Sherman Oaks

Tree Lighting Celebrations To Kick off the Holidays around LA & OC

Carols, cocoa, and the Claus family deck the Southland halls in the coming weeks from the Westside to the Valleys and back down to Orange County. As the holidays get rolling, there are plenty of opportunities to snap photos with Santa, take in a boat parade, and marvel at some Angelenos' lawn decorations, but the best way to kick it all off is with a good old-fashioned tree lighting ceremony. Communities all over Los Angeles and Orange County have their own traditions—not to mention unspoken competitions for whose tree is the largest and whose lights up the earliest. It's all in good cheer, so pick whichever of the locations below is nearest to you, and go rock around a Christmas tree, SoCal style!

We'll keep adding more below as communities make their plans. Check our events calendar and sign up for our weekly newsletter to keep up with the latest info.

Weekday Picks: Boney Island, Hocus Pocus Under the Gun, Muertos Novenarios, Oct. 24-28

All things Halloween ahead of the holiday, from displays on private lawns to a movie screening on the fantail of the battleship Iowa, are on tap this week. Kids can test how many pumpkins they can carry at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, dress up for a Mini Monster Bash in La Habra and check out the Día de los Muertos procession on Olvera Steet. For more Halloween ideas, check out our roundups of Halloween fun and activitiesHalloween ghost trains and rides, and the best places to trick-or-treat in Orange County or in LA.

The Mommy Poppins Event Calendar includes lots more options for fun and activities, and our picks for the month are detailed in our October GoList. Here are some of our favorite outings this week.

Frozen Yogurt: 10 Cool Spots for Fro-Yo from Hollywood to Torrance

Name a neighborhood – Studio CityHollywood, the South Bay, or Santa Monica – and chances are you will find an impressive number of places to indulge in frozen yogurt. I freely confess that we here at Mommy Poppins enjoy our frozen treats; many a meeting is held on the patio of our local Menchie’s, and rounding up great places to go for ice cream was one of our summer priorities. It may seem harsh to put our kids to work this way, but hey, somebody has to help with the taste testing, and they don't complain too much.

Ice cream is great, of course, but sometimes it’s nice to go a bit lighter. And I think we can all agree to pretend that frozen yogurt is a healthy choice; it can have just as much sugar as ice cream, but the fat content of fro-yo is significantly less, and then there is the possibility that the probiotics have actually survived the freezing process. Many of the yogurt establishments below are self-serve and offer an array of toppings that are a kid's dream buffet. One way to be healthy is to cover your sweet treat with fruit and nuts instead of candy – not that I'll be talking my children into that any time soon. 

10 Kids Furniture Stores in and Around Los Angeles

Furniture shopping for little ones changes as quickly as they do: one day it concerns cribs and changing tables, and the next moment it’s bunk beds and desks for homework. And while some kids' items are so fleeting that we don't want to spend much on them (thank goodness for the Toy District!), there are always a couple of furniture pieces that we really want to get right. Looking for the perfect crib, a bed to make the room, or a desk to inspire ultimate focus? Below we offer a list of creative suggestions to shop for kids' furniture in Los Angeles. From stylish to efficient, there’s a furniture store in the vast city of Los Angeles to meet everyone's needs.

Mini Golf in LA: Where to Play Miniature Golf or Have a Golf Birthday Party

Whether you're looking for an interesting place to have a birthday party or just something to do to keep idle hands from emptying the toy chest onto the living room floor, mini golf can be a real crowd pleaser for kids of all ages. Like the big version of the sport, the miniature version can be a great way to spend time outdoors (without inspiring the critical looks one would collect letting little ones run free on an 18-hole course), and there's little chance of getting bored with all the other entertainment these places pack in. From purists to adrenaline junkies, mini golf courses can keep the whole family entertained.

A Faery Hunt: Auntie Angelica's Fairy Garden - Review

One of LA's hidden gems for little ones is an outdoor show known as A Faery Hunt, a gnomadic experience which is part hike, part play and all fun, taking place at several parks around town. Recently, the sprightly crew added an indoor show to the repertoire, Auntie Angelica Root's Fairy Garden, and it's a real crowd-pleaser among the under-eight set. Performances currently take place at Sherman Oaks' Whitefire Theater.

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