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Dozens of things to do for you and your whole family.
CELEBRATE CINCO DE MAYO

Cinco De Mayo is a fun celebration that kicks off a month full of fun celebrations. If you think about it, almost every weekend in May can be an excuse for a party: eggs benedict and mimosas on Mother's Day, BBQ burgers and ribs on Memorial Day, and of course, tacos and margaritas for Cinco De Mayo. It's as if this month is telling us to kick back, relax and enjoy; summer is just around the corner! 

Now, most people think that Cinco De Mayo is a celebration of Mexican Independence. Actually, that happened more than 50 years before that fateful fifth day in May, in September of 1810 to be exact, when Mexico declared war on the Spanish Colonial government. Cinco De Mayo actually commemorates the Battle of Puebla, where a rag-tag army of 2,000 men defeated Napoleon's mighty troops on the northern end of the city of Puebla. 

This victory is remembered in Mexico, but here in the US, it has become a day to celebrate Mexican culture and history. It is also a great excuse to enjoy the delicious food and colorful traditions of our neighbors to the south. 

Start by making some kid-friendly, Mexican-themed snacks and crafts. 

Decorate your space with a colorful garland reminiscent of a bright Mexican picado. All you need is tissue paper and a length of curly ribbon. Stack 2-3 sheets of tissue paper and cut them into squares. (About 4" x 4"-eyeball it!) Do this with several different bright colors of tissue paper, stacking the same colors together. Fold the top part of a tissue paper square over the ribbon and tape or staple it. Cut a deep fringe into the square. Choose another color and do the same thing. Keep stapling and fringing until you have a garland to hang across your mantle, a doorway, or even the backyard! 

Next, make mini-pinatas. Use a paper cup or a toilet paper roll and tissue paper or paper streamers. If you're using a cup, gently poke two holes in the bottom and thread a ribbon through. This will be your hanger. Then, flip it over and fill it with lightweight toys like stickers, tattoos, stick-on mustaches, confetti, or candies. Cut a square of tissue paper big enough to completely cover the mouth of the cup. Cut an 'x' in the middle of the tissue paper, then cover the mouth of the cup with the square, keeping the toys inside. Tape it securely around the edges of the cup. Then, tape a piece of ribbon onto the 'x.' This will be your "pull" to release the treats. If you're using a TP roll, stand it with the covered end down and fill it with lightweight treats. Attach a ribbon to the top of the roll with tape as your hanger. Decorate your pinatas by taping or gluing thin strips of tissue paper, cut into a fringe or scallop design, to the outside of the piñata. Make several mini piñatas to string along a length of curly ribbon as another garland. Hang them from the branches of a tree and let the kids pull the strings to get the treats! 

Make a plate of sombrero cookies with cookies, frosting, and candy. Use any wide, round cookie, like a fudge stripe or shortbread. Attach a Rolo candy to the center of the cookie with chocolate with frosting. Put a spoonful of frosting into a zipper bag and close it. Snip a corner of the bag and pipe a line of frosting along the outside edges of the cookie. Roll it in colorful nonpareils or sprinkles to mimic colorful embroidery or pom poms. Next, make maracas out of pretzel sticks and milk duds. Melt the Milk Duds in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds, or until they're pliable and the chocolate is just slightly soft. Carefully shape them into ovals, place a pretzel stick in one end, and roll the chocolate in sprinkles. Or, make this adorable taco cookie - all from store-bought sandwich cookies and a handful of different candies. 

Finally, invite the neighbors over for a taco cart party. Give everyone their own personal 7-layer dip in a clear plastic cup. Layer refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, red salsa, shredded cheese, tomatoes, olives, and chopped scallions in the cup and serve with chips. 

Then, pull out your most colorful tablecloth, make a batch of sangria, and lay out the makings for a relaxed dinner. If you live in the San Gabriel Valley, you have at least 2 favorite, go-to, local Mexican restaurants within a one-mile radius. Order tacos for a crowd or make your own! The key is to make it easy. Guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, shredded cheese, tomatoes, olives, and cilantro can be placed in bowls alongside warm tortillas and taco shells and a choice of chicken or beef. A mix of sautéed peppers, onions, yellow squash, and zucchini also makes a great taco filling. Don't forget the beans, Spanish rice, and a big tub of cold drinks. 

Then, spread blankets out on the grass and enjoy the sweet beginnings of summertime!

 

Julie Ward

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PICKS OF THE LITTER


Butterfly Season is Here!

Kidspace's annual celebration of butterflies is here now through May 31! Celebrate and learn the life cycles of butterflies. You can buy a habitat and adopt a caterpillar for the butterfly release a few weeks later. It's truly a wonderful celebration of natural life. Don't miss it! Learn more and get tickets here

 






Día Celebration: Zany Zoe Magic Show & Piñata Craft Kit

Your family can join the Altadena librarians in celebrating Día with a bilingual magic show. You can also pick up a piñata craft kit while supplies last. It all happens on the front lawn of the Main Library on April 30, from 11:00 AM till 11:45 AM.

