17 best things to do this weekend in SoCal
Spring has sprung. Books, bicycles, tamales, magic buses... this weekend is jampacked with stuff to do in Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California. And because Friday is 4/20, we've rolled in a few cannabis-themed events.
Earth Day L.A. Celebration
Bet you didn't know that L.A.'s sanitation department has its own mascot. His name is Mr. Recy-cle and he's the Beyoncé of anthropomorphic avatars. He'll unite with Tommy TV and Octo-Clean, who are basically the Kelly and Michelle of municipal mascots, for the city's annual earth-friendly celebration. Kids can explore garbage trucks and other city vehicles, plant seeds, play games and check out more than 50 exhibits related to city services and sustainability. DJ Jorge Nesta will drop beats and Salserinas will perform.
There are tons of other Earth Day events happening around Southern California.=
ROCK 'N ROLL PICK
WHEN: Saturday, April 21 - Sunday, April 22
WHERE: The Regent — 448 S. Main St., downtown L.A.
COST: $15-25 advance, 21+ only; MORE INFO
Discovery is the name of the game as emerging acts like Sizzy Rocket, Clara-Nova, Tek.Lun and robokid headline a budget-friendly alternative to The Festival Of Which We Do Not Speak. Four stages of music and comedy. An outdoor market. Yoga and art installations. That's a lot of bang for not a lot of bucks.
Bonus: Saturday is also Record Store Day, so check out your favorite independent music outlets for special releases and deals on vinyl.
Disney On Ice: Frozen
WHEN: Thursday, April 19 - Sunday, April 22
WHERE: Long Beach Convention Center — 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach
COST: $20-109; MORE INFO
Join icy Queen Elsa, snowman Olaf, mountain man Kristoff and his reindeer sidekick Sven as they race to release Arendelle from winter's grip. Ice skating meets special effects in this sing-along version of the Disney blockbuster. You'll also get to see some of your favorite characters from "Toy Story," "Finding Dory" and "The Lion King" along with Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Festival of Books
Despite the name, this festival offers much more than books. KRS-ONE will talk hip-hop. Guerilla Tacos chef Wes Avila will lead a cooking demo. Composer Hélène Muddiman will discuss how blockchain is changing classical music. Those are just a few of the options. There will still be plenty of book signings and panel discussions with authors of all stripes, from crime writers to young adult novelists. Top draws include Junot Diaz, Alexander Chee, Aline Brosh McKenna, Patton Oswalt, Leslie Odom Jr. and Diana Gabaldon.
CicLAvia: Heart of the Foothills
WHEN: Sunday, April 22; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
WHERE: Pomona Valley/San Gabriel Valley
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
This new, 6.5-mile route heads east, connecting San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont. As always, the road will be closed to cars so bicycle riders, pedestrians, runners and skaters can take over. You don't have to traverse the entire thing. You can join in or check out at any point along the way. Each city will host a hub with free water, restrooms, basic bike repair and bike parking. Several vendors along the route will also offer deals and discounts.
California Poppy Festival
WHEN: Saturday, April 21 - Sunday, April 22; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
WHERE: Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park — 43063 N. 10th Street West, Lancaster
COST: $10, adults; $5, children 6-12; MORE INFO
The Antelope Valley city of Lancaster boasts one of California's most abundant crops of poppies. Celebrate the state flower with a weekend of activities including motocross riders, a sea lion show, a petting zoo, a trampoline, handmade crafts, a car show and a farmers market. If you actually want to see these bright orange beauties in their spring glory, you'll need to drive to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, 15 miles west of the festival.
Riverside Tamale Festival
WHEN: Saturday, April 21; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
WHERE: White Park — 3936 Chestnut St., Riverside
COST: $20, general admission; MORE INFO
It's time for masa mania! Watch home chefs and pros compete to see who makes the best tamale. Between stuffing yourself with the fluffy delights, catch performances from La Santa Cecilia, a Santana cover band and several Ballets Folklorico. There's storytelling and crafts for los niños.
WHEN: Saturday, April 21; 7 p.m.
