Archives for February 5, 2018

Family Fave Twinkle hosts Kids Club Concert Series w/special guests Andrew & Polly at Santa Monica Place

L.A. family fave, the award-winning, Peruvian-American kindie music phenomenon known as Twinkle, is the host of Kids Club, a new, free concert series for kids of all ages on the first Wednesday of every month. The next Kids Club concert will feature an hour of music by the beloved husband-and-wife duo Andrew & Polly at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 7 in the kids’ play area of the food court at Santa Monica Place, 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA.

In addition to presenting a different kindie music guest artist or band each month, Twinkle herself will perform at every Kids Club concert. Described as “like Lady Gaga for kids,” with a super pop sound mixed with a touch of Broadway belt, a sparkling soupçon of hip-hop, and plenty of EDM glam, Twinkle dances to the beat of her own drum, breaking barriers, sound and otherwise, with both her music and flamboyant, Harajuku-style presentation. With her award-winning albums, raise-the-roof concerts, and one-of-a-kind fashion and makeup, Twinkle dazzles kids and families nationwide.

The daughter of a Peruvian mom and a Brooklyn-raised, Romanian-Jewish dad, Twinkle’s first language was Spanish. With sensitivity and balance, she incorporates both Spanish and English into every performance.

Kids and families nationwide know and love the music of Andrew & Polly from hearing their songs on Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live and on Nickelodeon and Sesame Studios projects. Andrew & Polly are also the creators and hosts of a critically acclaimed podcast for kids, Ear Snacks.

Andrew & Polly connect with kids in a big way. They open all their live shows with a number that draws children and parents alike into their special brand of smart, imaginative, and bravely silly performance. Using anything from banana-concealed kazoos to Japanese synthesizers, Andrew & Polly encourage audience participation as they improvise according to suggestions from the kids. Sometimes Andrew is very shy, and he often falls asleep and needs an entire audience to roar him awake. Polly can magically lift Andrew’s extremely heavy accordion suitcase with ease, but she’ll forget the simplest lyrics. (“Are you sure that’s how the ABC’s go? A-B-C-D-E-F- …Q?”)

Enthuses Twinkle, “I’m so excited to add hosting and producing the Kids Club concert series to my very busy touring schedule! I have so many talented kindie musician friends. We all have our own styles that make us unique, but our love for kids brings us all together. How cool is it to have a mini-concert every month where kids and families can experience different genres of music and build lasting memories for a lifetime? It’s going to be a kidzapalooza fun time every single month for all the ‘lil twinklettes and rockstarz’ in SoCal.”

March 7 will bring The Hollow Trees to the Kids Club series, treating kids and families to a rousing performance of their high-energy Americana music. Twinkle looks forward to announcing her spring line-up of guest artists, but says, “fans will have to wait just a little bit longer.”

Check out Twinkle’s website HERE.

Visit Andrew & Polly’s website HERE.

Credit:  Elizabeth Waldman Frazier at Waldmania PR.

Yogurtland Celebrates Seventh Annual International Frozen Yogurt Day On February 6, 2018 Guests Can Enjoy Free Yogurt, Ice Cream and Toppings, Including Limited-Edition Hershey’s® Flavors

The popular self-serve dessert spot, Yogurtland announces plans for the seventh annual International Frozen Yogurt Day celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 6 where fans can enjoy free frozen yogurt, ice cream and toppings from 4pm – 7pm at all participating locations.

This year, Yogurtland’s celebration of dessert creativity will include two new handcrafted flavors made in collaboration with The Hershey Company:

Chocolate Malt Ball Ice Cream made with Whoppers®- This tasty treat combines delicious real Whoppers, cocoa and malt powder to serve up a creamy ice cream. Similar to the chocolate covered malt ball with a yummy malt center, this flavor leads with delectable malt and is followed by notes of milk chocolate.

Chocolate Wafer Bar Frozen Yogurt made with KitKat®- Bringing together milk chocolate followed by delicious wafer cookie, this flavor combines all the things we know and love about KitKats. This flavor combines real KitKat, cocoa and malt powder to serve up a delicious froyo.

This year’s Yogurtland International Frozen Yogurt Day celebration is sponsored by Hershey’s® and The California Milk Advisory Board.

“International Frozen Yogurt Day is the perfect way to celebrate all things Yogurtland,” said Chad Bailey, senior director of marketing, Yogurtland. “We hope everyone will come in and celebrate with us by creating their own tasty treat using any of our yogurt and ice cream flavors, plus delicious topping options.”

