Everyone is occupied with relaxed seasonal routines, whether that means camps, traveling or just hanging around home and the park. If you’ve got some room in the summer calendar then keep these events in mind, especially since they involve excellent food and drink for all ages. How great is it that local businesses are getting more creative with tailoring activities for families? It’s not just about Barnsdall Fridays anymore.
I’m always reluctant to schlep everyone to a big fair, but last year’s L.A. Street Food Fest was off the charts. We stuffed ourselves silly, walked around the lovely Pasadena location around the Rose Bowl, and found plenty of places to plop down in the shade. The vendor line-up and huge range of food available was such that everyone was happy and no one complained about a single damn thing — even before we hit the ice cream social. It’s happening this Saturday, July 21, and tickets cost $45 general admission from 5 – 9 p.m., or $65 VIP for early admission at 3 p.m. Kids under 7 get in FREE with a paying adult. Plus there’s even face painting. They’ve really thought of everything!
More to come on Mohawk Bend owner Tony Yanow tomorrow, but for now let’s give his operation on Sunset in Echo Park huge props for the new Summer Stroller Hours program. On Wednesdays in July and August from noon to 4 p.m., pram-pushers can expect “no eye-rolling wait staff” when seated on the craft beer emporium’s roomy front patio or in the Ramona Room, as well as a packaged deal: get a kid’s pizza, juice or milk and cookie for free with purchase of a regular $16.50 regular pizza and adult beverage lunch (additional kid’s lunch costs $7 each).
2141 West Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; (213) 483-2337
The folks who run Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock understand, and are fighting the good fight. Their Parents Night Out entails dropping off your 3-to-8-year-olds at Bloom next door for two hours of music or dance classes. Then the Colorado Wine Co. staff will “be pouring 4 wines and serving to-order cheese plates for parents of sweet, wonderful children from whom they need a sweet, wonderful break.” THANK YOU. The package costs $60 per couple, $45 for one adult, and $10 extra for each additional kid. These are scheduled every other Tuesday, with the next one happening July 31st.
2114 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock; (323) 478-1985
Scoops, the brilliant ice cream shop with two, soon to be three locations, is also an effective tool for challenging food assumptions and broadening flavor horizons. And this can happen while eating ice cream! Scoops Westside, where admittedly we still haven’t been because the original location is in our neck of the woods, hosts a sweet old school ice cream social on Saturday, July 28th from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. with DJ Groovy David. Five bucks per person gets you ice cream, party favor and a dancing contest. This is worth relaxing the no-ice-cream-before-noon (or whenever) rule for.
3400 Overland Ave., West L.A.; (323) 405-7055
We’re super bummed to miss the LA Weekly’s Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, August 5th. Again, another event we were skeptical about bringing everyone to, but it turned out to be totally cool for the kids, and you can spend the rest of the day kicking around downtown. It’s also helpful that the beautiful landmark St. Vib’s has a fountain in the back where kids can hang. You might even randomly run into friends back in the family ghetto like we did last year.
One last item for beach-bound families this summer: Kids 12 and under eat free at Gladstone’s Malibu on Mondays with purchase of an adult entrée. If you can time the traffic right and want to keep going past the Annenberg, Gladstone’s is a pretty sweet spot to spend a beach day. But keep in mind that the adult entrees are very expensive, whereas the $5 kids plates (burger, fish n’ chips, chicken fingers, etc.) are a relatively good deal any time of day or night — so judge the real value of this freebie for yourself.
17300 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu; (310) 454-3474