Much like telephones and VW Beetles, birthday parties look a whole lot different than they used to. Here in LA, I've seen kids' parties that looked like they had wedding planners, guest lists that go higher than the child can count, and party favors with bigger price tags than the gifts. I've also seen parents say, "Oh, stuff it," and run away to Disneyland. Whether you're on the birthday party fast lane or have no qualms about keeping it sweet and simple, a few tips from party experts can only make things better, so we asked some party professionals to share their insider tips.
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
Every Earth Day for the last few years, Disneynature has given families a movie event to look forward to, and this year's treat is an all-ages celebration of the most kid-centric of mammals: Bears. In the tradition of other Disney Earth Day releases, which have included Chimpanzee, African Cats, and Oceans, the film Bears offers a breathtaking cinematic journey - and a peek into the world of Alaskan brown bears that seems almost impossible in its close-up detail. Not to mention, it is almost unbearably adorable. Read on to see just how adorable - and to find out if it's your little bear-lover's cup of tea.
Muppets Most Wanted (PG) is in theaters, so read on for a parent review that helps you decide whether or not your little Miss Piggy fans are ready for this film. Looking for a kid-friendly theater on Long Island? Also check out this roundup of Family Movie Programs in the area.
Muppets Most Wanted (PG) is in theaters, and we're ready to address two questions right off the bat: 1. Is the new Muppet movie worth seeing, and 2. Is it worth seeing at El Capitan? No need to draw it out: the answers are yes and yes! Read on for a parent review that helps you decide whether or not your little Miss Piggy fans are ready for this film, and why seeing it at Disney's El Capitan Theater - directly in front of the new Muppets star on Hollywood Boulevard - is more of an experience than seeing it anywhere else.
Last fall, we asked our readers to take a short survey and share their thoughts about how to improve our Summer Camp Guide. Overwhelmingly, we heard that you wanted a combination of our editorial recommendations, plus the ability to search listings and find recommendations from other parents.
So we're happy to debut our newly updated Camp Guide and our Camp Directory, now featuring an improved search, parent reviews and star ratings, and other enhancements. Even better: Our overhauled Directory isn't just for camps. We have begun bringing you listings for party places and services and enriching classes, too.
If you're a Westside mom of a kid bitten by the acting bug, the name Kids on Stage is probably already familiar to you. Kids on Stage has been introducing young performers, from toddler to teen, to the joys of the performing arts since 1987. The company offers theater camps and acting classes, staging productions at local Westside performance spaces, including Santa Monica's Morgan Wixson Theater. But what makes this company stand out among LA's many and varied children's theater companies?
If there is one film in this year's Oscars field deserving of the sometimes overused label “modern day classic,” I think it’s the French animated feature Ernest and Celestine. The film has been nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature, and it’s easy to see why; in today's sea of computer-animated, 3-D action adventure movies for kids, this hand drawn tale is a visual treat, with endearing characters and a gratifying story. It's got to be tough getting attention for a small foreign children’s film in a year that is overwhelmingly dominated by Disney’s mega-phenomenon, Frozen, but this little film is absolutely worth the attention of movie-loving kids and their parents, whatever the Academy's final decision.
On a scale of 99¢ Store perforated cartoon cards to Martha Stewart shadow box masterpieces, most of us really just want to help our kids make a few Valentines without using up all of the week's homework time to do it. No doubt some of the Valentine's Day activities on our calendar can offer ideas slightly closer to the Martha Stewart end of the spectrum; here we're volunteering to help with the other end of the scale. And so we present really easy, really fast, really cute Valentine's Day cards that can cover a whole classroom of kids in no time - and still leave time to treat your own little Valentine to a Valentine's Day Breakfast Parfait...