Once again it’s time to think about what parts of the world you’d like to explore all while staying close to home. The Scandinavian Festival is always on my calendar for April. I’ve been with my family several times. This year, however, the boys will be busy with sports that weekend. Therefore, I will be heading out to the festival alone on the Sunday of the festival to volunteer at an entrance gate. I’m looking forward to this new way of experiencing the event, and maybe I’ll even see some familiar faces come through. Scroll down to Weekend of April 18 & 19 to read more about the Scandinavian Festival. I hope you’ll consider coming!
* WEEKEND OF APRIL 4 & 5 *
Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, Irwindale, Saturdays & Sundays, April 4 to May 17. Travel back to the 16th century and experience the glory of life during the Renaissance era. The faire provides “a cornucopia of diversity where we are unified in inviting our guests to enjoy an environment we have created to escape from the stresses and demands of the modern day.” There will be artisans, entertainment, food trucks and booths, games and rides (including pony and camel rides), a Kids Kingdom (with games, crafts, story-telling, song, and shows), and a gnome quest!
Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition, California Science Museum, Exposition Park, ongoing until September 7. Come discover the most significant archaeological find of the last century—the Dead Sea Scrolls. This special exhibition explores the science and significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls, manuscripts written and hidden in caves 2000 years ago and not discovered until 1947. Additional highlights include a three-ton stone from Jerusalem’s Western Wall, limestone capitals from the first temple period (1000-586 BCE), ossuaries from the early Roman period, and an ancient signature preserved for millennia on the Archer Seal. Enhance your experience with a viewing of Jerusalem 3D at the IMAX theater.
The Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinatown, Saturday, 10:30am-1pm. Visit a temple, an herbal shop, art galleries, antique stores, and more when guided to the unique treasures–not to mention great bargains–to be found in Chinatown. Wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to wind your way through a myriad of alleyways, plaza stalls, and classical courtyards to discover the charm of L.A.’s Chinatown.
Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 11am-3:30pm. On the first Sunday of every month, Bowers Museum offers free tickets to the museum, Kidseum, and all activities. On this Sunday, enjoy the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival as well. There will be art projects such as cherry blossom water colors painting, fish prints, and face painting, as well as classical dance, folk dance, and musical performances with traditional instruments (koto, shamisen, and taiko).
* WEEKEND OF APRIL 11 & 12 *
17th Annual Chumash Day Powwow and Inter-Tribal Celebration, Malibu Bluffs Park, Saturday & Sunday. This year’s 17th annual Chumash Day Powwow will celebrate Native Americans from all over the country. Hundreds of tribes will gather at Malibu Bluffs Park. Native American food, craft vendors, tribal ceremonies, and dances will be a part of the event on both days. Grand Entry will take place 1pm at Saturday and 12pm on Sunday.
World City Series: DakhaBrakha, W.M. Keck Children’s Amphitheatre at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Saturday, 11am and 12:30pm. Come enjoy DakhaBrakha, a quartet from Kiev, Ukraine, with a musical spectrum that ranges from intimate to riotous, producing an unexpected new world music on drums, accordions, and cello. Free visual arts workshops, designed by Music Center Teaching Artists, are available during each World City engagement. See website for ticket reservation information.
Kids in the Courtyard: Home Is Where the Art Is, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Saturday, 1pm-4pm. Whether it’s the towering mosaics of Watts Towers or the stained glass of Echo Park’s “Randy Land,” Los Angeles is filled with inventive architecture. In this program, explore the photographs of fantastically decorated homes from Spain in the exhibition Singular Spaces and consider the architectural creativity in your neighborhood. Then contribute to a group fort-building project using recycled materials in the Fowler Courtyard and create a colorful wind chime to liven up your own home.
Japan: Sumi Ink Fan Painting, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Participate in a free family art workshop in a real art studio. We’ve attended one of these art workshops and can attest to the value and fun of them. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.
Andell Family Sundays—Renaissance Reunion, LACMA, Sunday (also April 19), 12:30pm-3:30pm. Like long-lost family members, four paintings that were separated centuries ago are reunited at LACMA! First, see them in the exhibition Four Allegories by Veronese: A Rediscovery and a Reunion. Then, make your own Renaissance-inspired art in artist-led workshops.
* WEEKEND OF APRIL 18 & 19 *
Scandinavian Festival, Cal Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Saturday & Sunday. Both days of the festival are filled with lively music, traditional dancing, a bustling Nordic food court, lectures on history and culture, food and craft demonstrations, vendors, and activities for young and old alike. The Viking Encampment and Sami Village will once again be present. And this year there will be a Vintage Car and Motorcycle Exhibition featuring Volvos, Saabs, and other Scandinavian vehicles. Highlights of family activities include making head wreaths with real flowers, crafting a traditional wooden butter knife, raising and dancing around the Maypole, learning the ancient Viking game Kubb, and playing Croquet. This is really a fun-filled family festival not to be missed!
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, USC Campus, Saturday & Sunday. Enjoy two days of not only books and authors, but also live music, poetry readings, comedy performances, photography exhibits, film screenings followed by Q&A’s, artists creating work on-site, and chef demonstrations. There are open-air stages with performances and readings by entertainers and authors (free, schedule here) and indoor discussions on a variety of topics (ticket info here). We’ve attended as a family and enjoyed wandering the grounds, listening to children’s authors read their stories (in 2012, the kids were excited to hear David Shannon and Jeff Kinney and this year Jeff Kinney returns), and eating from the food trucks.
Andell Family Sundays—Renaissance Reunion, LACMA, Sunday, 12:30pm-3:30pm. Like long-lost family members, four paintings that were separated centuries ago are reunited at LACMA! First, see them in the exhibition Four Allegories by Veronese: A Rediscovery and a Reunion. Then, make your own Renaissance-inspired art in artist-led workshops.
* WEEKEND OF APRIL 25 & 26 *
43rd Annual Bunka-Sai Japanese Cultural Festival, Ken Miller Recreation Center, Torrance, Saturday & Sunday. Enjoy Japanese culture at the Bunka-Sai Festival sponsored by the Torrance Sister City Association. There will be an anime contest, kamishibai storytelling, various martial arts, musical and dance performances, ikebana and bonsai floral displays, shodo calligraphy and tea ceremony, traditional crafts and dolls, boutiques, games for children, hourly drawings, and food.
India: Warli Art, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Participate in a free family art workshop in a real art studio. We’ve attended one of these art workshops and can attest to the value and fun of them. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.