Fun, Active Fitness Enthusiasts & Health Foodies Invited to get physical with Think! Protein Bars and Amazon’s Treasure Truck in LA on Saturday, October 19th

Free samples Think! Protein Bars , fun activities and photos available at Amazon’s Treasure Truck Saturday, Oct. 19 from noon – 5 pm at The Americana at Brand in Glendale.

Amazon’s Treasure Truck is working with Think! Protein bars on an energetic and fitness-forward day of fun. Featuring free samples of Think!’s most popular flavors such as Brownie Crunch and Creamy Peanut Butter, guests can enjoy a climbing wall and a “Scrumptious Seesaw” photo opportunity.

WHEN:         Saturday, October 19

                    Noon – 5 pm

WHERE:       The Americana at Brand

889 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210

COST:          Event is FREE and open to the public

The Amazon Treasure Truck is a rolling, immersive retail experience offering a unique shopping experience with top-tier products. To find out when the truck will be out in your city, you can sign up for Treasure Truck notifications at amazon.com/treasuretruck. You can also follow the Truck’s journey on social media @treasuretruck.

Credit: Treasure Truck.


Monsters Are Afraid of Babies is the perfect Halloween book for your little ones!

Show kids there’s nothing to be afraid of this Halloween with the delightful picture book Monsters Are Afraid of Babies by Nicholas Tana, illustrated by Jessica Abbot and Elise Leutwyler.  

I found this book quite delightful and recommend for young children this Halloween!

In this humorous and boldly colorful read, children follow a boy who frightens the creatures in the closet with the help of his baby sister. Tana has created a universally meaningful message that disarms the figures that intimidate us. Monsters Are Afraid of Babies brings new perspective on the unknown, by humanizing those scary invisible creatures.

Lovers of Where the Wild Things AreGoosebumps and Pixar’s Monster’s Inc., will tingle with terror reading this spooky story with a relevant sentiment on fear and anxiety. Monsters readers will delight in each page turn, filled with eye-catching artwork and playful rhyme.

This book makes reading fun and would make a great gift for young children!

You can find it on Amazon.com!

Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to facilitate this post. Images and information were also provided.

Scare Up Extra Smiles This Halloween With New SCARY! SOX Line Of Frighteningly Fun Kids, Tweens & Women’s Socks!

These are too cute!

Popular New SMILE! SOXBrand Unveils SCARY! SOX Line To Help Kids Scare Up Extra Smiles (And Candy!) 

Forget theghosts, goblins and cobwebs – the most frightening part of Halloween for most kids is not having the right costume to wear. Fortunately, a new line of socks from the makers of the recently-introduced SMILE! SOX brand will make dressing scary an easier feat than ever before.

Introducing SCARY! SOX–a bewitchingly fun line of high-tube pumpkin-orange socks for kids and Moms featuring six hauntingly scary faces ready to go toe to toe with every zombie, ghoul and vampire they encounter Halloween night.

Available now on the  www.smilesox.com siteSCARY! SOX are sold as 3 pair packs: 

  • Kids (12” Tube Socks; One Size Fits Most) – 3-Pair Price: $9.99
  • Tweens & Women’s (16” Tube Socks; One Size Fits Most) – 3-Pair Price: $11.99

SCARY! SOX™ are made of 98% soft polyester and 2% Spandex for maximum comfort and wearability.

Like SMILE! SOX, SCARY! SOX™ are lots of fun for kids and Moms! Wear them to a Halloween festival, to the Pumpkin patch, a school party, or on a Halloween Haunt. SCARY! SOX are also ideal gifts to send to friends and family or to give away as Halloween party favors. I received samples and just love them! I gave a pair to a friend and just had to keep the other pairs for myself!

More information:

Based in Southern California, SMILE! SOX™ is independently owned and part of the Keepers International family. Founded in 1954, Keepers is a pioneering wholesale distributor of premium-quality, high-fashion socks that began by serving independent apparel and shoe stores along with larger regional department and sporting goods stores located on the West Coast. Today Keepers’ socks are sold in Dress, Casual, and Sport styles for men, women and kids at stores all around the world.            

