Village Parkdays 12:00 pm – 4pm (or sundown)

Upcoming Events
Aug 13 - Venia's Vacation: Belarusse, Vienna, and..

Aug - 6 Topanga Beach Day (boogie boards and sandcastles)

July 30 - Summer Parkday

July 23 - Leather Stamping

July 16 - Ancient Rome

July 9 - Japan Past & Present

July 2 - Independence & H2O

June 25 Beach Day

June 18 Tenzi Frenzi

June 11 - Juggling Craft and Fun

June 4 - Stokes Theater & Plays

May 28 - Christina's Family Yogatime

May 21 - Bring your crafty projects & Potluck

May 14- Career Day

May 7 - Mother's Day Tea

April 30 - Art Show & Painting

Apr 23 - Earthday Show & Tell and Planting

Apr16 - 19 Joshua Tree Annual Family Campout

Apr 9 - HexiFlexigons - rescheduled

Apr 2 - Magic Tricks & Juggling Sticks

Mar 26 - HexiFlexigons - Geometry Gone Wild

Mar 19 - Potluck & Nat Amer Kid Presentations

Mar 12 - Nat Amer 2: Plains & Tipi's

Mar 5 - Native American 1: Inuit & Carving

Feb 28 - The Art of Debate

Feb 19 - Potluck & Chinese New Year & Korean, Vietnamese

Feb 12 - Valentyne's Day exchange

Feb 5 - Favorite Books

Jan 29 - Build an African Kalimba

Jan 22 - Patents and Inventors

Jan 15 Potluck, Patents and Inventors

Jan 8 - Boardgames and Beginnings

Jan 1st New Year's Playday

Dec 25 Merry Christmas No Parkday

Dec 18 Kwanza; Hannukah; Xmas; Solstice Celebration & Lunch Potluck

Dec 15 Caroling at Retirement Homes

Dec 11 Holiday Craft Day

Dec 4 Idioms by Maria Wheee!

Nov 27 Happy Thanksgiving No Parkday

Nov 20 Venezuela by Enrique & Potluck

Nov 13 Science Bloopers

Nov 6 Inside a Courtroom

Nov 4 Take your Kid to Vote

Oct 30 Costume Halloween Party

Oct 23 Bring a Poem

Oct 19 Campfire Potluck &Talent Show

Oct 16 Poetry Play Day & Potluck

Oct 9 Save Big Cats & Habitats

Oct 2 Making & Launching Rockets

Sept 28 Watts Tower Drumming Festival 10-4pm

Sept 25 Basket Weaving with NewsPaper

Sept 18 M&B Family Campout @ Sequoia Nat'l Park (No parkday)

Sept 11 OuterSpace Aeronautics or
Sustainable Farming & Husbandry (if cool enough for goats to visit)

Sep 10 M&B Free @ LA County Fair

Sep 2 Amazing Aeronautics

Aug 28 Beach Day

Aug 21 Pioneer Day

Aug 14 Five Year M&B Anniversary

Aug 7 Solar Ovens Part III

Jul 31 Solar Ovens Part II

Jul 24 Solar Ovens Part I @ Beach

Jul 17 Balloon Fun/Physics

Jul 10 Blind as a Bat (Braille & Sonar)

Jul 3rd (No Parkday Independence)

Jun 26 Tal Family

Jun 19 Kinetic Ball Run & Squirt bottle motion & Potluck

Jun 12 Summer Festival & Games

Jun 11 Full Moon Hike

Jun 5 Let's Get Tiny - Cells (Animal & Plant)

May 29 Lets get tiny - Cells (Animal & Plant)

May 22 Famous People

May 15 Beach Day & Potluck

May 8 Celebrating Mothers

May 1 Secrets of Water

Apr 24 Earthday & Planting

Apr 17 Games & Crafts Bring Your OWN

Apr 10 Nat'l Poetry Month

Apr 3 Cotton Magic

Mar 27 Bacteria Fun

Mar 20 Potluck & Organ Day!

