This is the absolute lowest ticket prices you may purchase for this fun musical that I am excited about seeing. It’s in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre. This ticket offer is for anyone who has an itch to Tweet or Facebook before, during, and after the show to let your friends know what you think about the musical. It’s for only one night, July 12th for the 7:30PM performance with limited ticket availability. If you’re as excited about this musical, this is a great way to see the show at a super affordable price and to help spread the word!

A ONE-NIGHT-ONLY SPECIAL OFFER!

 

JOIN US IN OUR “SOCIAL SWAMP”

POST ON FACEBOOK AND “TWEET” TO YOUR HEARTS DESIRE

DURING THE FIRST PERFORMANCE OF SHREK THE MUSICAL

FOR AN UNBELIEVABLY LOW PRICE:

JUST $15!

 

This offer is for one night only

and there are a limited number of tickets available,

so if you want to come, and join the conversation live mid-performance, order today!

 

SHREK THE MUSICAL

at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood

Tuesday, July 12

7:30 PM Curtain

 

Visit www.BroadwayLA.org/MyFriends

Must use promo code SWAMP when ordering.

 

************************************

 

SHREK THE MUSICAL, based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to life the stage.

In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre – not a handsome prince – shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a villain with a SHORT temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand… and his name is Shrek.

Featuring a terrific score of 19 all-new songs, big laughs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery, USA Today proclaims SHREK THE MUSICAL, “ALTOGETHER IRRESISTIBLE. A BIG FAT HIT!”

SHREK THE MUSICAL is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun for everyone!

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE A PREVIEW VIDEO!

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Last week, I organized a field trip to Fillmore Railway and Fish Hatchery. It’s a 15 minute ride on a vintage train to a fish hatchery where children use dimes to pay for fish food to feed trout and see some herons on the other side of the fence. Then, it’s a 15 minute ride back to the railroad station. Here are some pictures of our adventures on that day.

All aboard the train!

I was nervous we were going to miss the train. While we left early and initially thought we were going to be early, we got caught in terrible traffic. On the 405 freeway, there were two car accidents. We moved 2.5 miles in 45 minutes. Once we cleared the accidents, I drove incredibly fast with Mishy telling me to go faster and faster – she didn’t want to miss the train either! While I am not going to tell you how fast I went because eek – what if someone in law enforcement is reading this – it was so fast  that I was able to get to the Fillmore Railway with 10 minutes to spare.

A view from the train.

We had never been to Fillmore or driven along the 126 West Highway. It is a beautiful drive, passing orange farms, Lake Piru and nurseries. Fillmore itself is a quaint town that seems to have retained all of its charm. It’s filled with antique shops, tasty Mexican Food restaurants, and a City Hall with nice bathrooms and of course, the vintage trains. Mishy said she wanted to move to Fillmore and I entertained the thought. (We’ve been having a great deal of problems with our landlord where the police were called last month because the manager committed battery against me. We’ve been dealing with ongoing harassment, child harassment and endangerment for two years now. My husband even got bitten by a dog while protecting our daughter’s friend who was over and playing the backyard. I will write a post about all this in the future once our case with the City Attorney is resolved. Needless to say, my family has been thinking about moving.) Fillmore seemed like an ideal place to live.

Mishy, with purpose, walking to the fish hatchery.

Once the train stopped, we got off and walked a short couple of blocks to the fish hatchery. I forgot our dimes. Sarah and family, who joined us on the field trip offered to give us her dimes and together with what seemed like our endless supply of dimes, we fed the fish.

The trout jumping for food.

Mishy loved throwing large handful of fish food for the trout. She eventually threw her cup into the water. She said she wanted the fish to eat all of the crumbs. Luckily, the cup was non toxic.

Workers cleaning the hatchery.

The herons and ducks waiting for the fish.

On the other side of the fish hatchery were herons and ducks, enjoying their luck at being so close to a fish hatchery and waiting for some escaped fish. It was incredibly peaceful watching them. They were as equal a draw for the children’s attention.

