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The Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns at Descanso Gardens

by leeroseemery on October 11, 2015

Jack'o lanterns Descanso GardensThis 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.


Family friendly fun at the Masters Horse show

by leeroseemery on September 29, 2015

Longines Masters PosterIf 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!



Spain with kids – Barcelona and Madrid

by leeroseemery on May 16, 2015

family-fun-in-spainWith the dollar catching up to the Euro for the first time in many years, it’s a great time to think about a European family vacation! Here’s a link to a piece I wrote about our recent trip to Spain for family travel site, CiaoBambino. We have found that our family’s European holidays have created so many incredible memories. I hope reading this may inspire you take some European adventures of your own.

 “Barcelona and Madrid are two very different cities, but both offer wonderful cultural opportunities for families to explore while in Spain. I’m so glad we had a chance to visit both destinations with our kids recently. Here are some highlights of our fun-filled Spanish cultural extravaganza…”  Click here to view complete article. 

Sagrada de Familia Barcelona               Gaudi building sizedDSC_0058



Whale of a Weekend at Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

February 6, 2015 Play

I love any excuse to go the Santa Monica Pier and Aquarium. They are hosting a fantastic whale themed event Valentine’s Day weekend which will be great for families. Here’s the info below. Sounds like a whale of a time for sure! “Santa Monica, CA (Jan. 27, 2015) – Sightings of whales along the Southern […]

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CHILL at the Queen Mary

December 17, 2014 Play

This just in from my intrepid editor Beth Szymkowiski, – a great idea for some chilly family holiday fun! “The holidays always get me hankering for some of the snowy fun I enjoyed growing up on the East coast, so I was eager to check out CHILL at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. One […]

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Deck the Halls at Disney Hall, Los Angeles

December 4, 2014 Play

One of my all time favorite things to do with the kids is to go to a concert at Disney Hall. My Dad is an opera buff and I remember as a little girl he would take me to Lincoln Center in New York and then later, when we moved to DC to hear music […]

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Pancakes for Thanksgiving

November 26, 2014 Eat

One of my all time favorite Thanksgivings was spent with my then 3 year old at a diner in Los Feliz. Just as we were heading over to our friend’s for dinner and we noticed that our little girl had a rash all over her. We knew one of our friends was going to be […]

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LEAF College Savings Gift Cards – A great holiday gift idea!

November 6, 2014 Uncategorized

*this is a sponsored post, but as always, the views and opinions on are my own. Thinking about how much it will cost to send my two kids to college is enough to make my head spin in spite of the fact that they are still years away from enrolling. Still it’s never too early […]

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I AM ELEVEN documentary opening in LA

September 19, 2014 Play

“I think at heat we are all the same person….at heart, we’re just really all the same.” These are the words from one eleven year old in Genevieve Bailey’s lovely new documentary, called “I AM ELEVEN,” which opens today at Laemmle’s in Los Angeles. Bailey, an Australian filmmaker, traveled the globe and interviewed 15 eleven […]

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6 great portable family games

August 13, 2014 Play

Spending time with the kids on hot lazy summer days can be a great family bonding experience. Or it can be incredibly trying. There’s nothing worse than hearing, “I’m bored, Mom. There’s nothing to do!” While I like to encourage my kids to be resourceful and make their own fun, I also like to steer […]

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