Mar14-16 Joshua Tree Annual Spring Family Campout

Mar 13 - No Theme due to weekend Campout

Mar 6- Birdwatching & Nesting Day

Feb 27 - Physics of Bowling due to Rain

Feb 20 - The Winter Olympics

Feb 14-17 Backyard Bird Count

Feb 13 - VOLUNTEER PLEASE. Valentines Day

Feb 6 - Taxonomy & the Darwin Challenge

Jan 30 - Lunar New Year of the Horse

Jan 23 - Simple Machines II - Pulleys & Levers

Jan 16 - Habitats & Keystone Species & Noon Potluck

Jan 9 - Cogs & Cams: Simple Machines

Jan 2 - Reconnecting after holidays & New Year's Celebrations

Dec 26 - No Parkday Happy Holidays

Dec 19 - Celebrate Holidays: Winter Solstice, Kwanza, Christmas & Hanukkah

Dec 12 - Solar Fun & Mask Making with Michelle

Dec 5 - Monarch Magic & Eucalyptus

Nov 28 - Happy Thanksgiving - No Parkday

Nov 23 - Fieldtrip to Monarch Groves in Goleta

Nov 21 - Monarchs & Eucalyptus Trees postponed

Nov 14 - Atoms, Protons, Electrons, Oh My!

Nov 7 - Autumn Leaves & Sewing with Heather

Oct 31 - Halloween Festival

Oct 24 - Spooky SeeSaw Algebra

Oct 17 - 3 City Geography & Int'l Potluck & 6:00pm Talent Show

Oct 10 - 2nd M&B Bug Faire

Oct 3 - Abacus Math Magic

Sept 26 - Bark Painting & Spirit Animals

Sep 19-23 Annual Sequoia Family Campout

Sep 14 Fieldtrip to Point Vicente

Sep 12 - Lighthouses & Prisms II

Sep 5 - Build Splash Toys @ Pool

Aug 29 - Lighthouses & Light I

Aug 22 - DeSalination @ Beach PD

Aug 15 - Weaving yarn or old clothes

Aug 8 - Hula Hoop II

Aug 1 - Hula Hoop I @ Beach A

Jul 25 - M&B's 4th Anniversary
All ages Talent Show

Jul 18 - Hawaii Day & Potluck

Jul 11 - Bubble Science Fun

July 4 No Parkday HOLIDAY

Jun 27 No Parkday HOLIDAY

Jun 20 - Crafts Free for All

Jun 13 - Gold Mining & BoomTowns

Jun 6 - Anyone? Or Lemonade Stands

May 31-Jun 2 Family Campout at Montano De Oro

May 30 - MayDay PlayDay II

May 23 - MayDay PlayDay

May 16 - Bats, Owl Pellets & Potluck

May 9 - Primitive Arts & Indian Trading Blanket

May 2 - Painting & Poems

Apr 25- Help Our Wildlife Thrive

Apr 18 - M&B Earthday & Potluck 5pm

Apr 11 - Missouri Day / Bees Part 2

Apr 4 - Bees ($3/kid for candlemaking)
Ula's Birthday

Mar 28 - Feathers, Microscopes & Origami Cranes

Mar 21 - History of Sugar; Plant own sugarcane

Mar 14 - Robots & Circuitry $3/kid

Mar 7 - Rainy Day @ Skirball Free

Feb 28 - Felting & Fiber Arts

Feb 21 - Morocco II
and Islamic Prayer

Feb 14 Valentines & Asian New Year Traditions

Feb 7 - Huichol Yarn Paintings
& Esme's Bday

Jan 31 - Birth of a Nation

Jan 24 - Cancelled
due to RAIN

Jan 17 - Craft parkday

Jan 15 - USA Tour @ Skirball

Jan 10- Morocco Senses & Allah

Jan 3 - Free for All Playday

Dec 27 - Free For All Playday

Dec 20 - Xmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Divali & Winter Solstice (Carols & Potluck)

