do this week, check out Mommy Poppins Event Calendar and our April GoList. Here are some favorites for the week.

15 Best Campgrounds for Tent Camping with Kids Near LA

Marshmallows. Check. Bug spray. Check. Air mattress. Check. Camping season is upon us. Hurrah! And thankfully in this multi-terrain region of ours, you don't need to go far to enjoy a night or two under the stars. A weekend without electronics, breathing fresh air, and enjoying meals over the campfire: all this can be yours without driving more than an hour or two—in some cases even less! Read on to find an easy destination for you and your happy campers. (And if the one you want is full this weekend, check out a few last minute camping spots.)

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Book Fest, Butterfly Release, Earth Day, April 22-23

It's all good this weekend. First, there's good for the environment: Earth Day recognizes the importance of looking after the number one mother (Earth) with a flurry of good festivals celebrating the planet we call home. You can show Momma E some love at the zoo, the aquarium, gardens, or the beach, and on bikes, at the movies, with crafts, concerts, kites, and cleanups.

Then there's a good book. You can find plenty of those at the LA Times Festival of Books, one of the goodliest events of the year. 

And since one good turn deserves another, why not join a whole bunch of science types gathering at the Columbia Memorial Space Center, showing all the good science can do? More science lovers are getting together in Pershing Square; a whole lot of good could come of it.

Keep reading for our most goodly finds this weekend...

The Beauty Box Busy Moms Didn't Know They Needed

At-home delivery is a total game-changer for busy moms. From school supplies to groceries, if it arrives at the front door with no kid schlepping required, it's a win for parents everywhere, right? But FabFitFun is the subscription box you didn't know you needed on your doorstep (and it's way more exciting than number two pencils and skim milk).

Every three months, FabFitFun drops off a haul of full-size fashion, beauty, fitness, and lifestyle products, like date night-worthy eye shadow palettes, healthy energy-fueling snacks, and travel mugs because... coffee. And since it's so hard for moms to find time to shop, deal hunt, and most importantly, take care of them themselves, this membership is an easy, affordable, and seriously fun way to treat yourself. You're always busy buying thoughtful gifts for just about everyone else, so isn't it about time you put yourself at the top of the list with a one-time membership that'll have you feeling like it's your birthday four more times a year? I think so!

This season's spring box doesn't disappoint, but it looks like it'll sell out fast -- especially since each box always has a value over $200 but only costs $49.99! Watch our unboxing video or read on to see what mom-approved items are in this season's stash, then use the code "POPPINS" to get $10 off your first box at fabfitfun.com.

Earth Day with LA Kids: Green Festivals, Events, and Fun for Families

You say it's your Earth Day; well it's my Earth Day, too, yeah! And yes, we're gonna have a good time. Earth Day is one of those holidays that just screams kids. And when we say scream, we mean outdoor voices. Oh sure, Halloween has its ghosts and goblins; Christmas has its presents, and Easter has its chocolate bunnies (melting in the SoCal sun if not found quickly). But Earth Day is a holiday when families of all backgrounds can come together to appreciate our planet and keep our outdoors great for generations to come. And since loving the environment is something Californians take particular pride in, it's not surprising that we're spoiled for choice for celebrating Earth Day around LA.

Weekday Picks: OC Imaginology, Free Garden Days, Planetariums

With Earth Day looming (it's Saturday, April 22), there's a whole slew of activities this week that can give families a deeper appreciation of the natural world around them. These include free days at gardens, such as South Coast Botanic and Descanso, and planetarium shows at UCLA and Santa Monica College

Also on tap for the week is the OC Fair Imaginology event, with its focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math); now in its 38th year, the event allows youths to showcase their talents in individual and group competitions. It also features hands-on activities, displays, workshops, career advice, and other activities for families.

We know a great weeknight dinner deal this week, too, that makes it easier to enjoy all this entertainment.

Want more? Head over to our Event Calendar and monthly GoList. Here are a few favorites for the week.

Birthday Freebies: How Kids Get Free Stuff and Eat Free in LA and OC

Who doesn't love receiving gifts on birthdays? Rhetorical question: obviously kids love gifts, and parents love free gifts. That's why it's worth knowing about the many SoCal businesses that offer birthday clubs, treats, and freebies for kids on their big day. As the parent, you will need to register the birthday kids—and oftentimes yourself, too, before adding your children as family members. Check the age ranges on the offers below, as they vary. Go ahead and sign up now, and the coupons and emails will start rolling in while you are busy planning a birthday party.

5 Simple But Cool Slime Recipes to Make with Kids

As a child of the 80s, slime ranks pretty high in my archive of childhood memories. It was the stuff that made Ghostbusters awesome, and many of my childhood dreams involved running through an obstacle course getting covered with the stuff. Yet somehow the slime of the new millennium is even cooler. Even better that you can make it in the comfort of your own home with a few simple ingredients. Check out more cool boredom busters and crafts to do with kids.

Fun & Free Easter Weekend Events for LA Kids: All About Eggs, April 15-16

Look! Under that tree: it’s an Easter egg hunt! And there’s another, behind the bushes! Wait, I see dozens of them: they’re listed in our Easter egg hunt roundup! Grab your basket and collect them all (but make sure you leave enough for the other mommies).

See, here’s the deal: There is literally an egg hunt on every block, every corner, every square inch of Los Angeles this weekend. And every egg that you find?  You open it up and—surprise!—it tells you about another egg hunt. Some egg hunts are in gardens; some are in malls; some are on the farm; some come with breakfast. (Eggs and breakfast? Weird.)  

Actually, the trick this weekend is going to be not finding an egg hunt. There are a few other things out there: you might luck onto kid rockersbubblescomets, maniacal animalsslammin' poetryfree parks, and clean sands and...

EggsEggy egg eggsLots and lots of eggs.

Hop on over to our most egg-citing picks for this weekend…

5 Tasty Dessert Shops To Try Now in Orange County

Easter, Valentine's Day, heck, why not Flag Day? Any holiday, birthday, or random down-in-the-dumps day can provide an excellent excuse for a sugary treat. Orange County offers plenty of places to satisfy a sweet tooth, and we were brave enough to take on the task of sampling and sharing some of our favorites. From unicorn hot chocolate to gourmet cookie shots to zombie-themed donuts, there's always some new and exciting way to indulge in decadent treats. Here are five of OC's hottest—or coolest.

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