Los Angeles

The Endeavour's Final Journey: Follow That Space Shuttle!

Imagine driving to the California Science Center at 2 mph. Now imagine doing that in a space shuttle with a 78-foot wing span. If you've got that image in your head, try adding Friday traffic, and we have something much more worthy of Los Angeles traffic lore than a simple Carmageddon weekend. The space shuttle takes to LA's surface streets late Thursday night and - with scheduled visits to landmarks like Randy's Donuts - ambles along on its historic last journey for 48 hours. If you think President Obama's visits present traffic challenges, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Fun & Free Activities for LA Kids this Weekend: CicLAvia, Fun Run, and Abbot Kinney Festival: Oct 6 -7

Okay, gods of Carma: we get it. We Angelenos are at your mercy. At your word the roads close and we’re glued where we stand. Now in your benevolence you have released us, and allowed us to pursue the infinite sources of entertainment within our reach. And there is a lot going on this weekend.  A lot. (You would think it’s a holiday weekend or something, but it’s not. Maybe in other places it is, but here it’s a run-of-the-mill, random, not-a-holiday weekend. With so much to do).

But I think you’ve taken it a little too far, my friends. Now, instead of being stuck at home, you want us to be in half a dozen different places at the same time. We’ve got the folksy fun of  Folk Festival Weekend at Underwood Farms in Moorpark, the playfully spooky Pumpkinliner in Fillmore, the Aquarium Kids Fun Run and Southeast Asia Day at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, the Angel Festival  in Sierra Madre, the Los Angeles International Children's Film Festival at LACMA, and Abbot Kinney Festival and Discover Marina del Rey Day on the West side. (Seriously, festivals in the Marina and Venice on the same day, who thought of that? Oh, that’s right, you did, {cough} Carmaggedon {cough}. Thanks for that).

And CicLAvia?  The event that winds its way through the city, a giant street party incorporating landmarks such as Exposition Park, Little Tokyo, MacArthur Park, Chinatown and the grand opening of downtown’s Grand Park… and all of it done without automotive interference? Oh Carma gods, now you’re just toying with us.  What are you trying to tell us? Do we need our cars?  Are we better off without them..?

To be continued next weekend, as the Space Shuttle Endeavour winds its way through surface streets en route to its new home at the California Science Center. Is it a plane? A car? Or something else entirely… stay tuned!

Keep reading for our favorite picks for this weekend!

Fun & Free Activities for LA Kids this Weekend: Free Museums, Public Safety, & Day of the Drum: September 29 - 30

Run for your lives! It’s every man for himself, women and children first. Head for the hills, wait, no, not the hills! Unless you live in the hills, then stay in the hills, but if you live at the shore, whatever you do, don’t head for the hills, because the day we have been dreading is finally here: say hello to my little friend Carmaggedon. For north (the 101) is north and south (the 10) is south, and ne’er the twain shall meet.  At least for the duration of the weekend.

So what does that mean?  It means you gotta stay put. Whatever fun you plan on having, it'd better be within spitting distance of your home. Luckily, we live in Los Angeles, where fun is never hard to find. This weekend alone, you can celebrate the Harvest at the Annual Chinatown Moon Festival in Chinatown, indulge in Italian culture and cuisine at Feast of San Gennaro Los Angeles in Hollywood, honor public servants while riding a tractor-drawn wagon at the Public Safety Weekend at Underwood Farms in Moorpark, dance to the drums and soak in the art at the Watts Towers Day of the Drum and Jazz Festivals in Watts, and share your love of reading at both the Orange County Children's Book Festival in Costa Mesa and the West Hollywood Book Fair (in WeHo of course!).

(Note: Abbot Kinney Festival, which is usually this weekend, is being held next Sunday, October 7).

Keep reading for our favorite local picks for this weekend!

Carmageddon II: September 29 - 30, 2012

There are some movies that really don't need sequels, but in LA even epic traffic jams get the sequel treatment. Yes, we're headed for another weekend without the 405. To call Carmageddon a weekend blockbuster would be to use the term unforgivably literally, and yet we are about to be subjected to Carmageddon II, Return to Mulholland Bridge. Thinking of running away to go camping for the weekend or to hide at a resort? You may be wise to do so. But if you're planning on staying in town, there are a few things you should know about this weekend's closure of the 405 (aka the busiest highway in America).

Fun & Free Activities for LA Kids this Weekend: ZAMFEST, Airport Open House and Rockin' Presidents; Sept 22-23

Look up in the sky:  it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… well, yeah, it’s a plane.  But look at what’s on top of the plane: the Space Shuttle Endeavour. After 25 missions and more than 122 million miles, Endeavour is en route to its new home at the California Science Center. First stop LAX, but, like any good tourist, Endeavour wants to catch all the sights before it lands. Wherever you find yourself Friday morning, take a moment to look up and you might just see history flying by. And that's the beauty of Los Angeles: sometimes all you have to do is step outside to find inspiration.

Name your interest, there are a thousand ways to pursue it. Kids moved by Endeavour's salute can gaze at the stars at the Griffith Observatory or watch more earthbound flyers at Santa Monica Airport's Open House. Future poli-sci majors can rock with all 44 American presidents, or root for the underdog senator played by Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Creative hyphenates can find their muses at Pasadena Museum of California Art's birthday party, Hammer Kids' LitLab, or the art & music festival ZAMFEST. Whatever your passion, Los Angeles has you covered, and the sky's the limit!

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

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...

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