The latest Disney-Pixar flick comes roaring into theaters this week with astoundingly rendered background art; themes of family, friendship, and overcoming fear, and starring roles for those kid-favorite critters, dinosaurs. Though largely aimed at a younger crowd, The Good Dinosaur is rated PG, and some themes and moments may be a little too intense for more sensitive viewers. Read on to find out if this film is appropriate for your family (and why it's worth seeing at Hollywood's El Capitan for folks in LA this holiday season).
Toby is our uber-busy events editor for Mommy Poppins LA. Feel free to email Toby about events for our LA area calendar.
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Must be the Santa Anas, because I'm sensing change in the wind. Harvest gold has given way to red and green; there's a serious CHILL in the air, and our kids are starting to tally up their naughty and nice scores. (Here are a few ways to help tip the scales in their favor.)
We're one week shy of T-Day, and we all know that turkey won't even be cold before we enter a non-stop marathon of holiday frenzy. But luckily, we get to put our own SoCal spin on things. We may do a few turns on the ice, but we'll follow up with a day at the beach (and make sure to brag about it to our friends and family who are not so climatologically blessed).
If you're not feeling the Thankschrismakkuh spirit just yet, there's plenty of non-seasonal fun to keep you happy this weekend: think dinos and Doo Dah, stars and Cirque, mariachi and American Girl. Holiday, shmoliday, we're just here to watch the birds. Next week, however, it's game on.
Keep reading for our not-the-holidays-yet picks for this weekend....
I admit, last weekend I was sort of freaking out about the whole "November isn't Christmas" thing, but it's cool now. We met Santa, hung with a few elves; there's red cups all over town, and we're even thinking of meeting up with Santa again (because we'll have lots of opportunities).
Stuff may not be over 'til the fat lady sings, but the holidays ain't even started until the Family Guy (creator) gets his croon on. Twice. But you can also do science by way of animation, twice, and I don't think it has anything to do with the holidays. We've got Smurfs, Giant Robot, Sir Topham Hatt, and the Peanuts; we've got stunt dogs and Okee Dokee Bros, all of it non-denominational.
Yes, you can start your holiday shopping now. Yes, you can skate and play in the snow. And break out the pecans because we've got Nutcrackers, twice. And if there is one lesson that this weekend in November can teach us, it is that the holidays are there for you if you want to find them. Me, personally, I look in those red cups. Twice.
Keep reading for our most down for the season picks for this weekend....
Hasta la vista, Halloween; it was real. We may have pulled a muscle or two dragging those overloaded trick-or-treat bags around, but at least we earned a break before the next onslaught of holiday overload comes a calling. That's why we're going to fill this weekend with Santa Claus.
What's that? I meant science. There's some serious science happening on the UCLA campus this Sunday. Your kids can prepare for careers in astrophysics, pharmacology, food science... Speaking of putting the food in science, anyone up for a tree lighting?
Tree lighting? No, that was supposed to be "pumpkin launching." A fitting end for the Halloweeny squash. And it's science, because launching and trajectories and, well, squashing. (Squashing! So nice, you say it ice!)
Keep reading for our merriest picks for this weekend....
I guess you could pretend it’s not Halloween next week. There’s plenty going on this weekend: a great new exhibit opening, a really big consignment sale, walks to raise money for pancreatic cancer research and special needs kids. You can look at birds, and explore cultural venues downtown, and learn about water conservation and trains (both model and big).
Though why you would want to ignore it is beyond me. Candy. Dressing up. Candy just for dressing up. I understand you might want to avoid the scares, but really most of the spooks are of the ha ha kind, not so much bring out the defibrillators. (Though there is some of that.) And you could always use that old standby “Harvest” (with "Fall" as a close second) as your excuse for downing fistfuls of sugary goodness. (Candy corn grows in fields, doesn’t it?)
Keep reading for our most Hallo-harvesty picks for this weekend....
There are so many places your kids can wear Halloween costumes this weekend—assuming you have your costumes. Which I do (not to brag). You can wear them at the Zoo (We did that last week! Way fun!). You can wear them at the Natural History Museum (to trick-or-treat—free candy for being ahead of the game and having your costume early). You can wear them to the Disney Store's Halloween Dress Rehearsal (where you can not only wear this year's costume; you can plan ahead and buy next year's costume while you're there—score!).
(Psssssst! You there, with the kid: if you don't actually have this year's costumes yet, your kids can totally wear something from last year. It's not like they have an expiration date on them, am I right? You can use this weekend to augment your costume with accessories or masks, or trade your way to a new and improved pre-loved costume. There are even events in malls, where rumor has it you can sometimes use money to buy things.)
And who says you have to wear a costume at all? Halloween is still two weeks away, and there are tons of events without an orange and black color scheme. Hello, Cirque du Soleil in Costa Mesa! Hey there, CicLAvia in the heart of LA! What's cookin, CAKE Expo, also in Costa Mesa? Seriously, what up, Costa Mesa? Didn't you get the memo about Halloween?
Keep reading for our most festively adorned picks for this weekend....
This weekend is going to be hot. So hot it sizzles. So hot you’ll think that you’re in that lava pit that (spoiler alert) Anakin fell into in Revenge of the Sith and not just reading about it. So hot you'll feel like you’re actually on the surface of Venus and not just talking to the rocket scientists who send probes there. So hot that people are going to say, "What are you? A Mommy Poppins mama?" Dudes, it’s going to be hot.
But that’s okay. We’re Southern Californians. It takes a lot to scare us. Like, you know, spiders, haunted ships, elephants eating pumpkins, and Mickey Mouse in a costume. Okay, what? Those last two aren't even scary. Just fun, seasonal frivolity. But that's life here. Always fun, always in season...
But enough with the hot already, okay? (Cue El Niño in 3, 2, 1...)
Keep reading for our hottest picks for this weekend....
Hey, remember when we were kids, and Halloween was only one night? Yeah. Good times. Of course, we also rode in cars without seat belts and ran with fire, so maybe everything wasn't better back then. Either way, the genie is out of the bottle, and Halloween is well underway in Southern California.
Starting now, you can celebrate Halloween at the zoo, at Legoland, at Underwood Farms, at Knott's Berry Farm, at Descanso Gardens, at Fillmore and Western Railway, and at Disneyland. There are mazes and haunts and rides and pumpkin patches. Spirited costume shops are popping up all over town, and Trader Joe's is selling a pumpkin version of every product.
True, you can kid yourself that October is about other things besides Halloween, like maybe books or angels or horses or stars or pie. You might even convince yourself for a little while. But soon enough you're going to notice that everything gives you an idea for a costume, and then you realize that any adventure that ends with a full bag of candy can't be all bad.
Keep reading for our spookiest picks for this weekend....