Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kids Off The Couch: What's On Our Los Angeles May Radar Screen

No More Showers, it's Time for Flowers
Train Day Ticket Giveaway

May, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways: Mother's Day, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Cinco de Mayo and a three-day weekend for Memorial Day. As much as we may revel, we know that the end of the month means just one thing: School's out in one second flat!

Train Day Invitation: PBS Kids and the Jim Henson Company have organized a special day to celebrate National Train Day at the Los Angeles Live Steamers -- Your junior conductors and engineers can spend the afternoon riding the trains and singing along with DINOSAUR TRAIN creator Craig Bartlett. Kids Off the Couch has 10 sets of Family Four-Packs to give away to our subscribers. The event takes place on Saturday, May 7 from 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM. The event is not open to the public, so send us a note if you want to be in the ticket giveaway for this fun afternoon.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Two days of bugs and other crawly things mark the Natural History Museum's wildly popular Bug Fair, Saturday and Sunday, May 14-15. Fair is free to members, or with museum admission. If bugs aren't your thing, come by the Hammer on May 15 and participate in theKids Art Museum Project, in which artists help kids make art (all to benefit kids programming at the Hammer!). Finally, the Skirball Cultural Center is hosting an afternoon of magic in conjunction with their new show Houdini: Art and Magic(which we'll tell you more about next week) so mark your calenders for Presto Chango: Magic Day at the Skirball on May 14 from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

MIDDLE SCHOOL: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Bookstakes place this weekend (April 30-May 1). Check out the festival's iPhone or Android App, that will help your family navigate the event's new location, at USC. We love to go to this annual event and discover new books, ideas and authors - it's all FREE! Click here for the Target Children's Stage line-up for Saturday, and here for Sunday. If you're a history buff, make some time to check out the Magna Carta, on view at LACMA until May 5. Or, tee-up the topic of European history digital style, and soak up The Royal Wedding -- Kate marries William tomorrow -- it's practically Wedding Day in London already, so set those DVRs!

TEENS: If your teens are trying to fulfill their community service hours, jump aboard the citywide volunteer effort that is BIG SUNDAY, May 15. MOCA's graffiti show, Art in the Streets, is sure to stir up some controversy, so let them form their own opinion. Oh, and there happens to be a little stage show they might like -- the GLEE LIVE tour is coming to Staples on May 28 (with an afternoon and evening show).

Mothers and Other Favorite Mammals: One of our most-viewed Popcorn Adventures teaches how to explore the downtown Flower Mart. We paired it with My Fair Lady, so take a look and we promise you'll never pay flower shop prices for anyone (even Mom) again. Also, local seals and dolphin are suffering from another outbreak of an algae that affects their nervous system. We visited the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro a few years back, on another Popcorn Adventure, and you can do the same. Call ahead to see what supplies the kids can bring to donate.

PARENTS: Here's a worthy date night event: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson gather friends for a reading of The Merry Wives of Windsor to benefit The Shakespeare Company of Los Angeles, at UCLA Live on Monday, May 9.

Pasadena Lovers: Pasadenans love their neighborhood so much that it can make a Westsider jealous. We just read a hilarious new book by Lian Dolan called Helen of Pasadena, a breezy romance about a woman who returns to work after her husband drops dead -- it's set at the Huntington Gardens and full of spot-on observations about the mommy wars and parenting in Southern California. And, for a taste of the neighborhood, you can explore all the Museums of the Arroyo for free on Sunday, May 15 from noon to 5:00 PM.

Food News The Market at Santa Monica Place is set to open on May 20, presumably in time for summer. We're very excited that Homeboy Industries -- a company formed by Father Greg Boyle to put gang kids back to work -- is selling their salsa and chips at Ralph's. Support them by purchasing their products or by donating online.

Kids Off The Couch

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