The Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda will offer free admission for Memorial Day, May 27, 2013. Special activities for the day include a formal wreath-laying ceremony at 10:15 am, a 1:30 book signing by Ed Nixon and a family concert featuring the Placentia Symphonic Band at 2 pm.
The Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Hours: Mon - Sat 10 am - 5 pm, Sun 11 am - 5 pm
The Reagan Library in Simi Valley charges regular admission on Memorial Day, but is still a popular destination for the holiday. If you're planning a visit there over the weekend, go early. They often stop selling tickets as early as 2 pm so everyone has time to visit Air Force One before 5 o'clock closing. Visit www.reaganfoundation.org for more info.
There are so many fun things going on around Los Angeles for Memorial Day weekend that I'm having a hard time making up my mind what to do myself. It's forecast to be a little cool at the beach, which means the crowds will likely be even bigger at LA Theme Parks.
The best patriotic parades of the weekend will be in Canoga Park, but the parade is not the only big event in the East Valley for the holiday weekend. The Topanga Days Country Fair has its own little country parade along with a three-day music festival and Greek music, dance and food fans will be kicking up their heels at the Valley Greek Festival in Northridge. Even further north is the Cajun Music Festival in Simi Valley.
In the Southbay, Hermosa Beach will be the center of attention with the three-day Fiesta Hermosa music festival and street fair.
In Orange County, Garden Grove will host the annual Strawberry Festival starting Friday night, and further south, the Scottish Fair and Highland Games will take over the Orange County Fairgrounds.
Details of these and memorial ceremonies can be found on my list of Memorial Day Events in Los Angeles.
If creepy crawlies make you want to look closer instead of run away, you'll want to head to the Natural History Museum of LA County's annual Bug Fair this weekend. It's the largest celebration of insects in the country with hundreds of things to see and do and over 70 exhibitors showing and selling all things related to the creepy-crawly and winged creatures including books, art and preserved and live specimens. In addition to live animal presentations and workshops, there will be buggy performance artists, bug chef demonstrations and cook-offs and the perennial favorite, the cockroach races. The museum's resident entomologists will be on hand to talk about the NHM collection of arthropods and arachnids.
When: May 18-19, 2013, 9:30 am - 5 pm
Where: Natural History Museum of LA County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007
Cost: Adults $12, students & seniors w/ID $9, Youth 13-17 $8, Children 5-12 $5, under 5 Free
Parking: $8-$10, see Parking
Long Beach has the third largest Gay Pride Parade and Festival in the country, and it kicks off Pride season with the earliest event of the year. The two-day festival fills up Shoreline Drive in Long Beach from Alamitos to Pine Avenue, most recently part of the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit. Fantasia will headline the popular bands gracing the main stage on Saturday night. Finalists from American Idol and The Voice top the Sunday line-up. There will also be a Spotlight Stage, Dance Stage with DJs, a Country Music Stage and Urban Soul Stage. The Parade Sunday will include over 200 floats and marching groups.
There are three entrances to the festival, MAIN GATE (on Shoreline Drive south of Ocean) PINE GATE (On Shoreline Drive & Shoreline Village) LINDEN GATE ( From the Convention Center parking lot.)
Friday night kicks off the weekend with the Teen Pride event on the festival grounds and the annual Pink Party in the Long Beach East Village. Sunday is the Annual St. Luke's "Pride Communion on the Bluff." It takes place at 9 am before the Pride Parade at Bluff Park on Ocean Blvd near Redondo Ave.
When: Festival May 18-19, 2013, 11 am - 10 pm, Parade, Sunday May 19, 10:30 am
Where: Festival on Shoreline Drive from Pine Avenue to Alamitos Blvd., Long Beach.
Parade is on Ocean Blvd. from Temple west to Alamitos.
Cost: festival $20, free for children under 12 (no children under 12 on the festival grounds after 5:30 pm), free for active military with ID upon request at the gate. Parade is free.
Metro: Blue Line to the 1st Street Station
Tickets are now available for the Playboy Jazz Festival hosted by George Lopez at the Hollywood Bowl June 16 and 17, 2012 . This year's event will feature George Duke with Jeffrey Osborne, Naturally 7 with Herbie Hancock, Sheila E., Bob James/David Sanborne, India Arie and many more.
When: June 15-16, 2013, Saturday 3 - 11 pm, Sunday 3 - 10:30 pm
Where: The Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Cost: $20-$160 + fees at www.ticketmaster.com. Check for discount tickets at Goldstar.com.
