From 18 studios scattered around Los Angeles, Lori Moran Music Studios’ armada of instructors offers all-ages voice, piano, guitar, violin, and composition classes. With teachers who have worked on films such as Dreamgirls and Dance Flick, world-touring operatic productions, and Grammy-nominated choral CDs, the school can cater to virtually every musical taste—from classical to jazz to pop. Students choose the emphasis of their lessons, whether they want to work on their public performance skills, write their own songs, sight-read scores, or simply be able to play musical chairs during a power outage. Many will also get the chance to show off in recitals, concerts, and showcases.
The passionate, trained staff at Paintbox Kids provides materials and ideas for projects, fosters kids' creativity, and cleans up the splattery leftovers of the artistic process. A two-hour art party includes all masterpiece-making materials for up to three craft activities, customized according to the party’s theme and the children’s ages and favorite mathematical theorems. Witness budding Picassos document their first trip to Antarctica in a scrapbook or construct replicas of the Mississippi River out of glitter. Party-goers can also bring their own snacks to prevent ravenous tots from mistaking Paintbox Kids’ decorative balloons for comically large Skittles.
Stinging nettle, lambsquarters, and mugwort: as ubiquitous weeds around the LA area, it’s a rare sight to see them celebrated as elements of gourmet cuisine. But the duo behind Transitional Gastronomy, Pascal Baudar and Mia Wasilevich, are changing that with their inventive approach to foraged food. Baudar combines his background in French and Belgian country cuisine with more than a decade of experience teaching survivalist classes and studying wild food in Southern California. On the other hand, Wasilevich’s own diverse heritage informs her more modern approach to the culinary arts, which incorporates molecular gastronomy as well as more traditional methods. Each dish they create depends on whatever seasonal botany they come across, in addition to careful research on how each ingredient was used through history.
The pair has been celebrated in local and national media for their educational excursions and culinary innovation, from mentions in Time and the Los Angeles Times to features on NBC and ABC. Their experiments have yielded dishes as diverse as lambsquarters bisque and mousse to flatbreads topped with acorn, nettle pesto, and homemade preserved lemons. Transitional Gastronomy’s team shares their passions through small-group foraging hikes and cooking classes, which also include Baudar’s expertise in Old World styles of preservation and fermentation. Elderberry wine and mugwort beer make frequent appearances at each workshop, proving that you can even celebrate happy hour if you were stranded in the forest or on a spaceship that harvests elderberries and mugwort.
Lauded by Pasadena Weekly for having the best fitness program in 2011, Stadium Fitness earns its praise with a full schedule of energetic workouts held inside the hallowed walls of Rose Bowl Stadium. Recently featured in LA Yoga magazine, yoga classes also stay on the small side, helping instructors tailor workouts to individual goals and pay more attention to each student's inner growth. During each one-hour session, coed groups of all skill levels shed calories as a knowledgeable, certified fitness coach encourages quadriceps to put forth their best effort. Workouts are customized to each attendee's abilities—whether they want to jog up stadium stairs, sprint full-speed across the field's sun-splashed grass, or develop innovative cheerleading routines on the sidelines. Inside, a 5,000-square-foot locker room volunteers its spacious layout, allowing groups to participate in a variety of circuit-training routines or read plaques engraved with quotes from legendary tackling dummies.
For more than 50 side-splitting years, The Ice House’s stage has been propping up comedy heavyweights and future legends by the likes of Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin, George Carlin, George Lopez, and Jerry Seinfeld. Each week, the club continues its tradition of inverting frowns with an ever-growing lineup of up-and-coming jokesters, as well as occasional drop-ins by stars that have included Rob Schneider, Tom Green, and Nick Cannon. No seat within the intimate club is further than seven rows from the stage or 30 feet from the inflatable slides that serve as emergency exits.
French-born writer and school director Caroline fills teaching positions at La Petite Ecole Française with only native French speakers. That way, students will be guided through grammar, vocabulary, and conversational styles as they're currently used in Francophone countries, rather than relying on the potentially outdated info available from textbooks or someone who's just watched Children of Paradise several times. A wide range of programs helps bilingual students stay in touch with their French side and introduces adult learners to solid fundamentals. Special events deepen cultural awareness with movie screenings and art-exhibit visits.
With 30 years of high-quality home cooking beneath her belt, owner and chef Deb Swartz crams studious brains with recipes for seasonal delights in succinct demonstration classes that pepper tongues with sample tastings of a complete meal’s worth of recipes. Hosting 30 students each, the Cooking Essentials series fills Sunday afternoons with simple home recipes based around versatile techniques such as broth making, meat braising, or meat praising, which boosts protein self-esteem with compliments written in butter. Attendees can register for the January 15 session on winter soups to discover the secrets behind simplified gumbo or to craft a slurpable, sugary treat in the form of blueberry dessert soup. Alternatively, January 29’s session on winter fish dishes explores the methodology of seameats such as crab bisque or fish baked three ways.