Conservation Ambassadors to Host Animal Meet-and-Greets and Shows at the Aquarium October 19 & 20

Photo: Conservation Ambassadors
 

The Aquarium of the Pacific will host special guest animals from wildlife rescue and outreach organization Conservation Ambassadors with meet-and-greet opportunities and shows scheduled on October 19 and 20, 2019. Animals that will be visiting the Aquarium with Conservation Ambassadors include an alligator, porcupine, lemur, giant bull frog, kinkajou, Harris hawk, kangaroo, raven, and beaver.

Aquarium visitors will have the chance to see the alligator, bull frog, and beaver at a photo backdrop station near the exit of the Pacific Visions culmination gallery on the second floor. The other animals will do meet-and-greet sessions and shows around the Aquarium, including three daily shows in the Ocean Theater at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

The shows and meet-and-greet sessions will include educators who will talk with visitors about the conservation issues animals face in the wild and how the topics people learn about in Pacific Visions— providing enough food, energy, and water for a growing human population while conserving nature—connect with these species.

The Conservation Ambassadors will be on site at the Aquarium from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. both days. On Saturday, October 19, they will make a special appearance during the VIP on the Veranda portion of the Aquarium’s Sea Fare fundraising event between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Conservation Ambassadors, based in Paso Robles, California, provides a home for displaced and injured wild and exotic animals and through its Zoo to You outreach program helps educate people of all ages about conservation.

The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 12,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the new Pacific Visions wing, Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, and the Tentacles and Ink and FROGS: Dazzling & Disappearing exhibits. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. Field trips for schoolchildren are offered at a heavily discounted rate, from $7 to $8.50 per student. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and special benefits. Now through October 31, 2019, you can receive $5 off regular Aquarium admission when you purchase your tickets online at aquariumofpacific.org. Convenient parking is available for $8 with Aquarium validation. For more information, the public can visit the Aquarium’s website or call (562) 590-3100.

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

Scarium of the Pacific: Spooktacular Halloween fun for the whole family! Giveaway Opportunity!

Photo Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

Discover creepy creatures and enjoy magic shows, costume contests, and underwater pumpkin carving at the Aquarium, where there’s more fun than fright.

Dive into the dark depths of the Aquarium, where there’s more fun than fright this Halloween season! Discover the eerie creatures lurking in the depths at the twentieth annual Scarium of the Pacific on Saturday and Sunday, October 26 and 27, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Kids of all ages can look for creepy-looking animals while enjoying special Halloween activities and learning about the ocean.

The event will feature various Halloween programs, including the annual children’s costume contest, magic shows, spooky storytelling, kooky crafts, the creepy coloring contest, and otherworldly animals in the Great Hall.

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, October 26-27, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

COST:  Included with general admission$34.95 adult (12+), $31.95 senior (62+), $24.95 child (3-11), and free for children under age 3 and Aquarium members.

INFO:   (562) 590-3100 or http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/scarium_of_the_pacific /

Mobile-print coupon for FREE Admission for Child in Costume with coupon! Up to 11 years old. Regular $24.95!

http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/fest4

We have teamed up for a fantastic Giveaway! One lucky winner will win a Family 4 Pack of tickets good for either Saturday or Sunday of the event. But, they will also win a $25 gift card to Islands Restaurants!  The gift cards are provided by Islands Restaurants at The Pike Outlets located just across the street from the Aquarium, but can be redeemed at any Islands Restaurant. See https://www.islandsrestaurants.com for locations. To enter, leave a comment below telling us whay you would love to attend this event! The deadline to enter is October 23rd, 2018 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected!

Self Disclosure: Information and images provided by the Aquarium of the Pacific. Gift card courtesy of Islands Restaurants. SoCal City Kids will randomly select the winner.

