Toby B

Toby B

Toby is our uber-busy events editor for Mommy Poppins LA. Feel free to send Toby events for our LA area calendar, or follow Toby on Google+.

Latest posts by Toby

Things To Do Halloween Weekend with LA Kids: Oct 28 - 29

Our calendar, just like a treat bag, is overflowing this weekend. With tons of carnivals and festivals and parades and celebrations, LA is aquiver with the pumpkin-mania that is Halloween. Find the fun at parksparks, and parks; at zooszoos, and zoos; and at theme parkstheme parks, and theme parks... you get the picture. There's no way we can fit them all here, so this weekend more than ever I encourage you to check out our full listings.

As if our schedule weren't full enough, there's another major holiday nipping at Halloween's heels. Many Día de los Muertos events are this weekend, and there's no better place than LA to rejoice in the memory of our departed loved ones. There are even a few events with no holiday affiliation this weekend, though it's not hard to see the synergism between Halloween and, say, Stan Lee's Los Angeles Comic Con or the Spider Pavilion.

Whatever your plans, I advise you to conserve your strength: Tuesday is coming. (Don't worry, you'll get yours; it is a perfectly acceptable parenting technique to keep any trick-or-treat candy you deem bad for your kids' teeth.)

Keep reading for our trickiest treats for this weekend...

This Weekend's Fun for LA Kids: Ghosts, Pumpkins, Trains, and Mark in the Park

So it's October, and every body knows it. We're fairly cool with saying it's the month of thrills and chills and princess costumes, and yet... All Halloween all the time?  Could it be a tad... dare we say. premature? No one wants to be a party pooper, (and no one wants to tell a 3 year old in a tiara no), so we try to have it both ways. That pumpkin patch?  It's for the harvest. The costume exchange? Same thing.  And the haunted house, too. (Just go with it.)

We can look at the moon, too,  because it's an astronomical phenomenon and a cultural tradition, and not at all associated with seasonal spooks.  And who doesn't go to the movies, year round, regardless of the season?  Sometimes movies are just scary.  And we go to the zoo, and ride trains, and it's all just every day, so-what-if-there's-a-pumpkin kind of stuff.

In fact, there are several honest-to-goodness, could happen any time but just happens to be now,  "oh, is it October? Who knew?" events this weekend, some really good ones too. Some are even about the harvest....or are they?

Run, don't walk, to see what spookalicious treats we have in store for you for this weekend...

This Weekend's Fun for LA Kids: Watts Tower, OC Book Fest, and Coast Open Streets

Well, hello, October!  You snuck up on us like a gourd in the night, and here you are with your pumpkins and your mazes and your harvests. The Month of Hallows is upon us, and it's nothing but tricks and treats to the sweet, sweet end.

Starting this weekend you can visit a spooky farm and learn some spooky science, say boo! at the zoo and at a puppet show; you can hope for some plastic bricks in your treat bag (or some brews in your stein, if you are of age). You can hop on a train and howl at the moon. That banana you think you see? It's just a pumpkin. In a costume.

I'll let you in on a secret: some of the fun this weekend is so well disguised it doesn't appear to have a thing to do with Halloween! The Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drumthe Orange County Children's Book FestSanta Monica's Coast Open Streets event... E-ticket activities, every last one of them, but Halloweeny? You wouldn't think so. And yet, if you think about it, any of these choices would be a perfect treat for this early October weekend.

Reach into our bag of tricky treats for this weekend...

This Weekend's Fun for LA Kids: Dino Fair, Museum Day, Abbot Kinney Fest

We've been bemoaning the end of summer for a while now (back in school with summer favorites come and gone) so this may come as a surprise to you, but fall only officially starts this weekend. We're still saying goodbye to a few suspiciously summery series, with the LA County Fair and Festival of Children ending this weekend.

Yet for a supposedly autumnal weekend, there are a whole lotta festivities going on: festivals that splash, festivals that roarfestivals that make you shout Opa!  Festivals that remind you LA is a series of small towns, (with some very happening streets!), festivals that wiggle and waggle and put the dog on the board, festivals that make you put on a bib. And that's not half the festive festivities we've got going on this weekend.

