Los Angeles

Fun & Free Activities for LA Kids this Weekend: Lobsters, Nemo, and Coastal Cleanup, Sept 15 -16

Doesn't it seem like just last week we were talking about the end of summer and now all of a sudden it's New Year's. Wow. Where did the time go?  I need to hire a sitter, book a reservation, and ...oh.  The Jewish New Year,  Rosh Hashanah. That's different. Well, bring on the apples and honey, because we've got some great ways to celebrate the holiday with your kids. (And some camps for them if the school holiday has left you in the lurch).

But this weekend is not just about Rosh Hashanah. If you're thinking less honey cake, more baklava, we've got the Pasadena Greek Festival for you. If your calendar says Independence Day (as in Mexican), head on over to Olvera Plaza for Fiestas Patrias. Scandinavian and Thai cultures get feted this weekend as well, and you can take a musical trip 'round Russia way at World City. You can even pay tribute to our coastal friends the lobsters (ingestion is the sincerest form of flattery after all).

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

Fun & Free Activities for LA Kids this Weekend: Tall Ships, Malibu Surfing, and Brazilian Day, Sept 8 - 9

I have a confession to make. You know how the last few weeks I've been complaining about the end of summer and the incomprehensibly early start of school? Finally last week I gave in. I relented. Labor Day came and went, and even I had to admit it was time to go back to school. But then I realized...

... no one in my house is in school yet. We're still at the pre-school phase. In other words: September, Shmeptember, it's all the same to us. Which brings me to a new complaint:  what about us? Where’s the love for those of us too young to mark the passage of time by semesters?

Someone must have heard my whining musing, because this week we can point you towards events that even our youngest fans can enjoy.  There’s a G-rated movie, an outdoor concert series just for kids, and the grand opening of a Disney Store designed for the under 2 set. And in honor of Grandparents Day, there are special events that juniors can share with their favorite seniors.

There are still plenty of events for the rest of you big kids: East Hollywood Artcycle, Brazilian Day in LA, Tchaikovsky served up with fireworks,  a surfing competition in Malibu,  festivals of lobsters and tall ships, even Batman and Robin’s stage debut. So get out there and live it up this weekend, but please be quiet when you do: we're taking a nap.

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

Looking for Classes? We Can Help with That!

Classes! It's September already; are your kids signed up for any classes? It's right there on your "To Do" List: Find a gymnastics class. Arrange some cheap after-school options. Figure out where on earth people take fencing. We live in LA, so you know it's all out there in volumes - you just need to find the time to do some research, right? Allow Mommy Poppins to take care of that for you: introducing our Classes, After School Programs, and Activities Guide.

Fun & Free Events for LA Kids this Weekend: Ballona, Gentle Barn and Malipalooza: Aug 25 - 26

Summer lovin’, had me a blast… yes, I fell in love this summer, with the many fun, family-friendly, and frequently free summer series of movies, plays and concerts and other assorted summer goodness. I got used to having them around, but like most summer loves, they grow colder* and that’s where it ends. 

This is the weekend we say goodbye to our new loves,  to the Star Wars edition of the Tempest, the Dreamworks-themed projects at Lowe’s, the free shows of Dorothy’s Adventures in Oz at the Santa Monica Playhouse, the Free Family Film Festival at Rave Cinemas, 25 Cent Family Flicks, Auntie Angelica Root's Fairy Garden (the indoor version of A Faery Hunt), and Cinemalibu.

Don’t worry, summer.  We’ll always be friends.

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

Fun & Free Events for LA Kids this Weekend: Cinderella, Robots & Dinosaurs: August 18 - 19

Cinderella, a robot, and a dinosaur walked into a bar… it sounds like a joke but it’s just business as usual here in LA, where the air is so thick with things to do that they’re calling in a smog alert. Seriously, you can follow two different roads to Oz,  embark on cultural expeditions to learn about Hopi art, Korean dance, or crafts from Papua New Guinea,  build a school organizer, a crawly caterpillar, or a chalk work of art. You’ll be so busy, you won’t even notice that school is starting… NYAH NYAH NYAH I CAN’T HEAR YOU MY FINGERS ARE IN MY EARS, NO SCHOOL HERE.

After all, maybe it’s true. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who has one or two or maybe even three weeks of summer break remaining. (If you’re not sure, check here). Maybe you don’t need our tips on how to keep the summer going because for you, summer’s still in full swing.  Maybe you’ll glance at our back to school guide with polite interest, instead of the frenzy of a drowning man reaching for a life preserver.

Whatever your story, remember this: they may rule your Monday through Friday, but the weekend is all yours, baby. And with that in mind, may we suggest our favorite picks for your weekend...