Thank You, Mister Rogers: Music & Memories

This Fall, Both Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks Are at Home in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood!
 October 25th Release Marks the Start of ‘Thank You Mister Rogers’ Month

The rebirth of interest in Fred Rogers, which includes an upcoming Tom Hanks film, inspires a unique musical tribute that celebrates a special side of the man known as “America’s Favorite Neighbor.” A newly recorded collection of Fred’s songs, Thank You, Mister Rogers: Music & Memories, will be available wherever music is sold or streamed on October 25th.

Providing delightful listening for the whole family, the album embodies unforgettable performances by award-winning artists performing re-imagined renditions of Fred Rogers classics as well as uncovered gems from his 200-plus catalogue of songs. The cast includes Kellie Pickler, Vanessa Williams, Rita Wilson, Lee Greenwood, The Cowsills, Jaci Velasquez, Jim Brickman, Jon Secada, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., Micky Dolenz, Tom Bergeron, and Sandi Patty. Significantly, Wilson joins her husband Tom Hanks “in the Neighborhood,” by way of singing a Fred Rogers song on this album. Hanks portrays the children’s television pioneer himself in the upcoming biopic.

The album’s arrival also ushers in “Thank You, Mister Rogers Month” – a time set aside to honor Fred’s legacy by encouraging people to act on his simple but eloquent message, “Be kind.” Nashville, Tennessee, where much of the album was recorded, is the first city to proclaim November as a time to “Be Like Fred.”

Fred Rogers wrote more than 200 of the songs made popular on his PBS television show, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. Two-time Grammy winner Dennis Scott produced the album, observing, “Fred was a gifted songwriter and understood how music could serve as an effective way to teach and share important life lessons. We hope that both adults and children familiar with Fred’s songs will enjoy hearing how well they lend themselves to a variety of musical styles and genres.”

The album includes some surprises, including Spanish lyrics put to the tune of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” which features a heartfelt performance by Cuban-born pop artist Jon Secada. And TV spokesperson Tom Bergeron, best known for hosting “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “Dancing with the Stars,” makes his singing debut with a jazzy rendition of “Some Things I Don’t Understand.” It’s also the first-time audiences will experience his talent as a gifted whistler. 

Actor, songstress Rita Wilson delivers a touching performance of “Sometimes People Are Good,” a sentiment also reflected in Tom Hanks’ on screen portrayal of Fred. Wilson aptly observes, “Mister Rogers’ melody and lyrics are beautifully integrated together. His words of kindness, acceptance, and peace are a classic message.”

David Newell, who portrayed Mr. McFeely on the show, describes the eclectic and joyful nature of this album: “Each song in this collection is different from the other…and each singer has made it their own. Fred would be delighted to know that his music lives on to new generations.”

Perhaps the talented and lovely Vanessa Williams describes the audience for Thank You Mister Rogers best, “As a child, you appreciated the songs but as an adult, you really appreciate his music.”

In the words of Fred Rogers, “It’s such a good feeling” to know that Thank You, Mister Rogers – Music & Memories will be available on CD and all digital platforms soon. Pre-release singles will launch on September 27th and October 18th. Mister Rogers fans are invited to submit their own happy memories of the show and Fred’s music at: http://www.thankyoumisterrogers.com. Fans may keep up to date on the #ThankYouMisterRogers release on Facebook and Twitter via@thankyoumisterrogers.

I had the opportunity to preview this CD and highly recommend especially to those who grew up watching Mister Rogers!

Credit: I received a preview CD and information and image were also provided. Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR.

Gabby Duran & The Unsittables * Unpredictably Funny Transformation Between Alien and Human

A girl finally finds her moment to shine when she inadvertently lands an out-of-this-world job to babysit an unruly group of very important extraterrestrial children who are hiding out on Earth with their families, disguised as everyday kids. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Milika L., comments, “Gabby Duran & The Unsittables is entertaining! The transformation between alien and human is unpredictably funny. The green Gorman had me anticipating the next alien. I am ready for the next episode.” See her full review below.

Gabby Duran & The Unsittables

By Milika Lomu, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 11

Gabby Duran & The Unsittables is entertaining! The transformation between alien and human is unpredictably funny. The green Gorman had me anticipating the next alien. I am ready for the next episode.