Summer? It ain't over til the fat talented lady starts singing.  

Fall into our favorite picks for this weekend...

This Weekend's Fun for LA Kids: Coastal Cleanup, Mexican Independence, & Pacific Standard Time

All the talk this week about Pacific Standard Time—it's not anything to do with clocks. It's about LA's influence on LA. Just about every museum in LA is offering a take on it. And it's not just exhibits; there are performances, free days, free days with performances... and Mexican Independence Day as well. The extra attention on Los Angeles and Latin America (yes, those are the two LAs) may be why folks are putting special effort into clearing out and cleaning up. (Except in my house, natch. Oh, poop!)

Or maybe all the cleaning has to do with the reports of spiders being seen in Exposition Park. Big, beautiful spiders—lots of them, and from the looks of things they're planning on staying a while. That's so LA!

Keep reading for our most LA (or most LA) picks for this weekend...

This Weekend's Fun for LA Kids: Pirates, Lobsters, and Muppets

This season of Not Summer is in full swing, and so far it seems to be working for us. We still have lots of weekend fun with "festival" in the title (lobster, pirate, chalk); we still have movies under the stars, and we can still listen to concerts in the fresh air. And it's not 100° too much, so there's that.

I will warn you that this weekend marks the end of a few summer highlights. No fewer than four kid-friendly exhibits are coming to a close (though we do have a new museum opening up). The Levitt series in MacArthur Park is melting in the rain, and it's time to put out the free campfires in the park. It's all leaving me a little sad/happy. (If only I had the right emoji for that!)

Once again, our thoughts turn to our East Coast brethren. Our hopes are with all those in the hurricanes' paths. (For those recovering from Harvey's onslaught, our Houston site has information on resources available). Stay safe, dear friends!

Keep reading for the best picks for this Not Summer™ weekend...

Fun and Free Things To Do with LA Kids Labor Day Weekend

It had to happen sooner or later. After many fits and false starts, folks trying to bring our season of fun to a ridiculously early close (props to Torrance and Hermosa for doing it right), and a whole lotta bellyaching about how it’s not fair (um, that would be me), the time has come to acknowledge: summer break is over. It’s Labor Day weekend, and, while it may mark the end of summer, it’s also known in some circles as the biggest weekend of them all. We’re going to fill every moment with fairs and festivals, (hello, Sailor!), cook-offs and concerts, and enjoy the last hurrah of some favorite summer series.

And never fear: while your white-wearing days may be over, the fun is just beginning. Why, this weekend alone sees the return of a much loved festival in Santa Monica, vast quantities of chili in Malibu and Camarillo, and a struggle between Greeks and Hawaiians for control of Long Beach.

Of course, this Labor Day weekend our celebrations are tempered by our concern for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. If you'd like to know how to help the families of Houston, our Houston editors have put together a guide to both giving and finding help in the aftermath of the storm.

Keep reading for our most Laborious picks for the weekend...

This Weekend's Fun for LA Kids: Cardboard Regatta, Fiesta La Ballona, Brick Fest

Group high-five, guys: we survived the blotting out of the sun! (Hopefully with no residual damage.) You know what else we can survive? The return to school. The end of summer (and of some of our favorite summer series). The segue into shorter days and longer nights, which is kinda like blotting out the sun but gradual and with less fanfare. Totally no biggie, because we still got the fattest, most lush events calendar this side of the ecliptic.

Like this weekend, for instance. We get to say hello to a new American Girl, wish a city Happy Birthday, (and another), build monuments out of tiny bricks, and sea-going vessels out of cardboard boxes. There's a fiesta in Ballona, a fest in Venice, and a festival full of tacos. We can dance for free and find different ways to feed the hungry

We still have loads of free concerts (including one by Cuban American jazz legend Arturo Sandoval) and lots of under the stars movies to keep us going. Or, you can skip the movies and just watch the stars. We have free puppet shows, free Shakespeare, and free games at the museum. All in all: not too shady.

Keep reading for our "sun's still shining" picks for this weekend...