Now for some details of the train:

Horses on top of the windows of the train.

One of the cars.

Mishy hanging out on a chair in the train.

 

A ceiling fan in one of the cars of the train.

Mishy jumping on another train seat.

The train also featured a car that was completely outdoors. I was too busy enjoying the train ride to take pictures of that car.

While it was a bit of a long car ride for us – normally, it would take just over one hour, but took us an hour and a half, it really was worth the traffic to experience the train ride, fish hatchery, spend time with friends, and get to visit Fillmore.

Details:

Fillmore and Western Railway

http://www.fwry.com/

 

 

This festival sounds extremely fun, festive and the Children’s Nature Institute is an incredible organization devoted to bringing nature to under-served children in the Los Angeles area. At one point, I was in training to be a docent for Children’s Nature Institute and have organized a nature walk for one of my groups where Kelly, lead a walk through the Malibu Lagoons. It was a beautiful day. Please go to this Saturday’s Kids Rock Festival. You and your children will have a great time together! It’s free and if you donate as little as $5, you can win some terrific prizes! How great is that!

Did you know that June is National Get Outdoors Month and June 11th is the official commemoration of National Get Outdoors Day?

Celebrate by getting outdoors with us at the

Kids ROCK Music Festival

benefitting the Children’s Nature Institute (CNI)!

Emcees Kenton Duty (Disney Channel’s Shake It Up) and Zach Callison (who just filmed the lead role of “Dylan” in Rock Jocks, played “Douglas” inHannah Montana, and part of the class of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?) will announce our amazing family-friendly performers.

 

For as little as a $5 donation, you may be the lucky winner of one of these amazing prizes including…

  • A 2-night stay at the lovely Rancho Las Palmas resort and spa
  • Children’s bicycles and helmets from REI
  • A Tao of Wellness gift pack (perfect for the exhausted mom or dad)
  • Skirball Cultural Center Member for a Day Pass (good for 2 adults and up to 4 children)
  • Ballet, gymnastics, and rock-climbing classes
  • And much, much more!

We can’t do our work without your contributions and support.

Thank you for helping the children of Los Angeles get outside for a change!

 

The Children’s Nature Institute (CNI)

1910 Magnolia Avenue #403

Los Angeles, CA 90007

(213) 746-2966

cni-kids.org

Mishy showing Babba the long horned cattle.

A couple of weeks ago, on a very hot Sunday in Los Angeles, the Autry Museum, which is located near Griffith Park hosted a fabulous Earth Day Celebration, which was sadly not well attended. We received free tickets via Goldstar and that’s how I heard about the event. There is an upcoming Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl on July 23rd, 2011 and if that day is anything like our day during the Earth Day Festival, you will probably stay all day long and still find more fun things to do and discover at the Autry – including some delicious food. I had some very tasty vegan chocolate chili. My daughter loved it too.

Here is a photo essay of our time there and it doesn’t cover everything the Autry Museum offered that day. They really know how to create a wonderful day for families. The Autry Museum is known for showing a complete picture of Californian Cowboy and Native America cultures, as well as Chinese American’s contribution during the time of the gold rush and railroad construction.

Pretending they are in jail.

Babba riding the pretend horse.

Mining for gold. They let you take some fool's gold home.

Playing in the Family Discovery Gallery - inspired by Lisa See's family history.

Pretending to eat the food Mishy made for Babba in the Family Discovery Gallery

Reading in the Family Discovery Gallery

Watching Peruvian music as part of The Earth Day Festival

Mishy and me painting a mural.

Dancing to a Native American drum circle

Petting a goat from the Moorpark Animal Teaching College.

Feeding a goat.

Dancing to Brazilian music.

Resting and hugging.

Releasing ladybugs.

The mural Mishy and I contributed to by helping paint it during the Earth Day Celebration.

