October 1-31. Kids, ages 3-9, get free admission to San Diego Zoo (with purchase of adult ticket). If you were planning a trip, this would be a good time to go.
October 3-31. Pumpkin Festival at Lombardi Ranch. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Free admission, $4 train ride, $4 corn maze, $3 petting zoo, $4.50 for either wagon ride or pony ride. 29527 Bouquet Canyon Rd., Santa Clarita. www.lombardiranch.com.
October 9-November 7. Weekends 9am - 5pm,Weekdays 2pm - 5pm. Forneris Farms Festival and Corn Maze. Free admission and parking. $4 train ticket, $7 corn maze (3 and younger free with paid adult), kids play area $3. 15200 Rinaldi St., Mission Hills. www.fornerisfarms.com.
October 22. 6-8 pm. FREE weekly jazz concerts at LACMA, no reservations required. LA Times Central Court. This week: Louis Van Taylor Band.
October 22-24. 9 a.m.-5 p.m LA Kids Consignment sale in Santa Clarita. This is a one-weekend only children's consignment sale where you can find 50,000+ gently-used and new kids items from cribs to toys to bikes and clothing for newborns through pre-teens. 24901 Avenue Stanford, Valencia, 91355. http://www.lakidsconsignment.com/
October 23. 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Healthy Neighborhood Festival. Music and dance workshops and performances. Cooking workshops. Admission, parking and health screenings are free. The California Endowment. 1000 N. Alameda Street, L.A., 90012. www.calendow.org/healthyneighborhoodfest
October 23. 10 a.m. FREE Build and Grow Clinic at Lowes. Bring your child to Lowe's and they can build a free project. The kids get goggles and an apron and a kit to build an item. They use hammers their size and get a patch afterward for completing the project.
October 23. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The first annual "HomeGrown Culver City" is a FREE event that celebrates backyard edible gardening, sustainable gardening, and an ecological lifestyle. Media Park, 9070 Venice Boulevard, Culver City 90232. My friend Josie, of Josie’s English Kitchen, will be presenting a workshop at 1:00 p.m. on conserving jams and marmalade. http://www.homegrownculvercity.com/workshops/
October 23. 2 p.m. & 3 p.m. Free admission to the Performing Books presentation. The Performing Books series is a monthly program designed to introduce children ages 4-10 to the performing arts through books. Professional storytellers and artists bring books to life through song, dance, voice and instruments. This month hear The Dog Who Sang at the Opera. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., L.A. http://www.lapl.org/kidspath/events/Performing_Books_flyer.pdf
October 23-24. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Harvest Festival and Plant Sale at Descanso Gardens. Descanso's horticulture staff and other experts will present talks, demonstrations and workshops through the weekend. Saturday highlights include: 10 and 11 a.m.: Gather the children for a costume parade at the Center Circle. The parade concludes at the Under the Oaks Theater with a sing-along. Check out their website for admission prices and all the scheduled events. http://www.descansogardens.org/
October 24. 6 p.m. FREE weekly concerts at LACMA. These one-hour concerts are presented free to the public on Sundays in the Leo S. Bing Theater. This week: Amstel Saxophone Quartet.
October 25. Free Pasta Day at Buca di Beppo. All dine-in guests who purchase a Buca Small or Buca Large pasta or entree will receive a FREE serving of Spaghetti with their choice of Meat Sauce or Marinara. Additionally, those receiving a FREE serving of Spaghetti will also receive a complimentary 16-ounce package of pasta to take and prepare at home.
October 26. 10:30-11:30 a.m. FREE. Toddler story time at Borders at the Northridge Mall. Theme this week is author visit with Rob Scotton and a costume party.
October 28 (and subsequent Thursdays). 9:30-11:30 a.m. Free Mommy and Me Class at The Church on The Way. For children under 5 years of age. Please bring a snack for your child. Theme this week: Harvest Time--Come in costume. King’s Kids Bldg. on the West Campus. 14800 Sherman Way, Van Nuys. 818-779-8000.
October 28. 11:30-2 p.m. Two Gourmet Food Trucks will be at the Telesis Credit Union in Chatsworth. Many friends have recently become interested in the gourmet food trucks that offer good prices on great food. Come buy some food from Don Chow taco truck, a unique melding of Mexican and Chinese cuisine. Additionally, the Cupcakes A Go Go truck will also be there. Yummy! 9301 Winnetka Ave., Chatsworth, 91311.
Wendy's is selling their Jr. Frosty booklets. You buy them for one dollar and get five coupons for a free Jr. Frosty between November 1st and February 1st.
McDonald’s also has coupon books right now! You pay about $1 (some stores may charge a little more) and you get a coupon book that includes 12 FREEBIE Coupons! Coupons are valid for use 11/1/10 – 12/31/10. Redeemable by children 12 and under. Please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on my blog if you find these at a McDonalds near you. Apparently they are not being sold at every McDonalds.
At Snapfish, you buy two 8" x 11" Linen Classic Photo Books, you get two FREE!
Just use coupon FALLBKSALE at checkout before October 28. U.S. customers only. Check out their site for all the details.
Picaboo is offering up to 50% off classic books, cards and calendars. Use code FALL50 at checkout. Check out their website for the details. http://www.picaboo.com/
Paid Focus Groups
Have you ever been to a focus group? Companies will pay you to tell them what you think about their products. They are generally 1-2 hours and vary in pay, about $75-$100 dollars for your time. Some places even feed you! Here is a list of some local groups. If you sign up for several different groups, you have a better chance of getting called. You are eligible every 3 months or so, depending on the group.
Adept Consumer Testing http://www.adeptconsumer.com/home.php
Trotta http://www.trotta.net/join.htm (310) 306-6866
Qualitative Insights http://www.q-insights.com/respondent.html (818) 988-5411
Adler Weiner Research http://www.awr-la.com/participants.htm (310) 440-2330
Facts ‘N Figures Inc. http://www.factsnfiguresinc.com/ (818) 986-6600
Inspired Opinions (formerly called Schlesinger Associates) https://inspiredopinions.com/registration.php?rc=MTg%3D
Matrix Research http://www.matrix-r.com/
Savitz Research Companies http://www.savitzpanel.com/
Plaza Research http://www.plazaresearch.com/ (310) 645-1700
Check out this link if you live somewhere besides Los Angeles: http://hubpages.com/hub/Paid_Focus_Groups
October 29. IHOP is offering Scary Face Pancakes free of charge for children 12 and under (one per child). The Scary Face Pancake includes an oversized signature buttermilk pancake with a whipped topping mouth and strawberry nose, served with two mini OREO® cookies and candy corn on the side to allow kids to create their own pancake.
October 30. 4-8 p.m. Harvest Fair at The Valley Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Come and enjoy the live music, games, candy, prizes, crafts, bounce house, Interactives (Sumo Wrestling & Velcro Wall), face painting, BBQ, Bake sale, Toddler fun and more.... It's Free! But bring a little cash for BBQ, Interactives, and Bake sale.6642 Reseda Blvd., Reseda, 91335. (818)776-9696.
October 31. 4-7 p.m. Fall Family Festival at The Church on The Way. 14720 Sherman Way, Van Nuys. Free Event for the Community. Free Games! Free Candy! Free Rides! Food available for purchase!