Yogurtland’s flavorologists are continually seeking craveable flavors that keep fans loving their experience. Yogurtland owns its own dairy and by controlling the frozen yogurt making process, the company can deliver the highest quality flavors, setting new standards for millions of fans.

Yogurtland features non-fat and low-fat yogurt flavors, ice cream, and non-dairy and no sugar added choices while using milk that does not contain antibiotics or added hormones. Fruit flavors are fortified with Vitamin C for an extra boost.

Presently Yogurtland has more than 320 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, , Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Venezuela. Flavors are always subject to creative change and popular demand. For more information, visit http://www.yogurt-land.com or http://www.facebook.com/yogurtland.

Credit: Yogurtland.

 

Los Angeles Zoo Celebrates Valentine’s Day By Offering A Special Online 2 FOR 1 Discount*, $10 Off Any Membership Purchase AND AN EXCLUSIVE #LAZOOLOVE PHOTO OP! ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 10 am- 4 pm

Photo Credit: Jamie Pham.

Spend some koala-ty time with your sweetie this Valentine’s Day at the L.A. Zoo by taking advantage of a 2 for 1 discount* for all couples on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, from 10 am to 4 pm. Purchase a general adult admission ticket and receive a second ticket of equal or lesser value for free. Offer is available for online ticket purchases only using discount code: LAZOOLOVE Tickets available at www.lazoo.org. Limit 6 ticket purchases per person. Guests will also be able to enjoy a #LAZooLove Valentine’s Day photo op. All visitors are encouraged to use the hashtag #LAZooLove during their visit.

Zoo visitors who purchase a membership before entry will receive an exclusive $10 discount* applied to any member level when purchased at the membership booth on February 14, 2018 only. Discount is applicable for new members only. More information about membership levels and benefits can be found at: www.lazoo.org/membership

*Discount cannot be combined with any other offer or previously purchased tickets.

Credit: The Los Angeles Zoo.
About the Los Angeles Zoo
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which holds member institutions to rigorous professions standards for animal welfare, the Los Angeles Zoo is renowned as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, the L.A. Zoo is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered. Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. The Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L.A. Zoo Web site at www.lazoo.org

Octonauts: The Great Swamp Search – Like Mission Impossible for Young Audiences!

Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, and medic Peso Penguin, along with the other Octonauts as they explore the world’s oceans, rescue the creatures that live there and protect their habitats – above and below the waves! On this exciting DVD, join the Octonauts as they journey to the Everglades to help Tweak’s dad, Ranger Marsh, track down several invasive species – including a Burmese Python and her babies! The adventures continue with six more exciting underwater missions! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “The voice acting and plots bring a unique feel unlike other animated work. This is sure to be a hit with kids who love animation.” Sahiba K. adds, “Octonauts: The Great Swamp Search is like Mission: Impossible for younger audiences! There is danger and action at every corner and unique adventures.” See their full reviews below.

Octonauts: The Great Swamp Search

By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

This is a fun, educational, adventure-filled DVD with animals. The voice acting and plots bring a unique feel unlike other animated work. This is sure to be a hit with kids who love animation.

The story follows the adventures of an underwater exploring crew, the Octonauts which includes Captain Barnacles (Simon Greenall), Lieutenant Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw), Medic Peso (Wayne Greyson), Biologist Shellington (Keith Wickham), and Founder Grimpoteuthis (Keith Wickham). They are enticed by many adventures including the likes of returning animals to their homes, rescuing baby animals and finding the right turf for a group of hippos. Meanwhile, they discover new information about all the animals they are investigating.

Simon Greenall, as Barnicles, presents a commanding presence in leading the Octonauts, especially when choosing what a priority is. He is my favorite character because of this. Rob Rackstrawis, as Kwazii, is a fun member of the team who loves to help the animals and learn more about them. It is also interesting to see her reunion with her father who plays a big part in the first adventure. Wayne Greyson, as Peso, is an incredibly smart medic who wants to use his skills to save lives. Keith Wickham, as Shellington and Grimpteuthis, portrays two different characters that are of great importance to the team.

Darragh O’Connell directs this show with a Star Trek-esque tone of discovery. My favorite scene is the chase from the hippos because of the creative ways in which the Octonauts flee. It also feels like an extremely urgent scene. My only problem with the show is that, at times, the episodes are repetitive such as when they use the same plots with different animals.

