Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dance the Night Away Under the Summer Sky: Levitt Pavilion at MacArthur Park + Donna Summer at the Hollywood Bowl = Kids Off The Couch

MacArthur Park has had a storied history in Los Angeles, and continues to rank as one of our city's landmarks. The Park, first built in the 1880s and named for General Douglas MacArthur, received worldwide fame when Donna Summer, in her 1978 hit, bemoaned in an ode to love that "someone left the cake out in the rain." For "bad girls" from the disco generation, Donna is making a two-night appearance at the Hollywood Bowl on August 22 and 23 Click here for a link to purchase tickets.

MacArthur Park, however, is not just the stuff of music legend. It is clean, green and ready for prime time with its amazing FREE Levitt Pavilion's Target Children's Music Nights, every Sunday evening at 6:30 pm. When we took in a concert, parking was a breeze and the setting was intimate enough for everyone to spread their picnic blankets with a full view of the stage. The rest of the summer boasts a cool variety of global music -- from Chinese acrobats to kick off Olympic weekend (8/10), to rap, reggae and calypso version of Father Goose (8/17), there's plenty to keep the kids tapping their toes through September. Click here for the August and September schedule.

Whether your beat is more "Bad Girls" or "Father Goose," dance the night away with outdoor music before the summer is over. And cover that cake, just in case of rain!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Countdown to Beijing Olympics (Part 2); Mulan + Terra Cotta Warriors at the Bowers Museum = Kids Off The Couch

Olympic fever has struck our families and we are counting down the days (and studying our Tivo settings!) until the opening ceremonies this Friday 8/08/08.

The Games are always captivating -- the athletes inspire us, the settings intrigue us. Wanting to enrich our kids' concept of China during this Olympic summer, we headed back to that nation's Imperial era by screening Disney classic
Mulan, a beloved folk tale about a heroic girl warrior. From there, it was an easy transition to the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at Santa Ana's Bowers Museum, a spectacular collection of the famed artifacts from over two thousand years ago. The Warriors, constructed to protect the underground tomb of China's first emperor, ignited our kids' imagination so that we talked about the show for days after -- clearly a feat worthy of Olympic Gold!

Click here for tips on tuning in for the Olympics, a link to the NBC schedule, and to learn about a History Channel documentary about the Warriors, airing this week

Click here for Part I in Kids Off The Couch's Olympic Countdown: Kung Fu Panda and the Flowing Fragrance Gardens at the Huntington Gardens.