Archives for September 1, 2021

Aquarium offers discounted admission for homeschool students and families on Sept 7th and 8th

Photo credit: Aquarium of the Pacific

You can create an engaging lesson about the ocean by exploring the Aquarium of the Pacific on Tuesday, September 7, and Wednesday, September 8, during Homeschool Days. Touch sharks, rays, and sea jellies on your self-guided exploration of the exhibits in the Aquarium that take you all around the Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on planet Earth.

You can get excited for your Homeschool Days visit or continue exploring ocean science after your visit by exploring the Aquarium’s Online Academy. The Online Academy provides free weekly virtual education classes for kids from grades Pre-K to twelve. The Aquarium also has teacher resources available on the information page for this event, such as lesson plans, and ways to learn about careers related to marine science. Advance reservations and tickets are required for anyone interested in attending.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 7, 2021, discounted tickets available from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. / Wednesday, September 8, 2021, discounted tickets available from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

COST: $9 per ticket; Advance tickets are required and can be purchased at

INFO: (562) 590-3100

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

Services of event production companies

Event planning and event management are not easy for everyone because all processes are not only time consuming but also involve manpower. It requires a lot of expertise to plan and manage the event. That is why it is easy to hand over this difficult task to professionals who are not only good planners but also excellent event managers.

If you are planning an event and want to make it not only memorable but also successful then give this important task to event production services providing company to make it a real success. Before hiring an event production company, think about what services you need? And what services are being offered? Some specific services are offered by every event production company. Following are some of the services that these companies offer and you can choose from whenever you hire someone for your event.

  • Event management planning

The task of the event management company starts with planning work. This step is important for setting up and executing the event. After planning, the company coordinates with many people to get the job done.  The company takes some necessary actions to get assurance of on-time completion of all steps. These actions can be as given below.

  1. Assurance about on-time availability of the third party if needed
  2. Assurance of availability of production staff on requested time
  3. The decision to get some equipment on rent if needed with related hiring
  • Audio and Visual services

These event management companies provide all audio and visual services that you need like from television screens to projectors. This service includes two steps. First, set up this technology and then secondly, operation of technology. This equipment is of high quality and very expensive to purchase. This service not only provides audio and visual technology but also lighting.

  • Video production Services

If you are also interested in capturing the event for future viewing then these event management companies are also good for recording your event. These companies are not only equipped with high-quality audio-video equipment but also have experts to provide excellent video production services.

  • Live broadcast services

This is a very important service provided by event management companies. While recording a video file, it is also possible to get it streamed. Live streaming is usually required by companies who require their employees to go out live for their employees. Many conferences also go live on social media for their followers, especially conferences related to healthcare organizations.

  • Set designing and staging

Events without decoration don’t look like events. Set designing is an art because it requires creativity and ideas to make a unique design according to the event. Every event needs a different type of set and stages like weddings, charity fundraisers, and business or academic conferences. The event production companies have professionals who are not the only expert in creating a design for your event but also installation specialists.

Venue selection

Venue selection for the event can be difficult because it depends upon not the only type of event but also the number of participants. The event production companies not only find venues according to your need but also negotiate contractors on your behalf. Finding a venue for your event can be difficult for you because it requires a lot of time and negotiation skills. The event production companies already have a list of available venues. So, you can choose a venue without wasting your time.

The event production companies can provide all the services you need for your event, even a service that is not included in the above list. These companies not only plan and manage the event but are also able to solve the problems that appear unexpectedly.

Get ready for Back to School with these books!

BE STRONG by Pat Zietlow Miller; illustrated by Jen Hill: From the team behind the hugely popular New York Times–bestseller Be Kind, a picture book about what it means to be strong. I loved this book and recommend it for all young children. It is so important for today’s children to learn to be strong!

SMALL KNIGHT AND THE ANXIETY MONSTER by Manka Kasha: A Small Knight must go on a magical quest to defeat an Anxiety Monster in this adorable, heartfelt picture book debut. This one is really a great way for children to learn about being anxious. I highly recommend it and it is perfect for going back to school!