 


 

Take & Make: Keepsake Key Chain

This craft could make a lovely Mothers Day gift. Your whole family can join the Santa Catalina Branch librarians in making a keepsake key chain. Kit reservation opens on May 2 and goes through May 16 or while supplies last.

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the orange cat bookshop
Manu and other great books featured in our events are available from our online book shop. And, if that wasn't good enough, every purchase supports a local, independent book store.
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ASIAN-AMERICAN PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH

Take & Make: Madhubani Elephant Bookmark

Your kids (ages 0-12 years old) can join the San Rafael Branch librarians in celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month by making a Madhubani elephant bookmark. Registration for craft kits starts on May 1. Kits are available through May 31 or while supplies last. 

 


 

Take & Make: Japanese Carp Streamer

Your family can join the Hastings Branch librarians in celebrating AAPI Heritage Month by making a papercraft carp streamer or Koinobori, a windsock flown to celebrate "Children's Day" in Japan. Registration for craft kits starts on May 1 and continues through May 14 or while supplies last.

 


 

Take & Make: Korean Paper Game (Ddakji)

Your whole family and build and play this Korean paper-flipping game with a craft kit from the Hill Avenue Branch Library. Kit reservation opens on May 1 and goes through May 31 or while supplies last.

 


 

Take & Make: Paper Lei Kit

Your kids (ages 0-12) can take home a kit with everything they need to make their very own paper lei and learn a bit about the history of Hawaii. Reserved kits can be picked up from the San Rafael Branch Library. Kit reservation opens on May 1 and goes through May 31 or while supplies last.

 


 

Take & Make: Paper Plate Hand Fan

Your whole family can join the Hastings Branch Library in making a hand fan from paper plates using the craft kit. Kit reservation opens on May 1 and is available through May 14 or while supplies last.

 


 

Carp Kite

Your kids (ages 3-12) can join the Villa Parke Community Center Branch librarians on May 4, from 3:30 PM till 4:30 PM, to make a Japanese carp kite to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

 


 

Explore Chinese Culture

Kids (ages 5+) and their families can take a journey through and learn about Chinese culture through themed activities and lessons. Sessions are on May 5, 12, 19, 26, and June 2, from 4:30 PM till 5:15 PM online. Registration is required, and spots are limited. This program requires access to an internet-enabled device and internet service. A limited number of devices are available from the Pasadena Public Library.

MORE STUFF TO DO

STEAM Kit Petting Zoo

Your whole family can visit the Santa Catalina Branch Library on April 23, from 2:00 PM till 4:00 PM, to explore their selection of STEAM kits

 


 

Take & Make: Earth Day Flower Seed Bomb

Your whole family can join the Santa Catalina Branch librarians in celebrating Earth Day in April by making flower seed bombs. Craft kits can be reserved starting April 4 and picked up from the Santa Catalina Branch Library. The activity runs through April 30 or while supplies last.

 


 

Take & Make: Miniature Garden Pot with Flowers

Your family is invited to make tiny flowers from pipe cleaners and arrange them in a little flower pot. Call the Linda Vista Branch library at 626-744-7278 to reserve your craft kit starting April 11 at 10:30 AM. Kits are available while supplies last.

 


 

Take & Make: Pop-up Flower Cards

Who doesn't love pop-up cards? Your family can join the Hill Avenue Branch library in making your very own beautiful 3D cards. Reservations for craft kits are open from April 15 through April 30 or while supplies last.

 


 

Virtual Reality @PPL

Your Teens (ages 13+) and adults can take VR for a spin at the Hastings Branch Library on April 26, from 4:00 PM till 6:00 PM. The Oculus Quest setup provides the full VR experience. No reservations are required. First come, first served with a 30-minute session limit depending on demand. A parent or guardian must sign a waiver either online beforehand or on-site.

 


 

Día del Niño Celebration

Your family can join the La Pintoresca Branch librarians in celebrating Día del Niño on April 27, from 4:00 PM till 4:30 PM with stories, crafts, music, and games.

 


 

Outdoor Movie Night at Altadena Library

Grab some cozy blankets or camping chairs and get ready to enjoy "Night At The Museum" on a giant inflatable screen in the Altadena Library's parking lot on April 23 at 7:00 PM. Treats and a photo booth round out the fun. Registration is required.

 




Día Bilingual Book Giveaway

Altadana Library's Bob Lucas Branch celebrates Día with a book giveaway on April 29 and 30, from 10:00 AM till 6:00 PM for kids (ages 0-12). Limit one book per child while supplies last. 

 


 

Celebrate Día: Food Traditions and Family Fun

Your kids (ages 5-12) can join the LA County librarians for stories about food traditions and crafts honoring favorite recipes on April 29 at 4:00 PM. Registration required.