Details:

The Autry Museum

http://theautry.org/

The Autry Museum Day of The Cowboy and Cowgirl

http://theautry.org/programs/family-activities/national-day-of-the-cowboy-and-cowgirl

Goldstar – where we received our free tickets. Goldstar offers discount tickets to several cultural events in America, including complimentary tickets. You just pay the service charges.

https://www.goldstar.com/join?p=F1627103RP

Going to the Farm Walk

April 17, 2011

Pierce College Farm Walk

I impressed my husband when we attended Pierce College’s Farm Walk. This is an annual event where they turn their 235 acre animal learning/teaching center into a farm. They had wagon rides, a petting zoo, an equestrian show, pony rides, students walking around with animals – a parrot, a python snake were two we saw, as well as food – including farmers market fresh strawberries, which we gobbled up, and a special surprise – a guest found a baby opossum.

Mishy feeding the Momma goat.

Mishy gathering hay to feed the wild burros.

Pierce College recently brought the wild burros from Nevada to protect the goats and cows from coyotes. Coyotes are scared of them.

Cows grazing.

They do sell the cows for beef to raise funds for their school. This Farm Walk is one of their many fundraisers they have throughout the year. Just to cover the cost of feed, they need to raise over $50, 000. Due to budget cuts, they have been forced to close down and lessen some of their stock of animals. They currently only have one pig because it was too costly for them. They did recently open up a chicken coop.

A tractor.

Wild sheep.

The animals are able to graze on much of their 235 acre property and the students are continuously planting seeds to grow into grass so they don’t just depend on hay as their primary source of food for the animals. The animal college would like to become as self-sufficient as possible.

Taking a rest.

Walking through the fields.

On the wagon ride.

Touching the Do Not Touch pretend horse.

Finding a baby opossum

Mishy petting the baby opossum

Playing with the hoola hoop set for a pretend horses and children to jump through.

Farm folk, fire fighters and the Forestry Division of the Los Angeles Fire Department, and the group, California Woman for Agriculture and Agriculture in the Classroom were also on hand to answer any questions.

Details:

Pierce College

http://www.piercecollege.edu/

Bob Baker Marionette Theatre has been on my list of things to do with my daughter since she was a few months old. This past Thursday, we were invited to see their show, Magic Strings, at their theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The show is a series of vignettes devoted to showcasing the puppet’s magic strings – how a puppet sings, woos, dances, plays piano, nuzzles, tickles, inspires laughter, amazement, and delight.

Bob Baker has been a professional puppeteer for most of this 87 years. While he wasn’t performing in this show, his five apprentices carried on his tradition of entertaining children of all ages. When we sat down in his charming theatre in the round, I smiled watching all the expectant audience members. They ranged in age from a newborn to several groups of elementary students to a group of senior citizens. They were all excited to see, for their first time, a marionettes show.

This show features over 100 puppets, including some that have been in his collection for over 50 years.  He has 3000 puppets in total and one day hopes to create a full-time Academy of Puppetry and Allied Arts adjacent to the theatre so many will learn the craft of puppetry. Right now, his not-for-profit Academy of Puppetry, subsidize tickets for students from local area schools to attend performances and helps develop languages resources so the experience of seeing live theatre may be brought back to the classroom. Bob Baker Marionette Theatre has been declared a historic cultural monument by the City of Los Angeles on June 3rd, 2009.

Dancing ostriches.

The puppets interact with the audience throughout the show. As soon as a puppet approached an audience member, Mishy wanted the puppets to come to her. “How come she’s not coming to me?” she asked. When the puppeteer with one of the ostriches puppets was nearby, I motioned for him to come to Mishy and he did. The ostrich nuzzled and nibbled on Mishy’ hair. She loved it.

The only section of the show that was a bit slow and too dark for Mishy was the fan dance. She wanted to know where their eyes were.

Cafe/Birthday Party room.

