Los Angeles

Geocaching with Kids: Scavenger Hunts Wherever You Roam

If you've got a smartphone, get ready to change your ringtone to the Indiana Jones theme; the adventure of geocaching is within your grasp, and it's one of technology's greatest gifts to modern parents. A free activity that can be done pretty much anywhere, anytime, geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt open to anyone with a GPS device or smartphone. Have half an hour to kill and a kid who's climbing the walls? There's probably a treasure hidden within walking distance of where you are. Need an activity that gets the whole family outside for the day? Pick a spot in the hills and hike there in search of secret booty. Either way, you won't be hearing anyone say, "I'm bored!"

Strawberry Shortcake Live: Follow Your Berry Own Beat - Review

Strawberry Shortcake: Follow Your Berry Own Beat is a sweet, good-hearted show bursting with good will and friendship. Strawberry and her friends encourage kids with catchy songs and inspirational truisms.  Kids leave the theater knowing anything is possible if you follow your heart and are true to yourself. Even knowing all of this, it helps to have a few more details before bringing little ones to a large scale touring show. (That's why our Parents Reviews Guide covers so many touring shows.)

8 Great Presidents Day Camps for Los Angeles Kids

Presidents Day draws nigh, and doubtless many of you will be celebrating the lives and times of our forefathers in the traditional Southern Californian way: finding snow and sliding down it repeatedly, just like Honest Abe would have done. Parents who like to find meaning in days off from school might take advantage of the not-one-but-two Presidential Library Museums we have access to in the Southland; both the Nixon and Reagan Libraries celebrate the day with free festivities. But since not everyone can convince the boss that Presidents Day merits a snow day from work, some parents are bound to be looking for a day camp to cover the Monday holiday. Allow us to make a few suggestions.

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this weekend: Camellias, Children's Grammy Nominees, and Valentines Prep Feb 9 - 10

Can you keep a secret? We at Mommy Poppins LA are harboring a crush on someone very special. Actually a whole lotta special someones: the moms, dads, and kids who visit our site. That’s a lot of Valentines to create. Luckily, we can take our own advice and snip, scribble, and paste together cards for you all! Artsy events at Vroman’s, reDiscover Center, and One Colorado also help craft special tokens from the heart. 

A card is all well and good, but sometimes a loved one wants a special night (or afternoon or morning) out. What could be more romantic than a stroll through the camellias (at your choice of gardens)? Perhaps a cultural journey to France?  Kids can share tea time with their favorite dolls, and maybe invite their dads along. Even wizards are feeling the love.

And lest you think we have nothing but hearts and roses on our minds, this weekend we also celebrate Chinese New Year (Year of the Snake) and Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday!). So what are you waiting for? Grab your honey(s) and celebrate!

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

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this weekend: Strawberry Shortcake, Summer Opportunities & Animal Avatars: Feb 2 - 3

This weekend, it all comes down to a coin toss. Heads or tails to decide your fate. Nope, not talking about the Superbowl (who’s in it this year, the Dodgers or the Lakers?); I’m talking about the all-important decision of what to do this weekend. Heads: celebrate the Lunar New Year at the Pacific Asia Museum with taiko drums, Chinese acrobats, and visiting artists from China. Tails and you'll welcome Year of the Snake at the weekend fest in Downtown Monterey Park.

Heads: wish animated Peter Pan a fond farewell at the El Capitan before he flies off into the night sky. Tails: watch a Peter-Pan inspired ballet at Kidspace Museum.

Heads: plan your summer adventures at the Summer Opportunities Fair at the Westridge School in Pasadena. Tails: do the same thing, but at Marymount High School in West LA.

If you prefer to not leave your agenda to the vagaries of chance, you can check out our newest feature: Mommy Poppins' Go List, a one-stop shop for the absolute must-do events each month. Not to get all spoiler-y on you, but February promises prehistoric pets, celebrated cetaceans, and epic golden dragons!

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

Walking the Tightrope at 24th Street Theatre - Review

It is rare for parents and children to be able to see a play together without one or the other of them feeling that they are performing an act of self sacrifice. Achieving this delicate balance is just the challenge that 24th Street Theatre has given itself as a directive for its new resident company. The theater celebrates its 15th season with a pledge to produce cutting edge theater that can be enjoyed on different levels simultaneously, by adults and children alike. If the current production, Walking the Tightrope, is an indication of what is to come, LA theater lovers have a lot to look forward to.

LA Gyms with Childcare: Where Moms Work Out With Kids in Tow

That Angelina Jolie - what's she's got, 42 kids? And still she looks like Lara Croft. And all those A-list moms who weepingly thank their toddlers during their Oscar acceptance speeches - please! How could they possibly get into those dresses a year after giving birth? The truth is we know the answer: It's good old-fashioned childcare. While those red carpet mamas are going to their daily Pilates and hot yoga classes, someone else is changing their kids' diapers and making their dinner. Taking fitness classes together with our little ones is wonderful for family bonding, but when it's time to get back into our old jeans, we need gyms with childcare. And that's what all of the gyms below have.

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this weekend: Human Abilities, Zimmerpalooza, and Museums Free-for-All Jan 26 - 27

Oh, how lucky we are to live in Southern California. At a time when the rest of the country is dealing with temperatures represented in numbers you need an advanced degree in mathematics to understand, our biggest concern is the possibility of rain. But never fear; we have plenty of indoor adventures awaiting us in the event of such utterly inclement weather. You can hunt for faeries, meet time-traveling artisans, enjoy the films of animation master Miyazaki, and visit more than a dozen area museums for f-r-e-e. Or, if it's nice out, you can play in the snow.

I'm not normally one to name drop (just ask Justin and KPat), but this is a big weekend for celebrity sightings. Your kids will have stars in their eyes after sharing storytimes with such literary luminaries as Madeline and the Wild Thing (and perhaps a friendly sea squid). They can sing alongside a cast of princesses, or watch future rock stars strut their stuff. They can build with Bob. The Bob, of building fame.

And, of course, it wouldn't be a weekend without a few holidays to celebrate. This weekend, families can join together in recognition of Tu B'shevat, the Lunar New Year season, and, that most reverent of days, Zimmerpalooza.

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

Introducing the Mommy Poppins LA Birthday Party Guide

There's no topping that feeling after you've thrown a fabulous kids' party, entertaining every friend in a two mile radius and blissing out the birthday child. And that's just the problem: there's no topping it. The moment Mom achieves a memorable birthday party, the bar gets set a little higher for next year. To help alleviate that birthday party stress, Mommy Poppins offers the LA Kids Birthday Party Guide - an ever-growing resource of places to party indoors, places to party outdoors, and professionals to help make any location a smash hit.

Cathy Rigby's Peter Pan: The Boy Who Never Grows up Starring the Olympian Who Never Grows Old

All gymnasts, except one, grow up; when Cathy Rigby sings, "I'm never gonna grow up," you can take her at her word.

The Olympian reprises the role she's been reprising since 1974 in the touring production of Peter Pan that opened at the Pantages Theatre last night. And while I was excited to be sharing a little piece of theater history with my son, I was frankly unprepared for the possibility that the most believable Peter Pan I've ever seen would be played by someone's grandmother. It sounds crazy, but no mental gymnastics are required at all to accept the legendary gymnast as a 10-year-old boy for two hours; that flying granny did one of the most impressive on-stage transformations I've ever seen, treating us to the ultimate eternal boy.

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