Friday, January 31, 2014

Montebello-Commerce YMCA Youth Basketball Team for ages 3-14

Registration is now open for children ages 3-14 to play YMCA team basketball. Fees for YMCA members are $85, non-members $135. Late registration, after 2/8, add $25. Cost includes uniform and trophy.
Practices are once a week at a basketball court in the city of Montebello. Games are every Saturday at Montebello High School. Practices start the week of February 10, 2014.

I really like YMCA youth sports teams. Kids learn the skills of the sport, how to work as a team, and have great coaches, all in a fun competitive, but not overly competitive, environment. Also, there is no fundraising! The only additional commitment for parents is taking turns bringing snacks to practices and games.

For more information or to register call 323-887-9622 or visit the Montebello-Commerce YMCA, 2000 W. Beverly Blvd, Montebello.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Private Music Lessons & Baby/Toddler Music Classes in Montebello!

Parents interested in having their child learn to play an instrument can give their children a great start by enrolling their child in group music lessons at community colleges or city parks departments, but as children progress in their abilities and demonstrate a strong interest in music it's best to arrange for private lessons.

Royal Academy: The Sound of Music is a private music school that serves Montebello and surrounding communities. All the instructors are professional musicians that have been trained in Russian conservatories. Lessons are available in piano, violin, guitar, drums, flute, cello, and voice.

Lessons are held in the afternoon and evenings during the week and all day on weekends. The cost $30 for a half-hour private session. Students are assigned pieces to play and are welcome to bring in sheet music of their own choice. Instructors can assist students with music for a school band, audition, or performance. Students also have the option to perform in Royal Academy recitals and competitions throughout the year.

Parents of little ones are welcome to join the only infant through toddler music class in Montebello. Royal Academy's Music Together Family Class musical play, child-friendly instruments,
songbooks, and CDs that you use at home. Parents can sign up for one free trial class with the school's energetic pre-school music teacher.

Whether you sign up for private music lessons or the Music Together class be sure to tell Royal Academy that "Montebello Mom" referred you!

2535 Via Campo, Montebello, CA 90640
(323) 832-9977 

Please tell Royal Academy that "Montebello Mom" referred you!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Parents Night Out with Free Child Care at My Gym!

Parents Night Out
Friday, February 7, 2014
6:00 - 9:00PM
My Gym & Olive Garden locations
Parents can celebrate Valentine's Day one week early with the help of My Gym & Olive Garden! My Gym is similar to Gymboree, it's a fun indoor play area with guided activities and fun for kids ages 2-9 years old.

Here's how it works, call the closest My Gym location, make a reservation for your child(ren) for Parents Night Out. Drop off your children at My Gym at 6pm, then head over to Olive Garden for a nice 2 for $25 dinner. Bring your Olive Garden receipt to My Gym when you pick up your kids and any fees paid will be refunded.

There is a My Gym location in Puente Hills/Rowland Heights and Olive Garden locations in Puente Hills and Montebello. Click here to read about My Gym's Parents Night Out events.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chinese New Year Enter to Win a Trip to San Francisco Giveaway at the Shops at Montebello

The Shops at Montebello is giving one lucky guest a trip for two to San Francisco to celebrate the Chinese New Year! Stop by Center Court at the Shops at Montebello anytime through Sunday, February 2, to enter the raffle. Winner will be chosen on Monday, February 3. Good luck and Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Free Panda Express Firecracker Chicken: Friday, 1/31

Stop by Panda Express on Friday, January 31 for free single serving of Firecracker Chicken Breast! No purchase is necessary. Print out the coupon or show it on a phone or other mobile device.

Ruby's Diner: 31st Anniversary Burger & Fries $3.10 on Monday 1/27

Visit any participating Ruby's Diner to celebrate 31 years of business with a  $3.10 Ruby Burger with Fries special! Valid from 11:30am-Close. All adult guests will also receive a Thank You card for a Free Ruby Burger on the next visit! The closest Ruby's Diners are at the Citadel in Commerce & Whittier at the Whittwood Mall.
A special thanks to Facebook Friend, Shelia D. for sharing this event!

All You Can Bowl + Shoe Rental, $10 on Sunday, 2/2

$10 a person to bowl all day is a pretty great deal.
Valid only Sunday, February 2, 2014, 10am-10pm.
AMF Beverly Lanes
1201 W. Beverly Blvd., Montebello

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Box Tops Parking Lot Festival: Wal-Mart, Pico Rivera

The Box Tops for Education program is coming to Pico Rivera!
Box Tops Parking Lot Festival
Sunday, Jan 26th, 2014
Wal-Mart Parking Lot
Learn about the Box Tops program and how you can help your local schools raise money. There will be face painting, balloon artist, soccer shoot out, ring toss, and product sampling.

