Kids OFF The Couch - Memorial Day Weekend 2011!

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Summer is Upon Us

Good news: it's going to be sunny by Monday, so get your BBQ prep done early (while the kids are studying for exams or finishing up their spring sports). We've had a chance to look at most of the new art shows around town, so you can have the summer's cultural outings planned before June even begins.

MOVIES in THEATERS: There's plenty of raunch in the theaters for adults, from Bridesmaids to Hangover Part II so if that's not your thing, drop in on a worthy kid option (Kung Fu Panda 2) or check out the films that were well received in Cannes last week: Midnight in Paris from Woody Allen (starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams) or Terrance Malick's much awaited The Tree of Life.

[Editor's Note - Get off the couch covers events taking place both around Los Angeles, and the US for kids.  These great suggestions are Los Angeles specific, but perhaps her US site's got a Memorial Day listing for your neck of the woods, too? ---Morgan]

ART AROUND TOWN: We got a sneak peek at what will surely be this summer's must-see show, LACMA's Tim Burton, which is lots of fun. We will write up a comprehensive report next week, but mark your calendar to take advantage of a fabulous line-up of Burton films, screening at the museum throughout June. Show is expected to be a blockbuster, so get your advance entry tickets now. The Getty Center's Paris: Life and Luxury employs an engaging organizing theory, with objects from a Parisian household presented by the "Four Times of Day." We were particularly impressed with a spectacular golden bed where the women of the household performed their "toilette" while receiving (what a concept!). The Skirball Cultural Center's Houdini: Art and Magic is great for magic-loving tweens, and we also loved The Annenberg Space for Photography's Beauty Culture. Be sure to head downtown for MOCA's Art in the Streets, showcasing large-scale, colorful graffiti art that is a hit with everyone from 8-80. If your kids are into street culture, check out a related show at the Pasadena Museum of California Art featuring the work of the Clayton Brothers. And, while you're sipping lemonade by the pool, don't forget to peruse this season's Hollywood Bowl schedule which includes a Grease Sing-A-Long, Hall and Oats for the July 4th Fireworks Spectacular and Hairspray with the original Broadway cast of Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

Subscriber Tip: A loyal KOTC-er gave us the heads up about a new show at the Santa Monica Museum of Art -- a video installation by filmmaker Marco Brambilla, called The Dark Lining, that uses film clips in pastiche to create a new narrative. Our subscriber's kids, who are 11 and 13, thought it was the "coolest art show ever".

MEMORIAL DAY ACTIVITIES: In lieu of parades, LA has wonderful regional celebrations starting today, such as Topanga Days, the Valley Greek Festival and a Jazz Reggae Festival at UCLA. Ideas: Stumped by what to get a graduate in your life? Check out Flavorpill's grad gift guide. While you're thinking about college and careers, consider that PayPal's Peter Thiel is plucking kids out of college and supporting their entrepreneurial ideas with $100,000. Not a bad idea considering this sobering report on the highest (and lowest) paying careers. And, Finally: We were moved by this YouTube video about the dangers of melanoma. Titled "Dear 16 year-old Me," it's a powerful reminder to young people that their "skin never forgets". Good-bye tanning beds, hello sunscreen. We'll be back next week with the June Radar Screen.

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