Monday, December 1, 2014

A Long Beach Holiday 2014!

Time to plan your holiday calendar!

Until December 23:  Marionette show - free - 7pm - 3314 Country Club Drive, Lakewood

December 4: Artist in Residence - Stefan Meyer 11am-8pm - Free

Experience Stefan Meyer's fully immersive room size installation that explores the natural world in a whole new light. Come learn about the possibilities of digital fabrication in the Ralston Family Learning Center, LB Museum of Art

December 6: Winter Wonderland - Snow play! - Los Alamitos - Free

This winter season the Los Alamitos Recreation and Community Services Department and the Los Alamitos Area Chamber of Commerce invite you to attend Winter Wonderland at the Plaza. Held on Saturday, December 6th from 4:00 to 7:30pm at St. Isidore Historical Plaza, Winter Wonderland at the Plaza will feature an area to play in the snow, activities, Santa’s Village, a tree lighting ceremony, refreshments, and entertainment. The event is FREE, so be sure to bundle up and bring your family and friends along to join in the fun!

December 6-7: Victorian Christmas at the Banning Museum - Wilmington - Free

Join us on Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7  from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as we kick off the  holiday season in grand style at the Banning Museum’s Annual Victorian Christmas Celebration and Open House!  Due to the generosity of our sponsors, event admission is FREE! Visitors will enjoy period entertainment, tours of the Museum decorated in holiday splendor, refreshments, a children’s craft, a horse-drawn trolley ride between The Banning Museum and Drum Barracks Civil War Museum as well as local food and craft vendors. As a special treat, a Queen Victoria re-enactor will receive guests for the two days and Jolly St. Nick himself will pose for photos with the kids. This year’s event is even more special as we will unveil for the first time a full-size replica of the first Stagecoach Phineas Banning ever built. Imagine posing in front of an actual Banning Coach for your holiday greeting cards! Don’t miss out on the event of the season. No reservations needed.

December 11: Artist in Residence - Stefan Meyer 11am-8pm - Free - LBMA

Experience Stefan Meyer's fully immersive room size installation that explores the natural world in a whole new light. Come learn about the possibilities of digital fabrication in the Ralston Family Learning Center, LB Museum of Art
December 11: Holiday Sing - Cypress - 6pm - Civic Center - Free

Festival style seating, blankets and lawn chairs encouraged. $3 meal provided by YAC (cash only). Visits with Santa, Cookie decorating, Train rides.  In case of rain, event will be held at Cypress Community Center.

December 12-14: Prince of Peace Pageant - Wardlow Blvd between Bellflower & Spring - Free - 7:30pm

Enjoy the true story of Christmas with a candlelit outdoor walk.  Come follow the path through many scenes, complete with actors and animals.  Enjoy the choirs, musical groups, and refreshments provided by the churches. This 5-church pageant route begins at St. Cornelius Catholic Church, continues to the Neighborhood church, back along Wardlow and St. Luke's and our church, and ends at University Baptist.  Each church has additional music performances in their sanctuary.


December 13: Naples Island Holiday Boat Parade 6pm 

There will be three "groups of carolers" walking around the Island and singing holiday songs by the bridges.  Most of the homes in Naples have been decorated for the holidays in accompaniment of the Boat Parade theme. (we have a local competition for best decorated house).  Alamitos Bay Marina off 2 Street and Marina Drive offers substantial free parking just over the Davies Bridge from Naples. Mothers Beach off Revenna and Appian Way has some metered parking as well as Beach parking at Bayshore and Ocean Boulevard.

December 13: Holiday Living History - Dominguez Adobe - Carson - 3pm - Suggested donation $4/person

This holiday season the Adobe is adorned with lights and holiday decorations. This beautiful event offers fun holiday activities. The event includes tours led by the Dominguez sisters and their friends (no better way to spend the day than learning about the rich history of the area), holiday craft making (perfect gifts to give to loved ones), and music and dancing! Treat yourself to the appetizers and desserts from Mexico and Spain then of course, visit SANTA! Ask him for whatever your heart desires! But don’t forget the holidays are the perfect opportunity to give to those less fortunate, that’s why there will be a toy drive to help our local community. We hope to see everyone there to celebrate this wonderful time of year!