Have a Preschooler? This net one is perfect! PRIDDY LEARNING: MY FIRST READY FOR SCHOOL by Roger Priddy: is an interactive early-learning book from Priddy Books. Aimed at preschoolers and focusing on key early-learning concepts, this book will help children gain the skills needed for starting school.

Find them all at

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books. Cover images were also provided.

Americana in the Park, a New Free Concert Series Launches this September and October

Masanga Marimba Ensemble

The City of Santa Monica is partnering with McCabe’s Guitar Shop to present Americana in the Park in Gandara Park, on Sundays between September 19 and October 10 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Americana in the Park is a pilot project to create a new partnership model for outdoor events, where local organizations are provided funding and support from the City to bring unique and diverse events to the Santa Monica community. 

Of the new partnership, Cultural Affairs Manager Shannon Daut shares, “Our hope is that this new model of partnership will engage and support local community organizations, and will strengthen our communities’ connectedness. Jazz on the Lawn was a beloved series for 14 years and we’re looking forward to this new approach to continue to bring free family-friendly events to public spaces across Santa Monica.”  

The Americana in the Park series will explore the arc of Americana music from its roots in traditional African, Appalachian, roots, blues, bluegrass and folk music, to its modern forms of folk and country music. Showcasing a diverse group of Southern California artists and Americana styles, each concert will feature two family-friendly groups, with the opener geared towards children. Each concert will also feature food trucks and a McCabe’s Guitar Pop-Up Shop. 

  • September 19: The nine-member Masanga Marimba Ensemble will perform traditional and popular high-energy music from Zimbabwe and Latin America on a variety of instruments, including marimbas of various sizes, drums, percussion, saxophone and trumpet. 
  • September 26: Ukulele musicians Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward open for the Grammy-nominated New Orleans-style jazz band The California Feetwarmers who reimagine 1920’s and 1930’s classics from around the world. 
  • October 3: Children’s music duo Hullabaloo will open for Phil Salazar and The Kin Folk. Led by Southern California bluegrass legend, Phil Salazar, the band performs a unique mix of traditional music, infused with rock, blues, country, jazz, Irish, pop and bluegrass. 
  • October 10: Kid folk band The Hollow Trees opens for songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joachim Cooder, who will perform African-inspired Americana on his mbira, an African thumb piano. Joachim is known for collaborations with his father, American roots legend Ry Cooder, having appeared together on iconic recordings such as the landmark Buena Vista Social Club sessions. 

“We are thrilled to partner with the City for this music series. We’ve been a beloved concert venue in the Pico neighborhood for over 60 years. During the pandemic, we were forced to temporarily discontinue our concerts and we are so excited to host shows again and for the opportunity to reimagine the Jazz on the Lawn series and give some context and history to the Americana music genre,” said McCabe’s Concert and Event Producer, Kora Peterson. 

Americana in the Park is made possible by Art of Recovery, an initiative of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs that harnesses the arts to play a major role in the City’s recovery efforts.

The concerts will be held in accordance with the most current guidance from state and local health agencies.

For more information visit:

Credit: The City of Santa Monica and McCabe’s Guitar Shop.

Reminiscence * While The Film Has Some Strong Points, They’re Not Enough To Hold The Film Afloat

Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman), a private investigator of the mind, navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. Living on the fringes of the sunken Miami coast, his life is forever changed when he takes on a new client, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). A simple matter of lost and found becomes a dangerous obsession. As Bannister fights to find the truth about Mae’s disappearance, he uncovers a violent conspiracy, and must ultimately answer the question: how far would you go to hold on to the ones you love? KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S. comments, “The movie strives to be a romance and yet the love story is weak. While the film has some strong points, they’re simply not strong enough to hold the film afloat.” See her full review below.


By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Reminiscence is an overly long film with a lot of loose ends. The movie strives to be a romance and yet the love story is weak. While the film has some strong points, they’re simply not strong enough to hold the film afloat.