The story is based on the novel by Elise Allen and Daryle Conners. Kirby Buckets’ Mike Alber and Gabe Snyder serve as showrunners as well as executive producers alongside Just Add Magic’s Joe Nussbaum.

The series focuses on 12-year-old stylish and confident Gabby Duran (Kylie Cantrall) who constantly feels like she’s living in the shadows of her lucrative mother and brainy little sister. Gabby lands an out-of-this-world job as a babysitter to a group of peculiar, extraterrestrial aliens who are hiding on Earth disguised as everyday kids. Resourceful Gabby steps up to the challenge to protect these aliens and their secret identities. She proves to be the best sitter ever.

I was committed to the visual effects waiting to see what Jeremy, played by Callan Farris was going to morph into. Without giving too much away, whatever Jeremy eats he turns into. No doubt my favorite character is Gabby Duran played by YouTube sensation Kylie Cantrall. She is definitely setting trends in this episode. Her outfits from the neon orange distressed jacket to the aloha knee-length shorts give a 90’s vibe most definitely. One of my favorite scenes is when Gabby meets Jeremy for the first time and beats him up with a rake. There were so many funny scenes, but you will have to watch it. 

Besides the message that I need some knee-length purple camo shorts in my life… having a good attitude is crucial. Making the best of where you are is a game-changer. It’s emphasized the importance to always be yourself, because the right people will like you. I give this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. My mom actually enjoyed watching this and she laughed along with me. Be sure to watch Gabby Duran & the Unsittables beginning October 11, 2019 on the Disney channel.

Abominable * Heartwarming Watch for Families. Excellent Voice Acting and Breathtaking Visuals

After discovering a Yeti on the roof of her apartment building, teenage Yi and her two friends embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family. But to do so, they must stay one step ahead of a wealthy financier and a determined zoologist who want to capture the beast for their own gain. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “Abominable is a heartwarming watch for families. Excellent voice acting and breathtaking visuals are the show-stealers. It truly has something for everyone.” Benjamin P. adds, “Abominable is electrifying to watch when it finds its own cinematic voice and personality, but it doesn’t ever fully escape from some predictable moments that keep it from reaching the potential glimpsed in its best scenes.” Ivey H. wraps it up with, “Abominable is a great animated film, fun for the whole family! It is very heartfelt. I really love its beautifully animated scenes, especially those with violin playing laced in. This film mixes both fantasy and adventure. The feel of the movie is soothing and delivers positive vibes.” See their full reviews below.

Abominable
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Abominable is a heartwarming watch for families. Excellent voice acting and breathtaking visuals are the show-stealers. It truly has something for everyone.

The story follows teenager Yi (Chloe Bennet) as she encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building. She and her good friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), name him “Everest” and embark on a quest to bring the magical creature home. But they will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to help Everest.

Chloe Bennet is great as Yi, with her voice work providing emotion and wit. I especially enjoyed her dynamic with Everest as the two start to relate with one another. This is really the film’s heart and best elements. Tenzing Norgray Trainor and Albert Tsai, as Jin and Peng, are great companions and provide effective voice work. Peng is always hilarious, providing comic relief, while Jin comes to his own in his effective character arc that captures the spirit of being brave. Eddie Izzard, as Burnish, utilizes his comedic charm and blunt accent to great degree. Sarah Paulson, as Dr. Zara, is also a formidable threat as there is more than meets the eye with her.

Jill Culton revitalizes DreamWorks Animation with a nice blend of adventure and comedy, which has engaging narrative choices. Some scenes are realized so beautifully; especially the one involving Coldplay’s Fix You. My favorite scene is Jin’s trip to Everest, as it captures his arc effectively and features a great sense of humor. However, the film loses steam by the end and drags quite a bit. You will feel the 90 minute runtime as the group sequesters. Also, I feel that complex themes dealing with loss and grief are sidelined by the amount of humor. And, it is a children’s movie after all, so I appreciate the effort to explore this territory.

