Sometimes, when the mood is crumbling and the toys are flying, when the tears and tantrums have about done you in, all you need is a book. Barely has "Once upon a time..." left your lips, and they're gone, those, ahem, precious little ones - their previously agitated minds soothed and calmed in an imaginary world far, far away. Of course, sofas and beds and laps are great places to share a story, but so, too, are museums, bookstores and local libraries. Check out our list of story times in and around LA, and consider letting someone else do the reading. There are moments when we all deserve a little happily ever after.
Hm, wait a minute, do they speak Spanish in Anatolia? Probably not. I’d know a lot better if we had one of them bi-lingual kids around here to translate. Since mine are strictly monolingual (unilingual?) I’d better start looking into some serious language instruction. Luckily, Mommy Poppins has the scoop and low down on language immersion and bilingual schools in LA. Què bueno!
One word that never needs translating is free. As in gratis, keep yer paws outta my wallet. If you were wondering how long you could bring your kids along to Southern California attractions for zero dollars cheap, look no further. Our handy-dandy guide tells you the cut-off ages for free admission!
Keep reading for some of our favorite picks for this weekend... (some of which are free even for old folks like Moms and Dads!)
There are a couple of things kids can do better than adults: cartwheels and hanging upside down, for example. And then there's learning languages. Kids have a huge capacity for learning languages that will never be as powerful and flexible later on as it is in the early years, and an increasing number of parents are taking advantage of that window by sending their kids to bilingual and dual immersion schools. Southern Californian families are lucky to have an unusually wide variety of public school options to support raising bilingual kids. At a time when gifted programs, arts programs, and extracurricular classes are being cut from school budgets at an alarming rate, parents can still seek out an extra enriching curriculum by choosing one of the schools below.
Does a day of living history, local history, architectural history, dance, traditional craft demos, kids' crafts, storytelling, art, and live music sound good to you? While several LA-area museums offer free admission the first Tuesday of each month (and one offers the first Wednesday), the annual Museum of the Arroyos Day offers free Sunday admission to and special activities at five different historical museums along the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena and Los Angeles each May.
We can all agree that childhood goes too fast, and there are so many things that if we blink we miss: the first walk around the block, a goodbye kiss at school, getting in free at Disneyland. Those first two you can't put a price on, but that last one? That's worth about $80-$100. In other words, it's really worth keeping track of when the freebies go away. If you're working your way down our LA Kids' Bucket List, you should probably coordinate with the cut-off ages below; some of the museums you can catch on their free admission days, but several other attractions below really drive home the bittersweet point that you're only young once.
Walking in LA? Don't believe the song—people really do walk in LA. And if CicLAvia is one of your family's favorite events, then The Big Parade (May 18-19, 2013) is something worth checking out. The Big Parade is not a race—it is about exploring, learning, and celebrating everything our city has to offer. And, with the Big Parade, no one is ever left behind.
Hear ye, hear ye! There's more to Ye Olde Renaissance Faire than turkey legs, men in tights, and replacing all thy "yous" with thees and thous. So if you - or thou - art wondering whether or not it's worth venturing 45 minutes inland in search of a park full of people pretending whole-heartedly that Queen Elizabeth I is still on the throne, the answer is an unmitigated - Huzzah!
This is a weekend to celebrate heroes. Heroes come in many shapes and sizes. Some earn their stripes finding lost toys and wiping snotty noses; others put out fires of a more literal kind. Naturally, here at Mommy Poppins we have a soft spot for the former. It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday (don’t pretend you forgot!) and we have the lowdown on the coolest spots for a family brunch. And while you’re at it, check out these Mother’s Day freebies we’ve found.
Fire fighters have certainly been proving their hero status around here lately. Saturday is Fire Service Day, and fire stations across the Southland are celebrating with open houses and pancake breakfasts. Your kids will think you're a hero for bringing them: win-win!
Mommy Poppins is LA's favorite free online resource for parents and kids where you'll discover the inside skinny on where and what todo, see, learn, play, make, read, splash, eat, run amok, party and envy in the Los Angeles area with kids. We hope you like the site. Feel free to email us if you have any questions.