Dec 13 - Morocco, Art & Mint Tea

Dec 6 - Pompeii Part II & Archeology

Nov 29 - Let's BOWL
due to Rain

Nov 22 - Thanksgiving - No Parkday

Nov 15 - Duct Tape Crafts & creations by C & C
and Lunch Potluck

Nov 8 - Ancient Pompeii & Mt Vesuvius

Nov 1 - Election & Voting Debate:
More trees or Waterslide

Oct 25 - Trunk or Treat; Dress-up

Oct 18 - Peace Building &
Anger drop

Oct 11 - Superhero Rain

Oct 4 - Inks from Nature

Sep 27 Ireland Fun & Culture

Sep 20 -Sequoia-sized Boardgames

Sep 13 - 3rd Sequoia Campout

Sep 6- Heroes and Heroines - Kids Presentations

Aug 30 - Simile, Metaphors & Figures of Speech

Aug 23- Letterboxing II

Aug 16 - Letterboxing I

Aug 9 - Beach Day

Aug 2 - Modern Olympics II

July 26 - Ancient Olympics I

July 19 - Paper Arts: Bowls, Books & Beads

July 12 - Beach Day

July 5 - Statue of Liberty - 4th July

June 28 - Storytelling & Aussie Rainsticks

June 21 - Fun Games Field day

June 14 - Mystery Math = Algebra Fun

June 7- Silly Summer Day Fun

May 31 - Build Miniature Golf

May 24 - Sewing & Haiku Part II

May 17 - Haikus & Drums & Evening Potluck

May 10 - Rock Hunter Guest Speakers

May 3 - May Day Celebrations

Apr 26 - Fibonacci & Nature

Apr 19 - Thai New Year -Songkran & Potluck

April 12 - Spring Bling & Night Crawlers Planting season

April 5- Easter /Passover Crafts

Mar 29 - Ethics & Fairytales

Mar 22 - Detective Fingerprints & Crafts

Mar 15 - Prep for Joshua Tree

Mar 8 - Marbles & Physics

Mar 1 - Make Real Dream Catchers

Feb 23 - Pirates, Sea Captains &Tall Ships

Feb 16 - Wilderness Survival - guest Speaker

Feb 9 - Anatomy Guts vs Feeling Guts

Feb 2- Gravity Fun Games

Jan 26 - Cement Bridges Part Two

Jan 19 - Kids first Rock & Gem Show

Jan 12 - Global New Years Celebration

Jan 5 - Rockets-Aquarius M&B helped launch

Dec 29 - Cement Construction hand print tile

Dec 22- Kwanza, Hannukah, Bodhi Day stories & games 12/8

Dec 15 - Amy's Anatomy Obstacle Course

Dec 8 - Painting so it POPS! w/ out wind

Dec 1 - Painting so it POPS!

Nov 24 - Happy Thanksgiving - No M&B Parkday

Nov 17 - Fun with Manners & Empowering Etiquette & And 3rd Thurs Potluck (lunchtime)!

Nov 10 - History of Photography - Make Pinhole Cameras

Nov 3 - Butterfly & Bug Faire & Poems & Riddles

Oct 27 - Pumpkin Festival *Dress UP!!