Los Angeles Zoo Free Admisson w/ Dannon Drink Smoothies!

Dannon Days at the Los Angeles Zoo
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Saturday, February 1, 2014
10am - 2pm

Receive a FREE Los Angeles Zoo General Admission ticket when you bring Ten (10) Dannon 7 oz., Activia 7 oz., and/or Danimals 7 oz. empty containers to the Dannon tent on January 11 or February 1, 2014 from 10A.M. to 2 P.M. Limit one (1) General admission ticket per person. While supplies last, first come first serve.

Regular zoo adult admission $18, seniors $15, children ages 2-12 $13, children under age 2 are free.

The Dannon containers for sale at Super A in Montebello at Beverly/Garfield.

Visit for more information.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lego Movie Event: Barnes & Noble, Saturday, 1/25

Barnes & Noble is hosting a Lego Movie event to begin the countdown to the movie release.
Fun and engaging activities, official movie trailer screening, and ticket giveaways in select stores.
Space is limited and some stores have full RSVP lists.

Harry Potter Postage Stamps

For the Harry Potter fan in your life, young or old, the United States Post Office has come out with Harry Potter stamps!

The stamps bear images from the first through the last movie and there is a Hogwarts sticker seal on each page. The back cover has a picture of Hogwarts with the words, "Just before his eleventh birthday, a boy received a letter that would change his life...and captivate the imaginations of fans for generations."

Pick up the stamps at your local post office or order them online at

Kids (and parents!) should do some kind of reading every day. These Harry Potter stamps are perfect for motivating children to be a lifelong readers. For more on reading with kids, visit my "Reading with Kids" page on

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lunar New Year Celebration: Alhambra, Saturday 2/8

 Lunar New Year Street Festival
Saturday, February 8
Valley Blvd, Alhambra

The festival's website says: "The street festival will be held on 5 city blocks on Valley Blvd. from Garfield Ave. to Almansor St...250 booths, some with featured activities, such as a dragon boat rowing station, an auto square, children's workshops, a health fair and cultural demonstrations, that provide festival-goers with a taste of the Asian culture. Giveaways, fun games, and ethnic foods attract long lines of attendees. Young and old alike enjoy the exposure to Asian culture and strengthening of community ties this event affords."

Chinese New Year Festival & Parade: Chinatown, Downtown L.A., 2/1-2/2/14

115th Annual Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival
Saturday, February 1 - Sunday, February 2
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles

Parade: Saturday, 1-3pm, see map of the parade route here
Festival: Saturday, Noon-8pm, Sunday, Noon-5pm
Live Entertainment, Vendors, & Artisans: CENTRAL PLAZA Entertainment Stage (943-951 N. Broadway), WEST PLAZA (943 N. Hill Street), DOWNTOWN FLEA (727 N. Hill Street), & SPRING FESTIVAL ON SPRING (643 N. Spring Street).


Chinese New Year Street Festival: Temple City, Saturday, 2/1

Celebrate the year of the horse with a Chinese New Year Street Festival in Temple City.
Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 9am-5pm, on Las Tunas Drive, adjacent to Temple City Park in Temple City. Click here to see a map of the festival location.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Karate, Dance, Cheer, Basketball, Art, & Soccer Classes in Montebello & Pico Rivera

Champion Youth Outreach is a non-profit organization that offers various sports & recreation programs for kids ages 4-15 in city parks & church meeting rooms in Montebello, Pico Rivera, Monterey Park, East Los Angeles, Alhambra, and other cities in our area.
There are approximately 10 classes per session. Class fees are $6-7 per lesson + an $8 registration fee. Scholarships are available. Registration is onsite at the first weeks of class.
For more information visit, or call 1-800- 956-6956.

Junior Golf Program for Kids: Pico Rivera

Junior Golf Program
Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course
3260 Fairway Drive, Pico Rivera, CA 90660
Kids ages 6 thorough teens can learn to play golf with low cost lessons at the Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course! 
The Junior Golf program fee is $40*, each additional sibling or family member can participate for $20. Financial assistance is available.

The ten-week program runs year round. There are five lesson times to chose from, one is reserved for ages 13 and up. Golf equipment is provided for the students.
To register, visit or call 818-980-3630 for more information.

