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!
With 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.