The MiP has several different modes that include games and tricks, plus a balancing tray that is great for delivering soda cans to your older brother. You can use hand gestures or the free app on your phone to control it's movements, so it's pretty user-friendly.
It's super easy to use and set up, but has enough play options to keep my kids entertained for several hours. It also has funny little noises it makes while it plays, which are amazingly cute and NOT annoying compared to most electronic toy sounds.
At around $100, it's not a cheap gift. But if you want to be a hit over the holidays, plus give your kids something to do while you listen to Great Aunt Sheila's stories (again) at the big family party, it's totally worth it.
You can find MiP at most major retailers or by clicking on this link.
I have two boys that fill my house with love, fun, and noise at a decibel that defies explanation. But the dynamic of having two rowdy kids around is totally different than spending face time with them individually.
That’s why I decided to take my oldest son on a Mommy/Son Date Night, and it was the best decision I have made in a long time.
As a certified Musical Theatre Nerd (note the proper use of the re in “theatre”-see what I mean?), I thought that taking my son to see “Wicked” at the Hollywood Pantages would be a great idea. So off we went, on a school night and against all practicality, to see the popular musical together.
First incredible thing that happened: My son dressed up on his own. In a sport coat and slacks. When an 8-year-old boy ditches the t-shirt and basketball shorts, he is INVESTED.
Second thing: He held my hand. Willingly. The whole night.
Third thing: We talked. Actually talked! On the way down, waiting in our seats, during intermission. He was fascinated by the grandeur of the set and the lights, the cool ceiling, and, befitting his electronic generation, by the TV monitor for the cast that hung on the balcony showing the conductor during the performance.
I have been to the Pantages many times, but never noticed the things that he did. I have also seen Wicked a few times before, but not through the eyes of a child (“She’s flying Mom! Glinda is so funny! I didn’t like the long talking/singing part at the end. Why didn’t Glinda just take the book and GO already!)
And the fourth and final thing that blew my mind: As the lights came up after the curtain call, my son looked me in the eye and said earnestly and unprovoked, “Thanks for taking me Mom”.
I cried all the way up the aisle.
Take your child to Wicked, to another cool event, or just out to dinner. But spend time with them alone, and give yourselves the opportunity to make a really special memory.
I’m glad I did.
Wicked is running at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood through March 15th and you can get tickets here. Visit me @nickerberger on Twitter for links to my blogs and family activities pieces.
The Nutcracker Calabasas
Seeing the world’s most likable ballet was a holiday tradition for many of us, so make sure you check out the Degas Dance Studios this Saturday, December 13th, as they perform “The Nutcracker” and start the tradition with your own family. This classic holiday ballet is performing at 2 and 6 pm at the Calabasas High School Performing Arts and Education Center.
This production is unique because it combines students and professional dancers, which means it’s going to be a magnificent night. Visit www.degasdancestudio.com for tickets and details.
And this one is indoors, so no worries about rain melting any cute little snowflake ballerinas.
Winter Family Festival Studio City
It may be raining, but that still doesn’t mean it’s going to snow in the Valley. So head over to the Studio City Recreation Center on Sunday the 14th from 1-4pm for a free event featuring 70 tons of snow! That means slides and snowman making go side by side with all sorts of regular fest type activities like face painting and crafts.
It’s free, but you can up your warm fuzzy level by bringing canned or packaged food, unwrapped toys, or used children’s books and clothing as part of the Festival of Giving. This is a rain or shine event, but the forecast says the only winter weather you will have is the man-made kind.
Do YOU wanna build a snowman? (Sorry, after the winter season I promise to not make any more Frozen references. I’ll totally Let it Go)
Camarillo Christmas Parade Camarillo
Who doesn’t love a great parade? The Camarillo Christmas Parade is one of the best in So Cal and is taking place on Saturday, December 13th. Show up at 10 am for this long-standing local tradition that begins at Temple Ave and Las Posas Road and makes the journey to the Camarillo Community Center.
At the end of the parade enjoy festivities at the Santa’s Village Holiday Carnival.
If you are one of those people who DOESN'T love a parade? Well, then you might need to head back to that mountain over Whooville with your small, small heart.
