If you love books, and love to read (you’re our kind of person!), the LA Times Festival of Books in Apr. is an event you simply can’t miss. Held on the USC campus, this outdoor festival celebrates books of all kinds and for all ages with authors, singers, performers and even characters come to life. Bring your little bookie and discover some new favorite authors, books, stories, songs and adventures, together.

photo: LA Times

The Good Stuff
Where to go and what to do? First, head straight for the Children’s Stage, where you’ll want to set up camp because there is a constant stream of entertainment scheduled on both days starting at 10 a.m. until the festival ends. You can easily spend all day both days here and not get bored. (Totally true, we’ve tested it out. Just bring plenty o’ water, snacks and shade—mini umbrellas are awesome.) Kid’s book readings are interspersed with lively musical acts, so kids can dance & get the ants out of their pants and aren’t required to simply sit still and listen all day.

latimes6photo: Meghan Rose


photo: LA Times


latimes3photo: Meghan Rose

There are also amazing demonstrations, conversations and readings geared for adults, so if you have someone you can take turns watching the kids with, perhaps you can sneak away to see some of your favorite authors.

4554021738_f511c13067_zphoto: pop geek culture via Creative Commons

Speaking of Good Stuff: What to Stuff (In A Backpack)
Since nearly all of the family-friendly activities are outdoors (and there’s never enough shade to go around) you’ll also want to slather on the sunscreen, don sun hats, and pack a water bottle for every person in your group. Food is available just about everywhere at trucks, stands or restaurants, or feel free to bring your own. Bring a sheet or blanket that folds up small—when you find a shady spot, you might want to set up camp.

la times festival booksphoto: pop geek culture via Creative Commons

The Skinny on Coming & Going
Admission to the festival is free for everyone! But there is a parking fee at USC, where the festival takes place, and in some lots at the Coliseum. Due to heavy traffic (this is also where everyone has to come to the Science Center and NHM), we recommend taking the Metro Expo Line, exiting at the Expo Park/USC Station.

Be sure to check online before you go for details about taking the Metro (which also gets you a discount off all your Festival book purchases all day), the bus, driving or parking. If you have little ones who tire easily, you may also wish to bring wheels in the form of strollers or wagons. It gets hot, they’ll want to be carried, and you’ll be too busy carrying books (and water, blankets, hats, sunscreen, snacks, etc).

photo: LA Times

Some special indoor events require tickets, which are free, and can be reserved in advance online or have limited numbers available at the festival on the day of the event, at the festival ticketing booth.

Online: events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks

What is your little bookworm’s current favorite book? And who do you look forward to seeing at the festival this year?

—Meghan Rose