Los Angeles

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this Weekend: Marathon, Disco Discount and Free Doughnut: March 8 - 9

Is there anything better than getting up early in the morning? How about getting up an hour earlier than early because someone had the bright idea of springing the clocks forward? Still with me? How about getting up an hour earlier than early to run, a lot, like a lot a lot, a whole marathon worth? Have I lost you entirely? Here I am to reel you back in: free doughnut, nom nom. Makes the waking up almost seem worth it,  and you don’t even have to break a sweat.

But if you want to (break a sweat that is), have we got the dance floor for you. Baby Loves Disco is back in town, this time with a Mommy Poppins discount and a 70s disco theme. "Ah,ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive..."   And speaking of Vinnie Barbarino...

...Adele Dazeem is not performing in LA this weekend, but she's about the only big name star who isn't. We've got Laurie Berkner (love her on Sprout!); we've got Tom Chapin (Grammy winner and also Harry's brother).  We've got Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band (Latin Grammy winners! They're going to be on TV this Fall!). We have productions of White (Winner at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Cirque du Soleil: Totem (catch it before it's gone!), and we've even got Sid the Science Kid. (Or as Vinnie would say, Snurf the Sneetch Keister. But what do we know, we're just Mimsy Picklecatcher).

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

Baby Loves Disco Dance Parties: Hip Family Fun for LA Kids & Exclusive Reader Savings

Miss the club scene since becoming parents? Baby Loves Disco dance parties are the hippest way for the juice box set and their parents to shake their groove thang at some of LA's hottest nightclubs. These weekend afternoon kiddie clubs offer a perfect antidote to the been-there-done-that playground scene; and hitting the dance floor as a family is an awesome way to have fun together while letting the kids boogie out their boundless energy.

If you haven't been behind the velvet rope in a while, Baby Loves Disco parties are a legit way to experience some of what you've been missing, without having to hire a sitter. There's plenty of atmosphere at these parties, plus dance tunes spun by a live DJ, a cash bar (with bubbles) for the adults, healthy snacks by Honest Kids, changing tables, stroller parking, toys, puzzles, reading nooks, and other surprises for the kids.

Dust off your polyester bell bottoms and platform shoes and read on for an exclusive discount to the next two Baby Loves Disco parties, just for Mommy Poppins readers. 

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this Weekend: White, Whales, Dr. Seuss, & Mardi Gras: March 1 - 2

It's happening again. One of those weekends when there's just. Too. Much. To. Do. We've got whales, and more whales.  And if whales are too big we've got fish. We've got Mardi Gras, more Mardi Gras, a spectrum-friendly Mardi Gras, and Woofstock. We've got lots and lots of Seuss.

Ernest & Celestine opens this weekend; the French animated tale of mouse/bear friendship is nominated for an Oscar. Which reminds me, the Oscars are this weekend! You know, that event you used to build your weekend around before you had kids? (Or was that just me?)

Of course, if this rain turns out to be as big a deal as they're saying, movies could be a good idea (we've got 'em from dust bunnies to Pirate Fairies). Or a play (White opens this weekend, too). Or a concert. But plenty of the celebrations you can attend this weekend offer great indoor options, too; there's a free Family Arts Festival, a St. David's Day Festival, a celebration of Persian New Year, a celebration of Women's History Month, a celebration of play. Sounds like this weekend, LA is one big celebration of ... celebrating.

And now we celebrate some of our favorite picks for the weekend...

Ernest and Celestine - Parent Review of a Children's Film

If there is one film in this year's Oscars field deserving of the sometimes overused label “modern day classic,” I think it’s the French animated feature Ernest and Celestine. The film has been nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature, and it’s easy to see why; in today's sea of computer-animated, 3-D action adventure movies for kids, this hand drawn tale is a visual treat, with endearing characters and a gratifying story. It's got to be tough getting attention for a small foreign children’s film in a year that is overwhelmingly dominated by Disney’s mega-phenomenon, Frozen, but this little film is absolutely worth the attention of movie-loving kids and their parents, whatever the Academy's final decision.

LA Elementary Schools with Community Playgrounds Open to the Public

We have one in our neighborhood, and perhaps you have one in yours. Or maybe you walk your kid to one every morning, and you wonder as you peer through the fence: Why does all that good space go unused when school is not in session? Ah, yes, school playgrounds. Those acres of wide open land we (and our children) often crave here in this space-cramped city of ours - play spaces, though, that (frustratingly) we mostly can't access on weekends and in the summer. Thankfully, this has started to change.