December 16: Free day at South Coast Botanical Garden - Rancho Palos Verdes

The South Coast Botanic Garden, "The Jewel of the Peninsula", is located on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula, located 10 miles south of the Los Angeles Airport in California. Conveniently located to many South Bay communities, this 87-acre Botanic Garden has more than 2,500 different species of plants from as far away as Australia, the Mediterranean, and southern Africa. Popular features include a small lake, Mediterranean Garden, AARS Rose Garden, Water-Wise Garden, Garden for the Senses, Cactus Garden, Children's Garden, Fuchsia Garden, Dahlia Garden, Herb Garden, and Japanese Garden. There is a picnic area located outside of the Garden gates. Free abundant parking available.

December 18-19: Holiday Open House at Rancho Los Alamitos - Free 4-7pm

Enjoy the Yuletide sparkle of the ranch house, the magnificently trimmed tree, mantles and hearths festooned with greens, holiday treats and strolling carolers.
The Ranch house will be decorated and ready for regular tours by Saturday, November 29 and decorations will remain up through Sunday, December 21.

December 21: Family Artmaking Workshop - LB Museum of Art - Free 11am-3pm

Artist in Residence Stefan Meyer will lead this many faceted workshop. Participants will be able to create their own rings using the 3D printer. There will be demonstrations on how to use a 3D scanner, and a table of materials you can use to create your own jewelry from found objects.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ticket Giveaway for LA Opera's Family Program!

Domingo Family Program welcomes all ages to an exotic adventure with "Florencia en el Amazonas"

Scenes from Florencia en el Amazonas

All aboard for an operatic adventure, as LA Opera's Domingo Family Program welcomes families to explore an exciting river journey along the Amazon River!

On Sunday, November 30, the matinee performance of Daniel Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas will feature themed activities for the whole family to enjoy while learning more about the opera and its fascinating Amazonian setting. The dynamic staging of the opera features a flying river spirit, intoxicating choreography, colorful projected animation and a 42-foot long steamship that rotates on the stage. Domingo Family Program activities are free with ticket purchases, with half-price tickets available for children from 9 to 17 when purchased with an adult ticket.   

"I love to see parents and grandparents with their children at the opera," said Plácido Domingo, the General Director of LA Opera. "It’s so important to introduce them early to the joy of the classical arts. From my own experience, I know that when families come to the opera together, it creates a special bond, with beautiful memories that last a lifetime."
Scenes from Florencia en el Amazonas

Scenes from Florencia en el Amazonas
 
Pre-show activities begin at 12:30pm in the Fifth Floor Salons of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (located at 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012). Teaching artist Peter Kors will lead enjoyable and inspiring acting workshops that explore themes from the opera and help youngsters understand the elements of theater. Exhibit interpreters from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles will showcase specimens of flora and fauna relating to the opera's setting on the Amazon River. The performance itself will begin at 2pm and will last until approximately 4:10pm.

After the performance, participants will have the opportunity to meet the cast at a special Domingo Family Program reception in the Fifth Floor Salons.

Booster seats are available to help small children get a better view of the performance. Booster seats can be picked up from the coat check stand located on the Grand Avenue side of the main lobby. You can also reserve booster seats in advance to have them waiting in your seating locations when you arrive. To reserve booster seats, simply email Garrett Collins with your seating location at GCollins@LAOpera.org.

Tickets for the November 30 Domingo Family Program performance of Florencia en el Amazonas start at $17 for adults, and are now available for sale in person at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office or by phone at 213.972.8001. (No online orders.) Tickets can also be purchased for LA Opera's next Domingo Family Program performance: Rossini's rollicking comedy The Barber of Seville on March 8, 2015.
Scenes from Florencia en el Amazonas

To enter the giveaway for 2 adult tickets and 2 child tickets for the November 30th show, please send an email to hijola AT yahoo DOT com with your name & cell phone.  Winner will be chosen Tuesday, November 25 at midnight.  Good luck!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Upcoming Events 2014

Cut a virtual snowflake!