 




Shelter Toys for Dogs

Your kids can join Kidspace and Good SamariTots in making toys for shelter dogs on April 23 and 24, from 10:00 AM till 5:00 PM. All materials are provided.

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NINE LIVES EVENTS

 

These events are regularly scheduled, and many do not require registrations. That said, please check with the event host in case of holidays, weather, COVID, or other reasons to cancel or reschedule.
 



 

Afternoon Games

The whole family is invited to the Villa Parke Community Center Branch Library to play games, from board games to giant dominos. The fun happens on Tuesdays, from 2:00 PM till 4:00 PM.

 


 

Infant & Toddler Storytime

Your little ones (ages 0-2) and their caregiver can join the Pasadena librarians weekly at 10:30 AM for 20 minutes of reading, rhyming, and singing fun! 

Lamanda Park Branch - Tuesdays

Allendale Branch - Wednesdays

Santa Catalina Branch - Thursdays

 


 

Outdoor Baby & Toddler Storytime - Altadena Public Library

Your little ones (ages 0-2) and their caregivers can join the Altadena librarians on the front lawn of the Main Library on Mondays, from 10:30 AM till 11:00 AM for some fun with books, songs, rhymes, development, and bonding. Space is limited, and attendees must follow COVID health protocols. See the event listing for more details. This event will be canceled in the event of inclement weather conditions.

 


 

Preschool Storytime - Pasadena Public Libraries

Your kids (ages 3-5) can join the Pasadena librarians weekly for a selection of stories, songs, crafts, or a short movie. Activities vary by branch.

Villa Parke Community Center Branch - Tuesdays, 10:30 AM till 11:30 AM

San Rafael Branch - Wednesdays, 11:00 AM till 11:30 AM

Lamanda Park Branch - Thursdays, 10:30 AM till 11:00 AM

Hill Avenue Branch - Saturdays, 10:30 AM till 11:00 AM

 


 

Outdoor Preschool Storytime - Altadena Public Library

Children (ages 3-5) can join the Altadena librarians weekly (weather permitting) on the front lawn of the Main Library on Thursdays, from 10:30 AM till 11:00 AM for fun with books, rhymes, and songs. Space is limited so arrive early to get a spot. This event will be canceled in the event of inclement weather conditions. Attendees must follow COVID health protocols. See the event listing for more details.

 


 

Toddler Playtime

Kids ages 2-5 can come to play, color, listen to music and make new friends at the Villa Parke Community Center Branch on Fridays, from 10:30 AM till 12:00 PM.

 


 

ASL Storytime

Kids ages 3-5 can join the San Rafael Branch librarians for a fun storytime featuring some American Sign Language signs to learn on select Thursdays from 10:30 AM till 11:00 AM.

March 3 and 17

April 7 and 21

 


 

Storytime in the Park - Monrovia Public Library

Your kids (ages 0-5) can join the Monrovia librarians in Library Park for some active and engaging stores and songs on Wednesdays from 10:00 AM till 10:45 AM through April 27. The book fun is followed up with a sensory activity or craft project. Everyone is welcome. See the event listing for more details.

 


 

Family Films

Villa Parke Community Center Branch hosts a family movie for you on Thursdays, from 3:30 PM till 5:30 PM. Please contact the branch at 626-744-6510 for the movie title. And this is a BYOS (bring your own snacks) event.

 


 

Video Game Club

Your Teen (age 14-19) can stop into the Hastings Branch Library Meeting Room on Thursdays, from 4:00 PM till 6:00 PM, for some gaming fun on the Nintendo Switch. They can make new friends and learn fair play every week. No registration is required. Must play well with others.

 


 

Crafting with Tish & Tosh

Join the Pasadena Library online for some all-ages crafting fun. You'll learn new crafts all year round. The crafting fun happens on every-other Monday on Instagram Live from 3:00 PM till 3:30 PM.

 


 

Book Talk

The Monrovia Library staff encourages a love of stories among young readers by providing engaging summaries of some of their favorite books on the library's YouTube channel. Great for kids five and younger, the series covers both picture and chapter books.

Picture books: March 5 and April 2

Chapter books: March 19 and April 16

 


 

Storytime in the Park - Monrovia Public Library

You and your little ones (ages 0-5) can join the Monrovia librarians every Saturday at 10:00 AM as they lead you through a story, a little music, some movement, and all-around fun. Everything is geared to get your kids dancing, singing, and learning. During COVID protocols, it all happens outdoors in Library Park, near the playground and Rotary Bandshell.

 


 

Storytime in Motion

Your preschoolers can experience books in a whole new, energetic way with the Altadena librarians on Tuesday mornings, from 10:30 AM till 11:00 AM in Charles White Park. Storytime in Motion is held outdoors, weather permitting. Attendees will be encouraged to move, jump, and dance along to the stories. Space is limited, and following COVID health protocols is required.

 

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