There's so much for SoCal kids to look forward to in December, and we're not just talking Santa Claus, Christmas lights, and sand sledding; December is when Disney on Ice comes to town. This year, the twirling, touring ice show hits Downtown, Anaheim, Ontario, and Long Beach with Disney on Ice: Rockin' Ever After - a show worthy of a full-on family outing, from toddlers to grandparents.
Years spent at Nickelodeon prepared Roberta to launch Mommy Poppins' Los Angeles branch. She served as LA Editor for GoCityKids, National Editor for ParentsConnect, and Editor for NickMom. After two years as Mommy Poppins' LA Editor, Roberta became Editor-in-Chief at Mommy Poppins - which works out well for her son, who enjoys his role as Chief Guinea Pig for all things fun in LA and beyond.
Latest posts by Roberta
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Of course actual snow in Los Angeles County is rare enough to be saleable on ebay (anyone still have that 2007 Malibu snow in the freezer?), but several Southland locales offer a reasonable facsimile of snow at this time of year. From Anaheim to Pasadena, we get several opportunities in the coming weeks to introduce our kids to snow, without introducing them to picking up their wet snow gear from the floor. And most of the events below are free!
Whether you're a compulsive shopper or a conscientious objector, it's hard to ignore the fact that Black Friday, the day formerly known as the day after Thanksgiving, is packed with major deals. While the idea of starting holiday shopping in a throbbing mob at midnight (or right after Thanksgiving dinner at some locations) sends some people off in search of anything else that's open on Thanksgiving, those who can't resist the deals might be interested in these kid-centric highlights. And if your family is divided right down the middle, why not divide the day between shopping and volunteering?
Whether you shop Friday or another day this holiday season, you may want to check out these national retailers who give a percentage to charity with every purchase, too.
If connecting to the internet while on the parental go is the glue that holds your world together, then you probably already know plenty of family-friendly places with free WiFi; we won't waste your time mentioning obvious coffee shops and libraries (right?). You've likely also caught on that many places offering kids' classes let parents catch up on email while little athletes take gymnastics or fencing class. You might even know that several ice rinks and bowling alleys have free WiFi for waiting parents. But how about some fun, unexpected places with free WiFi that you might not know about? Parents on the Westside, in Hollywood, or Downtown will want to know about the internet hotspots below.
Angeleno families are offered so many options at Halloween time it can become overwhelming; with limited time and funds, what are the real must-spook events? Which ones are worth driving for, and which are just more of the same on the other side of the hill?
We've chosen our top five venues for pumpkins, spooks, and things that go "Boo!"
There's a much-anticipated expo hitting LA, and it's coming a whole lot sooner than the Expo Line. The Los Angeles Mom Expo runs October 25-26, 2013 with a full program of exhibitors catering to the entire gamut of needs of LA mothers - a trade show for those of us in the mom trade. And as one of the show's sponsors, Mommy Poppins is in a position to invite 250 of our readers for free!
Who's ready to spook down the house? If your family loves Halloween, it's time to show the neighbors - all over your lawn, balcony, front steps, or whatever bits of outdoor space you command. We've got a few ideas for Halloween decorations that don't involve a shopping spree at a Halloween store; in fact most of the ideas below are made entirely out of things you're likely to have at home already (and may even be looking to recycle). The best part is a spooky decorating frenzy makes for quality family time - turning a happy home into a haunted one. (Looking for even more ideas? Our Boston site has some way-cool DIY Halloween decorations, too!)
The beauty of Labor Day is leaving the labor behind—which is exactly what our NYC editor, Raven, has done this week to celebrate the end of summer. Never fear, though: If you're counting on Mommy Poppins to guide you on your own labor-free way this holiday weekend, there are plenty of us left here to shine a light on all that is fun, festive and/or FREE this week, in easy reach of the city. Not only that, we're kicking off back-to-school season with one heck of a bang: $2,000 worth of fabulous prizes in our Back-to-School Swagapalooza! Awesome prizes include two Schwinn kids' bikes, $150 worth of personalized school supplies from My Chronicle Books, a Disney Junior package, a $50 Target gift card, $250 to spend at Sears Optical and oodles more. You enter for each prize separately, so start clicking!
Care to escape the city for, say, Elizabethan England? It's never too late (or at least not until late September); the New York Renaissance Faire is still going strong in Tuxedo Park, including the holiday Monday. Or spend a few corny hours in Sleepy Hollow for Philipsburg Manor's CORNucopia celebration in Westchester. (Speaking of Westchester, our Westchester site is looking to hire a new Events Editor, in case you know just the person.)
If you're headed for the Hamptons this weekend, there's a Pow Wow worth stopping in on, and our New Jersey team has several suggestions for day trips in the Garden State. If you've got a pooch you don't want to leave at home, bring him along for a special doggie day out at the Ocean Oasis Water Park. Connecticut has fairs and festivals popping up all over this holiday weekend, including a life-affirming Labor Day parade in Newtown.
Here's what else we covered on the NYC site this week: