Let Us Entertain You
Fun (and relatively painless!) ways of giving your kids a dose of culture this summer.
Written byHeather David
Keeping kids engaged over summer break can be, well, downright exhausting. If you’re in need of some downtime while the little ones stay captivated, we’ve got you covered … from fairies frolicking in the forest to a pint-size version of the Hollywood Bowl and even 4-foot puppets that sing, dance and may sit in your lap!
In this fast-paced city, the younger set can get over-stimulated at theme parks and the like. Slow down and escape to a simpler time with Bob Baker Marionettes in Echo Park. At the charming, tucked-away theatre, little has changed since their first production debuted 55 years ago.
“Some of the puppets are the originals from when we first started,” says 90-year-old and still-goin’-strong puppet master Bob Baker. The music and colorful costumes are from a bygone era as well. That’s all part of the charm.
The hour-long show that changes every few months features whimsical acts like an ice skating Eskimo and a high-heeled kitty belting out tunes.
Bob Baker Marionettes
Weekdays and weekends throughout
Ready for an imagination-filled adventure featuring fairies, trolls and gnomes … oh my? The children’s play and interactive experience, A Faery Hunt, offers kids the chance to sing and dance.
Creator Debbie Rothstein leads the group (mostly 2- to 10-year-olds) on a meandering walk through the woods to meet magical fairies and woodland creatures at outdoor spaces like Griffith Park and the Community Center Tarzana. “I’m trying to create a world where everyone is your friend, everything is beautiful, nothing is scary” she says.
The Saturday morning hunt always includes a socially conscious message–urging families to care for the environment. Little girls dressed in their fairy best make up most of the crowd, but there are always a few boys running around in their superhero capes too. Before the play starts they sell wings and wands, so be prepared for the non-stop chorus of “I want.”
A Faery Hunt
Saturday mornings throughout the year
Tickets $12.50 – $15
One month out of the year a small amphitheater, quietly tucked near the base of the Hollywood Bowl’s main stage, comes to life. It houses SummerSounds, an educational program started in 1969 that exposes children to diverse and sometimes international music.
“When choosing performers, we try to think about how their culture fits into LA as a whole. So when kids hear a music group, they can also connect it to their everyday experiences. It helps people enjoy different cultures in their own backyard,” says Hollywood Bowl’s director of education initiatives, Gretchen Nielsen.
This season’s month-long program covers music that ranges from West African rhythms to fast-paced salsa and Latin jazz.
Weekday mornings July 7 through August 1