I didn't grow up in Los Angeles; and although I have Latin American family, we are not of the Mexican or Guatemalan variety - meaning I arrived in SoCal knowing next to nothing about Day of the Dead. I've gradually pieced together the whole fascinating cultural and historical puzzle, discovering how many Halloween traditions we actually owe to the Native Americans who were in the city of angels before us, before the Spanish, before Christianity. El Día de los Muertos is a rare opportunity to understand several layers of angeleno culture, while celebrating something that looks a heck of a lot like Halloween.
While LA offers many Day of the Dead celebrations, the most authentic may be the novenarios, the nine nights of revelry leading up to November 2. Many Spanish-speaking countries have novenarios leading up to Christmas, but there is a similar build-up to the Day of the Dead, and here in LA it is most celebrated, not surprisingly, on Olvera Street. I've been curious to check out this traditional celebration for years, but between ghost trains and haunted houses our last week of October has always been booked solid. Not to mention that whole parking downtown thing. This year I finally decided to take the sugar skull by the horns and go see what it's all about. Curious?
If you went to the One Family Music Festival last year, you have a pretty good idea of how rockin’ the Boston Kids Really Rock music and arts festival will be. Conceived of and organized by the very same visionary, Karen Kalafatas of Karen K and the Jitterbugs, the festival will feature many of the same wonderful Boston bands and community-building activities for families. What you may not know is that Boston Kids Really Rock is going all out with Dan Zanes as headliner and special guest Father Goose. The festival's focus is on sharing messages of kindness, creativity and community spirit with Boston kids. Mommy Poppins Boston will announce the winners of our Boston Kids Who Really Rock contest at the festival, too. We're excited to celebrate local kids and tell the inspiring stories of how they are making a difference in their communities.
If that’s not enough to convince you, keep reading for the top five reasons to make some time in your schedule and take the kids to the Lawn on D this Sunday for a glorious day of community, music, arts and family fun.
Whether you’re trying to expand your children’s cultural horizons, connect them to their roots, or just looking for something different, Boston is the place to be. We have language classes for multilingual kids, international playgroups, and world music classes. We also have classes for kids to learn dance traditions from distant lands. Boston kids can learn Flamenco, Bollywood, Irish Step Dance, Mexican Folk Dance – even the Lion Dance you see performed at the Lunar New Year celebration every year. I’ve rounded up dance classes from all over the world, from Armenia to West Africa, offered to children right here in the Boston area.
I’m not sure why I had my daughter audition for the Boston Children’s Chorus. She was so shy, she could barely look at an adult during a conversation. She wasn’t a great singer, she knew very little about music, and she had absolutely no desire to perform.
But I insisted. I wanted her to be a part of a diverse community, to spend time with kids she wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to meet. I thought it was important for her to learn to read music and sing songs from different cultures. Most of all, I was hoping she would gain confidence – she was such a bright and capable kid, but she hadn’t yet found her voice.
What a difference two seasons in the Boston Children’s Chorus can make.
My daughter and I are big Grace Lin fans. Her storytelling and gorgeous illustrations continually mesmerize us, and we really like that she’s a local author. Our fandom began when I first read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, the story of a girl named Minli who, inspired by her father’s fantastical stories, sets out on a journey to change her family’s fortune. With a young, quick-witted heroine and its messages of the value of selflessness and recognizing one's own good fortune, I knew it would be the perfect family read-aloud.
When I heard about the stage adaptation of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon playing at the Wheelock Family Theatre, I imagined how beautifully the lyrical writing would translate to script and the ways a theatrical performance would bring the magic of the story to life. Keep reading to find out if the production measured up, plus five highlights and five things to be aware of before taking your kids to the show.
Spring always inspires wanderlust in my family. How about yours? Are you imagining yourselves somewhere far away, someplace new and exciting? Even if you can’t get away, you and your kids can take a crafting vacation to Japan, France, Mexico, or the UK for an hour or two, and have a souvenir to display proudly when you return to your every day life.
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara