Are you and your kids crazy about crustaceans? Then roll on down to the Port of Los Angeles Lobster, Food and Music Festival. You and your seafood loving kiddos can check out the Maine event – loads of lobsters and much more!

This fun family weekend featuring Los Angeles’ love of lobsters has been a tradition since 1999. Not only are there luscious lobsters everywhere but you’ll also find fantastic food alternatives at the international food court. Be sure to sample several of LA’s best gourmet food trucks, including Grill ‘Em All, the winner of the Food Network’s 2010 Great Food Truck Race and desert favorite Cool Haus ice cream sandwich truck.  Enjoy many of the festival’s other features such as arts and crafts, live music, live entertainment and did we mention the pirates? Yes pirates!

So claw your way to the front of the line and get an amazing world class lobster meal for you and your family at a great price. Getting to the good stuff can get messy but your little ones will fit right in amongst all the adults wearing bibs too! (Tip: Remember to get your lobsters cracked; trust us it will make it easier for everyone!)

When to go:  Sept 16-18, 2011. Fri., 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm; Sat., 11:00 am – 11:00 pm; Sun., 11:00 am – 7:00 pm.  Sunday will most likely be the busiest day so attend on Friday or Saturday, if possible, to keep you and the kids out of the crowds.  If not, show up early on Sunday because there is no guarantee of lobster in the afternoon.

How to get there: Located at the end of 110 Harbor Freeway in San Pedro, California, at Ports O’ Call Village at the intersection of 6th Street and Harbor Drive. It’s only a 20 minute drive south of downtown Los Angeles, south on the Harbor Freeway at the Harbor Blvd. exit. From the exit proceed straight into the Cruise Ship parking lot (free parking!) where you can find a free shuttle ride to the festival grounds (there will also be signs for the parking lot). Once the lot is full, you will be directed to turn right and proceed to the overflow lot at 22nd and Miner St. The last shuttles to the parking lots leave a half hour after closing. The Red Cars sometimes run a bit later.

What to bring: The weather will be hot so bring your sunscreen! While there will be food and beverages, bring any snacks or water you may need while partaking in activities. There are ATMs and restrooms within the grounds.

How to dress: Dress for fun in the sun! Wear your shorts and tanks, but make sure to bring light layers, hats, and sunglasses to hide out from the sun if needed. A camera is a must for all those great pictures of your kids with face paint or dressing as pirates!

What to do: Entertainment galore!  The kids are sure to go crazy for the Cap’n and his pirate crew of the Red Swam on their beached ship where there will be music, dancing, tours of the ship, and even an exciting hunt for hidden treasure! Then go watch awesome street performers, dance and listen to music at the main stage, and enjoy lots of games and rides (including a remote-control car area). For a map of the festival layout, including food, bathroom, and activity locations, click here. For a schedule of the bands playing, click here.

This year’s festival will also play home to seven of the best SoCal gourmet food trucks, among them the winner of the Food Network’s 2010 “Great Food Truck Race,” Grill ‘em All Truck, which will be serving their patented heavy metal music burgers on Friday night.  Fellow Food Network competitors The Nom Nom Truck with their Vietnamese Ban Mi sandwiches and Ragin’ Cajun with their famous Bayou Cuisines will also grace the festival this weekend. Joining them with lobster rolls will be the Lobsta Truck, the Cheeseball Wagon, ribs and roasts from Barbie’s Q, and for dessert Coolhaus and their prize winning ice cream sandwiches.

If your kids can’t find something of their liking or would like a meat-free meal, there is an amazing vegetarian option. Dine at the Port O’Call Restaurant, with a 50 item salad bar, adjacent to the festival entrance and after dining swap your receipt for free admission!

Lunch spots: Dining is family style in large eating tents and at other tables around the venue. There will have over 2000 places at the tables in the site to eat.

Cost:  Kids under 12 are free! General tickets are $10, click on this link for more details and to print out a $2.00 off coupon. Entry ticket does not include a lobster meal. Cash only accepted at the box office but there are ATM machines at the entrance and inside the festival grounds. The lobster meal price is $19.00 for a 1.25 pound (average precooked weight) steamed Maine Lobster Meal with cole slaw, sweet bread roll, and real buttery topping and potatoes. To assure top quality, meals are prepared and sold by the seafood experts at San Pedro Fish Markets. You can still add an extra lobster for only $13.00.

More Info: Event Website

– Jessica Jones