The message of this film is in knowing when to reach out to others. Yi tries to accept others in her life by empathetically communicating. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on September 27, 2019, so check it out.

Abominable

By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Abominable is electrifying to watch when it finds its own cinematic voice and personality, but it doesn’t ever fully escape from some predictable moments that keep it from reaching the potential glimpsed in its best scenes.

Co-produced by DreamWorks Animation and Chinese production company Pearl Studio, Abominable is set in China and follows Yi, a girl mourning the death of her father. She does numerous odd jobs to afford the trip she plans to take in her father’s memory. One day, up on the roof of her apartment building where she sneaks off to play her violin, she finds an escaped yeti that she names Everest. How he got there and what he’s capable of remain a mystery, but Yi makes it her mission to return Everest to his home and his family and protect him from the dangers on the way there.

The craftsmanship and detail of the animation is impeccable. Some of Abominable’s best moments are strengthened by the lush animation. A field of yellow flowers turns into a tidal wave, a chase over the rooftops of a vibrant, colorful China and clouds morphing into aquatic creatures that our characters ride towards a picturesque skyline. This film has plenty of imagery that will stick with you after the credits roll. Abominable has one visually engrossing setpiece after another.

I also love how integral music is in Abominable. Playing the violin is how Yi connects with her father after he’s gone and expresses what she’s feeling with every single note. The violin factors heavily into the score and is flawlessly graceful. Over the course of the film, Yi realizes her ability to do great things through her music and it’s an important facet of her development onscreen.

I wish the care and precision that go into the visuals and music were evident in the movie’s story. Abominable is at least the third family film about yetis within 18 months, coming after Missing Link and Smallfoot and it feels a tad derivative from the get-go. A mythical creature and human form a close friendship and imposing forces threaten to tear them apart. The formula works, sure, but Abominable rarely makes any changes to the basic blueprint or subverts expectations of where it’s headed.

I recommend Abominable for ages 4 to 15 due to scenes of mild peril and give it 3 out of 5 stars. This film will probably appeal to both young and old, but is geared more towards younger children. Abominable certainly has strokes of greatness, but you’ve seen this story told before. If you enjoy the film, stay through the credits for some fun photos. Abominable opens in theaters September 27, 2019.


Abominable
By Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Abominable is a great animated film, fun for the whole family! It is very heartfelt. I really love its beautifully animated scenes, especially those with violin playing laced in. This film mixes both fantasy and adventure. The feel of the movie is soothing and delivers positive vibes. 

The plot is very deep, creative and well-thought-out.  The story follows a rare never-before-seen Yeti who escapes a mean zoologist and wealthy art collector. The art collector wants to display the Yeti to the world and yet the zoologist has her own plans. What will become of this lovable creature?

The Yeti escapes and finds his way to the rooftop of a young woman named Yi. She is an independent misfit going through a difficult time. Yi is played by Chloe Bennet who does an excellent job with the voice over and with the emotions of this young character. Yi lost her dad and she keeps herself busy in order to not think of her loss. When she discovers the Yeti, her life is forever changed. Yi decides to help the Yeti named “Everest” (Joseph Izzo) get back to his home. Even the neighbors get caught up into the commotion and accidentally end up on this journey with Yi. 

Yi’s family is so cute! I love the character Nai Nai played by Tsai Chin. It reminds me of my nanna and she is so comical. Peng is played well by Albert Tsai, creating a character so obsessed with social media and his phone, just like so many of us kids today.  There is a lot of great comedic timing from the actors and there are many beautiful scenes throughout. A couple of my favorite scenes happen when they face obstacles escaping the bad guys—especially, the fields of yellow flowers that turn into a tidal wave, and the tree that has amazing pink flowers and lights that bloom.  It’s a wonderful, magical scene with the violin playing along. There are beautiful historical sites and scenes depicted of real places in China. The colors are so bright and vibrant that you stay on the edge of your seat. The director and writer Jill Culton has created phenomenal animation that blew me away. 

I give Abominable 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. You should go to the big screen and check this out! The release date is September 27, 2019.