After the show, the audience was treated to ice cream in their cafe/birthday party room where you may also purchase hand-made collectible marionette puppets, as well as Mexican made puppets, Bob Baker coloring books, posters, and other fun stuff. When Mishy expressed she would love to see some of the puppets, I asked one of the puppeteers who asked us which one would we like to see. Mishy said the dog, who was the Master of Ceremony.

Mishy meeting one of the horses.

First, we met one of the horses because another puppeteer brought it out for other children to see. The puppeteer, Alex, showed how the horse’s mouth moves.

Mishy with Alouwishes

Meeting Ostrich

Details:

http://www.bobbakermarionettes.com/

If you use the code “Mom Blog 04”, you will get tickets at the special rate of $12.00 per ticket*.

This code is good for available weekday performances only (Tuesday through Friday) during the month of April 2011, and can only be used by calling the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre box office ahead of time to make a required reservation at 213-250-9995.

The theatre itself is situated in an unusual spot and reminds me of going to independent art galleries in New York in the late 1990’s – slightly remotely located and with buildings with barbed wire on top of their walls. Nevertheless, it is safe and they have a private parking lot where it’s $3 to park. We parked on the street for free.

Cool tip: After seeing the show, you may want to go for a hike at nearby Vista Hermosa Park. It is just kitty corned to Bob Baker Marionette Theatre.

(I was given complimentary tickets to see the show with no obligation to review.)

Mishy hiding in the wooden pyramid.

On Friday, I organized three tours of 200 people in total to visit a local matzah factory located in Westwood, near UCLA. It’s part of my need to offer families educational and fun experiences.

Every year for ten days, as a lead up to Passover, a local Chabad gives the opportunity for children and adults of all ages to watch a re-enactment of the exodus of Israelites from Egypt and then let all the children make matzah. It is a secret field trip destination for those in the know – if you’re not affiliated with a Jewish organization.

Moses telling us his words from God.

The first room we sat in was decorated with images of pyramids, with a wooden pyramid/door. When we entered, my daughter quickly wanted to go inside pyramid and hide. We hid until I had to check people in and then short video played where we went back in time and met Moses, who told us God has mentioned it was time for him to ask the Pharaoh to free the Israelites in  Egypt. He said we must all go to see the Pharaoh and if he doesn’t free the Jews, to boo him.

Moses mentioning the coming plagues.

We were led into another room where we met Pharaoh and his sidekick. This section, while informative, had some humor I wished could have been left out – references to Charlie Sheen and other current events that took me out of the re-enactment. Being a mother of a three-year old, there were also certain aspects of the plague I would have liked if it were handled simpler. That being said, I was impressed with the actor’s commitment and production values. The Chabad didn’t skimp.

Exiting Egypt.

After the Pharaoh agreed to free the Jews, we were free to learn about making matzah.

Mishy feeding the ram wheat.

Another actor, dressed as a farmer, introduced his ram and talked about why matzah was made – because the Israelites did not have time to make bread due to the time constraint in leaving Egypt. He then talked to us about the ingredients of matzah – any type of flour and water and showed us how to separate the wheat from its chaff. We all got a chance to do that with our own individual piece of wheat.

Grinding the wheat kernels.

Asking for two volunteers, he demonstrated how to grind the wheat kernels into flour and then lead us into another room where another volunteer got us well water.

Is that a nail in the water?

Mixing flour with water and getting his hands dirty, he told us how long it takes to bake matzah – 18 minutes.

Mixing the flour with water.

Finally, it was time for all the children who wanted to, to make their own matzah and we were led to our final room – the bakery!

Rolling the dough.

Each child was given a work station with a small amount of dough, a rolling-pin, and a special instrument to create holes into the flattened dough.

Putting the holes into the dough.

Carrying the raw matzah to the baker.

Placing the raw matzah on the pan.

The baker puts it in the oven.

Then we ate the matzah! No pictures of that. We were too busy eating. Mishy said it was yummy.