Los Angeles

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.

Monsters, Inc at El Capitan (Parent Review)

A decade after it was made, Monsters, Inc almost counts as a family classic, and a fun choice for the holiday season. Of course, just because a movie's been around for 10 years doesn't mean moms and dads have all had time to see it yet, so we thought one of our parent reviews might be helpful. What's it all about? Monsters generate their city's power by scaring children, but they are terribly afraid themselves of being contaminated by children. When a child enters Monstropolis, top scarer Sulley finds his world disrupted.

Talking to School-Aged Children in the Aftermath of Sandy Hook

Every parent I've spoken to in recent days has been struggling with the pros and cons of talking - or not talking - to our kids about the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Doing so requires imagining the unimaginable; we at Mommy Poppins especially have in our thoughts our colleagues at Mommy Poppins Connecticut, some of whom have personal connections to the tragedy. For many parents, dropping our kids off at school this morning was an emotional moment. Picking them up might be, too, depending on what conversations are taking place on the playground. That's why we've collected some resources that might help you face whatever questions arise today, and as the week's news stories unfold.

Disney on Ice: Dare To Dream - Review

There are certain things we've come to expect around the holidays, and Disney's annual touring ice show is one of them. This year's sparkling edition, Disney on Ice: Dare To Dream, is toe-looping and sit-spinning its way through the Southland already, from Downtown to Orange County, and we definitely recommend grabbing some rink-side seats!

Cleopatra at the California Science Center - What's There for Kids?

As Cleopatra: the Exhibition enters its last few weeks (ending Jan 6) at the California Science Center - the tour's only stop on the west coast - perhaps you're wondering whether this is an exhibit that would hold the attention of your kids. Well the good news is you don't need to be an Egyptologist to enjoy exploring this homage to Egypt's most famous woman pharaoh. Come to the Science Center for the Endeavour, but stay for the Queen of the Nile.

Fun & Free Activities this Weekend for LA Kids: Free Merry-Go-Round Rides, Unsilent Night, and Las Posadas: Dec 15 - 16

I’m having a slightly hard time keeping track of the dates lately. Because whatever the calendar may say, all I can hear is LESS THAN TWO WEEKS 'TIL CHRISTMAS ALL IS LOST ABANDON HOPE PACK IT IN NOW. Or something to that effect. Luckily, Mommy Poppins is here to help me separate the nuts from the Nutcrackers, to keep me from getting light-headed with all the light displays, and, most importantly, to help put a little booty in my stockings. (I refer, of course, to the final days of our Biggest Holiday Giveaway - one of the many perks of being a Mommy Poppins reader.)

We have enough events this week to fill three or four newsletters. It's only through serious exercise of self-restraint that I've kept this post down to mere Russian novel length; you can find scores of other events on our daily calendar. No doubt things will slow down next week, because that's the week before Christmas and... oh. Well, after that there's Christmas week, which means some serious school break time, and then New Years Eve... I'm sorry, but for the next few weeks we simply have no choice but to provide you with an overabundance of fun, festive, and frequently free activities. If you need a break, I suggest you pencil it in sometime early 2013.

Keep reading for a small sampling of our favorite picks for this weekend...

Fun & Free Things to Do this Weekend with LA Kids: Hanukkah, Fireworks, and Sand Snowmen

Yay!  Saturday is the first night of Hanukkah! That means lots of dreidel spinning, menorah lighting, and latkes!  (Eight crazy nights of it, to be exact).  And there’s no better place to get your Maccabee on than Los Angeles, the city with the 4th largest Jewish population… in the world! (somebody say Challah!) Whether you like your Menorah by the sea, in the Valley, or in the heart of downtown, or even put together with LEGOs, our handy dandy Hanukkah guide can help you get your candles lit.

While 8 nights of presents is simply awesome when you’re a kid, it can be a bit of a challenge when you’re the one doing the providing. Luckily, Mommy Poppins is here to help with that, too. Our first ever Biggest Holiday Giveaway offers up the hottest gifts of the season, with a different prize each day. Each prize is available for 24 hours only, so be sure to check in every day!

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

Winter Break Camps for Los Angeles Kids on School Vacation

The holidays bring so many kinds of seasonal fun for families to enjoy and form memories - parades, fireworks, ice skating, family drives to see Christmas lights - and a winter break to fit them all in. There's just one little thing about that winter break: there's no school. None at all. And as much as we love having our kids with us all the time, that doesn't mean we want our kids with us all the time! If winter break poses logistical problems - or even just sanity problems - for your family, time to find a camp. How about one of the 10 camps below? Or check some of the other camps listed in our camp guide to see if your favorite summer camp has a winter vacation plan!

Wreckin' It with Wreck-It Ralph at El Capitan: Review

Wreck-It Ralph is fun, funny, moving, laugh out loud clever, and nostalgic (but be warned - it's likely to be too scary for younger viewers). This latest film from Disney Feature Animation is a love letter to video games old and new. When my daughter and I decided to see it, our choice was for a theater was clear; we hopped in the car and made the journey to the "happiest theater on earth" - Hollywood's El Capitan.


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