Say the secret word and you win a prize… and this weekend the secret word must be “Festival.”  And the prize is getting to go to one of these fabulous festivals, each of which puts the focus on family and fun for things like: kids across the globe, butterflies, science, the earth, films for kids or all things Russian.  Or if you’re seeking something else, this weekend also boasts lots of laughs with the annual Doo Dah Parade, Give Hugs Comedy show or the fast paced antics in Traces.  So do tell, where are you going to be?

Downtown

Traces
This modern circus blends the energy and attitude of street performance with music, dance, skateboarding, basketball, and high-risk acrobatics. Because it’s spectacularly anti-spectacle, it speaks especially to kids.   Sun., 2:00 pm. Downtown . $25-$70. Ages 4+. Event details.

Westside

Give Hugs Comedy Film Festival
There’s a healthy dose of both laughter and inspiration for your little comedian when kids of all ages show off their stuff.  Sat., 3:30 pm. Venice. $5. Ages 4+. Event details.

Los Angeles Children’s Film Festival
Want to share a movie with them but dread walking into a feature-length commercial for action figures/trading cards/Happy Meals? These animated and live-action shorts and films from around the world are just the ticket.  Fri. Sun., Various times. Santa Monica. $9-$11. Ages 3+. Event details.

Pasadena Area

Butterfly Release Festival
It is nothing short of grand, as each day over 1000 Painted Lady butterflies are simultaneously released back to nature. There are plenty of other winged activities to take part in all day long, too. Sat & Sun., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Pasadena. $10. Ages 1-10. Event details.

Doo Dah Parade
Everyone loves a parade.  But just how many marching bands and Girl Scout Troops can you watch? This is the “twisted sister of the Rose Parade” and the goofy satire of a parade will leave the whole family in stitches. Sat., 11:00 am. Pasadena. Free. All ages. Event details.

Valley

Santa Monica Mountains Science Festival
Calling all citizen scientists: learn how to track mountain lions, bobcats, and island foxes; get to know the local wildlife; participate in hands-on demonstrations, nature walks and family activities; and meet the scientists and some of their animal friends. Sat., 10:30 am – 4:00 pm. Agoura Hills. Free. All ages. Event details.

Russian Festival
All things from the Motherland appear in Tarzana today, including a Russian folk concert, Russian dance, music and songs, a folk costume exhibition, fun & games (including a bounce house) for kids, and of course plenty of Russian food. Mmmm, did someone say Russian tea cakes?  Sun., 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Tarzana. Free. All ages. Event details.

Beaches

Earth Day at Polliwog Park
Just in case you missed (or didn’t get enough) of Earth Day Celebrations last weekend, spend a day by the beach with food and (eco-friendly) family fun like yoga, Dino-man, kid art and entertainment and more. Sat., 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Manhattan Beach. Free. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive

International Children’s Day
Celebrate the talents of kids of all cultures, with a day of international music and dance performances by kids, for kids. Mexican folkloric dance, Pacific Islander, Cambodian, Chinese, and Japanese traditional dance, Native American song and dance, and West African drum, hip hop dance and martial arts and more are all part of the day.  Sat. & Sun., 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Long Beach. $14.95-$25.95. All ages. Event details.

Hitting a Festival?  Watching a movie? Heading to the great outdoors… what will you be doing this weekend?

–Meghan Rose

Image courtesy of kutturanchamoru.org.