Los Angeles

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this weekend: Camellias, Children's Grammy Nominees, and Valentines Prep Feb 9 - 10

Can you keep a secret? We at Mommy Poppins LA are harboring a crush on someone very special. Actually a whole lotta special someones: the moms, dads, and kids who visit our site. That’s a lot of Valentines to create. Luckily, we can take our own advice and snip, scribble, and paste together cards for you all! Artsy events at Vroman’s, reDiscover Center, and One Colorado also help craft special tokens from the heart. 

A card is all well and good, but sometimes a loved one wants a special night (or afternoon or morning) out. What could be more romantic than a stroll through the camellias (at your choice of gardens)? Perhaps a cultural journey to France?  Kids can share tea time with their favorite dolls, and maybe invite their dads along. Even wizards are feeling the love.

And lest you think we have nothing but hearts and roses on our minds, this weekend we also celebrate Chinese New Year (Year of the Snake) and Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday!). So what are you waiting for? Grab your honey(s) and celebrate!

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

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this weekend: Strawberry Shortcake, Summer Opportunities & Animal Avatars: Feb 2 - 3

This weekend, it all comes down to a coin toss. Heads or tails to decide your fate. Nope, not talking about the Superbowl (who’s in it this year, the Dodgers or the Lakers?); I’m talking about the all-important decision of what to do this weekend. Heads: celebrate the Lunar New Year at the Pacific Asia Museum with taiko drums, Chinese acrobats, and visiting artists from China. Tails and you'll welcome Year of the Snake at the weekend fest in Downtown Monterey Park.

Heads: wish animated Peter Pan a fond farewell at the El Capitan before he flies off into the night sky. Tails: watch a Peter-Pan inspired ballet at Kidspace Museum.

Heads: plan your summer adventures at the Summer Opportunities Fair at the Westridge School in Pasadena. Tails: do the same thing, but at Marymount High School in West LA.

If you prefer to not leave your agenda to the vagaries of chance, you can check out our newest feature: Mommy Poppins' Go List, a one-stop shop for the absolute must-do events each month. Not to get all spoiler-y on you, but February promises prehistoric pets, celebrated cetaceans, and epic golden dragons!

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

Walking the Tightrope at 24th Street Theatre - Review

It is rare for parents and children to be able to see a play together without one or the other of them feeling that they are performing an act of self sacrifice. Achieving this delicate balance is just the challenge that 24th Street Theatre has given itself as a directive for its new resident company. The theater celebrates its 15th season with a pledge to produce cutting edge theater that can be enjoyed on different levels simultaneously, by adults and children alike. If the current production, Walking the Tightrope, is an indication of what is to come, LA theater lovers have a lot to look forward to.

LA Gyms with Childcare: Where Moms Work Out With Kids in Tow

That Angelina Jolie - what's she's got, 42 kids? And still she looks like Lara Croft. And all those A-list moms who weepingly thank their toddlers during their Oscar acceptance speeches - please! How could they possibly get into those dresses a year after giving birth? The truth is we know the answer: It's good old-fashioned childcare. While those red carpet mamas are going to their daily Pilates and hot yoga classes, someone else is changing their kids' diapers and making their dinner. Taking fitness classes together with our little ones is wonderful for family bonding, but when it's time to get back into our old jeans, we need gyms with childcare. And that's what all of the gyms below have.

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this weekend: Human Abilities, Zimmerpalooza, and Museums Free-for-All Jan 26 - 27

Oh, how lucky we are to live in Southern California. At a time when the rest of the country is dealing with temperatures represented in numbers you need an advanced degree in mathematics to understand, our biggest concern is the possibility of rain. But never fear; we have plenty of indoor adventures awaiting us in the event of such utterly inclement weather. You can hunt for faeries, meet time-traveling artisans, enjoy the films of animation master Miyazaki, and visit more than a dozen area museums for f-r-e-e. Or, if it's nice out, you can play in the snow.