Oct 20 - Empathy & Empowerment

Oct 13 - Braille & Visually Impaired

Oct 6- Atoms & Cool Molecules

Sept 29- Black Bears & Sequoias

Sept 22 - Sequoia Fires & Cones

Sept 15- Clay Creatures & Open-ended ?s

Sept 8- Beat the Heat Beach Day

Sept 1 - Lemonade Stand Commerce

Aug 25 - Back to Homeschool Play

Aug 18 - Saw Safely & make a Jacob's Ladder

Aug 11 - Biomes, Habitats & Soda Bottle Terrarium

Aug 4 - M&B 2Year Anniversary Party

July 28 - Finger Knitting & Natural Fibers

July 21 - Stone Soup Potluck & Storytime

July 14 - CrazyFun ScienceLab Experiments

July 7 - Independence Day Celebration @ Zuma Beach

June 30 - Nocturnal Creatures & Owl Pellets to dissect

June 23 - Book Exchange Circus

June 16 - Lewis & Clark, Quill pens from feathers & Potluck

June 9 ATC- Making Artists' Trading Cards

June 2 Petraglyphs, Pictoglyphs & Rafting the Grand Canyon

May 26 Historical
Figures that changed the World
all Kids Perform

May 19 Pharoahs, Pyramids & Crafts
And Potluck 5pm-sundown

May 12
Mars & Space Travel

May 5
Mother's Day
High Tea

Apr 28
Physics & Imagination=
Future Travel

Apr 21
Mask Making & Storytelling

Apr 14
Sound Waves

Apr 7
Geodesic Dome

Mar 31
Earthquakes & Tectonics

Mar 24
Show & Tell & Games

Mar 17
Family Campout Joshua Tree

Mar 10
Mardi Gras

Mar 3
Africa & Wangari Maathai

Feb 24
Brains: the Inside Story

Feb 3
Chinese New Year

Jan 27
Pioneer Parkday Part 2

Jan 20
Days of Yore

Jan 13
Fun & Safety
with Germs

Jan 6
Chess by Jahan

Dec 31
New Year's FreePlay

Dec 23
Kwanza, Hannukah
& Christmas

Dec 16
Engines & Cars
& Alternative Power

Dec 9
Microscopic World

Dec 2
Cartoon & Collage

Nov 25th
Thanksgiving Holiday

Nov 18th
Nature Crafts & Yoga

Nov 11th
Wind Turbines

Nov 4th
Indian Diwali Celebration

Oct 28th
Spooky Obstacle Course

Oct 21st
How Songs are Born

Oct 14th
Build a
Weather Station

Oct 7th
Prisms, Vision & Zoetropes

Sept 30th
Spanish CultureFest

Sept 23rd
Russian Culture & Potluck

Sept 17
Family Campout @ Sequoia Nat'l Park

Sept 9th
Chemical (molecular) Reactions

Sept 2nd
History of Flight

August 26th
Light, Refraction & Rainbows

Aug 19

August 12
Turtles, Tortoises & YOU

August 5th
Honey, Bees & Wasps

July 29th
M&B 1 year anniversary

July 22
Inuit Culture & Games

July 15th
Bastille Day - French Independence

June 17th
Swedish MidSummerFest

June 10th
Catapults & Parachutes
Gravity & Lift

June 3rd
Our BodyGuards
Snot & Scabs

May 27th
Pollination, Fruit & Seeds

May 20th
Hawaii & Potluck Luau!

May 13
Ladybugs, Silkworms & Praying Mantis

May 6th
Knots, Pirates & Explorers

April 29
Earth Day Part 2

April 22
40th anniversary of Earth Day

April 15th
Japanese Girls' & Boy's Day

April 8th
Bridges, Cantilevers & Treehouses

April 1st
Magnetism part II: Physical Force of Nature

March 25
Magnetism part I: I'm attracted!

March 18th
Desert Life

March 11th
Global Timelines

March 4th
Spring Bling:
Worms, Dirt & Seeds

Brave the Crowd & Get Thee to a Festival!

Almost everyone I know dislikes crowds – at least those who can’t travel in the comfort & protection of strollers or baby carriers.  And since festivals are designed to be attended by the masses – many families avoid them.  But if you are looking to fill your day with fun, while learning alongside your family – let me tell you – festivals pack a punch with plenty of hip, hands-on action that doesn’t even require water – (but in SoCal, bring it anyway).  Scroll to bottom of this blog for my annual list of festivals; asterisks indicate ones that are NOT over-crowded.

