As a child I did not go to a local school, and it was always my dream to be able to walk to class. Now grown up with kids of my own, I live in a very foot-friendly community. From the moment my kids could take off on two feet, we have been promenading in the park and walking to the library, the grocery store, the farmer’s market, and our multiple options for fro-yo. I like to think that I have modeled safety and caution, and hope that's been absorbed by my children.
My daughter is off to middle school next year and I know she is going to want to walk. Should I let her? Yes. No. Maybe. It is possibly more difficult to parent a middle schooler than to be one.
Speaking of the '60s, Disney’s latest release, Tomorrowland, is truly an "E" ticket ride. (Angelenos of a certain era will surely know what that means.) Other midweek fun includes stargazing by day in Glendale or by evening in Burbank and Westwood. Read on for our top 5 picks for the week.
This weekend, Disney rolls out an action-packed sci-fi adventure for older kids that reminds us that there's a whole lot more to the Mouse House than princesses and singing snowmen. Tomorrowland is a glorious thrill ride for tweens, teens, and the adults who drive them places. It is not a movie for little ones by any stretch of the imagination—not because of anything inappropriate (the film is rated PG), but because the breakneck pace of both the complicated plot and the relentless threat of peril is likely to leave anyone younger than 10 curled up in a ball begging for explanation. But for older kids? Pure gold. Tomorrowland has all the action and humor of an Indiana Jones flick, the sci-fi impact of Star Wars or Doctor Who, and the feel-good, inspirational message of vintage Walt Disney—all with some heart-pumping George Clooney charisma and a pair of ass-kicking young girls thrown in. In short, I got to see a film last night that my son and I loved equally. Read on for everything a parent might want to know (no spoilers), and what perks you get if you see it at El Capitan.
Quick, hit the brakes—there's a three-day weekend just ahead! Memorial Day, the holiday generally considered the first harbinger of summer, is on the horizon, and the forecast is for one of those LA Story, 70s-and-sunny weekends. There's only one problem: you were so busy looking for summer camps that you forgot to book a campsite or a beach getaway, right? No worries—when your kids ask why you're not going anywhere this weekend, just tell them you're staying in town to catch some of the great Memorial Day festivals and parades below!
First and foremost, Memorial Day is about the members of the armed forces who gave their lives in our nation’s service. Their sacrifice is unimaginable, our debt to them beyond measure. To those lost, and to those who serve our nation every day, we salute you.
I'm going to confess—and date myself—right up front: I grew up on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman (how she resisted him was beyond me), and that inspired a fascination with Ojai, CA, birthplace of the super-70s superheroes. And while there isn't really a sign welcoming visitors to the "home of astronaut Steve Austin" as TV once led me to believe, everything else this charming town had going for it 40 years ago still holds true today, from irresistible cafés to horseback rides in the hills. Ojai is SoCal at its best; it's where vegans and cowboys make a chillaxing home together.
Our city may be known for its star maps, but LA's light pollution makes it hard to sit outside and identify actual shooting stars, planets, and constellations. Whether your kids love staring at the stars when they're out of the city or have never taken a good look at the Milky Way, planetarium shows and observatories can be a great way to examine the wonders of the night sky.
Planetariums offer a virtual sky experience, generally following a specific theme; shows may give an overview of the current sky, take a trip through the solar system, or focus on a phenomenon like the Northern Lights. Observatories offer a chance to look straight at the universe via someone else's (often superpowered) telescope. We are lucky to have a few observatories in town, as well as a good selection of planetariums (or planetaria, if you prefer) for spotting the biggest Los Angeles stars. Some locations, like Griffith Observatory, even do it all in one place: high-tech shows, enormous telescopes, and public star parties (no red carpet involved).
For parents, Patty Fitzgerald of Safely Ever After brings Safe Smarts to the Westchester Public Library. I’ve seen Patty speak several times on the topic of keeping our children safe and informed, and have always been impressed by her practical and down-to-earth approach. But wait; there's more! Read on for our top picks this week.
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