CERT Training: Montebello, 2/21

Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin tornado, and the San Francisco earthquake. All three of these disasters had emergency personnel overwhelmed and residents had to help themselves until additional resources arrived.

CERT training provides residents and community members with the knowledge of how to assist themselves and others during the initial aftermath of a disaster, how to prepare for a disaster, and identifying  and reducing hazards prior to a disaster.

All community members are invited to attend a 20 hour CERT training course given by the Montebello Fire Department at Park Avenue Christian Church. To register for the training, call 323-721-5187 or email

Friday, January 17, 2014

East LA Farmer's Market: Every Saturday, 9am-2pm

I enjoy taking my kids to local Farmer's Markets. I make it interesting for them by giving them each $5 and allowing them to buy any fruits and vegetables they want. They like the idea of having money to spend and since they made the purchase they usually eat what they buy. Try it with your kids!

I've been visiting this Farmer's Market for years. There is a wide variety of fresh produce, plenty of parking in the lot or parking structure, and there seems to be more vendors, music, and activities each year.

Visit the information booth at the south side of the market to get a frequent buyer punch card and be rewarded with a voucher for free produce after a certain number of visits.
 The market is every Saturday from 9am - 2pm. Combine the trip with a visit to the East LA Library, a walk around Belvedere Lake, and some time at the play equipment for a nice morning out with the family.

Visit: for more information.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Splashball for ages 5-9 at the Montebello-Commerce YMCA

The Montebello-Commerce YMCA invites children ages 5-9 years old to participate in a free Splashball program.
Splashball is a beginner waterpolo program where children learn how to shoot, pass, dribble, and catch the ball. No swim experience is necessary, children need only be comfortable in the water and are allowed to use flotation devices, which include noodles & float backpacks, during practice and games.
Space is limited, register as soon as possible to guarantee a spot on the team. Practices are once a week and games are on Saturday at noon.
For more information visit the YMCA, 2000 W. Beverly Blvd, Montebello, or call 323-887-9622.

Lifeguard Training Course: El Monte, 2/7-2/9

Working as a lifeguard is a great summer job for teens and college students. All lifeguards must be certified and usually the employee must pay for the cost of certification.
Once certified, lifeguards can apply to work at the Montebello-Commerce YMCA, city Parks & Recreation Departments that have community pools, and water parks.
Potential lifeguards will be assessed on the first day of class to ensure that they can meet the required prerequisites.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Community Weigh-In Weight Loss Event: West Covina, Saturday, 1/25

Join the 3rd annual "Lighten Up San Gabriel Valley" event, sponsored by Citrus Valley Health Partners who operate hospitals in West Covina and Covina.

Participants must pre-register by telephone and be 12 years old or older to enter the year long weight loss contest. The grand prize is a $250 gift card and everyone who loses 10% of their body weight will win movie tickets. There are two additional weigh-ins in June and November where prizes will be determined and awarded. Voluntary monthly workshops & weigh-ins are provided for participants.

For more information visit:


Fundraising Opportunity for your Non-Profit! Saturday, 1/18

If your non-profit organization would like to generate easy funds, then you don't want to miss the opportunity to participate in the Long Beach Polar Splash!

This Saturday, January 1/18, in Long Beach, Belmont Shore, there is an opportunity to earn $5 per person for any team, church, school, scout group, or other non-profit at a Beach Clean-Up & Polar Plunge.
 Here are the details from the website:
"Basically, we all run in to the ocean (in swimsuits or costumes; water temp is 59 degrees) at Rosie's Dog Beach after the 30-Minute Beach Cleanup, and Justin Rudd's nonprofit Community Action Team donates money to local charities based on the number of people that participate. Free parking and FREE to enter. Refreshments and Turkey Trot t-shirts for all participants. Teams, schools, churches and nonprofits that bring 12 or more to participate in the cleanup and Polar Splash will get $5 per person donated to their group, if the group captain RSVPs to at least 24 hours advance. Can you attend and bring some people? And, help spread the word on Facebook? Cleanup at 10 a.m. and Splash at 11 a.m. See polarsplash.html and Must be signed-in by 10 a.m., sharp, to get any donation. Group photos taken at 10 a.m., sharp."
Non-profit groups of 12 or more must pre-register by Friday 10am to qualify for the fundraiser and participate in the beach clean-up and polar bear plunge.

30-minute Beach Cleanup! 3rd Saturday of every Month: Long Beach

Start a tradition of volunteering with your family by participating in a monthly beach cleanup!

Justin Rudd's 30 Minute Beach Cleanup
3rd Saturday of Every Month
Rain or Shine
1 Granada Avenue, Long Beach, 90803
All ages welcome!