Healthy Breakfast Recipes for Kids on School Days

If your kids haven't started back to school yet, they will soon.  You already have their supplies and clothes. What's next? The before-school craziness. In the morning rush of packing lunches, getting dressed and locating shoes, finding homework and clean gym clothes, and meeting the carpool on time, breakfast often comes last. But we all know that kids (and adults) should start the day with a healthy breakfast—with a full stomach, kids can concentrate better in school be ready to learn, and be in an overall better mood.

Breakfasts can be elaborate or easy, hot or cold, sit-down or portable. They don't need to consist of pre-made items that get pricey quickly with kids' appetites. And if you keep just a few basic items ready to go, your kids can never tell you there is nothing to eat or that they are out of time! With the addition of some fruit and a glass of milk, even the simplest bowl of cereal becomes a complete meal. Need even more ideas, or maybe you're dealing with a special diet? Check out these recipes.

Fun & Free Events for LA Kids this Weekend: Sand Sculpture, Dinosaur Train, and Cheeky Monkeys: August 11 - 12

So the summer’s about halfway through now and, wait, what? Back to school already? You’ve got to be kidding me! We were just getting started. We’ve only scratched the surface of all those free summer kids movies; we were just setting up our picnics for the many free outdoor concerts, and we're still brushing up our Shakespeare for the different renditions of the Bard in the Park. You can’t send us back now!

Pretty much the only saving grace of back to school is the chance to buy new clothes. (If you’re a kid. If you’re a mom the best thing is everything.) We’ve got some pointers on where to go in LA to for the best combination of style and value. (There’s a fashion show at the Grove this weekend that can give you a few ideas, too).

And if school starts for you and yours next week, I say go out with a bang. Party like it’s the first day of summer. Build a sandcastle, play in the park, ride a choo choo or  hunt for faeries, dance like nobody’s watching, and take your Shakespeare with a dose of Wookie. It ain’t over til it’s over, and this summer has just begun!

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

Back to School Clothes: LA's Best Deals and Styles for School Shopping

Most LA school districts are going back earlier than ever this year - in some cases a whole lot earlier; is your child's wardrobe ready? Are the long pants long enough, the shoes closed-toe enough, and the lunch boxes appetizing enough? Most importantly, is there something in the closet exciting and cool enough to lure those little LAUSD recruits off the beach and into the classroom? If the answer to any of these questions is "Eek! Not yet!" then it's time to hit some back-to-school sales. And since finding great deals on all this gear is Mom's priority, we've collected six favorite places - three national chains and three for Angelenos only - where you can find fabulous school fashions at prices that won't make you resent the next growth spurt.

Fun & Free Events for LA Kids this Weekend: Mars, Pixar, and Boobie-Palooza: August 4- 5

This week, inspired by events happening a great distance away, Mommy Poppins is striving for excellence. We aspire to greatness, to be at the pinnacle of our field, to earn for ourselves a spot in the record books. What has gotten us so fired up? Simply this: at 10:31pm on Sunday evening, the Curiosity Rover lands on Mars, marking yet another giant leap for our esteemed space program. (We are lucky to have two places locally where we can gather to watch the landing, Planetfest and the Griffith Observatory).

And oh yes, the Olympics. There is that, too. Inspired by that little sporting affair across the pond, we want to give our kids every opportunity to shine. Whether you dream of seeing your child on that gold medal platform, or are just hoping to get him to dunk his head underwater, we can point you to the classes to achieve your goal. We’ve got roundups of the best swimming, fencing, gymnastics, ice skating (it’ll be winter before you know it!) and yoga classes around.  (Yoga’s not in the Olympics? Are you sure? How about dance? Not that either? Um… sewing?) No matter; whatever their sport, they’re all winners in our eyes.

The events this weekend are all winners too: keep reading for our favorite picks …

Fun & Free Events for LA Kids this Weekend: Mary Poppins, Dragonboats, and a Giveaway!: July 28-29

We’re feeling the familial love this weekend at Mommy Poppins. It’s only natural, what with our out-of-town guest.  I am talking, of course, about our cousin Mary from across the pond. Perhaps you’ve heard of her, she’s a bit of a childcare expert herself. (We like to think of her as the original Super Nanny). Dear cousin Mary Poppins is in town for her delightful self-titled musical at the Ahmanson Theatre, and we couldn’t be prouder of her accomplishments. (You can drop our name for a special discount).

Normally, you get tickets for your visiting relatives to see a show.  But we’re so much more supercalifragilistic than that, we’re giving away a family 4-pack of tickets for our readers to see Mary Poppins! The giveaway ends Thursday July 26, so you’ll want to keep reading to get in on the action.

We’re not the only ones delighted that she’s in town.  Our friends at Kidsville are throwing Mary Poppins a party, complete with arts and crafts, snacks, costumed story readings, and a “Fly like Mary Poppins” zip line. (We’ll be there with a high-flying kite craft, so be sure to come over and say hi!)

Keep reading for our favorite picks for the weekend,  and to get the details on the giveaway…


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