Los Angeles

Bowling Alleys with Free and Cheap Bowling for Kids All Over LA

News flash: bowling is a really great sport for kids! My son went to a bowling alley birthday party recently that sparked an obsession with the game and opened all of our eyes to what a great family sport this is. The ingrained turn-taking structure, team camaraderie, and relaxed competitiveness offer kiddos a dose of sportsmanship at a fun pace. Accommodations like gutter bumpers and starting ramps guarantee success for even the youngest bowlers. Seriously, bowling is like the unsung hero of children's athletics. And it must have been this idea that fueled the creation of Kids Bowl Free, a fantastic nationwide program designed to give youth a constructive way to beat the heat. Read on to find out how your kids can bowl free every day this summer.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Apollo 11, Delicious Go Little Tokyo, Comic Con

It's one small step for Mom... one giant leap for the whole family as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of man's first steps on the moon. We look to the skies. We look to the skies some more. We look to the simulated skies. We look to the skies the way they did in the olden times... on a TV screen.

The commemoration reminds us of the boundless possibilities of all we can accomplish. We can get free lollipops and ice cream, and play for half the price. We can watch in awe (and no small degree of jealousy) as the population of Los Angeles decreases by half and San Diego's simultaneously increases by the same measure. (Must be magic.) Despite adversity, we can boldly go where no one has gone before.

Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars. So whenever you feel alone, just remember: those kings will always be there to guide you and so will Mommy Poppins.

Take one small step... to keep reading for our most stellar picks for this weekend's fun.

7 Smart Summer Screen Time and Tech Tips for Families

Summertime often means screen time, amirite? School's out, the days are long, and even moms and dads are feeling a little more laid back. With the relaxed phone, tablet, and TV rules, a media overdose starts to become inevitable without some thoughtful boundaries.

So, how do you make tech work for your family over the summer instead of against it? With a little help from our sponsor, Verizon, we've put together 7 smart tech tips to help your crew make the most of screen time for kids without going over the top.

Bonus tip: Get an extra $200 off a premium device when you sign up to Fios* — not to mention crazy fast internet speeds, custom TV plans for kids and teens, and reliable cell service to keep everyone safe and connected.

23 Things To Do with Your Los Angeles Baby in Summer

Baby's first summer is a collection of memories waiting to happen—for Mom and Dad, anyway. Of course, Los Angeles summer runs the gamut from chilly June gloom to days so scorching hot you could make grilled cheese on the sidewalk, so entertaining baby means being ready for anything. Here are some fun ways to beat the heat and introduce your little Angeleno to the joys of SoCal summer. 

Nantucket with Kids: 35 Fun Things to Do as a Family

What's so special about Nantucket? This charming Massachusetts island 30 miles off of Cape Cod is more than just a prepster paradise: It's just about as family-friendly as can be. In fact, there are so many things for kids to do in Nantucket, the trick is packing it all into a single family vacation. Perhaps that's why we always come back! Luckily, with just 48 square miles to cover, it is possible to fit in a number of Nantucket highlights, including a surf lesson, aquarium trip, critter cruise, and lobster dinner.

So catch the Nantucket ferry over to the island (or fly in), and try these kid-friendly activities. We're sure you'll have a family getaway that's one for the photo books.

10 Teen and Tween Activities To Make Them Like You for a Minute

Hard to get a smile out of your sullen teenager? When you suggest a fun family activity, are you met with an eye roll followed by the sound of the Netflix app being launched? We have a list of outings that will get your teenager off the couch and maybe even inspire a smile from to ear to ear. We have an entire Mommy Poppins guide just for teens and tweens, but if you're looking for one handy list, here are 10 activity ideas that that will make your tween or teen like you for just a minute. If you mention there might be Instagram photo opportunities, they may even like you for two or three minutes. 

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Orange County Fair, Kidspace Birthday, and Mud Mania

Congratulations! You are the winner of one mint-condition, limited edition, superior quality weekend.  Your prize includes a County Fair, manic mud, free outdoor theatre (day and night), children's museums new and celebrating, and big worldly fun. And talk about stellar: the excitement for the Apollo 11 anniversary is starting to ramp up: to infinity and the moon!

If winning is your style, Mommy Poppins is ready to go one further. Not to give anything away, but we are. Giving things away.  ALL. SUMMER. LONG.  This week we are offering up Boredom Busters, which you would only need in the unlikely event that your offspring claim to have nothing to do. You've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, Mum? (If so you really should enter.)

Spin the wheel (or keep reading) to luck onto our most winning picks for the weekend...

Free (or Super Cheap) Archery Classes for LA & OC Kids Who Love Bows and Arrows

A fair number of kids who see Brave or The Hunger Games end up curious about archery, and a fair number of their parents end up scratching their heads and saying, "Where do we do that??" Gymnastics, swimming—that's easy. But where to bring a would-be archer to string a bow and shoot some arrows? Less obvious, perhaps, but not as hard as you might think. And the even better news? It's usually free!

25 Water Games for Kids To Play All Summer Long

Water games are an easy way to keep the kids entertained—and cool—this summer. From a simple water balloon toss to fancier DIY fun like sprinkler Twister, these outdoor games are sure to please all ages.

One year, I found myself home with both kids for a whole summer due to a shift in my career path, so we got pretty creative with the water games. There were 10 weeks to fill after all! Read on for our favorites—and you can also download this free printable with all 25 top water games for kids.

Need more free and cheap activities for the kids this summer break? Our family started a Boredom Busters jar: a painted Mason jar full of ideas to keep them busy (and tired out). Anyone complaining of boredom can open it and pick out an activity. Many of the ideas come from the Mommy Poppins' 100 Summer Play Activities List and Free Summer Fun Ideas. But their absolute favorites are the water games for splish-splashy, low-key summer fun.

Drive-In Movie Theaters near LA for a Classic Family Movie Night

How about a drive-in movie tonight? Remember double features, staying up late watching movies in your jammies under the stars, tubs of popcorn from the snack bar, and, as the night wore on, crawling into the pile of blankets mom brought? Today's kids don't need to miss out on this American institution; though not as popular as they once were, several area drive-ins are still operating, plus LA has a pop-up drive-in, too. Drive-ins are generally cheaper than movie theaters, often show double features, and let you bring your own food. We're fortunate in the Southland to have oodles of free outdoor movies in summer, but there is something uniquely magical about the drive-in. bucket list worthy

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