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.
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
As you may have noticed, we've been trying to get more of our Mommy Poppins families out camping, so we've been sharing some great Los Angeles area campgrounds and even offering up several places that accommodate last minute camping. Basically, if you want to sleep in a tent under the stars this weekend, we're there for you. But it's possible that some of you feel overwhelmed at the prospect; maybe you've never camped before, or maybe you just haven't yet figured out how to fit kids into that thing you used to do with the backpack and the camp stove. Either way, we can have you packed and ready for the campsite in no time!
It's a kid's dream come true: we want to hear everything your kids have to say about a movie!
In fact, we want to do more than that: we want to invite your kids to see a couple of kids' films for free and THEN tell us what they think about them. And we want to publish their very important opinions right here on this website for other kids and adults to see. In short, we want to turn your kids into film critics for the Los Angeles Children's Film Festival in Santa Monica this month.
We are recruiting our team of critics by the end of day on Thursday, April 11, so that we can invite them to their special preview screenings on Saturday, April 13, at either 10am or 11:45am.
Sometimes we want our kids to have birthday parties teeming with enriching activities and professional party entertainment from start to finish. Other times, we just want them to go outside and jump somewhere far away from the sofa. Families with sprawling back yards might be fortunate enough not to need the information below, but for the many, many LA families raising kids in smaller homes than they ever imagined they would, our wonderful city parks are our life support system; the parks that allow bounce houses can be even more so. Check out 12 great parks we love that let kids enjoy bouncers at their birthday parties.
The spring holidays are upon us, and kids who were spoiled for choice at Christmastime are glutted once again, this time with opportunities to see the Easter Bunny and hunt for eggs. Families who were vying for equal menorah time back in December, however, may be having a tough time now finding fun family activities for Passover. Apart from coming up with unleavened baked goods, there are generally precious few activities to prepare us for one of the biggest holidays on the Jewish calendar. The good news is that there are a few - and we've found some fun ones!
OK, so Oz is great and Oz is powerful; but is Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful a good film for your kids to see? Parenting minds want to know. So we headed down to El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood for a screening of the much anticipated Wizard of Oz prequel in 3D - the ultimate Hollywood venue for the ultimate Hollywood prequel.
The Stars on Ice tour paid its annual skate-and-run visit to the Southland this past weekend. Figure skating buffs know Stars on Ice to be the ultimate skating show, while the uninitiated may never have seen an ice show that wasn't hosted by a giant mouse. For those who hesitate at the prospect of professional figure skating without a Disney Princess involved, think of Stars on Ice as something more akin to Cirque du Soleil on blades. It's a grand scale concept show that features fabulous costumes, inspiring music, and - above all - seemingly impossible physical feats. So what's not to love?
If you've got a smartphone, get ready to change your ringtone to the Indiana Jones theme; the adventure of geocaching is within your grasp, and it's one of technology's greatest gifts to modern parents. A free activity that can be done pretty much anywhere, anytime, geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt open to anyone with a GPS device or smartphone. Have half an hour to kill and a kid who's climbing the walls? There's probably a treasure hidden within walking distance of where you are. Need an activity that gets the whole family outside for the day? Pick a spot in the hills and hike there in search of secret booty. Either way, you won't be hearing anyone say, "I'm bored!"