Los Angeles

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…

Fun & Free Events for LA Kids this Weekend: Los Feliz, Orange County, and the Civil War: July 21- 22

This weekend, the war between North and South plays out in the Los Angeles area. Prepare yourselves for battles, bloodshed (simulated we hope), demonstrations of physical prowess and exceptional elocution, and in the end a resolution that is pleasing to all. No, I'm not talking about the Civil War reenactment in Long Beach, (though by all accounts it will be one for the history books); I am talking about the different communities of Southern California vying for your presence at their extraordinary events this weekend. And its not just North and South; there's some Eastside/ Westside tension to address as well.

We have the battle of the Shakespeares: Griffith Park with Winters Tale for the East, and West LA VA with As You Like It for the West. Outdoor movies: Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center's Movie Mondays vs. Hollywood’s Oscars Outdoors.  Costa Mesa’s Orange County Fair has formidable competition in Thousand Oak’s Tropical Daze Summer Music Festival; the Eastside’s Los Feliz Village Street Fair goes head to head with the Westside’s Montana Avenue Artwalk & Street Fair.

And who will the victors be? Well, that should be clear. With a plethora of choices the clear winners will be: Los Angeles families. 

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

Mary Poppins Give-away: Four Free Tickets To See Mary Poppins at the Ahmanson

Kidville, Brentwood's new indoor playspace, wants one lucky Mommy Poppins reader to win four free tickets to see the hit musical Mary Poppins at the Ahmanson! The Broadway show comes back to LA in August for a four week run, and Kidville figures that if anyone deserves a night out with Mary Poppins, it's Mommy Poppins. Read on for details of the give-away and a special Mary Poppins celebration at Kidville.

Shakespeare's As You Like It at the VA's Japanese Garden

If there's one city in the world that deserves more Shakespeare in the park than any other, surely it's ours. Oh, yes, London may be Shakespeare's 'hood, and New York has that awfully famous park, but we've got something infinitely more important: the weather. No need to suffer for our art here; when Angelenos see theater al fresco on a summer evening it is a pure delight - it is, in fact, As You Like It.

Fun & Free Events for LA Kids this Weekend: Dragons, Physics and Curious George: July 14-15

Wow. It is quiet here. The comic book store: empty. The midnight screening of the Amazing Spider-man: you could hear a web drop. The Genius Bar at the Apple Store: 30% less smart. In fact, there is nary a fanboy or girl left in the LA Metro area. It's Comic Con weekend, and fans of comics and video games and just about anything sci fi have all made the pilgrimage down to fandom's ultimate gathering. Don't plan on popping down on a whim; the thing has been sold out for months. (Though you could always claim to be Stan Lee's nephew and see where that gets you).

But don't feel bad. There's plenty of fun for the rest of us here in LA. We've got freebies to get the weekend going, wicked cool craft projects, a party on a bridge, and movies and concerts under the stars. (And don't forget our 540 ton rock: got anything like that, Comic Con? Didn't think so).

Really, isn't the greatest sci fi just the science that hasn't been discovered yet? Opening this weekend is the newest expansion (as in mind-expanding) at Kidspace Children's Museum, the Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest. A few hours spent tinkering among the bottle rocket, giant lever, and ball bounce may well turn your curious little explorers into tomorrow's Nobel-prize winning astrophysicists.

And speaking of curious, San Diego may be getting a few celebrities this weekend, but we've got Curious George. Game. Set. And Match.

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

Fun & Free Events for LA Kids this Weekend: Course of the Force, Drum Downtown, and Frozen Planet: July 7 - 8.

I don't know about you, but as I plan for this weekend, I still have a little bit of a fireworks hangover. You know: echoing booms and elusive flashes of light around the edges of my vision. No worries - the fun that's in store for us this weekend will make all those red, white, and booms a thing of the past.  We've got multi-generational drum circles,  movies for everyone from tots to tweens to polar bears, stories from the Silk Road, magicians, puppeteers, and cowboys.  We've...hold the phone...

Okay,  that's weird. Could have sworn I saw a Jedi in a track suit.  Perhaps those fireworks addled my brain more than I realized. Anyway, did I mention the music festivals?  There's LevittLA and Manhattan Beach; and Santa Monica Pier's Twilight Dance begins this Thursday,  and ...

...There!  On the Pier!  You can't tell me I didn't see that: Jabba the Hut is stretching his hamstrings!  There can only be one explanation: a 5-day light saber relay from Santa Monica down to San Diego. The Course for the Force raises funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation and gives aspiring Jedi a chance to strut their stuff. Now if only the room would stop spinning.

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

Fun & Free Events for LA Kids this Weekend: Mega Take Apart, Levitated Mass and Early Fireworks! June 30-July 1

You can’t blame this weekend for feeling insignificant: it’s being overshadowed by a Wednesday of all things. A Wednesday! Well, in its defense, it is a rather big deal Wednesday. Birth of our country and all that. Fireworks, festivals, parades, Barry Manilow, and more fireworks.  It’s hard for simple weekend to measure up, even if it's got movies under the stars, a super-sized rock and Shakespeare in the park. Maybe a free blowout would help boost its self-esteem. 

But let's keep it real. Independence Day is the main event; you're gonna want to see fireworks. That's why you come to us. Not only do we have well over a dozen fireworks displays listed on our daily events calendar,  we've even compiled them for you in a single handy-dandy post. You're welcome. Guess we've earned that free blowout, too bad it doesn't start until after the 4th...

Keep reading for some of our favorite picks for this weekend, and to find out about that free blowout...

Fun & Free Events for LA Kids This Weekend: Brave, Bayou, and Hollywood Bowl, June 22-24

Welcome summer!  It’s finally here!  At last, no more school, adios, homework, we get to play at the beach all day and go to the park and ride our bikes and… oh. Wait a minute. We’re the parents. We still have to go to work. Totally. Bogus. So while our kids are playing at totally awesome water playgrounds, we’re bringing home the bacon. While they’re cooling off at a free kids movie, we’re frying it up in a pan. (At least we have something to munch on while they’re out playing).

Though there are some downsides to the longer days (“Yes, I know the sun is still awake but you need to go to sleep!”) overall the summer provides boatloads of fun that even poor overworked, underappreciated parents can enjoy. Behold: the launch of summer concert season. This weekend alone, you can lay out your blanket or unfold your chair (or where relevant buy a ticket and get an actual seat) at the Hollywood Bowl, the Skirball’s Family Amphitheatre performances, Manhattan Beach’s Concerts in the Park, and the Farmer’s Market’s Family Fun Series, (and those are the mere tip of a very large entertainment iceberg!)  From now until Labor Day, your kids are legally barred from stating they are bored, because there is just that much to do.

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

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