Family

Family

Frito Pie: This chili-based campout classic is in the bag

Some folks go camping to satiate a craving for peace and solitude, but my family and I have come to associate our annual Labor Day campout with 20 of our favorite friends, loads of laughter and indulgent communal meals. Of course walking tacos are equally delicious when served at a picnic in the park or at a backyard party.

Family

5 great reasons your kid should read banned books

What do "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Catcher in the Rye," "The Great Gatsby," "Native Son," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Farenheit 451," and "The Adventures of Captain Underpants" have in common? At one time or other, someone has tried to ban them from classrooms and public or school libraries.

Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: 'The Lego Ninjago Movie,' positive messages, role models, great family comedy

Parents need to know that "The Lego Ninjago Movie" – based on the popular "Lego Ninjago TV" show and toy line – is appropriate for most kids, packing plenty of laughs along with clear (if not particularly deep) messages of empowerment, acceptance, and courage. While there's a fair bit of fighting/action (along the lines of earlier "Lego" movies), it's not constant – and since it's meant to evoke how kids play with toys, it doesn't resemble anything realistic, whether it's kung fu-like scenes or blasters being fired. There's talk of parents breaking up, but no emotionally challenging moments related to the topic. While it's not the lightning in a bottle that "The Lego Movie" was, it will entertain adults nearly as much as it will younger audiences. As with all "Lego" movies, shows, and games, it also serves as a feature-length toy ad – but you may not care because it's good fun.

Family

Game review: 'Monster Hunter Stories,' spin-off of fantasy creature series

Parents need to know that "Monster Hunter Stories" is a role-playing adventure game available for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is a "kid friendly" spin-off of Capcom's popular "Monster Hunter" series of games. The game features a story focused on helping others and saving both the people and creatures of the world by building strong bonds of friendships. Younger players may need help with some of the more complex inventory and character management parts of the game, though it's something that can be easily picked up with practice. While players regularly do battle with strange creatures in the game, the violence is mild overall, with a lot of special effects and animations, but no blood or gore.

Family

App review: Kids answer multiple-choice style questions about friends in tbh app

Parents need to know that tbh (to be honest) is a free social networking app that lets friends anonymously answer questions about one another. The questions are 100 percent controlled by the developer and as such, don't become outwardly mean or insulting though teens could potentially find a way to use the app to target others. Users can submit their own ideas for poll questions, but these are reviewed by the developer before being added to the question pool. Registration asks for users' age indirectly by asking for the highest grade completed in high school or college. It also accesses users' phone contacts lists and location to help the user identify the school they attend. There's currently no direct messaging, though the privacy policy does mention a chat feature, which may be an added feature at some point. At the time of review, it's only available in seven states. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the kinds of information collected and shared.

Entertainment & Life

Game update: 'Mobius Final Fantasy' gets Lightning in new 'Final Fantasy XIII' collaboration

"Mobius Final Fantasy" is about to get an extra dose of JRPG goodness: developer Square Enix has announced a new collaboration between the mobile title and "Final Fantasy XIII" that will see the latter game's protagonist Lightning making a special in-game appearance as an all-new Ultimate Hero. The collaboration coincides with the one-year anniversary of "Mobius Final Fantasy," and players can check out a trailer for the new collaboration, here http://bit.ly/2xV3P2U.

Family

Parents @ Play: Get outa here!

Okay, so the days are getting a little shorter, but that doesn't mean the end of entertaining, outdoor play. With these great new toys, you and your kids can have open-air fun 'til the sun goes down – and long after.

Entertainment & Life

App review: Leela Kids, terrific, free repertoire of kid-friendly podcasts

Parents need to know that Leela Kids – Best Audio Content for 3-15 Yr. Olds, is a podcast-aggregating app for kids. This free app organizes kid-centric science podcasts, such as Wow in the World (by NPR), brains on!, and StarTalk Radio; music podcasts, including Ear Snacks and Classics for Kids; children's stories, such as Stories Podcast; relaxation audio stories; and more. Apps are organized by categories and age groups (3-5, 5-8, 8-12, and 12-15). Kids and parents can rate and share any podcast episode. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

Family

Ex-etiquette: Abusive ex unnerves her

Q: I am dating a new guy after 10 years of being with an abusive ex. By abusive, I mean he broke my jaw when I refused to make him dinner. He's very angry I've moved on (he cheated), so when I see him out and about, I cling to my boyfriend for dear life. Yesterday we were at the mall and there was my ex in the parking lot. He sees us together, I move in close for protection, and he speeds off. I don't know how to handle this. His expression scared me. Should I call him? What's good ex-etiquette?

Videos

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Check out the Fair Oaks Chicken Festival

Everybody was shaking their tail feathers at the Fair Oaks Chicken Festival on September 16, 2017, in Village Park. The annual event, which is free to the public and features food, music and children's activities, celebrates the Village of Fair Oaks' lively chicken population.
Video produced by David Caraccio
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