In today’s blog,  I will share some tips on making festivals more palatable for the fearful, as well as how to maximize the fun & learning for everyone in your family.


My favorite reason to go to Festivals can be found in the motto from this year’s 2009  Korean festival – Encouraged To Come Together: Share Culture and Get a Better  Understanding. People from different cultures have unique ways of preparing food, greeting one another, creating art and sharing stories.   At our children’s earliest ages, we should CELEBRATE unique traditions and habits, not only in other cultures but within our own. It is equally important to share how similar we are to everyone in our world as how we are different.

This open sharing and identifying can help minimize each child’s internal conflicts in a confusing world.  Does the world ever get less confusing; really? By experiencing unfamiliar settings within the security of a family unit, we afford our children an early sense of reassurance that will bolster them onward when they find themselves in places that differ vastly from their home culture.

So first thing first. How do you go about finding the really good festivals?



1.Look Locally. Attend festivals that are in walking distance from your home or a friend’s drivewayto minimize the hassle of parking.  Our town of Canoga Park holds a Day of the Dead Festival about eight blocks from our door.  This diverse festival is truly impressive.  The sidewalk  chalk art alone is mindblowing, not to mention traditional dancing, live street music, in-memorium dioramas, and a “pimp my ride” car show. The crafts for the kids are always FREE.   Canoga Park also puts on a fun Saint Patrick’s Day Parade which is a bit weak in comparison, but where else can your whole family march IN the parade with St. Patrick AND a Mariachi band?  However, this year we passed on the local parade and went downtown for LA’s St. Patrick’s Parade instead.


Taking the Metro to Pershing Square for the St.Pat’s Parade and free Dubliner’s Concert

With some other families, we parked our vehicles at the nearest metro parking lot and took the subway to Pershing Square. We found a great bit of sidewalk to sit on.  We let our kids swing and dance around because most people won’t crowd in for fear of battle scars.  For a simple way to prevent from getting crowded at parades and festivals, try blocking out a fair amount of space with strollers and bags.

Now, if you do have to spend time finding a parking spot or if  you need to park far away, consider dropping your family off and agree to meet up at a certain location like the ticket booth near the front gate, or a specific side of a city block, or the base of a ride that you can see from the parking lot.  With the advent of cell phones this has become even easier.   Always have an “if we get lost or separated” location to meet-up as well. At larger festivals, we might have one for each section.


Greek Festival in Northridge – We learn, we dance, we FEAST!

2.  Be on the lookout for signs about local school or church fundraisers. These are posted on bulletin boards in stores and restaurants or at busy intersections.  Sometimes school festivals have more rides and games than crafts and exhibits – but games can be hotbeds of motivation and tactile activity that can make learning fun and rewarding.  At a nearby school fair, we counted throws, balls and people in line.  Later, we added and subtracted our booty of tickets to redeem the correct amounts for coveted prizes. Not only did we support a local school, but we made new friends and new neighbors.

Attending a Greek Fest supports a church and a community. With the high-end crafts, traditional dances, tours and talks in the basilica my family experiences a wonderland of Greek culture.  Okay, you caught me! I am most truly motivated by the 14,000 pieces of Baklava made by Greek Mamas and Yayas.


A local elementary school had a Culturally aware cowboys and indians festival & art auction

School fundraisers can teach alot like Muse’s Lavendar Faire at the Bluffs.  It was a zero waste fair highlighting many environmental concerns (even the vendors’ goods were sustainable – biodegradable cups, wooden spoons, etc).  There were bean bags to read books in comfort, young talented kids singing on stage, and our favorite – a fun booth that displayed how Fish poop can help grow plants.  The Waldorf Highland Hall has a wonderful Spring and Winter Faires worth attending.


We happily support Rocky Peak in Chatsworth for the Bethlehem Festival where shekels buy salt, goat cheese & spices.

