Tuesday, October 5, 2010

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

The school year is underway and the snap is back in the air. The challenge for parents this month is to squeeze some family moments into the parade of three S's -- the multitude of school, sports and social activities that dominate our kids' lives. So, pick your head up from trying to organize everyone's complicated schedules long enough to find time for one thing that will bring the family together...even just for a few hours!

Halloween Season's Official Start: This weekend marks the start of the Halloween season with Kidspace's 16th Annual Pumpkin Festival -- October 9 and 10 from 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM -- one of the best Halloween events around for little kids. (Free to all). To get ready for Halloween -- which takes place on a Sunday night this year -- start stockpiling candy, click here for recipes and decorating ideas, and don't forget to buy your costumes early; it's a parent's scariest moment to be stuck without the right costume on October 31st.

10/10/10: A pretty cool date is coming up this weekend - October 10, 2010 - and CicLAvia is a unique urban project that will help you celebrate. Check out the video and take part in a civic experiment to play on streets that are closed off -here are ten different neighborhoods that are participating.

Get the Manners Ready: dineLA Restaurant week runs for two weeks -- October 2-8 and October 10-15. With fixed prices for lunch and dinner, it's a nice way to introduce kids to proper restaurant manners. (Or a a long-overdue date night that won't break the bank). For some tips on table manners, visit our friends atBeverly Hills Manners .

Twirl, Anyone? Old Pasadena's Cultural Dance Festival, on October 10 (from 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM), celebrates dance traditions from around the world, is free and well worth attending with the whole family since everyone is encouraged to participate. Once you work up a sweat, stop in for some cereal at the brand newMix N Munch.

Breath of Fresh Air: The Children's Nature Institute's Urban Nature Week takes place from October 18-25, with a series of activities designed to encourage families to connect with nature in our urban environment. Take part in a nature walk, learn about an edible garden or ride a bio-diesel bus to visit Old Glory, a one hundred year-old tree. Our favorite urban-nature connector is Tree People - volunteer to plant trees or just take a hike in their Coldwater Canyon park.

A New Fruit in Town: Ever heard of Angel Red? It's a new varietal of pomegranate - so start checking out the food aisles and be the first to decide if the seeds are softer. Don't forget to tell the kids the story of Persephone and her fateful encounter with pomegranate seeds.

Family Movie Night: Disney is re-releasing Beauty and the Beast this week, with it's gorgeous animation and unforgettable music. For a different type of equally impressive animation, check out last year's exquisite Oscar-nominated film, The Secret of Kells.

In the Theaters: Sometimes, heading off together to the multiplex is the best thing to restore sanity. Save a night for Secretariat this weekend - a Disney film about the woman (Diane Lane) behind the 1973 winner of the Triple Crown (PG, opens Friday). Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is a gorgeous film for older kids (it's gruesome in parts despite a PG rating), and an especially rich experience for those who loved the books by Katherine Lasky. The film's director, Zack Snyder, is going to take on the next Superman movie. And finally, everyone's talking about The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher's brilliant film about the world's youngest billionaire. (PG-13, in theaters). Anyone who is on Facebook should see this film, which we love. Caution: heavy partying portrayed in the film, so teens and up.

Take Care of Yourself: It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, and even the NFLis embracing the cause. Don't be the last one to screen yourself and consider your family history. And, there are numerous studies showing the increase in traffic accidents since we all became addicted to our hand-held phones. What keeps our phones in our purses? The desire to be a good example to our soon-to-be-driving kids.

Bring on the sweaters -- it's going to be a great October!

Kids Off The Couch

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