Labor Day weekend approaches, and that means that if the kids are not already back to school, they're about to be. Traditionally Labor Day is the last hurrah of summer, but frequently by the time it arrives we moms are all hurrahed out. If you haven't made a plan yet or just can't face hitting the airport with half a million other summer junkies, we can think of a few places close to home that are an easy drive for an overnight, or even a day trip - letting you enjoy the day without the labor!
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
The first day of school has been creeping farther and farther back in recent years, cutting deeper and deeper into summer. For many schools, August is part of the school year now, while other districts still cling to the time-honored "never before Labor Day" approach. All of this can make summer camp complicated to maneuver for some families, while others are knee-deep in homework.
From Glendale's August 12 start date to Torrance’s September 6, don't just assume you know when school starts based on last year! Check our list of start and finish dates for the 2013-2014 school year (and all days off in between) in and around LA County...
If your family harbors a Shakespeare aficionado, then summer just isn't summer without a dose of Midsummer. For families who approach classical theater more hesitantly, A Midsummer Night's Dream performed among the trees and the owls may be the perfect introduction, and Shakespeare Center LA's annual summer stint in the VA's Japanese Gardens delivers all that Shakespeare in the park should .
When we revisit the classic experiences of childhood, sometimes they lose their rose-tinted luster, while other times they are just as good, if not better than we remembered. The ice cream truck holds up well. Lemonade stands are still pretty darn neat, too. And, as it turns out, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus really does have a right to its boastful tagline, The Greatest Show on Earth.
Every now and then, some enterprising person bangs his or her head against the same wall we've all encountered time and again - and comes up with a totally new and inspired solution. Meet Nanny in the Clouds. If you've ever flown alone with small children, or avoided flying because you couldn't face flying alone with small children, your head will start to buzz when you find out what this company does. You may even check your frequent flyer balance before you go to sleep tonight - because these folks have an easy, affordable way to take the stress out of traveling with toddlers. Skeptics, read on!
Quick - name a Beatle. Did you say Ringo? Bet you did! Even if you went for John, Paul, or George, chances are that the Beatle your kids know best is Ringo. There's just something about Ringo - the familiar face, the familiar voice, the familiar beat of his familiar drums - everyone loves Ringo Starr. That's why the GRAMMY Museum's newest exhibit, Ringo: Peace and Love (open through April 2014), is such a fab outing for parents, kids, and even grandparents to all enjoy together. Big smiles and hummed tunes are practically guaranteed.
It grieves me more than I can express to be collecting resources for our community similar to those our Connecticut and Boston editors have had to research all too recently. The children of Santa Monica go back to school today for two days that were scheduled mostly with end-of-year picnics and field trips, but the time will also be spent processing a senseless, violent tragedy - this time in our own community. Whether your children heard the gunfire as they hid under their desks, were on a field trip at the college, knew victims, or just heard frightening rumors, all of them have questions. I hope some of the resources below may be helpful to families processing last Friday's events.
Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga is home to one of LA's classic summer evening activities (earning it the #10 slot on our bucket list of 100 Things To Do with LA Kids). The outdoor theater in the wooded mountains of Topanga was founded 40 years ago by the man most Americans remember as Grandpa Walton (can you get more American than those dungaree overalls?) and is still run by his daughter, actor/director Ellen Geer. The shows that play in repertory on a summer evening are mostly Shakespeare, and the rustic, idyllic setting can convert the pickiest picnickers to fans of the bard. This summer's production of Taming of the Shrew is an excellent example.