Books are the theme of the weekend, and we can’t think of a better one. The LA Times Festival of Books is on one side of town and Milk & Bookies is on the other; both are filled with stories, kids, celebs and treats. You can also meet Western cowboys or space cowboys, see a street race or celebrate planet earth with water, kids, animals or even faeries!

IMG_4835_0041

Downtown

LA Times Festival of Books
This year there are loads of kid & parent favorite authors like Jon Klassen, Octavia Spencer, Jeff Kinney, Oliver Jeffers and more. In between readings and book signings, cool music acts plus Scooby Doo and dinos will all take the stage. Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m-6 p.m. Downtown. Free. All ages. Event details.

Proud Pollinators or Beautiful Butterflies
Bigger (little) scientists this month explore the fascinatingly tiny world of flowers, pollination and the buzzing guys that make honey, while even smaller scientist siblings study gentler insects, like ladybugs and butterflies. Sat., Times vary. Exposition Park. $5-$ 12. Ages 3-9. Event details.

Griffith Park

Earth Day Comes to the Zoo
The LA Zoo is putting on an Earth Day bonanza with two days of festivities featuring conservation, sustainable living, and how to make the planet a better place for all of us (humans and animals alike) who live here. Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Griffith Park. $14-$19. All ages. Event details.

San Gabriel Valley

Light It Up with Luma
Fireflies, shooting stars, carnival rides, fireworks, computer screen savers, the Northern Lights, EKG monitors and the body electric are but a sampling of the lights Luma brings to life on stage in a show that entrances kids big and small. Sat., 3:30 p.m. Glendora. $8-$10. Ages 3 & up. Event details.

Faeries in the Arboretum
The Faeries and their messages of kindness, forgiveness, respect, and ecological responsibility are at the Arboretum today. The Faery Hunt is an outdoor, interactive performance with dancing, singing and loads of silliness. Sat., 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Arcadia. $15. Ages 2-8. Event details.

Westside

Milk & Bookies Story Time Celebration
Families can enjoy their favorite stories in the celebrity reading room (this year celebrity readers include Jayma Mays, Dallas Clayton, JJ Abrams and more), create story-inspired arts & crafts, and have lots of milk and cookies. This way of getting books into the hands of kids who don’t have them really puts the ‘fun’ in fundraising. Sun., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. West LA. $100, kids under 2 free. All ages. Event details.

Children’s Earth Day at the Eco Station
The day is packed with incredible performances, environmental agencies, awesome non-profit exhibitors, exciting crafts and activities, delicious food and loads of fun. Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Culver City. Free. All ages. Event details.

Code with Elsa
Kids learn to code and program a game featuring their favorite characters from Frozen. They can also meet, take pictures, and even sing with code expert Elsa (who knew?). Sat., 2:30 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. Marina Del Rey. Free. Ages 7-10. Event details.

Santa Clarita Valley

Melody Ranch Cowboy Festival
Saddle up and step back to a simpler time of chaps, saddles and old-time saloons. Enjoy fresh dutch oven peach cobbler (a perennial festival favorite), trick ropers, authentic gear, musical performances, living history exhibits and leather-working for kids. Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Santa Clarita. $7-$75. All ages. Event details.

South Bay

Family Sunset Sail
Take a family sail from the LA Harbor and watch the sun set from the deck of a tall ship.  Sit back and relax or learn to hoist the sails and tighten the hatches from the amazing crew. Sat., 5 p.m.-8 p.m. San Pedro. $30-$60. Ages 5 & up. Event details.

Long Beach

Long Beach Grand Prix
Has your little car aficionado ever seen a real race, where the cars go unbelievably fast? This is the longest running major “street” race held on the North American continent. Fri.-Sun., 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. Long Beach. $30 & up/adults, kids free. All ages. Event details.

What are your wild weekend plans? Let us know how you #RocktheWeekend!

—Meghan Rose

photo credits: Boy meets Storm Trooper by Gordon Tarplay via flickr and Meghan Rose.