Los Angeles

Museum of Flying at Santa Monica Airport: Plane Old Fun

At the risk of being accused of gender-based stereotypes, I believe I have located the exact street address of Daddy Heaven. Don't get me wrong - I thoroughly enjoyed taking my son to the Museum of Flying at Santa Monica Airport the other day, and my son had a great time, too. But the people giving off the true glow of aerial ecstasy at this newly re-opened Santa Monica landmark are definitely the dads. It is, hands-down, the ultimate daddy outing.

Fun & Free Events This Weekend for LA Kids: Railfest, Teaching Zoo & Grunion, Mar 24 - 25

Ah, Spring has sprung in the City of Angels. This season always fills me with a sense of anticipation: for the flowers that will bloom, the longer days and sweeter weather, and the hours that will need to be filled while school is on break.

Luckily, Mommy Poppins has you covered, whether you're looking for some awesome spring break camps, or for fun activities you can do as a family. 

What's that ...at the Discovery Science Center? I sense something; a presence I've not felt since... well, since we visited the Jedi Academy at Disneyland. I'm talking of course about the Star Wars exhibit that runs through April 15. The fun and educational exhibit offers great family bonding opportunities over spring break.

Do your vacation plans involve leaving on a jet plane? Boy, do we have a game changer for you. Mommy Poppins has found a service that can match you with nannies or babysitters who are taking the same flights you are. It's worth it just to have someone to answer the 500th iteration of "when are we going to get there?"

For those planning farther ahead we have the latest installment in our LA school series: a primer explaining all the what-when-where-whys of Charter Schools.

And finally, if all this planning is making you hungry, may we suggest a shopping trip to Santa Monica Whole Foods? 5% of all purchases made on Thursday, March 22 will be donated to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, (which is an awesome place to take your kids, and worth every penny of our support).

Read on for our favorite picks for this weekend.

Co-Op Preschools and Nursery Schools in The Valley

I spent many moments marveling at our coop preschool teacher's magical (and at times herculean) way of negotiating a conflict between a cluster of adamant four-year-olds who, say, all wanted the same sandbox shovel (or the same wagon, dress-up hat, easel...the list went on). She alighted into their space, fully present, intent upon listening to each desire, confident there was a way through to a peaceful settlement. And there always was.

Cooperative preschools require lots of hard work from both teachers and parents. But oh the rewards! If you're curious about coops, have a look at the lists we've compiled previously - Co-op Preschools and Nursery Schools on the Westside  and in Hollywood & Los Feliz - and if you live in or near the Valleys, read on!

Co-op Preschools and Nursery Schools in Hollywood & Los Feliz

Oh, to be three again. You run; you climb; you pretend; you sing; you snack; you dance; you nap (if your parents are lucky), then you climb some more. Play is your work (imagine that!), and you wake up tomorrow and do it all again.

If you're the parent of a three- (or four-) year-old we wonder: have you ever considered a coop? Coops are typically play-based, and they invite your kids to do just that. And even better (perhaps), you're invited, too. In addition to our listing of Co-Op Nursery Preschools and Nursery Schools on the Westside, we offer you below a round-up of coops in the Hollywood, Los Feliz, and Eagle Rock areas.

Star Wars at Discovery Science Center: These Are the Droids You're Looking For

Oh, these are the droids you're looking for alright; it's clear from the moment you pull into the parking lot. The back seat time from the Westside to Orange County was (apparently) nothing compared to the unreasonable wait between spotting the storm troopers outside the museum's front door and getting to jump out of the car and see them up close. Those guys with the inter-galactic battle blasters make sure that everyone arrives in the spirit of things.

Fun & Free Events This Weekend for LA Kids: Woofstock, Kites & Give-away! Mar 10 - 11

This edition of our weekly best is chock full of savvy scoops. We pride ourselves on being in the know with the best and coolest activities out there, but even our seasoned editor was surprised by the awesomeness that is the Toyota Symphony for Youth - and you can still catch it this weekend!

No doubt you've been waiting with bated breath as we've been adding installments in our summer camp/ break camp series. Now, for the first time, you can view all the articles in one place, our Los Angeles Camps Guide. It's like having the boxed set - and we add episodes every week!

Having launched our expedition into the world of camps, we next turn our eye toward education. This week begins our series on Co-op Preschools with a look at the best that the Westside has to offer.

And, having established ourselves as your number one resource for fun activities with kids on land, we're now declaring the seas to be our domain as well, as we reel in the best local whale watching.

Finally, in case you've forgotten, we've still got a giveaway running - and Friday is the last day to enter! Keep reading for our favorite picks for the weekend, and to be reminded about our sparkling giveaway!

Co-op Preschools and Nursery Schools on the Westside

I'll be honest: when my kids were preschool age, I didn't think they needed school yet. I was full-time with them. So, hrmph. What could a nursery school give them that I couldn't? But I now know that whether or not they needed preschool, the truth is I​ needed preschool. Or, more specifically, I needed to be a parent at a coop nursery school. 

Whether or not you think you might, too, we bring you our series of greater Los Angeles cooperative preschools. We start here with the Westside, but we have similar shout outs to coop preschools in the Valleys and Hollywood/Los Feliz.

Toyota Symphony for Youth Review: Holst’s The Planets

You know what's funny? I thought I had already been to one of the Toyota Symphonies for Youth. Perhaps what I remembered was a World City, or a Drum Downtown, or one of the other wonderful programs the Music Centers offers for families. But the moment we arrived at the Disney Concert Hall on Saturday morning for Holst's The Planets, I realized that this was an experience I had not had.

Stars on Ice - Skating Show Review

Who knew an ice show could be so much fun?

Oh, sure, we can assume that a group of world champion figure skaters with Olympic medals in their carry-ons is going to be impressive, beautiful, even inspiring. And on these points Stars on Ice absolutely delivers. But the real beauty of the Stars on Ice show is watching these champion athletes from around the world cut loose and have - what appears to be - a total blast.

Fun & Free Events This Weekend for LA Kids: Purim, The Planets, & a Very Clean Giveaway! Mar 3 - 4

Well, that was over quick. Even with an extra day, February has gone all "been there, done that" on us. Makes you think Spring is just around the corner, despite any predictions a certain groundhog (or the weatherman) might have made. Luckily Mommy Poppins is on the ball with our list of 10 Spring Break Camps that LA Kids Love!

Spring Break might put you in a mindset for Spring Cleaning, and we're here to help with that, too. Anyone can talk about tidying closets, but you know you're a Mommy when it's your car seat that needs cleaning. This week we take a look at CleanBeeBaby unique car seat cleaning service, and there might even be something in it for you. (SPOILER ALERT: it's a giveaway!)

But before you kiss Winter good-bye, you might want to take in one of the many Purim festivals going on around town. Purim is a Jewish festival that celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people, complete with an evil villain, valiant heroes, crazy costumes, and all manner of revelry, and it goes without saying that Mommy Poppins has the lowdown on the best Purim celebrations for your family.

Read on for our favorite picks for this weekend, and to find out more about that giveaway...

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