Los Angeles

Gated Playgrounds: Westside Parks with Fences for LA Kids

I only have two kids, but at times I've had the likes of four or five. You know the drill: offer to take your friend's kids to the park, and the bodies multiply. Even crazier, all those little legs start running in multiple directions. Gah! Suddenly you're dashing around like a crazy woman wondering whom to rescue first: the kid dangling from the tree branch, or the kid who's booking it to the distant ball field to watch the Little League game? CLINK! "Foul Ball!" Thankfully, there are many area playgrounds with locked gates. (Oh, the peace that comes with children contained!) So, until they learn how to climb the fence, consider bringing your herds to these paddocks, err, parks on the Westside.

Fun & Free Things to Do with LA Kids this Weekend: Monsters University, CicLAvia & LAX Appreciation June 22 - 23

Okay,  I know I said it was summer last weekend, but now it's really summer. Official like. The whole summer solstice, northern hemisphere most inclined toward the sun*, first-day-of-summer summer. So now you really ought to go out and do summer things. Go on a picnic. (We can help you with that). Go berry picking. (Covered). Frolick outdoors and pop some ollies and grinds on your skateboard,** (you're a bit old for frolicking, don't you think? But we can help with the skateboarding).

In fact, it is so very summer that we are already talking about the Fourth of July.  Did you know you can watch fireworks from boats? Well, you can, and we can help you set sail everywhere from Dana Point to Lake Arrowhead to watch them bright sparklies.

One of my favorite perks of the summer is the many ways to see a movie for free. (Besides sneaking in the exit door, that's not playing fair). We can fill you in on the free (or almost free) kids' matinees, free movies under the stars, in the parks, at the beach and more. There are so many freebies you almost have to wonder why anyone would pay to see a movie. Scratch that, I know why: because Mike and Sully are back!

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

Skateboarding the Best Skate Parks around LA

 

Skateboarding is a really exhilarating sport for kids. There is nothing quite like grinding the pavement and letting the wind blow through your hair (protected by a helmet, of course). But, then you hit a pothole and wonder if there is an easier way to experience urban skateboarding in its truest form. Thankfully, there is!

10 Great Family Picnic Spots With LA Kids

The first day of summer is around the corner, which means schools are shutting their doors and LA parents are turning inside-out:  Outdoor concerts, festivals, beaching, camping… and let’s not forget outdoor eating!  So what makes a picnic spot great?   In my book, that means clean facilities, relatively painless parking, and a little something special to occupy the kiddos after they’ve scarfed down their PB&Js.   So read on, then dust off your picnic basket and be prepared for some interesting adventures.

Ringo Starr: Peace and Love for LA Kids at the GRAMMY Museum

Quick - name a Beatle. Did you say Ringo? Bet you did! Even if you went for John, Paul, or George, chances are that the Beatle your kids know best is Ringo. There's just something about Ringo - the familiar face, the familiar voice, the familiar beat of his familiar drums - everyone loves Ringo Starr. That's why the GRAMMY Museum's newest exhibit, Ringo: Peace and Love (open through April 2014), is such a fab outing for parents, kids, and even grandparents to all enjoy together. Big smiles and hummed tunes are practically guaranteed.

Talking to Kids about the Events in Santa Monica

It grieves me more than I can express to be collecting resources for our community similar to those our Connecticut and Boston editors have had to research all too recently. The children of Santa Monica go back to school today for two days that were scheduled mostly with end-of-year picnics and field trips, but the time will also be spent processing a senseless, violent tragedy - this time in our own community. Whether your children heard the gunfire as they hid under their desks, were on a field trip at the college, knew victims, or just heard frightening rumors, all of them have questions. I hope some of the resources below may be helpful to families processing last Friday's events.

Fun & Free Things to Do with LA Kids this Weekend: Getty Fest, Paddleboard Races & Free Donuts! June 8 - 9

Summertime, and the living is easy! (Said no parent ever). Most of the school districts in the Los Angeles area either are on break or will be before you know it. That leaves you with a lot of hours to fill. Oh no, who can you turn to for help?! Where will you find a hand-picked guide to berry picking? Will a guide to easy beaches just wash ashore? Is someone trumpeting about the coolest outdoor summer concerts series across the Southland?  Seriously. Let me know when you find out because I have no idea.*

If your thoughts turn to travel in the summer months, be sure to pay a visit to one of our sister sites. They can fill you in on the Mommy Poppinest events and activities in their necks of the woods.  (I'm totes jealous of the Dan Zanes concert I saw listed on Mommy Poppins New York, and thinking I might just have to board a plane and a ferry to sample the Nantucket fun Mommy Poppins Boston writes about.) You'll  probably want to check out each of the Mommy Poppins city sites, especially now that there are seven of us and... oops.  Did I just let the cat out of the bag? Well, you were going to find out sooner or later...

...Mommy Poppins has a new addition! Our new addition is a new edition, Mommy Poppins Westchester (the one in New York, not the home of LAX). It launched this week, and we couldn't be prouder! Why not pop on over and take a peek? We think you'll agree it's the most precious site ever, (or maybe we just think so because we haven't slept in a week). Naw.  It's a cutie!

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

Shakespeare in Topanga: Taming of the Shrew (Review)

Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga is home to one of LA's classic summer evening activities (earning it the #10 slot on our bucket list of 100 Things To Do with LA Kids). The outdoor theater in the wooded mountains of Topanga was founded 40 years ago by the man most Americans remember as Grandpa Walton (can you get more American than those dungaree overalls?) and is still run by his daughter, actor/director Ellen Geer. The shows that play in repertory on a summer evening are mostly Shakespeare, and the rustic, idyllic setting can convert the pickiest picnickers to fans of the bard. This summer's production of Taming of the Shrew is an excellent example.

Fun & Free Things to Do with LA Kids this Weekend: Big Family Day, Santa Monica Festival, and Flying Fish, June 1 - 2

June is busting out all over, all over the Valleys and the Hills!*  With Memorial Day come and gone, we are now officially in the summer season, which means an abundance of grade A, E-ticket  activities. We can get you started on filling in your datebook with our June Go List of must-do events. (Spoiler: there's a lot of fun stuff).

If the impending summer break fills you with more dread than anticipation, no worries: we've got you covered with our comprehensive camp guide. We can point you to traditional day camps, but that's just the beginning. LA is a camper's paradise, with science camps, sewing camps,  cooking camps, horse riding camps, art camps and, of course, acting camps and surf camps. To name a few.

Love Mommy Poppins so much you wish you could bring us with you wherever you go? We can make that happen, with your help. Mommy Poppins is launching a mobile app, that can do things like point you towards activities near your current location or help you find free events. That's the good news. The less good news is that it's only starting for the New York site right now, but the hey-it's-still-good news is that one other site will be chosen to launch its app soon after that. The and-this-is-where-you-can-help news is that we need LA Mommy Poppins readers to leave comments on the indiegogo page requesting that LA be the number 2 app to launch. Easy peasy.  You can also contribute a few sheckels to the cause there, but only if you want to.

Keep reading for some of our favorite picks for the weekend (which you would totally already know if you had the Mommy Poppins LA app, just sayin' )....

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