I'm not normally one to name drop (just ask Justin and KPat), but this is a big weekend for celebrity sightings. Your kids will have stars in their eyes after sharing storytimes with such literary luminaries as Madeline and the Wild Thing (and perhaps a friendly sea squid). They can sing alongside a cast of princesses, or watch future rock stars strut their stuff. They can build with Bob. The Bob, of building fame.

And, of course, it wouldn't be a weekend without a few holidays to celebrate. This weekend, families can join together in recognition of Tu B'shevat, the Lunar New Year season, and, that most reverent of days, Zimmerpalooza.

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

Introducing the Mommy Poppins LA Birthday Party Guide

There's no topping that feeling after you've thrown a fabulous kids' party, entertaining every friend in a two mile radius and blissing out the birthday child. And that's just the problem: there's no topping it. The moment Mom achieves a memorable birthday party, the bar gets set a little higher for next year. To help alleviate that birthday party stress, Mommy Poppins offers the LA Kids Birthday Party Guide - an ever-growing resource of places to party indoors, places to party outdoors, and professionals to help make any location a smash hit.

Cathy Rigby's Peter Pan: The Boy Who Never Grows up Starring the Olympian Who Never Grows Old

All gymnasts, except one, grow up; when Cathy Rigby sings, "I'm never gonna grow up," you can take her at her word.

The Olympian reprises the role she's been reprising since 1974 in the touring production of Peter Pan that opened at the Pantages Theatre last night. And while I was excited to be sharing a little piece of theater history with my son, I was frankly unprepared for the possibility that the most believable Peter Pan I've ever seen would be played by someone's grandmother. It sounds crazy, but no mental gymnastics are required at all to accept the legendary gymnast as a 10-year-old boy for two hours; that flying granny did one of the most impressive on-stage transformations I've ever seen, treating us to the ultimate eternal boy.

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this weekend: Monster Jam, Dinofaire, and Tu B'Shvat: Jan 12 - 13

So how you likin’ 2013 so far? Cold enough for you? Not meaning to scare anyone, but the temperature might actually drop so low that water will turn into a solid. All by itself! (In case it doesn’t there’s still time to find rinks with ice that’s only slightly less organic in origin).

But overall, I would say the forecast is looking pretty sunny.  This weekend alone, our thoroughly modern kids can revisit classic stories, or take a trip to the Mesozoic era. They can tinker like Bob the Builder, or watch the rough-and-tumble sport of Monster Jam.  There are events for parents looking to grow their families, feed their families, and find resources to help with the daily tasks of raising their families.

And if you weren’t quite ready say goodbye to the holidays, guess what? There’s another one coming up next week! We’re here with guides for MLK Day volunteering and MLK Day camps.

Keep reading for some of our favorite picks to make your weekend bright…

Camps for LA Kids on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Dr. King had a dream, and now we need a plan. Some parents have the day off for the the national holiday, which is a great opportunity to take up the president's challenge to make this holiday a day of service to our communities. For everyone else, the great man's birthday can get complicated, what with dodging parade traffic and figuring out where not-in-school kids can spend the day. As you might have guessed, we have some suggestions. The camps below offer MLK Day solutions for LA kids most years; and we know a few other school vacation day camps if these aren't enough.

Fun & Free Activities with LA Kids this weekend: Three Kings, Oshogatsu, and Rembrandt: Jan 5 - 6

Happy 2013 everyone! We hope you rang in the New Year with all the frivolity and caution thrown to the wind that the night deserves, and maybe even made it through to midnight (don’t worry; East Coast time counts).  Now it’s time to get back on track, tidy up your messes, and follow through on your resolutions. If one of your resolutions was to recycle more, we can help you off to a good start. Mommy Poppins has the low-down on Christmas tree recycling options throughout Los Angeles!

We now return to our regularly scheduled program of classes, shows, and festivals to keep your kids occupied and amused. Keep reading for some of our favorite picks for this weekend.

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