Los Angeles

Living Christmas Trees - LA's Green Christmas Choice

We do it every year, and happily so. A Christmas tree is a must, and so we head to the local lot and walk through the makeshift aisles of pre-cut trees in search of the perfect one. Or maybe we head a little farther out to cut our own. Once found, the tree is tied to our car and off we go, to wrestle it into a stand, shimmy it through the front door, and hope we remember to water it. After the holidays, we drag the once-vibrant-now-browning tree to the curb and vacuum up the trail of fallen needles.

It is hard to imagine Christmas without a rich smelling conifer, but it is also hard to ignore how unsustainable the system is: the tree is grown a thousand miles away, shipped here, driven to its destination, briefly enjoyed, and then discarded. Thankfully, here in Los Angeles and elsewhere, there is another option - a living Christmas tree.

Fun & Free Things to Do This Weekend with LA Kids: SpongeBob, Santa Claus and Moby Dick

So I'm chatting with this friend and she's all "la la la, Thanksgiving next week," and I'm all "la la la, um, no it isn't," and then I'm all, looking at the calendar and I'm totally "no way! Thanksgiving's next week! How can that be?!" True, the writing has been on the wall, the trees quietly being lit, the jolly old elves popping out of chimneys and into the malls. And perhaps my favorite harbinger of the season, the appearance of the red cups at our favorite coffee joints (I, for one, will be getting my caffeine on this weekend). But doesn't it seem as if the turkey is getting short shrift in this arrangement? Or maybe that's just the way he wants it...

In the meantime, you can use this building-up-to-the-holidays time to blackmail strongarm encourage some good works in your children. This weekend, kids can help clean up the California coastline and participate in a fundraising walk. Perhaps they'll be so inspired they might even clean their rooms. (A mom can dream.)

We've got another newsletter giveaway this week. If you're reading this in our newsletter, look up, there it is!  If you're a subscriber reading this on the website, go check your email! If you're not a subscriber, I just don't know what to say to you. Except maybe: subscribe!  Then you, too, can participate in our super cool, subscriber-only giveaways!

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

Family Outing at the Nixon Presidential Library

Those folks in other cities who think that LA's version of history and culture consists of Disneyland and beach volleyball - do they know that two of the nation's 13 presidential museums are here in the LA area? That we live in a hotbed of presidential history hosting more presidential libraries than Washington DC and New York City combined? 'Cause they are, and we do. If you haven't yet reached this item on our 100 Things To Do with LA Kids list, we're happy to give you a sneak preview of what awaits at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda.

Circus Vargas Review: Family Fun Under the Big Top!

Not so long ago, it was every kid's dream to join the circus. Times may have changed, but never fear: the circus is alive and well and raising its tent across Southern California. We spent an afternoon under the Circus Vargas tent this week, and because we believe in dreams, we'll be sharing the fun and sending one lucky Mommy Poppins subscriber family to the circus, too (details to follow in our weekly newsletter).

5 Great Veterans Day Camps for Los Angeles Kids

From parades to presidential libraries, we have a number of ways to honor Veterans Day in the Southland. Taking part in a weekend tribute to honor those who served, however, might still leave a Monday school holiday to contend with - and that's a problem for many working parents. If a vacation day camp would help, we'd like to chime in with a few ideas for a fun day off from school; for more great options check out all of these LA camps that offer school vacation day camps.

Election Day: How To Involve Kids in Voting

Can you believe it's almost time for the robocalls to stop? Soon dinnertime will proceed without interruptions from anonymous callers, your Facebook friends will go back to posting images of recently prepared meals, and politics can again be the domain of PTA meetings. But first, we have an important parenting moment; Election Day is a big opportunity to share a piece of history with kids, along with some lessons in social responsibility and how our government works (or at least how it's supposed to). We have a couple of suggestions for involving kids in Election Day activities, starting - of course - with going out to vote!

The No Panic Last Minute Costume Guide for Little Kids

Don’t. Panic.

It’s a week before Halloween and you don’t know what your kid is going to wear to go trick-or-treating. You’re going to be okay. Mommy Poppins is here to guide you towards some easy, crowd-pleasing costumes.

We're mostly talking about younger kids here, babies on up through kindergarten (and we've even got some special ideas for young girls). Much older than that and they either insisted you get their costumes ready weeks ago or took matters (along with your car keys) into their own hands.

Fun & Free Activities for LA Kids this Weekend: Scarium, Kinetic Sculpture, & a Disney Giveaway

This weekend has the stink of Halloween all over it.  Oh, some folks might try to pull the cobwebs over your eyes, talking about “autumn” and “the harvest.”   Yeah, that’s why we’re hitting every pumpkin patch and hayride within a 50 mile limit.  For autumn. And throwin’ candy in kids’ bags is totally a harvest thing.

We all know where this is heading. Four weeks of Halloween mania will give way to two solid months of … the C word. (Not the bad one, the good, merry-jolly one, but I don’t want to say it too loud lest little ears get ideas).  Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a little something up our sleeves, something to help you get an early start to your holiday prep?  Silly old bear!  Anyway, you know what they say: giveaways - you never have them until you’re having them. Surprise! We're having one! (You can do that sort of thing when you have 500 Facebook followers.)

This weekend holds tons of other surprises, like the Kinetic Sculpture Race, a skateboard art workshop, LA’s Largest Block Party and the Jewish County Fair, a concert at the beach and a chance to look to the stars.  Might even be enough to distract someone who has pumpkin on the brain. Or hunny…

Keep reading for our favorite picks for the weekend, and to get the deal on that giveaway

Fun & Free Activities for LA Kids this Weekend: Make Your Mark, Swap-o-Rama-Rama, and Space Shuttle on the Move! Oct 13 - 14

It’s hee..eere. The orange and black color schemes. The sudden emergence of pumpkin as the number one vegetable. The punny and playful neologisms like spooktacular and fright-tastic. We have begun the month-long observance of the most child-centric of holidays: Halloween. No worries if you're not ready to hit the ground screaming on this one: our Halloween Guide can point you to all the best shrieks and giggles around Los Angeles.

It would really take something out of this world to overshadow All Hallow's this weekend. Out of this world? Ha! Try been there and back! It brought our entire city to a halt a few weeks back as we tilted our heads skyward to catch its final glorious flight. Now it pulls a Carmageddon, closing some roads,  but instead of grumbling, we want to line up to see it pass. The Space Shuttle Endeavour is traversing our surface streets en route to its new home at the California Science Center, and we've got the lowdown.

Oh, and there's a few other things going on too, involving the circus, antique tractors, The Next BIG Thing, Indiana Jones, free pumpkins, and more more more!

Keep reading for our favorite picks for this weekend!

Here Comes the Milkman! Dairy Delivery in LA and OC

Every time I find that we are out of milk, I find myself wishing for an old-fashioned milkman who would simply deliver while I slept—rather than me making unexpected trips to the grocery store to finish the mashed potatoes, or listening to the kids whine because they can't have the breakfast they wanted. I know this happens to a lot of people, and guess what? There actually are milkmen in LA!

Milk and other dairy delivery is available from several companies, and among those companies you are sure to find what you are looking for. Best of all, home delivered milk is fresher than what you find at the grocery store. Typically, it has been out of the cow for no more than 48 hours, and often less. It's a little like that great feeling you get bringing home fresh produce from a pick-your-own farm - only without having to touch an udder.


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