Archives for September 2015

An Animal-Style Holiday Deal for Families

Animal-loving families will love the new two-day combo ticket offered by the L.A. Zoo and Aquarium of the Pacific this fall. Available October through December, the ticket includes admission to both Los Angeles attractions (on one day or separate days) for just $39 adults, $26 ages 11 and under. The deal comes just in time to give families a double holiday treat. In October, Boo at the L.A. Zoo offers trick-or-treating, jack-o-lantern carving demos and up-close encounters with creepy insects and reptiles Oct. 17-18 and 24-25. Meanwhile, Aquarium of the Pacific becomes Scarium of the Pacific Oct. 24-25, with children’s...

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Jack O’Lantern Spectacle On The Rise This October

Last year, the RISE Of The Jack O’Lanterns premiered at Descanso Gardens, creating a memorable wonderland of exquisitely carved pumpkins and placing it among families favorite Halloween Los Angeles events. The good news is that the Halloween spectacular is returning to Descanso Gardens, and the better news is that The RISE of the Jack O’Lanterns will also populate Arcadia’s Santa Anita Park with uniquely engraved gourds. These spectacular installations feature thousands of pumpkins that have been transformed into illuminated animals, fairytale characters, modern-day celebrities, vintage cars, dinosaurs, dragons and Halloween creatures. Every night, RISE’s talented sculptors do a live carving...

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New Online Autism Training For Babysitters Available

All parents want their child’s babysitters to be well prepared – able to keep their child entertained, handle the after-school or bedtime routine and deal with whatever challenges or emergencies might come up. For parents of children on the autism spectrum, there’s a new online tool available to help prepare sitters for the unique challenge of caring for these special kids. Available from the Institute for Behavioral Training (IBT), the package includes a 55-minute classroom-style video called “Caring For Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders,” a 20-minute video called “Babysitting Children and Teens With Autism” and a printable 42-page manual including...

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School Involvement for Special Needs Parents

If you are the parent of a student with special needs, you likely spend a lot of time at your child’s school discussing IEPs, accommodations and other issues affecting his or her education. Some encounters go smoothly. Others don’t, and this might have you avoiding the school except at drop-off and pick-up time. But there’s a school of thought (no pun intended) that contends that getting involved in your child’s school outside of special-education-related tasks can be a positive experience, giving you the chance to meet parents, students and staff while getting to know the school from another perspective. These...

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Help Group Summit Focuses on Autism, Learning Disabilities and ADHD

A two-day conference featuring leading experts in research and best practices in the assessment and treatment of autism, learning disabilities and ADHD is set for Oct. 23 and 24 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The Help Group’s Summit 2015 is designed for educators, clinicians/therapists and parents. Speakers include experts from UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, University of Washington, UC Davis, UC Riverside and USC. The conference will feature a wide range of topics including: Identifying and Treating Toddlers with ASD: Is it Time for a Paradigm Shift? ADHD: An Overview of What You Need to Know...

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Trinity Knights Athletics Adds to Varsity Football Coaching Staff

Former Indianapolis Colts Strong Safety Delano Howell and former Defensive Back Cletis Gordon of the Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers have been tapped as assistant coaches for the Trinity Knights Varsity Football Team at Trinity Classical Academy in Valencia. Head Coach Les Robinson (“Coach Rob”) and Dr. Matthew Dixon, Director of Athletics and Physical Education at Trinity Classical Academy made the announcement Sept. 24 and the new coaches joined the team Sept. 25 when the Trinity Knights took on the Southlands Christian Eagles at St. Francis High School in La Cañada. “The Trinity Knights are in a crucial time...

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Our Favorite Halloween Happenings

Kids are doubly excited about Oct. 31 this year. Because Halloween falls on a Saturday, there’s no school to interfere with Halloween merriment. However, there also is no reason to wait until Oct. 31 to start your holiday festivities. Amusing Haunts Southern California amusement parks aren’t waiting to start their Halloween celebrations. At Disneyland (, Mickey’s Halloween Party begins on select nights starting Sept. 25 and concluding Oct. 31. This year’s Halloween Party (which is a separate, ticketed event) includes the “Paint The Night” parade and “Halloween Screams” fireworks. Several Disneyland attractions also get a seasonal makeover (Haunted Mansion Holiday...

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Stop Over-Parenting and Raise An Adult

In recent years, there has been a lot of talk in the media, at PTA meetings and among parents and educators on the effects of helicopter parenting – knowing when to step in to help and when to allow children to do things for themselves. A new book by Julie Lythcott-Haims does a great job exploring the topic of over-parenting and its detrimental effects on young adults. How to Raise an Adult (Henry Holt and Co., June 2015) is based on Lythcott-Haims’ experience as the freshman dean at Stanford University, where she worked with many bright young students who were...

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Celebrate Good Times

Planning a party? Don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered with great finds, including fun ideas for kids, that will make your next shindig a hit! Party Plan On the Go Need a little inspiration? The Partyology app (free for iOS, lets you design, plan and shop from top retailers with your iPhone or iPad. Get instant access to great party tips from bloggers and party experts, and find neat ideas for throwing a splendid celebration. VIP Invites Invite Bandz ($14.99-$59.99, packs available for up to 40 guests, are a new twist on party invitations. Each kit comes...

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Creepy Features Come to Cinemas In October

Everyone gets into the Halloween spirit this month, and several films will be in theaters to help families looking for fun ideas for kids celebrate. The frightfully fun flicks begin Sept. 25, when you can check back into Hotel Transylvania. The Sony Pictures animated movie was a monstrous success in 2012 and Hotel Transylvania 2 hopes to follow in its Frankenstein-like footsteps. This time, Drac (Adam Sandler) must deal with new problems – making sure his grandson Dennis will be a vampire – and old – dealing with his curmudgeonly father Vlad (Mel Brooks). R.L. Stine fans are tingling with...

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