3.  Check out Universities and Colleges like UCLA who offer wonderful festivals free for the public.  Yes, it might cost more than $5 to park, but you don’t have to circle for a parking spot.  We’ve been going to the LA Festival of Books hosted by UCLA for 5 years now. And the Californian Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks hosts the  Scandinavian Festival, one of the best multi-cultural events I have ever attended.  Just imagine a constellation of small and large colorful tents spread out along a grassy and tree shaded campus with roaming musicians, story tellers, music played by bands of Swedish and Danish origin filling the air, traditional costumed dancers, yummy foods from Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and…Finland.  The craft stations included making fresh flower head wreaths, bobbin lace making and butter knife woodworking to name a few – and All Kid Friendly.


With two Kids performance sections, a storytelling stage, Museum sponsored kids craft tents, Fest of Books is one of LA’s most kid friendly Festivals.


Kid’s Illustrators design the Tshirts and Target’sTent gave hip Backpacks free w/ book purchase


4.Query your favorite Museums & Public sites. The point of a museum is to educate and inform. Many festivals are held on the grounds of museums to celebrate their members or to promote a new exhibit.  The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) is one of our favorite festival hosts.  They sponsor the best crafts for kids (glue guns, beads, origami papers, sweet rice -mochi -making).  A JANM festival is over the top with Taiko drummers and more (See the first photo montage of this blogpost)!  We’ve been to their New Years, Bon Odori and most recently the Tanabata Festival co-hosted by the City of LA.

The Autrey Museum in Griffith Park hosts an Intertribal Pow Wow, as does the William Hart Museum.  Go to this hotlink for California Pow Wows. The Queen Mary in Long Beach is the site for numerous cultural fests through out the year including the  Scottish Festival. Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific hosts many festivals including Baja Splash and South East Asia Festival this Oct 3rd, 2009.  Below are some images from the The Natural Museum of History’s Annual and Amazing Bug Faire which had the most unique activities: cooking scorpions, eating cricket chex mix,  petting tarantulas and dancing in a pavilion filled with butterflies.



Day of Dead Crafts abound for kids

……………………………………………This brings me to my next tip...5. If a festival has a website – log on before you go to the event, and not just to find directions and costs.  Find out if there are activities for kids, not just rides.  If there is a sponsor for the kid’s crafts that usually ensures that the crafts and activities are free.  It is no fun to find out that the only things that your children want to do will end up costing you more than food and gas combined.  These crafts are our favorite form of memorabilia to take home.

6.Look for Discounts Oftentimes local stores and restaurants co-host events and offer discount tickets.  Money-saving offers can also be found on websites.  Find out if there are days when you can go two for one or if you can get a discount on tickets for the events.  County Fairs usually have such discounts like LA County FairThe Ventura County Fair happens in Aug, but given that their county fairgrounds are on the beach it is never too hot.


Ventura County Fair: Learned how to milk a goat, how a kaleidoscope works, and investigated gears of the FerrisWheel

The Calabasas Pumpkin festival in mid-October brings in a traveling sea-life touch tank, top notch reptiles & amphibians as well as free crafts , who has recently switched to unlimited rides for an entrance fee vs pay for tix.  Look for the two-story pumpkin & banner promoting the festival that goes up on I-101 between Topanga & Las Virgenes exits in September.


We decorated our Orange Shirts like Jack o’Lanterns at home. Set the Time aside to avoid feeling rushed!

7. So how can you make a festival more fun for the younger ones? Does the festival have a map or program guide?   By bestowing a child with the honor of being the “Map  Holder” or “Schedule Keeper” you will have begun a great lesson as well as put a big punch in their pride card.  “It’s time to eat, where do we go for the food, Miss Map Holder?”  We let our kids do it completely on their own, even if it seems that they are thinking and moving slower than a three-toed sloth.  The worse thing you can do is give a responsibility and usurp it.  If need be, get your own map!  You can also put a child in the position of accountant who doles out money, whose biggest task is holding enough back for the treats or rides that are most important to each family member.

