Puppies, watermelon, bubbles, sand, The Wiggles – the stuff of kids dreams, right? Los Angeles families can partake in this delicious, messy, wiggly stuff all weekend long. We’re particularly excited about the Doggie Fair and free screening of Marley and Me: The Puppy Years, which takes place at The Grove on Saturday. All things watermelon are celebrated in Sunland, while Long Beach invites the crowds to enjoy fantastic, inspiring creations made from sand. For some action-packed fun, Kidspace in Pasadena has children blowing, jumping in, and chasing bubbles, while over at Universal CityWalk, The Wiggles encourage kiddies to do the twist, pass the hot potato, and dance the gloomies away.

Los Angeles

Big!World!Fun! Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company
Wow the kids with colorful costumes, traditional Mexican music, and exuberant folklorico movement with a performance by the Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company. Early arrivals can enjoy the pre-show, hands-on activity hosted by Kidspace Children’s Museum, focusing on ways that Mexico celebrates Day of the Dead. Sat., 10:00 am – 11:00 am. $5, Children 12 & under free. Ages 5 & up. Event details.

Children’s Festival of the Arts
The 26th Annual Children’s Festival of the Arts promises all kinds of artsy fun for the whole family, including dance and musical performances from around the world, family arts workshops, face-painting, and special visits with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck from Magic Mountain. Sun., 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Nisei Week Japanese Festival
All kinds of events combine to showcase Japanese culture during Nisei Week. Best bet for young families? The weekend-long Plaza Festival, which includes stage performances in traditional dance, taiko drumming, music, art demonstrations, a street fair, and Sunday’s Grand Parade, which showcases smaller-scale Nebuta floats made of colorful Japanese paper and lights. Sat-Sun., 10:00 am – 8:00 pm; Parade Sun., 5:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

West Side

Marley & Me: The Puppy Years
The Grove turns into a canine wonderland thanks to a rousing Doggie Fair that celebrates the upcoming release of Marley and Me: The Puppy Years. Families can take in agility demonstrations and a shelter dog fashion show, participate in silly contests with their pooches, and grab giveaways or doggie and human treats. The fun culminates in a free, evening screening of the movie. Sat., 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm; Film at 7:00 pm. Free. Ages 3 & up. Event details.

Beach Cities

Huck Finn Fishing Derby
Children are encouraged to dress up as Huckleberry Finn or Becky Thatcher and head to the 48th Annual Huntington Beach Huck Finn Fishing Derby for fun in the sun, prizes, and costume contests. Prizes include bikes, skateboards, fishing poles, and fishing passes. Bring along fishing poles; bait is provided.  Registration begins at 8:00 am at the end of the pier. Sat., 8:00 am – 11:30 am. Free. 6-15. Event details.


Bubble Weekend at Kidspace
Lofty, airy, sudsy bubbles take over Kidspace all weekend long, offering kids the chance to experiment, create, giggle, and even make giant bubbles to enclose themselves – until that fateful pop! makes them start all over again. Sat – Sun., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details.

Eaton Canyon Moonlight Walk
The foothills of Pasadena take on a whole new look as the sun sets and the full moon rises in the sky. Families can join rangers for a guided, up-close exploration of nature and go in search of scenic views and critters that prefer to make themselves known after hours. Fri., 7:15 pm. Free. 5 & up. Event details.


Wiggles Big Birthday Show
Those endearing, musical lads from Down Under  – The Wiggles – celebrate their 20th anniversary with a national tour that visits the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk. Their friends Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, and Wags the Dog are part of the fun during two lively, interactive performances for little ones.  Sun., 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm. $20.50-$90.50. Ages 1-8. Event details.

Sunland Watermelon Festival
The quintessential summer fruit is indeed reason to celebrate, and Sunland does just that with its annual Watermelon Festival. The event features carnival rides, water slides, games, pony rides, hands-on arts and crafts, a petting zoo, festival foods, and, of course, laugh-out-loud competitions like the watermelon eating contest, greased melon relay race, and the seed spitting contest that kids will love. Fri, 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm; Sat, 12:00 pm – 11:30 pm; Sun, 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm; Free. All ages. Event details.

An Evening on Ice
Little ones who have Olympic dreams will enjoy an evening showcase of some of ice skating’s top stars. Scheduled performers include World Champion Kimmie Meissner, U.S. National Champion and Olympian Rachael Flatt, two-time U.S. National Champion and Olympian Jeremy Abbott, and many more. Opportunities for autographs and meet and greets are included in various ticket prices. Fri., 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm. $65 & up. Ages 3 & up. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Great Sand Sculpture Contest
We’re not talking rudimentary sand castles here, folks – this is true art, created at the hands of participants of the 79th Annual Long Beach Sand Sculpting Festival. Carving begins at 9:00 am on Saturday, and children love watching creations come to life throughout the day. Winners are revealed on Saturday between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Rounding out the fun is live music, great food, art and crafts, vendors, and a kids zone. Sat – Sun, 9:00 am – 8:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

– Sarah Hilbert