Los Angeles

Disney on Ice: Dare To Dream - Review

There are certain things we've come to expect around the holidays, and Disney's annual touring ice show is one of them. This year's sparkling edition, Disney on Ice: Dare To Dream, is toe-looping and sit-spinning its way through the Southland already, from Downtown to Orange County, and we definitely recommend grabbing some rink-side seats!

Cleopatra at the California Science Center - What's There for Kids?

As Cleopatra: the Exhibition enters its last few weeks (ending Jan 6) at the California Science Center - the tour's only stop on the west coast - perhaps you're wondering whether this is an exhibit that would hold the attention of your kids. Well the good news is you don't need to be an Egyptologist to enjoy exploring this homage to Egypt's most famous woman pharaoh. Come to the Science Center for the Endeavour, but stay for the Queen of the Nile.

Fun & Free Activities this Weekend for LA Kids: Free Merry-Go-Round Rides, Unsilent Night, and Las Posadas: Dec 15 - 16

I’m having a slightly hard time keeping track of the dates lately. Because whatever the calendar may say, all I can hear is LESS THAN TWO WEEKS 'TIL CHRISTMAS ALL IS LOST ABANDON HOPE PACK IT IN NOW. Or something to that effect. Luckily, Mommy Poppins is here to help me separate the nuts from the Nutcrackers, to keep me from getting light-headed with all the light displays, and, most importantly, to help put a little booty in my stockings. (I refer, of course, to the final days of our Biggest Holiday Giveaway - one of the many perks of being a Mommy Poppins reader.)

We have enough events this week to fill three or four newsletters. It's only through serious exercise of self-restraint that I've kept this post down to mere Russian novel length; you can find scores of other events on our daily calendar. No doubt things will slow down next week, because that's the week before Christmas and... oh. Well, after that there's Christmas week, which means some serious school break time, and then New Years Eve... I'm sorry, but for the next few weeks we simply have no choice but to provide you with an overabundance of fun, festive, and frequently free activities. If you need a break, I suggest you pencil it in sometime early 2013.

Keep reading for a small sampling of our favorite picks for this weekend...

Fun & Free Things to Do this Weekend with LA Kids: Hanukkah, Fireworks, and Sand Snowmen

Yay!  Saturday is the first night of Hanukkah! That means lots of dreidel spinning, menorah lighting, and latkes!  (Eight crazy nights of it, to be exact).  And there’s no better place to get your Maccabee on than Los Angeles, the city with the 4th largest Jewish population… in the world! (somebody say Challah!) Whether you like your Menorah by the sea, in the Valley, or in the heart of downtown, or even put together with LEGOs, our handy dandy Hanukkah guide can help you get your candles lit.

While 8 nights of presents is simply awesome when you’re a kid, it can be a bit of a challenge when you’re the one doing the providing. Luckily, Mommy Poppins is here to help with that, too. Our first ever Biggest Holiday Giveaway offers up the hottest gifts of the season, with a different prize each day. Each prize is available for 24 hours only, so be sure to check in every day!

Keep reading for some of our favorite picks for this weekend...

Winter Break Camps for Los Angeles Kids on School Vacation

The holidays bring so many kinds of seasonal fun for families to enjoy and form memories - parades, fireworks, ice skating, family drives to see Christmas lights - and a winter break to fit them all in. There's just one little thing about that winter break: there's no school. None at all. And as much as we love having our kids with us all the time, that doesn't mean we want our kids with us all the time! If winter break poses logistical problems - or even just sanity problems - for your family, time to find a camp. How about one of the 10 camps below? Or check some of the other camps listed in our camp guide to see if your favorite summer camp has a winter vacation plan!

Wreckin' It with Wreck-It Ralph at El Capitan: Review

Wreck-It Ralph is fun, funny, moving, laugh out loud clever, and nostalgic (but be warned - it's likely to be too scary for younger viewers). This latest film from Disney Feature Animation is a love letter to video games old and new. When my daughter and I decided to see it, our choice was for a theater was clear; we hopped in the car and made the journey to the "happiest theater on earth" - Hollywood's El Capitan.

Fun & Free Things to Do With LA Kids this weekend: Snow Day, Hanukkah, & the Last Days of Pompeii: December 1 - 2

It’s December, people. De. Cem. Ber. Do you realize what that means? Those of you with Advent Calendars, it’s time to start popping open windows. If you light a Menorah, better stock up on petite, colorful candles. Snow is falling all over the Southland; Santa has begun his never-ending quest for the perfect breakfast. The holidays have hit us, in a big way.

But never fear; you’re not in this alone. Mommy Poppins is here to help you through. Our Holiday Fun Guide has the lowdown on all the holiday highlights. We can direct you to the finest Nutcrackers, the best boat parades, the most chill-worthy outdoor skating rinks, and dazzling light displays. Want to cut your own tree? Recycle it when you’re done? Find snow? And a hill to sled down? We’ve got all that and more.

Now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy. Let the reindeer games begin!

Keep reading for our favorite picks for the weekend...

Living Christmas Trees - LA's Green Christmas Choice

We do it every year, and happily so. A Christmas tree is a must, and so we head to the local lot and walk through the makeshift aisles of pre-cut trees in search of the perfect one. Or maybe we head a little farther out to cut our own. Once found, the tree is tied to our car and off we go, to wrestle it into a stand, shimmy it through the front door, and hope we remember to water it. After the holidays, we drag the once-vibrant-now-browning tree to the curb and vacuum up the trail of fallen needles.

It is hard to imagine Christmas without a rich smelling conifer, but it is also hard to ignore how unsustainable the system is: the tree is grown a thousand miles away, shipped here, driven to its destination, briefly enjoyed, and then discarded. Thankfully, here in Los Angeles and elsewhere, there is another option - a living Christmas tree.

Fun & Free Things to Do This Weekend with LA Kids: SpongeBob, Santa Claus and Moby Dick

So I'm chatting with this friend and she's all "la la la, Thanksgiving next week," and I'm all "la la la, um, no it isn't," and then I'm all, looking at the calendar and I'm totally "no way! Thanksgiving's next week! How can that be?!" True, the writing has been on the wall, the trees quietly being lit, the jolly old elves popping out of chimneys and into the malls. And perhaps my favorite harbinger of the season, the appearance of the red cups at our favorite coffee joints (I, for one, will be getting my caffeine on this weekend). But doesn't it seem as if the turkey is getting short shrift in this arrangement? Or maybe that's just the way he wants it...

In the meantime, you can use this building-up-to-the-holidays time to blackmail strongarm encourage some good works in your children. This weekend, kids can help clean up the California coastline and participate in a fundraising walk. Perhaps they'll be so inspired they might even clean their rooms. (A mom can dream.)

We've got another newsletter giveaway this week. If you're reading this in our newsletter, look up, there it is!  If you're a subscriber reading this on the website, go check your email! If you're not a subscriber, I just don't know what to say to you. Except maybe: subscribe!  Then you, too, can participate in our super cool, subscriber-only giveaways!

Keep reading for our favorite picks for the weekend...

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