Another fun idea is to create your own scavenger hunt beforehand or on the fly. Pick three items or more for them to find through out your day (a food that is not American, a game that includes a ball, something that flies).  And have them explain as much as they can -  how many ingredients are in that food, how does it fly or how many traditional outfits you can spot?  And if you want to do it Deltac-style, go up and inquire about the outfits’ significance.  Attendees of cultural festivals are usually open for exactly this form of exchange.  Be warned; you will get more than an earful if  you inquire at a Renaissance Festival.  SoCal Renaissance Pleasure Faire -in  Irwindale Full directory of Renaissance Faires.


By bringing our own facepaints and drinks, we saved money and increased the fun.

8. Increase the Fun Factor BEFORE you even get there. Dress the part. We love to dress up (well maybe not my husband so much) for the festivals.   We’ve decorated our T-shirts or put on traditional outfits our friends and family have thoughtfully sent us from their travels.  We have even brought our own facepaint (saves money and the kids get a kick out of painting OUR faces).  En route we discuss what are the top things that are most important that they get to do or eat at the festival.  Collective efforts are put into checking off one for each family member.  For the older kids, that could include getting the freedom to explore an area without parents.

Avoid feeling rushed, or letting the family know about it if you can.  Splitting hairs to get there in the shortest amount of time isn’t always the wisest move either.  It is worth the  delay if  stretching legs and seeing something fun en route keeps morale high for the troops.  When we travel to festivals in Pomona or San Diego, we plan a stop at a restaurant.  This is a great time to pull out the map or info sheet from the Festival website.  Or a great place to devise a family scavenger hunt.  This meal is usually a lot cheaper than what we will be paying for food at the festival.  And it ensures you can get the “good energy” food into their bodies, because usually all mine want at the festival are sweets.  You can also practice a few words of the language to be spoken like: “Bonjour”, “Origatu” or “Thine Eyes Doth Sparkle brilliantly My Lovely Lady.”Wagons

9. Make it Easy on yourself and Be Portable. For some festivals it is better to have a wagon or a stroller for kids or your stuff.  For quick visits at other events it is better to hoist a streamlined bag and small children in a carrier.  But if you do bring a wagon, add a picnic blanket as well as some of your own snacks and water.  Make the adventure less exhausting by taking breaks often. Find a nice shady area, throw out your blanket and just enjoy the music and people-watching with your family.  Missing an event or two on the program is well worth the relaxed nature that a break can foster.   This is when we ask each person to share their favorite experience thus far.  Some of the most golden moments occur just in reflecting.

Always bring sunscreen, hats and extra water (can you believe we were forced to pay $3.25 for a small bottle of water last week?).  I also carry a few kleenex in my pocket in case a bathroom is out.  With little kids that stray, consider having the family dress in the same color shirts or hats.  I’ve even put those velcro jingle bracelets on my daughters’ ankles.  They love being a musical instrument and I don’t have to even look up to know they are nearby.  For night events, we wear glow-in-the-dark bracelets from the dollar store.  I would like to save everyone from the feeling that you may have lost your child.  And children don’t like to “lose” their parents either – by joining in, you will reassure them as well.


We learned how to play a Saw at the Topanga Fiddler & Banjo Fest


Excited to get a Pre-Parade Sneak Peek of the Sesame Street float for the Rose Parade

10.  Make a wish list of Festivals. About 3 times a year,  I take the time to surf the web and post the websites of upcoming festivals on my outlook calender. I Google “festivals” and then Los Angeles  County, Ventura County & Orange County in Southern California.  That way each month, I have a slew of options and avoid missing favorites.  No excuses if you live in a small town.  Sometimes those have the best (notice Watermelon Fest in calender below).  I can vouch for most of the events below being family friendly and worth the trek.    Feel free to tell me about your family’s favorite festival via email (in the upper right of page).  Send it, even if you don’t live in Southern California, because we are always willing to travel for Festive Family Fun!!!

