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!)
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 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:
For some moms, the toddler years are a golden era in which every outing is a glorious and gleeful first to be experienced together. For others, the toddler years feel like a string of stressful, overwhelming days in which entertaining an 18-month-old seems sooo much more complicated than it was supposed to be. Either way, SoCalMoms offers a great way to get more enjoyment out of the toddler years. The group's Toddler Camp treks around some of LA's most kid-friendly destinations (like the ones on our 100 Things To Do with Kids Bucket List), making all of the arrangements as a sort of traveling playgroup - with SoCal as the playground. (And read on for the Mommy Poppins discount!)
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!
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!