Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kids Off The Couch: Snow Days, Teacher Gifts and a Date Night Idea

Ticket Giveaway for Holiday Sing-Along at Disney Hall and Great Expectationsat A Noise Within

It wasn't so easy to deck the halls while the temperature was in the 80s last week, but with our sweaters and boots back in rotation, we're feeling merry as we scramble about getting holiday tasks done. Once the kids get out of school, they'll be chiming for something to do. Here's what looks like fun to us:

Holiday Sing-Along Ticket Giveaway: LA Holiday Sing-Along at Walt Disney Concert Hall12/18, 11:30am (great seats available) and 2:30pm.

Tune up your vocal chords and get ready to make a joyful noise as you sing along to holiday classics. Lyric sheets are provided for all. We have a Family Four Pack for Saturday's matinee performance of the Holiday Sing-Along (December 18 at 2:30 PM). Click here for more information on The Holiday Sing-Along. Click here if you are free for this weekend's performance and please remember to leave us a telephone number; we'll notify the winner by Friday morning.

The LA Phil has tickets left for their three other holiday shows - LA Phil Presents Go Tell It on the Mountain: The Blind Boys of Alabama(12/20), LA Phil Presents Eileen Ivers: An Nollaig - An Irish Christmas (12/23), and LA Phil Presents New Year's Eve with Kristin Chenoweth (12/31).

Great Expectations at A Noise Within: It's the last weekend of a fabulous production of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations at A Noise Within in Glendale. Great Expectations is the story of Pip, orphaned as an infant and thrust into a childhood of cruel poverty, who clings to the hope of a brighter life. An anonymous benefactor anoints Pip heir to a tremendous fortune, setting into motion a life's journey ripe with wonder, heartbreak and finally triumph. A Noises Off provides a study guide which can help your middle school-ers comprehend all that this classic tale has to offer. We have four tickets to a Sunday matinee performance of this show (12/19 at 2:00 PM). Please click here and let us know your phone number so we can call if you are chosen.

Christmas Boat Parade: What's more festive (or more Californian) than spending an evening watching a parade of boats ablaze with holiday lights? The Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade motors off each evening between now and Sunday (12/19), leaving Bay Island at 6:30 PM and returning at the same site at approximately 9:00 PM. Click here for more details.

Snow Days at
Kidspace Museum: Every year, it snows in Pasadena -- at least, it does at Kidspace where tons of snow is shipped in for kids to enjoy. Mark your calendars for Sunday, December 26 and Monday, December 27, 2010. Kidspace also hosts an adorable New Year's event at noon (not midnight!). Learn more about all three events here.

Downtown Arts Celebration:
Don't miss the LA County Art Commission's 21st Annual Holiday Celebration, a raucous, creative (and free) bonanza of music and dance on Friday, December 24 from 3:00 PM -6:00 PM.

Visions of Sugarplums: Every child has to see a live performance of the Nutcracker at least once in his or her lifetime. The Los Angeles Ballet performs the Tchaikovsky classic at UCLA's Royce Hall this weekend, and at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center next week. We adore the animated version of the story, so check out our chapter on the KOTC website. Click here for a link.

Still Shopping for Teacher Gifts?:
A subscriber raves about The Spiral Foundation,a non-profit humanitarian organization working in Nepal and Vietnam. Purchase unique crafts made from recycled materials, and support the medical and health needs of the people who created them. Please call to make an appointment before swinging by their Palisades shop. (310 459 6671).

Date Night --
India: We checked out the new show at LACMA, India's Fabled City: The Courtly Art of Lucknow, and determined that while it's not that intriguing for kids, it's the perfect launch pad for an evening with friends. Drop in to soak in the sumptuous art created at the height of Lucknow's artistic prowess, grab an Indian meal at one of several wonderful local restaurants (we love Bombay Cafe), then rent A Passage to India, David Lean's 1984 masterpiece about the final days of British rule in India... definitely an adult film!

New to the Zoo:
If Asian animals interest you, and if a bit of controversy doesn't alarm you, there is a new elephant habitat open at the LA Zoo. Click here for arecent LA Times article about the troubles surrounding the opening of this exhibit.

New Program at the Getty Center: Check out the Getty Center's brand newFamily Art Stops program, which gives families an up close and personal experience with a single work of art in a half-hour, hands-on gallery experience. FromDecember 21 through December 31, this free activity is offered every day at 2:00 PM. and again at 2:30 PM. (Museum is closed Monday). Sign up at the Museum Information Desk 30 minutes before the program begins. Check out their new Art Scoops project, that provides the scoop on dozens of works of art from the collection, with an emphasis on fancy princesses, spooky sea monsters, kooky characters from history, and magical animals from mythology.

Advance Planning:
If you have a moment between egg nogs, set your calendar up to catch a few of the big events in 2011. First off, the Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World show at the Bowers Museum opens this weekend - we haven't been yet, but it looks fabulous and will definitely sell out. The exhibition presents the stories of Franklin's life through his personal belongings used during his early years in Boston as a rebellious teenager, during his life as a printer and during his years of service to the American colonies and the newly formed United States. A scientist, inventor, diplomat, humorist, philanthropist and entrepreneur. Franklin's dynamism comes to life further through interactive activities and animations geared toward a school-aged audience. Opening summer 2011, IRIS from Cirque du Soleil will take up residence exclusively at the world-renowned Kodak Theatre. Directed by French director/choreographer Philippe Découflé, and featuring music from Danny Elfman, IRIS brings together dance, acrobatics, live video, filmed sequences and animation, and takes spectators on a fantastic voyage through the world of cinema and its genres. Tickets on sale NOW or 1.877.943.IRIS.

Counter-programming in the Kitchen:
Want to provide an alternative to turkey and mashed potatoes? Check out our new obsession: the fried chicken at Honey's Kettle Restaurant and Bar. We don't want to say that "it's finger licking good" but... it really is.

Enjoy the Season.

Kids Off The Couch

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kids Off The Couch - Date Night LA: Randy Newman's Harps and Angels

Ticket Giveaway for Wednesday, December 22

Take a break from the holiday madness on a date night getaway to the Mark Taper Forum. Two lucky subscribers will see the breezy musical adventure, Randy Newman's Harps and Angels, Wednesday, December 22 at 8:00 PM. Relax and enjoy yourselves on the last night of this play, which is directed by Broadway veteran Jerry Zaks and features an ensemble cast (including This is Spinal Tap'sMichael McKean) performing many of Randy Newman's hits. Surely, some of your faves are on this list: "Political Science," "I Think It's Going to Rain Today," "Short People," "Sail Away," "Feels Like Home," and of course, "I Love L.A.".

Enter to Win: Please send us a note if you're able to attend next Wednesday night's performance (12/22). Winner will be notified first thing Friday morning (12/17) so be sure to include your phone number so we can reach you if you are the winner.

Buy Your Own Tickets: The show is on stage at the Mark Taper Forum from now until
December 22 (in case you want to dash away this weekend). Click here for ticketing options.