Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Los Angeles Parenting July Radar Screen

Dinosaurs, The Space Shuttle and Carmageddon
Ticket Giveaway for The Bright Stream

For the first time in 823 years, July has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. That's not exactly an excuse for the Radar Screen arriving later than usual (it's because we were on vacation, actually). But, be assured that there are still four fabulous July weekends to enjoy. Even if next weekend is the much anticipated Carmageddon!

Ticket Giveaway: American Ballet Theatre visits the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for The Bright Stream from July 14 -17.The Bright Stream, a delightful ballet set to a witty score by Dmitri Shostakovich, is full of fun, misplaced flirtations and a slew of disguises. Angelina Ballerina will be making a special guest appearance following the matinee this Saturday, so bring your cameras! Kids Off the Couch subscribers are eligible to win a Family Four-Pack to this Saturday's matinee performance (2:00 PM, July 16). Click here if you'd like to be entered to win. Tickets will be chosen by Wednesday night (7/13).

Dino Hall Opens: The BIGGEST news this month is that the Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum is finally opening this Friday (7/16). Go online and reserve your timed entry tickets and then rent Land Before Time or Jurassic Park to bone up on the difference between an Allosaurus and a Velociraptor.

Elementary: Summer is a perfect time to visit the Descanso Gardens, especially onFamily Tuesdays when the gardens stay open at night for music programs. You can brush up on your Dickens at the Pasadena Playhouse's TWIST: An American Musical, which is based on Oliver Twist and directed by Debbie Allen. Shrek the Musical will be at the Pantages for two weeks, starting July 13. Summer Reading Tips: We love the two new books about Jane Goodall's life and work (for the very young) and even though school is out, your 2nd and 3rd graders can lose themselves in Dan Gutman'sMy Weirder School series.

Middle School: Even if you're not traveling to Europe this summer, put Paris on your itinerary by touring Paris: Life and Luxury at the Getty, which is open only until the first week of August; be sure to pick up the Family Programming flyer. Check out the free concerts at the Santa Monica Pier, running all summer and featuring the Bangles this weekend. If local art is your thing, take a tour of Watts Towers, which LACMA is helping to preserve (their tours are sold out, but you can do it on your own easily). Get your tickets for the latest Cirque du Soleil production, IRIS, billed as "a journey through the world of cinema," opening July 21 at The Kodak Theater. Summer Reading Tip: Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series will take over your kids' brains, much as Harry Potter once did.

Teens: A perfect art and movie pairing, recommended by several subscribers, is to watch Bansky's Exit Through the Gift Shop and head down to Art in the Streets (the graffiti show) at MOCA. Slightly more highbrow would be the pairing of Ed Ruscha: On the Road, an exhibit at The Hammer through October, and picking up Jack Keroac's classic novel, of the same name. And you've gotta introduce your kids to Cameron MacIntosh's blockbuster musical, Les Miserables, at the Ahmanson through the end of this month, which has been re-staged for a new US tour. Summer Reading Tip: We just blew through this truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tale by Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Adults: Vermeer's "Woman with a Lute" is spending the summer at The Norton Simon, making her the only Vermeer on the west coast. Be sure not to miss Christian Maclay'sThe Clock, which won the Gold Lion at the Venice Bienalle, and is playing at LACMA through the month. Click here for Kenneth Turan's rave reviewSummer Reading Tip:Pick up local author Lisa See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan -- the film version will be in theaters Friday.

If You Watch One Movie Together as a Family This Month: With Monday's successful launch of the last space shuttle, it's a great time to revisit Apollo 13, one of our favorite family movies. With spectacular direction from Ron Howard, memorable performances by Tom Hanks, Ed Harris and Joan Allen, you can celebrate the red, white and blue of it all, all month long. Click here for our Popcorn Adventure.

Women's World Cup: Click here for ABC's interview with Hope Solo and Abby Wambach, the stars of the American team's thrilling victory over Brazil last weekend. The semi-final game will be broadcast Wednesday, July 13 on CBS.
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