The message of the show is to protect all animals and the ecosystem. Despite being treated unfairly by the animals, the Octonauts work around that to help them. They even give food to the hungry carnivores who threaten the ecosystem, while protecting the other animals. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. This DVD is available now so be sure to check it out.

Octonauts: The Great Swamp Search

By Sahiba K., KIDSFIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Octonauts: The Great Swamp Search is like Mission: Impossible for younger audiences! There is danger and action at every corner and unique adventures. The music is engaging and made my heart race, adding to the thrilling effect. Along with the gripping stories, each episode cleverly incorporates interesting fun facts casually into the Octonauts’ conversations.

The story follows the Octonauts – Captain Barnacles, Kwazii, Peso Penguin, Dashi Dog, Shellington, Tweak and Tunip who always come to the rescue. Each episode follows an entertaining and fresh storyline where the Octonauts face peril and must use teamwork and problem solving to save the day. They help a myriad of animals and learn much from their adventures.

Every species has a distinctive voice and accent. This adds to the element of diversity and uniqueness. Simon Greenall as Captain Barnacles makes it obvious through his authoritative voice that he is the captain. Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw) is a pirate and incorporates an interesting accent to enhance his character and add humor.

The animation is quite realistic, particularly the water, shadows, clouds and colors during different times of the day. The water moves so smoothly that I felt I could reach into their world and touch it. Throughout many scenes, reflections can be seen in the water and are extremely naturalistic. The clouds move subtly across different shots and the movement is memorable. Shadows of the trees, animals and the Octonauts are beautifully portrayed. In the shadows, underwater and during different times of day, the colors change intensity which boosts the sublime qualities of the animation.

The animated cinematography is special. There are many wide shots that show the Octonauts from afar and then zoom in, allowing the viewer a chance to enjoy the scenery, light and depth of the animation. The 3D effects create a world that doesn’t seem so far from reality even though it is. It immersed me in the experience while learning about all the different species.

My favorite part is how fun facts are blended into the conversations. Even though it doesn’t feel as you are learning something, you learn many different things about hippos, crawfish and a multitude of other animals. The messages of this show are about teamwork, putting others before yourself and being kind to everyone. I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 12. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out. It’s great stealth learning.

 

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

 

Teaching your teens about the benefits of the Internet

Teenagers now are coping with a world where everyone is connected and everyone has an online presence. Even from an early age, children of all ages are exposed to the wild west of the internet, and it’s important that they are taught the potential dangers they may encounter whilst browsing their favorite sites. Obviously, you want them to feel safe whilst online, but it’s important that you also teach them about the many benefits that the internet can provide them with, and offer advice on how to manage their online lives. While there are concerns for teens exposed to the realities of the online landscape, there are also many reasons to make sure that they take advantage of the many positive aspects of it as well.

 

Don’t frighten them off

 

The internet can be a scary place for the uninitiated, and although online safety should be taught as soon as your teens are even considering their first Facebook account, there are plenty of reasons why you should encourage them to use the available resources. Despite its dangers, the internet is a vast source of information, and can help with homework and life advice no matter your child’s age. Even though safety is a priority, don’t scare them off or persuade them to not take advantage of the help they can find for homework assignments or as a creative outlet.

 

Stress the importance of their online footprint

 

Just as a business has to brand itself in order to stand out from the competition, so should your teen be considering their future. With the future of the job market more unpredictable than any previous generation has encountered, it is more important than ever that your child learns some basic netiquette rules so that their time online is not going to damage their prospects.

 

Set them up with key skills

 

While many parents are dubious about how much time their child spends on the internet, it’s vital that you understand the benefits of the online community far out-weigh the bad. Learning online skills is important nowadays, as digital marketing, writing and even management are becoming more digitalized each and every day. If you have a business, then teach your child the skills you need. For instance, SEO is an important part of business now, so teaching your child about Managed SEO, content marketing and link building can aid them. It can be a great way to explore your child’s interests, and whether they teach themselves code and build a site from scratch, or use the services of sites like WordPress or Wix, they will be learning key skills that will benefit their education and future employment prospects.

 

It’s all too easy to read the scare stories and convince ourselves that the best way to protect our children is by not allowing them to explore the internet. However, as parents we need to ensure that the next generation takes full advantage of every opportunity, and the sheer scale of usefulness that the internet has to offer can make the difference to your child’s future.