As part of 2013 World Trade Week, the Port of Los Angeles is offering free hour-long boat tours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday May 18, 2013. The narrated tours of the nation's busiest harbor keep people up to date about what's going on at the port and relate the importance of international trade to everyday living. Lines can be long, so get there early.
While you're in the neighborhood, check out the other fun Things to Do in San Pedro.
When: May 18, 2012, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Tours depart from Berth 43 near the SS Lane Victory, 2293 Miner Street
in San Pedro, and Banning's Landing, 100 E. Water Street in Wilmington.
Cost: Free, on a first come basis
Parking: Free at both locations
Info: 1 (800) 831-PORT (7678), for a 24-hour special-events line, www.portoflosangeles.org
Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
Long Beach is working on becoming one of the most bike-friendly cities in the US, and they're celebrating the fact this Saturday, May 11, 2013, with the Long Beach Bike Fest in conjunction with the Tour of Long Beach bike race. The event includes an outdoor vendor festival with free kids activities, live music, and a vintage bike and fashion show. The Tour of Long Beach bike race will be the focus for over 3000 cyclists Saturday morning. The Tour is open to all ages and skill levels of cyclists. Those not riding can enjoy the live music and festivities on the lawn at The Pike at Rainbow Harbor.
Outside of the Bike Festival itself, you can ride around the separated bike lanes on 3rd and Broadway in downtown Long Beach, across town on Vista or via the beach bike path to Belmont Shore, or take a ride along the LA River. Bikes are available for rent at the Long Beach Bike Station on 3rd, as well as at Alfredo's Beach Club at Shoreline Village and on the bike path at Alamitos. I notice that Google Maps hasn't added the new bike lanes on 3rd and Broadway downtown which been open over a year, but they have a lot of the other bike routes marked. There is more detail on the official Long Beach Bike Routes Map
Los Angeles is also in a biking frame of mind, holding the annual Bike Week LA (AKA Bike to Work Week) from May 11-19, 2013. This event is primarily geared toward getting locals out of their cars and onto bikes (and public transportation with free rides for bikers), but if you're so inclined, there are a few events everyone can join in on, including the kickoff event Monday, the Blessing of the Bikes Tuesday, and a group tour of LA Bike Lanes on Wednesday. See the full schedule for Bike Week LA.
Los Angeles is also expanding it's bike-friendly options, including a new Car-Free Itineraries promotion from LA Tourism, with sample itineraries for things you can do in LA via public transportation, biking and walking.
You don't normally think of the Aquarium of the Pacific as a place to go for brunch, but this Sunday, they'll be hosting a family-friendly Mother's Day brunch with a varied menu, live entertainment and activities for the kids. Buffet includes an omelet station, Baron of Beef carving station, risotto station, salads, deserts, coffee, tea, milk and mimosas.
When: Sunday, May 12, 2013, 10:30 am - 1:00 pm (Aquarium open 9 am - 6 pm)
Where: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
Cost: $48 Adults, $38 Children 3-11, includes Aquarium admission)
Parking: $8 in the Aquarium structure or at The Pike with validation. Beware: Streets are metered 9 am - 9 pm daily with 1 and 2 hour limits.
Metro: Blue Line to 1st and Pine Long Beach Transit Mall. Walk 5 blocks south or take the free red Passport bus.
Mothers, daughters, grandmas, aunties, nieces and sisters are all invited for a day of wellness and beauty activities at My Beauty's Beauty and the Beach Retreat at the Dockweiler Beach House on Mother's Day weekend. Activities include Yoga, Skin Care, Body Care, Makeup (not fakeup), Healthy Cooking, Etiquette and more. Participants will have a selection of classes to choose from on a first come basis, and are asked to stay for the entire event.
When: Saturday, May 11, 2013, noon to 3 pm
Where: Dockweiler Beach House, 2505 Vista Del Mar, Los Angeles, CA 90245
Cost: $25 by May 5, $40 after 5/5
The Queen Mary will be hosting the 2nd annual West Coast BBQ Classic on May 11, 2013, the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend. Grillmasters from around the world will compete with all kinds of BBQ, offered to the public for $2 tastings. Live music will be provided by local bands including Knight Ryder, The Record Company and Shoemaker Brothers. There will also be games, watermelon and peach cobbler eating contests, and special appearances by the LA Kings Ice Crew and the LA Kings Ice Rider. When: Saturday, May 11, 2013, 11:30 am - 6 pm
Where: Queen Mary Events Park, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA 90802
Cost: $10 General Admission advance, $15 at the gate, Kids 12 and under free (does not include food and drink or Queen Mary admission)
Parking: $10 with validation
Public Transportation: Free Passport Shuttle from Downtown Long Beach and Blue Line Metro