Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kids Off The Couch - What's On Our September Radar Screen!

Labor Day and Beyond

Bananagrams Giveaway for best "My Perfect Summer Moment" entry

Our kids started school this week, and already Monday feels like it was 100 years ago. You know, back when we were lazing around doing last minute errands? Now it's all about backpacks, lunchboxes and homework. Our antidote? Spend Labor Day weekend doing things we'd do in mid-July -- go to a county fair, enjoy some beach food and catch the latest movie.

Labor Day Weekend: The LA County Fair opens this weekend and runs until October 3 with rides, horse races, concerts and the Body Works show. A new street festival popped up: theFYF2010 on Saturday (9/4) takes place downtown and has a cool lineup of musicians and comedians; free for kids under 10. Check out the Descanso Garden's Boddy's Big Backyard, with activities for little kids throughout Monday (9/6). Got a babysitter and nothing to do? Check out Los Angeles Plays Itself, a 2004 documentary about the discrepancies between the LA presented in movies and our city in reality. This film is not on DVD, so get to the Aero on Saturday and Sunday (9/4 and 9/5) at 7:30 PM. Chow down at two big food festivals this weekend: Taste of Beverly Hills runs all weekend, and the Los Angeles Times Celebration of Food and Wine takes place at Paramount Studios on Sunday (9/5).

Eat Like it's mid-July: The SLS restaurant group has taken over Gladstone's Malibuso drop in and see if the tourists take you for a native. For an endless summer vibe, get yourself toParadise Cove Beach Cafe (good take out, too). Pretend you're still in Maine at the Long Beach Lobster Festival on September 10-12. Our favorite sand-in-the-toes dining takes place at Back On the Beach Cafe, right in Santa Monica.

Spiffy Coastline: Keep our beaches swim-worthy and help your kids find a meaningful community service activity by participating in Heal the Bay's annual Coastal Clean-Up Day, this year on September 25. The organization rates our local beaches and runs regional clean-ups regularly; registration required.

90049 Residents Take Note: A wonderful community food-and-shopping event called FIRST TUESDAY debuts in Brentwood Village next Tuesday night (9/7). Local shops (such as Ruby Slippers and Star Toys for kids, and Habit and Jennifer Knits for moms) will stay open late and offer special deals to customers. At last, it will be easy to find some of your fave food trucks such as Don Chow Tacos, Komodo, Ahnjoo, World Fare and Coolhaus, all of which will hang around to feed shoppers if they flag. At Barrington and Sunset, from 5:00-8:00 PM.

Peel! Keep a set of Bananagrams on the coffee table to keep that lazy summer afternoon mood alive -- don't tell, but the infectious game is a great vocab booster for any age group. We are giving away a DOUBLE BANANAGRAMS to a KOTC subscriber who best describes a Perfect Summer Moment with their family. Click here and send us your story.

A Great Month at the Movies: It's a good month for date night films: just open is George Clooney's thriller, The American. An excellent (and eerie) novel by Kazuo Ishiguru's, Never Let Me Go has been turned into a film starring Keira Knightly and Carey Mulligan (9/15). We're very curious about the one children's movie on the horizon - you've seen the owl trailers for Legend of the Guardians, (9/24) based on the books by Kathryn Lasky and produced by the folks who brought you Happy Feet. For a guilty pleasure - rent the original Wall Street to get ready for the new Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps starring Michael Douglas, Carrie Mulligan and Shia LeBoeuf (9/24).Waiting for Superman (9/24) aims to do for the public education system whatAn Inconvenient Truth did for climate change: shake things up!

Secrets to Success: The biggest shock about moving from summer to school is that trusty alarm clock gets put into heavy use again and the scheduled week takes over from unstructured time. Current research suggests that both sleep and day dreaming are important factors in learning and the creation of self. For more on why sleep and day dreaming are key ingredients for your kids success in life (and justification for ranting about their screen time) read Po Bronson on the subject of sleep in his book,NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children and click here for the recent Los Angeles Times story on the benefits of zoning out.

Reality Check: Face it, you're going to have to be organized to survive the school year so click here for a free download of these super cool Organization Cheat Sheetsfrom our friends at MommyTrack'd.

Kids Off The Couch

If you like what we do, please tell a friend to sign up! info@kidsoffthecouch.com