A handful of area schools have opened (or will soon be opening) their play yard gates on weekends and in the summer. Hurray! Below is a list of playgrounds already waiting for your kids to visit, as well as information on others slated to open in the not too distant future. If you, too, would like your neighborhood school yard to be open on weekends, read on. We cover that, too.

9 Kid Friendly Restaurants in Downtown Los Angeles

No one likes an uptight restaurant where eating experiences are peppered with looks of curiosity (disdain!) as to why children are even out in public. Well, don't kids have to eat, too? The list below is comprised of kid-friendly Downtown Los Angeles eateries that include a variety of menus, styles, and scenery. There is no need to revisit Chuck E Cheese's every time the family wants to get out of the house for a meal. If DTLA is a family vacation destination or just a change of scenery, the locales below are here to encourage you and your family to get a little sightseeing done while tantalizing everyone's taste buds!

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this Weekend: Railroad, Snow Days, and African American Arts, Feb 22 - 23

So what did you win? Gold? Silver? Honorary mention for showing up? Oh dear, don't tell me you haven't won anything yet! Best get a move on, Momma: the Olympics end this weekend and with them go your shot at glory. If you want to spare your child a similarly unremarkable fate, we've got the lowdown on where LA kids can get their Olympics right stuff.

Those of us who can't do, watch.  And maybe throw a party. (For a fun activity, try re-enacting favorite sporting events with mini figures).

Here's something simple you can win: our giveaway this week is for a family 4-pack of tickets to Baby Loves Disco, and no speedy movements are required. Just click enter (and tell us how to contact you if you win) and bingo, bango, you're in.

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

Easy Valentine's Day Cards for Kids To Make

On a scale of 99¢ Store perforated cartoon cards to Martha Stewart shadow box masterpieces, most of us really just want to help our kids make a few Valentines without using up all of the week's homework time to do it. No doubt some of the Valentine's Day activities on our calendar can offer ideas slightly closer to the Martha Stewart end of the spectrum; here we're volunteering to help with the other end of the scale. And so we present really easy, really fast, really cute Valentine's Day cards that can cover a whole classroom of kids in no time - and still leave time to treat your own little Valentine to a Valentine's Day Breakfast Parfait...

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this Weekend: Camellias, Fresh Beat, and Boat Show Feb 8 - 9

We here in So Cal are suffering from what I would call an embarrassment of riches. True, one of our favorite pastimes is gloating about the weather to friends far and wide. Winter? What winter? You mean that time I had to wear long sleeves? But with yet another snowstorm slamming our cross-country brethren, it almost seems untoward to list off the many sunkissed activities that await us this weekend.

Almost. I mean it’s not as if we’re keeping anyone from joining us in our little corner of Paradise. Are we supposed to feel bad that we can make our summer plans while experiencing summer-like temps? That we can gaze at the stars without turning into icebergs? That our kids see snow in the movies and ask us “what’s that?”

Maybe we should send them a little something to show we care. We’re starting to feel the Valentine’s love with heart-shaped workshops aplenty. I’m sure some handmade cards and craffy gifties would go a long way towards warming their hearts. Or maybe they'd just prefer a sweater.

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

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this Weekend: Golden Dragon, RockSTAR and Schoolhouse Rock: Feb 1 - 2

Well hello, Martha Poppins! We are seriously impressed by all the WeeWorking you guys have been doing. Up-cycled button rings, 60-second smoothies, no-mess fingerpainting... true, we put the instructions up, but you guys have really run with them! 

All that creativity deserves a reward, don't you think? Let's have a giveaway! Alls ya gotta do is share a pic of your WeeWork handiwork on social media (you know you're gonna brag about it anyway!), then hashtag us and post a link.  (All the deets are here). Every week now through April we're choosing one Mommy Poppins artiste to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Baby Loves Disco!

Want more inspiration? As per usual, LA has plenty to spare. You can spend a night with the creatures of Noah's Ark, watch a giant Golden Dragon weave through the streets of Chinatown, groove with junior rockstars in Hollywood, or sing along with the princesses of Frozen. Favorite shows will entertain you with evolution, adjectives, and Greek mythology. You can build a car, party among dolls, search for faeries, or watch speeding supercross. You can celebrate Lunar New Year, African American History Month, and even Groundhog Day. This weekend, LA has got it going on.

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


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