Sign in by 10am and get a raffle ticket for giveaways!

The website says, "WE PROVIDE • Free giveaways • Trash bags • Gloves • Refreshments • Volunteer Service Verification Forms • Free parking when you enter the beach-front lot at 1 Granada Ave. Arrive 9:35 a.m. to 10 a.m."

Middle School Math Competition: Don Bosco Technical Institute, 2/1/14

Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rosemead is hosting a math competition for all middle school students on Saturday, February 1, from 8am-Noon.

 Students will have one hour to complete a 50 question multiple choice test without the aid of a calculator. The test will be graded the same day and awards will be given to the participants.

Teachers can enter as a school or parents can enter their children. Entry fee is $3 per participant. Deadline to register is January 24, 2014.

For registration information and to see previous competition tests, click here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Free Health Screenings: CVS Montebello & El Monte, 1/18, 1/23, & 1/25

CVS Pharmacy is offering free health screenings.

Available for all adults and children over the age of 7 with a parent consent. The confidential health screening will test blood pressure, body mass index, glucose, & total cholesterol.
Saturday, January 18, 2-6pm
CVS, 800 W. Whittier Blvd, Montebello

Thursday, January 23, 2-6pm
CVS, 9920 E. Garvey Ave., El Monte

Saturday, January 25, 2-6pm
CVS, 2525 W. Via Campo, Montebello

Individuals who complete the health screening will receive a tote bag and a $5 off CVS coupon.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Valentine's Themed StoryTime: Homestead Museum, Saturday, 2/8

Call to 626-968-8492 to reserve your spot!

CalWORKS or Food Stamp Families receive Free Admission to 29 Museums & Gardens

**Some of my readers report that this list isn't up to date, that some museums are no longer participating in the free admission program. The links to the county brochure is no longer active, and the County Cal Works museum page is now blank. I suggest calling the museum you want to visit on the list and asking if they allow EBT card holders free admission & if there is an admission limit per card.


Families the receive CalWorks or Food Stamps can enjoy free admission to 29 museums & gardens in Los Angeles County.

The county brochure states,

"Getting in is easy.
  1. Bring your family to any of the places in this brochure.
  2. Show your Golden State Advantage Card (EBT Card) and your Photo ID to get in FREE!
  3. Only general admission is provided free of charge. Special exhibits or attractions are not included in this program.
  4. Most places are closed on legal holidays. Please call the phone number listed for holiday hours."
The participating museums and gardens include:
African American Firefighter's Museum
Arboretum of Los Angeles County
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
California African American Museum
California Hertiage Museum
California Science Center
Craft & Folk Art Museum
Descanso Gardens
Hammer Museum
Japanese American National Museum
Long Beach Museum of Art
Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Latin American Art
Museum of the American West
Museum of Tolerance
National History Museum of Los Angeles
Norton Simon Museum
Pacific Asia Museum
Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
Santa Monica Museum of Art
Skirball Cultural Center
South Coast Botanic Garden
Southwest Museum
Pasadena Museum of California Art'
UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History
USC Fisher Gallery
Virginia Robinson Gardens
Zimmer Children's Museum

Click here to see the original brochure.

* Although it's not on the list, Kidspace Museum in Pasadena allows 4 discounted admissions with an EBT card; $2 a ticket. Click here for details.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Friends of the Pico Rvera Libraries Book Store: Cheap Used Books!

The Friends of the Pico Rivera Libraries has a dedicated book store that is open four days a week. It's located near the intersection of Slauson Avenue & Passons Blvd. in Pico Rivera.

I visited the smaller book store in the new Pico Rivera library and I was impressed at the books for sale. I'm always looking for kids books on the cheap, and all the books for sale were in great condition. Books sell for as low as a quarter. If you need books, it's worth a look!

Friends of the Pico Rivera Libraries Book Center

Build a Playground: Pio Pico Elementary School, Pico Rivera, 2/13


Pico Rivera Library Now Open

The Pico Rivera Library is ready for readers! The new library is more than twice as big as the old library and includes two reading courtyards, literacy center, meeting room, study rooms, bookstore, Teen Space, and 29 computers for public use!

The main entrance. There are no check out counters now, only a Customer Service desk and self-serve checkout stations. The Friends of the Library Bookstore is a room off to the right. Books start at 25 cents!

Family play area.

Children's section.

 Pico Rivera Library, 9001 Mines Ave., Pico RiveraCA 90660
(562) 942-7394
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10am - 8pm, & Saturday, 8am - 6pm.