January -

Tournament of Roses in Pasadena (pre-show viewing and Equine show)

Three Kings Procession and Kid’s Fair, Huntington, CA

* Japanese New Years (Sat after New Years) Tokyo Town

* Lunar New Years Festival, Pasadena

Chinese New Year Festival and Parade, Chinatown

February -

Tet Festival Vietnamese New Year, El Monte

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Pershing Square, LA

Scottish Festival on the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Brazilian Carnival in LA (no longer in Long Beach)

March -

Agoura Hills Renaissance Fest, Agoura Hills

Cherry Blossom Festival, Los Angeles

CICLAVIA (10 miles of LA roads are shutdown for giant biking block party – no cars)


LA Times Festival of Books @ UCLA

Persian New Year, Balboa Lake

* Whale Festival at Point Mugu just Northh of Malibu

SoCal Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Irwindale

* Songkran (Water Festival), Wat Thai Temple North Hollywood

* Cowboy Festival,Santa Clarita

* California Poppy Festival,  Lancaster

* Scandinavian Festival, Thousand Oaks

* Chumash Day InterTribal Pow Wow in Malibu

RailFest, Fillmore


2010 will be the 50th Annual Topanga Banjo & Fiddle Festival

May -

Anatolian Festival in OC Fairgrounds

Bug Faire @ Natural Museum History

Jazz Reggae Fest, UCLA

Day at the Ranch: Santa Clarita History Hart Museum

Aloha Expo, Santa Fe Springs

GreekFest in San Fernando Valley

Ca Strawberry Festival in Oxnard

Guacamole Festival in Lincoln Heights

* 50th Topanga Fiddle & Banjo Festival, Paramount Ranch, Agoura Hills


LA Gay PRIDE Fest, West Hollywood 6-8th, 2014

Venice EcoFest Venice Beach

Mariachi USA Festival downtown LA

Pasadena Chalk Festival

* LA Film Festival, LA


National Youth Surfing Competition, Huntington Beach 1-3, 2014

* Bastille Day Festival at celebrating France’s  Independence

Asian Pacific Islander Lotus Festival in Echo Park

* Living History Day @ Los Encinos State Historic Park in Encino, CA

* Watermelon Festival, Pageland SC

Salsa Festival, Oxnard

* Festival of Arts & Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Beach


August -

Festival of the Chariots, Santa Monica

Irish Fair, Queen Mary Long Beach 1,2 & 3rd 2014

Japanese Kid’s Festival, Nisie WeekTanabata Festival, LA’s Tokyo Town

* Sawdust Arts Festival, Laguna Beach

Watts Summer Festival

Ventura County Fair, Ventura


Crafts, art, Music and more at the Free French Festival held at the Getty – Kids love riding the tram!


GreekFest downtown LA

Aloha Polynesian Beach Festival, Ventura

Korean Festival in LA

LA County Fair

Pasadena’s  GreekFest

San Gennaro’s Italian Festival, LA’s Little Italy

* Ethiopian Festival LA

Thai Cultural Day , Hollywood

* PowWow @ William Hart Museum & Ranch

Abbot Kinney Fest, Venice 28, 2014


Pioneer Day in Chatsworth

MidAutumn Moon Festival in Chinatown

Anatolian Culture and Food Festival, Costa Mesa

SouthEast Asia Cultural Festival @ Aquarium of Pacific, Long Beach

CICLAVIA (10 miles of LA shutdown for giant biking block party – no cars)

Lithuanian Fair, Los Feliz ~ Little Lithuania

Seaside Highland Games @ Ventura fairgrounds

* 20th Annual Malibu Pie Festival, Malibu

* Calabasas Pumpkin Festival,

Octoberfest in Torrance

Day of the Dead; Lady of the Dead, Hollywood


* Day of the Dead Festival Canoga Park

Sawdust Winter Arts Festival, Laguna Beach

December -

* Bethlehem festival at Chatsworth church at Rocky Peak

Comments are closed.