It’s Snowing in Los Angeles!

This holiday season if you have a hankering for snow and don’t want to drive to the mountains you can get your cold and snowy fix at Universal Studio’s Grinchmas.  Starting on the weekend of December 11th and then daily on Dec. 18th, Universal Studios will feature fresh snow as part of their Grinchmas attraction.  Be advised this is the real deal, actual snow that is fit for snow ball fights or just a romp through cold powder.  Family members can visit Whoville and enjoy the snow, then be a part of a magical tree lighting ceremony that features a show and a celebrity reading.

Stars currently booked for the nightly celebrity reading include Stephen Moyer, Jeffrey Tambor, Brandy and Fred Willard with more to be announced.  This is a wonderful holiday adventure in our own backyards.  Currently Universal Studios is offering their holiday special, buy a park ticket to visit Universal Studios before the end of the year and get the entire year of 2011 for free!

Universal Studios offers a wide variety of attractions including the newest King Kong 3D attraction, a Shrek 4-D attraction and The Jurassic Park experience.  For more information about Grinchmas or Universal Studios visit www.universalstudioshollywood.com I’m Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.

Monty Python’s Spamalot is Coming by Carol Wolfe, The Encino Real Estate Report

By Carol Wolfe

The Ahmanson Theatre regularly presents Broadway touring musicals and this summer will be no exception as Monty Python’s Spamalot makes its Los Angeles debut starting July 7 and running through September 6th.spamalot

Spamalot won three Tony Awards in 2005 including Best Musical and Best Director.

Monty Python’s Spamalot recounts the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and their quest for the Holy Grail, featuring a chorus line of dancing divas and knights, flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits, and an armless and legless knight.

Monty Python is famous for its British comedy Monty Python’s Flying Circus which led to several successful films.

John  O’Hurley, best known as J. Peterman on  Seinfeld, and dancing his way to the championships of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, will star as King Arthur.

Places to Watch Fireworks In LA for the 4th by Carol Wolfe, The Encino Real Estate Report

By Carol Wolfe

This 4th of July there are many fireworks to choose from including some of my favorites:
fireworks_vertical_med11. July 4th Fireworks Hollywood Bowl Spectacular – this year the featured guest is John Fogerty with a special fireworks display afterward
2. The Rose Bowl – AmericaFest 2009
This marks the 83rd annual Rose Bowl July 4th celebration. In addition to spectacular fireworks there will be a performance from the California Philharmonic Orchestra.
3. Marina del Rey July 4 Fireworks Extravaganza
Head down to Marina Del Rey for a beautiful day by the beach. The event will be simulcast on KXLU, 88.9 FM.
4. 10th Annual Fireworks Festival – Journey Through Time
The Studio City Chamber of Commerce hosts this bash on the CBS lot. Great party, family friendly.

LA Connection Improv by Carol Wolfe, The Encino Real Estate Report

By Carol Wolfe

Let’s face it; we could all use a little laugh now and then.  La connection add addressThe LA Connection has been providing first rate comic improv to Los Angeles since 1977. Founded by Kent Skov, the LA Connection provides training opportunities for young up and coming comedians as well as children and teens. Improvisational Comedy made famous by the hit television show Whose Line is it Anyway? features actors who improvise around a set of circumstances provided by the audience.  Hilarity usually ensues.

A wide range of improv shows are offered on a weekly basis, everything from children to teens. The LA Connection is available for special events and birthday parties. To order tickets, book a party, or sign up your child for comic improv classes call 818.710.1320 ext. 2

The Griffith Observatory by Carol Wolfe, The Encino Real Estate Report

By Carol Wolfe

The Griffith Observatory is one of the most famous landmarks in Los Angeles, made famous by the hit James Dean movie Rebel Without a Cause.

griffith-observatory-address1With the newly refurbished dome, star projector and theater, the Samuel Oschin Planetarium is without a doubt the finest planetarium in the world.

Currently the planetarium features three different shows guaranteed to transport visitors on a journey through cosmic space.  The first show Centered in the Universe addresses man’s deepest questions about where we come from and how we came to be, starting with The Big Bang.

The second show, Water is Life takes visitors on a journey through space looking for signs of life and water on other planets. 

The newest show First Light: The Telescope Changed Everything explores the night sky and how Galileo’s discoveries changed our world.