Until December 23:  Marionette show - free - 7pm - 3314 Country Club Drive, Lakewood
Until December 24: Have Santa send a personal greeting to your child! - free
Until December 25:  ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas movies
Until January 3: Festival of Lights, Mission Inn, Riverside - ice skating
Until January 11: CHILL at the Queen Mary - $40/adults, $20/kids
Until February 15: Monarch butterflies in Goleta, CA

November 22-23: 46th Annual Pow Wow at OC Fairgrounds - $5 adults
November 30: Handel's Messiah Sing-Along - Nixon Library - FREE
December 1-30: See the lights at the Mission Inn
December 6: Winter Wonderland - Snow play! - Los Alamitos - Free
December 6-7: Victorian Christmas at the Banning Museum - Wilmington
December 11: Holiday Sing - Cypress
December 13: Naples Island Holiday Boat Parade 6pm
December 13: Holiday Living History - Dominguez Adobe - Carson
December 13-14: Prince of Peace Pageant - Wardlow Blvd between Bellflower & Spring - Free
December 16: Free day at South Coast Botanical Garden - Rancho Palos Verdes
December 18-19: Holiday Open House at Rancho Los Alamitos - Free
December 25: Christmas
January 1, 2015: New Year's Day
January 20: Free day at South Coast Botanical Garden - Rancho Palos Verdes
February 5: Homeschool Day at NHM & La Brea Tarpits - free
April 20: Homeschool Day at NHM & La Brea Tarpits - free
June 17: Homeschool Day at NHM & La Brea Tarpits - free
June 18-20: Great Homeschool Conventions - Ontario
June 25-28: CHN Family Expo - Torrance
July 17-August 16: OC Fair
August 6-9, 2015:  HSC Adventures in Homeschooling - San Jose

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Logan's Candies!

This is a popular field trip during the holidays.  I would see it pop up each year and hear people raving about it.  So I was determined to go this year.  I have to say the procedure for securing a demo date is similar to making arrangements for a secret spy rendevous.  :-)  First, you call in July to get your instructions, then you send a postcard in August with all of the pertinent information.  Then you get a phone call in October.  That is when you actually choose your date & time.  And, then, you finally call back two weeks before your date to finalize your numbers.  Hijola!  And now I can say it's worth it. :-)


First of all, we had dinner at Vince's Spaghetti, a perfect spot for a big crowd.  They had no problem seating 16 people.  And by a miracle, we all arrived at the same time. (Photo by Kohl Tabori)


A handsome dad at Logan's.
(Photo by Kohl Tabori)


Our gigantic group enjoying the candy cane making demo.


Both colors of the candy cane start out the same, then color is added to the red part.


To make the white part, the candy is pulled over and over again.  It's amazing how it turns white with air is mixed in. (Photo by Kohl Tabori)


After the colors are arranged on the candy, the puller cuts off a small length to be bent into shape.

Freshly made candy canes!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Exploring Your Universe - UCLA

Sunday, November 17, Noon-5pm
Rain or Shine! (In case of rain, all outdoor activities will be moved indoors)
Free & Family Friendly!

http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~outreach/eyu2013.html

This is the most exciting day of science all year in Southern California.  They have many activities and demonstrations open to the general public, including outside groups like STAR Eco Station.  Activities for all ages include workshops, faculty and graduate student talks, planetarium shows, solar telescope viewing, comet making, weather tours, dinosaur fossils, physics demos, and more!

This event includes participation from Astronomy Live!, the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, Earth and Space Sciences, and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, the Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, and IEEE.  The program was developed by graduate students, faculty, and staff in each of these departments.

DAYTIME ACTIVITIES

Astronomy (12:00 - 5:00 pm) (Court of Sciences unless otherwise noted):
- How the Sun works and solar telescope viewing
- Stellar Evolution
- Bottle Rockets
- Comet Making Demo
- Pocket Solar System and Asteroids
- Constellation Detectives
- Discovery methods for finding new worlds beyond our solar system
- Planetarium Shows (Mathematical Sciences 8th floor): Every half hour starting 12:30 pm! Pick up tickets to planetarium at the Information Booth.

Physics (12:00 - 5:00 pm) (Physics and Astronomy Building - PAB):
- Physics Demonstrations
- Lasers and Optics
- Waves and Vibrations
- Rotational Motion
- Electricity and Magnetism

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (12:00-5:00) (Court of Sciences):
- Exploding Marshmallows--Expand marshmallows using a vacuum pump!
- Can Crushing--See how pressure can crush soda cans!
- Tornado-in-a-bottle--See and create your own vortexes!
- Cloud-in-a-bottle--See clouds being made right before your eyes!
- Portable Weather Station--Talk with experts about conditions and get an updated forecast for the day!