WHERE: The Forum — 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood
COST: $40; MORE INFO
Ice Cube headlines a night of old school hip-hop featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Method Man Redman, DJ Quik, Warren G and Kurupt.
Dapper Day Expo
WHEN: Saturday, April 21 - Sunday, April 22; 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
WHERE: Disneyland — Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall, 1150 W. Magic Way, Anaheim
COST: $10; MORE INFO
Get dressed up in your snazziest, retro threads and ride the Matterhorn. Dapper Day officially happens on Sunday, during the park's normal hours but the expo runs through the weekend. The expo features a marketplace of vintage and contemporary clothing and accessories along with performances by Daddy Wellington and his band and a book signing by Dita Von Teese. Free shuttles will ferry you between Disneyland and the hotel.
Thai New Year Songkran Festival
WHEN: Sunday, April 22; 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
WHERE: Thai Thown — Hollywood Blvd. between Western and Normandie
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
You can check out folk dancing, live jazz, a costume show, a Muay Thai face-off, fruit-carving and lei-making demos and a Thai wedding ceremony while you nosh on Thai food from some of the neighborhood's best restaurants.
FUR FRIENDLY PICK
Meet the Goats
WHEN: Sunday, April 22; 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
WHERE: Point Vicente Interpretive Center — 31501 Palos Verdes Dr. West, Rancho Palos Verdes
COST: FREE but registration recommended; MORE INFO
Meet the goats who work for the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, providing natural brush clearance for wildfire safety. Goat-herding demonstrations galore.
Chavez Ravine: An Unfinished Story
WHEN: Saturday, April 21; 3 - 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes — 501 N. Main St., downtown L.A.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Nearly 1,100 families used to lived in Chavez Ravine, the swath of land now occupied by Dodger Stadium. Through eminent domain, these families were forced out of their homes. This panel brings together five elders who will discuss their experiences growing up in the neighborhood.
Colburn Gala Concert
WHEN: Sunday, April 22; 7 p.m.
WHERE: Walt Disney Concert Hall — 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
COST: $15; MORE INFO
There are still some balcony seats left to watch conductor Michael Tilson Thomas lead the Colburn Orchestra in a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major, "Titan." Thomas is an L.A. native who serves as music director of the San Francisco Symphony. After the concert, there's a fancy gala dinner at Vibiana to honor Thomas and architect Frank Gehry, but you won't get into that for $15.
Go Fact Yourself
Maximum Fun stages a double-header live taping of its new comedy quiz show podcast Go Fact Yourself. Helen Hong and J. Keith van Straaten co-host as celebrity guests Drew Droege, Chelsey Crisp, Fred Willard and Andrea Savage are asked about obscure topics they claim to know a lot about. Scrabble, Disneyland, artificial sweeteners, 1970s TV commercials — it could be anything.
Renegade Craft Fair
WHEN: Saturday, April 21 - Sunday, April 22; 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
WHERE: Los Angeles State Historic Park — 1245 N. Spring St., downtown L.A.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Peruse clothes, housewares and goods from emerging and established makers. Local DJs will spin rarities and remixes while you attend workshops or eat at food trucks.
Magic Bus Experience
WHEN: Friday, April 20 - Saturday, April 21
WHERE: The Reef DTLA — 1933 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
COST: $45-65; MORE INFO
Navigate the winding corridors of the Hotbox white-out maze, leave your creative mark in our Giant Coloring Book, crawl through the adult-sized Pillow Fort or grab a quick bite from Munchie Mountain, a floor to ceiling snack bar. Those are a few examples of the immersive experiences at this psychedelic wonderland inspired by marijuana culture. The VIP room has an all-you-can-eat chicken nugget and tater tot bar.
I'm Too Effing High
WHEN: Friday, April 20; 10 p.m.
WHERE: Dynasty Typewriter — 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
COST: $10-55; MORE INFO
Celebrate 4/20 as you watch a panel of stoned comedians go through a series of comedy challenges, games and performances. Are people funnier when they’re high? Who knows?
How are you spending your weekend? Let us know on Twitter @LeoHasACat.