One of my favorite things about the holidays is decorating gingerbread houses with the kids. I’d like to tell you that I make mine from scratch. But I don’t. I buy a kit. I’d like to tell you that ours looks like this one on the left, but it doesn’t. We bought our kit at Bed Bath and Beyond for $9.99. The kits are nifty as they contain all the little pieces of gingerbread and all you need to do is to stand the sides of the house up and frost them together. Then the fun part happens and you can decorate them. We also buy extra colorful candy to adorn the roofs. The holidays can get so rushed, and hectic. I am really looking for ways to reign it in, to find the spirit, to create time spent with family just enjoying each other. Our gingerbread houses are not perfect. Sometimes half the roof falls off. But each time we begin this family tradition, I feel so grateful for time spent with the kids doing something fun and fanciful together. It makes me feel the true magic of the season.
This one’s not finished but you can see the potential.
This just in from LACityMom’s intrepid Beth Szymkowski:
“Autumn in SoCal has always been a bit of mind trick. We know we should be wearing sweaters and sipping hot cocoa as we prep for Halloween, but the reality is October brings some of the hottest days of the year.
So I was excited to see a night-time activity to get in the spirit of the season: The Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns at Descanso Gardens Sure, my car thermometer still read 95 degrees as I drove my sons to La Canada Flintridge, but at least it was dark out so we could get into a spooky mindset to see the impressive display of pumpkin art.
Visitors buy tickets for predetermined times and are shunted along Descanso’s dimly-lit garden paths by guides waving lights like airport workers guiding planes. My kids liked the feel of being surrounded by dark woods. I found myself relieved that I wasn’t keeping track of a toddler. The paths are smooth enough for strollers, but they are winding and bordered by rocks in many places so it would take some maneuvering to navigate with a set of wheels. Piped-in music plays throughout. It’s Halloween appropriate but not particularly loud.
I liked watching two of the carving artists at work. Some of the pumpkins are foam, but others are real and are constantly replaced throughout the season.
Many of the the Jack O’Lanterns are simply cute with basic carved faces, but others are amazing works of sculpture made by clustering individual carved pumpkins. Organizers clearly tried to have a little something for everybody. One cluster showed Sesame Street characters. One of the larger areas is dedicated to dinosaurs. Several individual pumpkins had nods to video games or pop stars. Even Donald Trump made an appearance.”
For more info on The Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns at Descanso Gardens CLICK HERE.
If you have any horse lovers in the family, there’s a wonderful event coming up October 1-4 at the LA Convention Center. The Longines Masters of Los Angeles will showcase the thrill of Olympic-level show jumping, meet and greets with the world’s top-ranked riders, and of course a chance to see all the beautiful horses!
Specifically designed with families in mind, the Kid’s Village will include 2 mini ponies to pet, a ‘horse-less’ horse show where kids can test their skills as they jump over fences like in the arena, face painting, a caricature and balloon artist, arts & crafts, and autograph sessions with Masters riders (Fri 1pm; Sat 2:15pm; Sun 9:30am).
The hours are as follow for the Kid’s Village:
Friday, October 2nd, 10am-6pm
Saturday, October 3rd, 9am-6pm
Sunday, October 4th, 9am-1:30pm
All activities are included in the price of admission, for tickets click HERE
Sounds like a great family day out!