Chemistry (12:00-5:00 pm) (Court of Sciences):
- Find out how to make a bubble bomb for baths
- Find out what floats on top of what... and what floats on top of that!
- Watch food get frozen with liquid nitrogen
- Eat liquid nitrogen ice cream

 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Art of the Brick - Glendale

 
We checked out the new LEGO exhibit at Forest Lawn Glendale.  It might seem like a strange place to have an art exhibit, but Forest Lawn has a long tradition of offering educational programs.  FL-Glendale also has an art museum where the LEGO exhibit is housed.

Urn

Art of the Brick by Nathan Sawaya
http://brickartist.com/ 
May 21, 2013-July 21, 2013
Forest Lawn Glendale
1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA
http://www.forestlawn.com/EventDetails.aspx?ID=245&Park_id=3
Free admission and free parking
Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm



Nathan Sawaya has specialized in creating sculptures out of LEGO bricks.  Sawaya’s ability to transform this common toy into something meaningful, his devotion to spatial perfection and the way he conceptualizes action, enables him to elevate what almost every child has played with into the status of contemporary art.

There are about 25 sculptures in this exhibit, ranging from a multicolor peace sign to large crayons with the paper coming off of one.  Most of the sculptures are of the human form.  A bust removing his face from his head, a boy looking at his reflection in water, a figure in despair.

This is a small exhibit, so don't drive an hour to just see this program.  Like I said this location also has an art gallery and the current display "Light and Color" is a collection of remarkable stained glass.  There is also an impressive display of bronze statues.  And in the Hall of The Crucifixion-Resurrection next door are hourly showings of The Crucifixion and The Resurrection paintings.  Walk out the back of the museum for restrooms and an amazing view of Glendale.

But don't stop there.  Forest Lawn Glendale is 300 acres and has its own sights.  Check out the mosaic of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence and the 13ft tall statue of George Washington.  There are, also, white swans on the lake.  Of course, many famous people are interned at Forest Lawn.  The mega famous like Michael Jackson are behind locked gates, but you can see the final resting places of such stars as Jimmy Stewart and Elizabeth Taylor.

And since you're already in Glendale, perhaps get a bite to eat at Americana at Brand.  This is a mall designed by the same firm as the Grove in LA.  I recommend the Granville Cafe on Brand Blvd outside of the mall proper.

Is someone in your family a science fiction fan or loves old bookstores?  Remember those old bookstores that used to be in every city?  Well, there's still one left in Glendale.  Mystery & Imagination is at 238 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203. http://www.yelp.com/biz/bookfellows-mystery-and-imagination-glendale


If you're not tired, yet, you can end the day at the Griffith Observatory which is about 10 minutes away.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blue Ribbon Festival - Music Center

The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is an annual admission-free program for fifth grade students to attend a live, professional performance at The Music Center, which has been running for 43 years.



The Children’s Festival is sponsored by The Blue Ribbon, a support organization of the Music Center, founded in 1968 by Dorothy Buffum Chandler.  The festival began in 1970 as part of The Music Center’s commitment to engage young people in the arts, and is one of California’s longest ongoing free arts education programs.  More than 700,000 children have participated in the festival since its inception, and for many, the festival is their first experience at a live performing arts event. 


I was blown away by this amazing opportunity for our students.  Individual homeschooling families may RSVP, but it's a lot more fun to attend in a group.  Reservations are accepted around the middle of January with materials being mailed out a month later.  Parents and students are free.  Although, the recommended age is 11 years old, they have no problem allowing 6-18 year olds enjoy the show.  Families also get complimentary parking.

There is an optional, audience participation portion so you may want to schedule in a rehearsal.  Families could also practice while they are waiting to enter the theatre.  After parking in the garage, you up the stairs or escalators to the plaza.  There are 3000 public school kids waiting for the show, but look for the information table in the middle of the plaza.  It is pretty easy to gather there while waiting for your party.

The cast of TRACES enjoyed the student performance

About 30 minutes before showtime, we were assigned a guide to take care of us.  She ended up telling us a bit of history about the Music Center.  The place looks completely different in the day time.  There was so much I never noticed before.

Finally, we got in line to wait to enter the theatre.  We were sent up to the Loge level and the show began.  The kids whooped and hollered and had a great time.  When the show ends, I recommend waiting until the last group leaves the theatre.  Because we were a small group, we ended up walking out to the front of the plaza to do our performance.  It was very relaxed, you could sit out the dance, but why?  The kids and parents had a wonderful time.


For more information, go to
http://www.musiccenter.org/education/Students-at-the-Center/Blue-Ribbon-Childrens-Festival/