Saturday, June 4, 2011

Kids Off The Couch: What's On Our June Radar Screen!

Welcome, Summer!

Ballet Nacional De Cuba Ticket Giveaway

If school isn't out yet for your kids, at least the end is in sight. Get ready to celebrate the End of Homework by enjoying some of the many family festivals and art events around town this month. We've unearthed so many neat film festivals that we are secretly hoping for some June Gloom so we won't feel too bad ducking inside!

Ballet Nacional de Cuba Giveaway: Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center is bringing the wonderful Ballet Nacional De Cuba to town for five shows of Don Quixote from June 23-26 (including two matinees). First formed in 1948 by Alicia Alonso, Ballet Nacional de Cuba has created more than 600 works and performed in more than 60 countries. Kids Off the Couch subscribers are eligible to win a Family Four-Pack of tickets to the 2:00 PM performance on Saturday, June 25 at the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Click here to enter your name to win - please include a phone number!

Movies Galore this Month: Besides the many summer films already in theaters (we love Kung Fu Panda 2), there is a plethora of film festivals for lucky Angelenos this month. From the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival at the Chinese 6 Theaters (June 6-9), that includes a free matinee of The Incredibles, to the Los Angeles Film Festival(June 16-26), that takes place downtown again this year, to a fabulous line-up of Tim Burton films at LACMA. Your family's film savvy quotient is about to go way way up!

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Tree People is holding it's annual Green City Fair this weekend (June 4) in Coldwater Canyon, with live music, face painting and plenty of environmental workshops and hikes. You can also enjoy the outdoors the following weekend (June 11) at the Children's Nature Institute's Kids Rock Concert and Festival in Hancock Park. If you have grandparents in town, there's nothing more relaxing than an afternoon spent at the Getty -- either the Villa or the Getty Center -- following some of their creative art programming for kids. And, consider paintapic, a cool at-home art project, which turns a photo into a paint-by-numbers project.

MIDDLE SCHOOL: MOCA is holding a Big Family Day celebration (June 5), downtown. The Hammer continues its Family Flicks programming with a free screening of Hyper Sapien (June 12). The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum has two Shakespeare plays in its summer line-up, The Merry Lives of Windsor and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Plan ahead for this treat, because seeing a play in Topanga Canyon is a must-have LA experience. Click here to read a Popcorn Adventure about this fabled outdoor theater.

TEENS: Consider letting your art-loving teens wander around the Culver City Artwalk this Saturday (June 4). Or if they're into dance, check out the Dance Camera West Dance Media Film Festival (June 16) at The Getty Center. We're always fretting over our kids' obsession with their cellphones, so take a quick listen to Warren Olney's radio show from yesterday; it's the start of what is sure to be a lengthy national conversation about cell phones as potential carcinogens.

PARENTS: Satisfy your travel itch at the Getty by checking out a new photo show, A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans until Now, that explores the Cuban cultural and political landscape during three distinct historical periods - before, during, and after the 1959 revolution.

Too Good to Be True: Two cool new food ideas emerged this month -- check outWaffle Chix, serving fried chicken and waffles in Westwood, and a souffle bar at Rockenwagner's at the Market at Santa Monica Place. As for eating at home, check out the USDA's brand new food plate, released this morning that replaces the 19 year-old food pyramid, and aims to be easier for families to use in planning healthy meals.

Kids Off The Couch

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Kids Off The Couch: Memorial Day Weekend 2011!

Summer is Upon Us

Good news: it's going to be sunny by Monday, so get your BBQ prep done early (while the kids are studying for exams or finishing up their spring sports). We've had a chance to look at most of the new art shows around town, so you can have the summer's cultural outings planned before June even begins.

MOVIES in THEATERS: There's plenty of raunch in the theaters for adults, from Bridesmaids to Hangover Part II so if that's not your thing, drop in on a worthy kid option (Kung Fu Panda 2) or check out the films that were well received in Cannes last week: Midnight in Paris from Woody Allen (starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams) or Terrance Malick's much awaited The Tree of Life.

ART AROUND TOWN: We got a sneak peek at what will surely be this summer's must-see show, LACMA's Tim Burton, which is lots of fun. We will write up a comprehensive report next week, but mark your calendar to take advantage of a fabulous line-up of Burton films, screening at the museum throughout June. Show is expected to be a blockbuster, so get your advance entry tickets now. The Getty Center's Paris: Life and Luxury employs an engaging organizing theory, with objects from a Parisian household presented by the "Four Times of Day." We were particularly impressed with a spectacular golden bed where the women of the household performed their "toilette" while receiving (what a concept!). The Skirball Cultural Center's Houdini: Art and Magic is great for magic-loving tweens, and we also loved The Annenberg Space for Photography's Beauty Culture. Be sure to head downtown for MOCA's Art in the Streets, showcasing large-scale, colorful graffiti art that is a hit with everyone from 8-80. If your kids are into street culture, check out a related show at the Pasadena Museum of California Art featuring the work of the Clayton Brothers. And, while you're sipping lemonade by the pool, don't forget to peruse this season's Hollywood Bowl schedule which includes a Grease Sing-A-Long, Hall and Oats for the July 4th Fireworks Spectacular and Hairspray with the original Broadway cast of Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

Subscriber Tip: A loyal KOTC-er gave us the heads up about a new show at the Santa Monica Museum of Art -- a video installation by filmmaker Marco Brambilla, called The Dark Lining, that uses film clips in pastiche to create a new narrative. Our subscriber's kids, who are 11 and 13, thought it was the "coolest art show ever".

MEMORIAL DAY ACTIVITIES: In lieu of parades, LA has wonderful regional celebrations starting today, such as Topanga Days, the Valley Greek Festival and a Jazz Reggae Festival at UCLA.

Ideas: Stumped by what to get a graduate in your life? Check out Flavorpill's grad gift guide. While you're thinking about college and careers, consider that PayPal's Peter Thiel is plucking kids out of college and supporting their entrepreneurial ideas with $100,000. Not a bad idea considering this sobering report on the highest (and lowest) paying careers.

And, Finally: We were moved by this YouTube video about the dangers of melanoma. Titled "Dear 16 year-old Me," it's a powerful reminder to young people that their "skin never forgets". Good-bye tanning beds, hello sunscreen.

We'll be back next week with the June Radar Screen.

Kids Off The Couch

If you like what we do, please tell a friend to sign up!