Clippers Basketball Camp This Summer!

File under Things To Sign Your Kids Up For: LA Clippers Basketball Camp!
boy plays basketball

Summer camps are definitely on my mind these days, especially now that I’ve got a day job that doesn’t take summers off. I was so happy to learn that the LA Clippers Basketball Camp is coming to our area! Specifically, June 19 through June 23, they will operate at Agoura Calabasas Community Center on Malibu Hills Road. There are still 44 spots left so click here to register! Early bird pricing has passed, but the camp is only $395 for full days (8am-3pm) for the entire week!

Here’s what the Clippers say about it:

The LA Clippers Youth Basketball Summer Camps offer an exciting way for kids 6-14 years of age to take their game to the next level.  The camps, which are open to children of all different skill levels feature an All-Star group of coaches including former Clippers Players Lamond Murray and Cherokee Parks. Participants will receive top level instruction on shooting mechanics, footwork, ball-handling, defense, passing and mental approach to the sport.  Camps will take place Monday-Friday from 8am-3pm and will be held throughout LA, Orange County, the I.E. and San Diego.  Register today before the camps sell out.

Even if you’re reading this from outside our area, you may find that there’s a camp happening near you, so check it out!

The Map Garden Grove 6/12-6/16 12552 Western Ave, 92841
Westwood Rec Center Los Angeles 6/12-6/16 1350 S Sepulveda Blvd, 90025
Agoura Community Center Calabasas 6/19-6/23 27040 Malibu Hills Rd, 91301
MMTSC Irvine 6/19-6/23 14522 Myford Rd, 92606
Champions Sports Facility Carson 6/26-6/30 1533 E Del Amo Blvd, 90746
CSUN Northridge 7/10-7/14 18111 Nordhoff St, 91325
Pacific Palisades Rec Center Pacific Palisades 7/17-7/21 851 Alma Real Dr, 90272
Westwood Rec Center Los Angeles 7/24-7/28 1350 S Sepulveda Blvd, 90025
Drayson Center Loma Linda 7/31-8/4 25040 Stewart St, 92354
Crescenta Valley High School La Crescenta 7/31-8/4 2900 Community Ave, 91214
Corky Smith Gymnasium San Marcos 7/31-8/4 274 Pico Ave, 92069

Santa HQ by HGTV Is Already Open at The Oaks

Santa HQ at The Oaks

Curious shoppers asked the staff why Santa HQ was being constructed by The Oaks Mall elves as early as the first weekend in November. It did seem a bit early to see Christmas decor and candy and gifts put out on the shelves of stores that soon. But in this case, while yes, The Oaks is getting into the spirit nice and early, they wanted to provide families a meeting place with Santa soon enough to get those priceless photo memories in the works for holiday cards and gifts.

Seems legit to me.

Santa HQ entrance

It’s no ordinary mall Santa setup, either. HGTV’s Santa HG installation, which appears at 15 locations around the country (so glad they came to Thousand Oaks!), features Santa’s actual workshop where visitors can see the blueprints for toys and an observatory where elves monitor the sleigh’s ride around the world.

Santa HQ kid

Santa HQ Naughty Nice meter

There’s a naughty/nice meter that kids can stand in to be scanned, and then immediately added to the appropriate list. Finally, Santa himself is happily sitting on his sleigh waiting to meet with children and have their photo taken together.

Santa HQ photo opportunity

But that’s not all! There’s an awesome interactive element to this whole situation: Elf-Ray Vision. It’s an augmented reality app that you download for free (luckily the wifi at the mall is strong enough). Then you point your smartphone camera at an “Elf Trigger” to activate hidden delights: elves making toys, the ceiling of the observatory transforming before your eyes, and more.

Santa HQ boy playing app

Santa HQ Elf-Ray Vision

Santa HQ opened last weekend in the JC Penney court (near the food court and kids’ play area) and it will be there until Christmas Eve at 6pm. You can bring your 4-legged pet, too, on Wednesdays through December 7 from 5-8pm. Visit ShopTheOaksMall.com for daily posted hours. Visits to the HQ are free, and photo packages for photos with Santa include 11 prints plus a digital download for a fee, plus you can order photo gifts online.

There will be a charity toy drive and special guests throughout the season, so check it out while you are at the mall getting holiday gifts and supplies, or go there just for Santa HQ alone. It’s a lot of fun, and got my big boys into the spirit of Christmas nice and early. I needed no help in that department!

Summer Goal: Get a Library Card

IMG_4833

I’ve had my library card, obtained at the Agoura Hills Library, since shortly after we moved here 6 years ago. I’ve been checking out books and movies for myself and the kids ever since. But this summer, my older son finally said the magic words: “How old do you have to be to get your own library card?”

IMG_4812

Kyle, then in 2nd grade, interviewing the children’s librarian, Miss Grace.

Music to my ears. I’m a reader and a lifelong library lover. Hauling my kids to the Agoura and Westlake locations of the Los Angeles County Library system whether they wanted to go or not was self-serving, but I knew that it might rub off on them.

library books

Doing a project using library books instead of Google

The older boy naturally loves to read, and my younger son who is now 9 finally got the reading bug when I pulled him off video games and tablet use earlier this spring. He re-discovered Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series as a result. He would finish a volume, then request a trip to the library to get the next few titles. It’s the gateway book to reading for young boys. Hooray!

IMG_5580

Naturally, once my son expressed curiosity about getting his own card, I was all for it. I had my husband take him in to apply. The answer to his question is that there is no minimum age. A child under 18 just has to have a parent or guardian sign his application.

IMG_5161

The little brother went along for the ride and when they all returned, they both had library cards! In a way, it’s a little more complicated because now we have three accounts to keep track of, but I’m happy to deal with that in order to foster what I hope to be a lifelong love of libraries for them.

IMG_4812

In fact, all three of us took out books and brought them on vacation, so when we returned we had $9.00 in fees among the three of us! But I don’t mind that a bit – I am happy to support this otherwise free public resource. Not only does the library offer books, movies, and even e-readers pre-loaded with over 100 book each, but it also holds free events for kids like Mad Science demonstrations and chess classes.

librarycards

GET YOUR LIBRARY CARD: For more information, see the website of the LA County Library system: colapublib.org