LA Zoo Lights Griffith Park
Sure, you can drive your kids around the neighborhoods, getting caught in hours of traffic waiting to see a few “Griswold-worthy” holiday light displays, or you can make the trip to the LA Zoo to see their new light display, LA ZOO LIGHTS.
This walk through experience features spectacular sets and lighting set in the cool zoo atmosphere. Nightly timed tickets are available at www.lazoolights.org and the evening event runs through January 4th with the only dark days being December 24th and 25th.
It would even make the Griswold's proud.
Breakfast with Santa Calabasas
Kids spend a fair amount of time trying to “Catch Santa” on Christmas eve, what if you could just…ya know…have brunch with him instead? Lucky for you the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center is providing you with exactly that.
It’s on Saturday, December 13th from 9-10:30 at the CTSC and you won’t want to miss the great food, crafts, pictures, music, and of course – Santa and his Calabasas Elves! Call 818 222-2782 for info on how to register.
Santa already thinks you are nice, for sure. But think of how much more receptive he will be to your Christmas list if discussed over Eggs Benedict and a latte?
Share your ideas for fun family activities by following me on Twitter @nickerberger, catching the SCV Buzz on KHTS AM 1220, or watching CTV’s The Buzz.
“It’s raining…it’s pouring…” actually “drizzling”… but that doesn’t mean you need to hibernate this weekend. In fact, it's a great weekend to take a little adventure!
Here are my top 5 picks for Family Fun in Los Angeles this Weekend:
Fillmore & Western Railway Christmas Tree Holiday Train Fillmore
Going to the lot and picking out a tree is so boring, especially when you can make it an event to remember at the Fillmore & Western Railway Christmas Tree Holiday Train!
Starting this Sunday, November 29th and running Saturdays and Sundays through December 21st you can bring the entire family to ride the old-fashion rails to pick out the perfect Christmas Tree. Tickets and info are available here.
It’s a great way to spend time with your family, plus “you know who” has been known to show up from time to time. NO-not Justin Bieber-the other “you know who”. Bieber is SO 2013…
Sand Snowman Contest Hermosa Beach
We So Cal types don’t get many chances to work on our Snowman making skills, but man are we good at beach related activities!
You can combine the two this Saturday, December 6th, at the Sand Snowman Contest in Hermosa Beach. Families can head to the beach just north of the pier to make their snowmen...sandmen. Event check-in begins at 8:45am and sculpting begins at 9:00am. For more information, contact the Community Resources Department at 310.318.0280.
If the weather holds, you may even get to make that snowman in your bathing suit.
So. So. Cal.
A Civil War Christmas Wilmington
Civil War buffs this one is for you! The 15th Annual Holiday Celebration is taking place this weekend December 6th and 7th at The Banning Museum and The Drum Barracks Museum. Horse-drawn carriage rides, decorations, and all sorts of old-fashioned fun is being offered at this free event taking place from 11 am to 4pm both days.
You don’t even need to get involved in “re-enacting” to appreciate!
LA Parent Special Needs Resource Fair Los Angeles
The Zimmer Children’s Museum is a great place for kids any time, but this Sunday, December 7th, you can double that fun by participating in the L.A. Parent Magazine’s Special Needs Resource Fair. It’s from 12:30-5 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Zimmer Children’s Museum in Los Angeles. Admission is free and the interactive museum will be open throughout the fair.
There will also be lots of information on resources available for families with special needs.
It’s so great you might even TRIPLE your fun! Can you handle it?
Vroman’s Letters to Santa Pasadena
Need motivation to get your kid’s Christmas list all the way to the North Pole by snail mail? Well, Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena is providing the stationary and special mailbox to get your child’s letter there ASAP.
No excuses! Santa is still way more responsive to X-mas lists sent by mail than text.
But nice try on selling the electronic options, Mommy.
Share your ideas for fun family activities by catching me on Twitter @nickerberger, listening to the SCV Buzz on KHTS AM 1220, or watching CTV’s The Buzz.
Laura Nickerson, Queen of cheap and local family activities, Momblogger of 2, Host of CTV's The Buzz and KHTS AM 1220's SCV Buzz, visit #buzzLA for daily tips.