The storyline follows Nick (Hugh Jackman), a man desperately in love with Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). After she vanishes, Nick uses technology known as the Reminiscence, which lets users revisit memories that they’ve forgotten. Nick uses the memory technology to locate where and why Mae has left. Slowly the truth unravels only to reveal dirty secrets.

The movie definitely has its upsides. One of the film’s strongest points is the friendship between Nick and officer Watts. The two go way back, and it’s even confirmed by Watts that she’s in love with Nick. Watts does everything possible to prevent Nick from burning a memory in his brain from using Reminiscence too often. However, they have a falling out and their argument is never really resolved, ending in an uncompleted arc. The whole world is flooded; it is unclear as to why. It appears as though there has been a war – one in which both Nick and Watts are veterans of. The war is only mentioned; it’s never really addressed in depth, which leaves many loose ends. The war is the reason for the international flood and sinking of London, but there’s no description or overview of the war. Throughout the film, there are glimpses of memories of Mae and Nick together. These memories end up being repeated over and over, which can’t help but feel repetitive. Nick’s love for Mae is supposed to feel unending, but it feels limited by these few memories.

The lesson Nick learns is to believe in love. He goes the distance to learn the truth about Mae, refusing to believe that their relationship was one-sided. He goes against his closest friend and hardcore evidence to find the truth, even subjecting himself to the Reminiscence forever.

I give Reminiscence 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18 plus adults. It is available on HBO Max August 20, 2021

Diary Of A Future President: Season 2 * I Couldn’t Stop Watching It! Great Message

The second season of Diary of a Future President returns to Disney+ with all ten episodes available for binge-worthy streaming. Continuing the origin story of Cuban American and future leader Elena Cañero-Reed as she enters the seventh grade and recounted through excerpts from 13-year-old Elena’s diary, this coming-of-age series follows Elena through the ups and downs of middle school which sets her on the path to becoming the President of the United States. 

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Avalon N. comments, “Season 2 has lots of fun things to talk about. First is the theme song at the beginning of every episode. I love the way it starts as her middle school diary and ends as the president’s book. It kind of shows her journey. Second, there are lots of relatable new things in this season, such as having a crush that doesn’t feel the same way you do and having your friend get a girl or boy friend and not having time for you. Third, there are lots of cool sets such as Elena’s bedroom. The way that the bathroom is in between Bobby and Elena’s room is so cool.” See her full review below.

Diary Of A Future President: Season 2

By Avalon, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Diary Of A Future President: Season 2 is very different from other Disney Channel shows. It has a very inspiring message which makes it a show that I would want to keep watching to find out what happens next.

The storyline follows young Elena (Tess Romero) finding her way through middle school as she starts 7th grade and begins a journey to becoming the president. Her brother Bobby (Charlie Bushnell) is having some problems with starting high school and managing his crush. Their mother Gabi (Selenis Levya) is dating Sam Faber (Micheal Weaver) and has just decided to have him move in. All in all, there are lots of fun new changes in the second season.

Season 2 has lots of fun things to talk about. First is the theme song at the beginning of every episode. I love the way it starts as her middle school diary and ends as the president’s book. It kind of shows her journey. Second, there are lots of relatable new things in this season, such as having a crush that doesn’t feel the same way you do and having your friend get a girl or boy friend and not having time for you. Third, there are lots of cool sets such as Elena’s bedroom. The way that the bathroom is in between Bobby and Elena’s room is so cool. One of the sets is at the school and added this season is a theater which is a fun set. Fourth, this show uses lots of fun camera angles to enhance the viewing experience. Last, this show and its cast have been nominated for five different awards in 2020 and 2021. Most notable is winning a Gracie Allen Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role to Selenis Layva.

The message of this TV show is to always include others, be yourself even when that is hard, and always be honest.

Diary Of A Future President: Season 2
gets 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. This premieres August 18, 2021 on Disney+. So be sure to check it out.