By now all kids are out of school and summer is in full swing. I’m not saying this Poppins Mommy didn’t plan well, but our Summer Camp Guide is still coming in handy for last-minute adjustments. Better yet, make your own camp with WeeWork projects, local events, and lots of play. Fantastic Mr. Fox screens for free this week at the Brentwood Country Mart—even George Clooney’s voice manages to be handsome, and this is one of my family’s favorite movies. Gather 'round a campfire at the King Gillette Ranch or Franklin Canyon; loiter on the sidewalk for some stargazing in Burbank; and pack a picnic dinner for an evening of free Shakespeare in Griffith Park or a sing-along with Julie Andrews in the Hollywood Hills. Summertime means more action than ever on our Event Calendar!
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As parents, we worry a lot about street safety when it comes to our children. Can you imagine how it must be in the animal kingdom? Temescal Gateway Park explores this topic with the program Crossing Los Angeles on Four Legs: Wildlife Commuting Strategies in a Complex Landscape. An afternoon hike, picnic dinner, and a nature lecture make this a perfect summer evening.
The Studio City Library Science Program has Little Bits, a newish toy that introduces kids to working with electronic components, and the no-legged grunion run again in the wee hours of a summer night. A Gene Kelly/Judy Garland classic rounds out the week at El Segundo’s Old Town Music Hall; introduce the kids to a good old-fashioned musical in a good-old fashioned setting, where every show begins with a comedy short and an audience sing-along accompanied by a live pipe organ. Of course, if a brand-new movie is more your speed, be sure to enter our contest for a chance to win free tickets to a sneak peek screening of Minions!
One summer movie kids can’t wait to see is Minions, the prequel to the highly successful Despicable Me series. Most kids have to wait until the film's release on July 10, but a few lucky Mommy Poppins readers can catch a sneak peek of these mischievous little fellows back in action at an advance screening hosted by our sponsor, Universal Studios, on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 11am at AMC’s Century City Theater. Want to surprise your kids with some free tickets?
Summertime and the living in Southern California is easy. While parents all around the country are looking for seasonal vacation destinations, those of us lucky enough to live in SoCal are already here. There is nothing quite like our local beaches, and no better way to spend the summer months than on our shores.
Of course, taking very young ones to the beach can feel like a lot of work. Vigilance is especially necessary when the ocean looms, and keeping the kids in shallow waters is a full-time job, albeit a fun one. Who doesn’t love digging for sand crabs, building drip castles, and running screaming from the surf? Sometimes, though, it is nice to enjoy the beach in a more relaxing, contained manner. Fortunately, many of our beaches from Santa Barbara to San Diego have playgrounds, which is the perfect way to experience the beach without even needing to get your feet wet.
Anglophile Angelenos have much to celebrate this week. The Discovery Cube in Orange County debuts The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes, a special installation dedicated to the art and science of deduction. Young sleuths work with a detective’s notebook and other hands-on crime-solving activities. Britain's most famous detective follows on the trail of Britain's most famous bard: For a user-friendly introduction to classic theater this week, take the family to the Rogue Artists Ensemble's Shakespeare(ish).
If you prefer to embrace our American heritage, specifically here in the West, this is the week for the Autry's free day. And with summer here (or nearly, depending on your school schedule), music and movies are all over the place. Read on for our top picks for the week.
When a new month starts, chances are lots of things will be free. First Tuesdays, in particular, offer many gratis admissions. There is nothing wrong with paying for the activities we enjoy with our children; sometimes you have to, and sometimes it is truly worth it. Sometimes, though, if you plan well, it is possible to pay for nothing.
The library is almost always free and often has something fun scheduled, like the Pajama Storytime in Silver Lake on Monday. The first week of the month also brings no-cost LEGO fun and free admission to some of our fabulous museums, like The Huntington. Finally, and this only happens a few times a year: on Friday Krispy Kreme is giving away doughnuts. Believe it or not, this is a national and significant holiday. May the culture surpass the calories.
As a child I did not go to a local school, and it was always my dream to be able to walk to class. Now grown up with kids of my own, I live in a very foot-friendly Los Angeles community. From the moment my kids could take off on two feet, we have been promenading in the park and walking to the library, the grocery store, the farmer’s market, and our multiple options for fro-yo. I like to think that I have modeled safety and caution, and hope that's been absorbed by my children.
My daughter is off to middle school next year and I know she is going to want to walk on her own. Should I let her? Yes. No. Maybe. It is possibly more difficult to parent a middle schooler than to be one.
Memorial Day. A final day off before summer unofficially hits and every day feels like a holiday. There is a ton of stuff to do on Monday, from parades and concerts to strawberries and bunnies, but there is nothing quite like a jaunt to the canyon, particularly if you yearn for a 1960s vibe, so I vote for the Topanga Days Country Fair.
Speaking of the '60s, Disney’s latest release, Tomorrowland, is truly an "E" ticket ride. (Angelenos of a certain era will surely know what that means.) Other midweek fun includes stargazing by day in Glendale or by evening in Burbank and Westwood. Read on for our top 5 picks for the week.