The Griffith Observatory is located in Los Angeles on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park.  Admissions to the grounds are free.  There is a small charge to attend shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.  For more information visit www.griffithobs.org

The LA Film Festival by Carol Wolfe, The Encino Real Estate Report

By Carol Wolfe

The Los Angeles Film Festival is an annual event where, for ten days, some of the best of independent film, both American and International is showcased.la_film_festival

Each year over 100,000 people attend the festival and over 175 films are shown.  This year the festival will begin on June 18th opening with a touching film entitled Paperman which stars Jeff Daniels as a man who regularly speaks to a super hero inside his head (played by Ryan Reynolds)

The festival will also feature the US premiere of the new Transformer movie.  For the complete schedule and information on how and where to obtain tickets please visit: http://www.lafilmfest.com/index.php

I’m Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.

The Skirball Cultural Center

There are so many things to do in the Los Angeles area, so many museums, cultural events, festivals and celebrations, that you can easily overlook some of the gems that are available.  skirballculturalcenter_jpg_595x325_crop_upscale_q85The Skirball Cultural Center is definitely a gem that should not be overlooked!

Quoted in the The New York Times as “a lesson on how to connect the eye to heart and mind,” the Skirball Cultural Center offers a wide range of exhibits to entertain the entire family.  Right now the Center has several exhibits and events focusing on the theme of comic book heroes.  And of course the acclaimed Noah’s Arc exhibit continues to reside at the Center.

Located at 2701 North Sepulveda Blvd. in Los Angeles, admission to the Skirball Cultural Center is $10 for adults, $7.50 for Seniors and Students, $5 for children 2-12 and children under 2 are free.  Additionally every Thursday the Center is open to public free of charge.  The Museum Hours are Tuesday–Friday, 12:00–5:00 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. They are closed on Mondays and most Jewish Holidays.

Whale Watching

If Whales are your thing, Los Angeles is definitely the place to be in May.  The whale watching season is short and by May most of the grey whales have migrated making it difficult although not impossible to see them from a chartered boat.  aquariumofthepacific1But if you want a guaranteed view take a trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

This is a great day trip that is full of wonder and educational to boot!   The Aquarium of the Pacific features an interactive experience for all ages and features more than 500 species of sea life within 19 different habitats. Its 32 focus exhibits make the Aquarium of the Pacific one of the largest aquariums in the United States.  And right now there are two different exhibits featuring Whales!

The Aquarium of the Pacific is open daily from 9am- 6pm, they encourage you to visit in off peak hours, either during the week or early on weekend days as the aquarium is a popular attraction and crowds are heavy on weekend afternoons.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is located at 100 Aquarium Way Long Beach, CA 90802
Tickets for adults are $23.95, children ages 3-11 are $11.95 and Seniors are $20.95.

Gustavo Dudamel

If you are a classical music fan; or if you watch 60 Minutes religiously then you have heard of Gustavo Dudamel.  If you have not heard of him you are in for a treat.  Later this year this exciting and talented young conductor will become the Music Director of the Los Angles Philharmonic.

Born in 1981 in Venezuela, Dudamel was raised within the Venezuelan music system, dudamela much lauded program that places a musical instrument into any willing child’s hands and offers free after school lessons.  By the age of 14, Dudamel was an award winning violinist and had begun to study conducting.  His passion for music is unparalleled and having come from a system that encourages children to learn and play music, Dudamel has pledged to bring that level of commitment and educational opportunity to the Los Angeles area. 

For the last year Dudamel has been performing periodically as a guest director of the LA Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  This summer he is also slated to conduct at the Hollywood Bowl.  Once you see this spirited conductor in action you will know what all of the fuss is about.  Join all of Los Angeles as we welcome this exciting artist to our home and look forward to the music that he will bring to the next generation!
I’m Carol Wolfe and in the world of classical music nobody does it better than Gustavo Dudamel!

The California Strawberry Festival

It’s that time of year in California.  Strawberries are a ripe dusty rose and so sweet that they almost taste like candy.  There are as many varieties of strawberries in Southern California as there are types of sunscreen, and people soon strawberrydiscover their favorites.  If you aren’t sure what your favorite is, a quick trip to the local farmer’s market will give you a wide variety to taste from, but if you really want to experience the full strawberry experience it is time to head out to the Strawberry Festival. 

The month of May boasts many strawberry festivals in Southern California but there is one that is undoubted queen of the Strawberry Festivals and that is the California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard.  Started in 1984 this festival is ranks as one of the top Festivals in the country.  There is something for everyone at the festival, live entertainment, interactive exhibits, arts and crafts, award-winning attractions and every delectable food imaginable all featuring fresh strawberries!  There is even a Strawberryland for children, that offers free rides, puppet shows and much more.

As if the taste of the sweet berries were not enough to draw you to the festival, The California Strawberry Festival is also a major fund raiser for local charities with over $3 million dollars raised to date.

The 2009 festival will be held on May 16 and 17th in the beautiful Strawberry Meadows of College Park in Oxnard.  For more information on this festival  visit, http://www.strawberry-fest.org/.  I’m Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.