January is the best time of year to live in Los Angeles.  Just as friends and relatives in other parts of the country are shoveling and shivering, Angelenos have their pick of indoor and outdoor fun. January is great for whale watching trips and kite flying adventures (the winter winds are quite helpful in that area), and these other special events too! Cirque du Soleil is opening their new show under the Big Top at the Santa Monica Pier, and OVO is one of the most family-friendly offerings from the unique circus troupe. More pretend animals are on stage in Imago Theatre’s ZooZoo production, or if your child prefers their animals alive, take them to touch, feel and explore at a special morning for toddlers at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Search for Acorn Bear at Descanso Gardens or some fairies at the new Faery Hunt indoor show. And if you want an interactive music experience, explore the rhythms of Africa with a family jam, or play with the instruments in a symphony at a musical circus.

Los Angeles

Shake, Rattle and Roll with a Family Jam
The Fowler Museum is having a family jam session to introduce the whole family to the rhythm of Africa. Learn all about the melodic music of Zimbabwe, Ghana, Mali, and Tanzania. Then build your own drums and shakers and join in! Sun., 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Westwood. Free. All ages. Event details.

Westside

Cirque du Soleil’s OVO
Under the Big Top at the Santa Monica Pier there lurks a colorful world where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love.  When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious…Enjoy this Cirque du Soleil show that is perfect for the whole family – especially kids who love bugs!  Opens Fri., Various times. Santa Monica. $31.50-$270. Ages 4+. Event details.

Imago Theatre’s ZooZoo (pictured)
Firefly bug eyes, hungry anteaters, hitchhiking rabbits, introverted frogs, cantankerous polar bears, insomniac hippos, and tricky penguins fill the stage in this fun show that combines mime, dance, music and special effects. ZooZoo mixes comedy, illusion, physical finesse, and original music in this wordless spectacle hailed by critics and family audiences worldwide. Sun., 2:00 pm. Malibu. $20-$35. Ages 3+. Event details.

Valley

Auntie Angelica’s Fairy Garden
As every kid can tell you, the best place to find faeries in Los Angeles is in parks across the city wherever “A Faery Hunt” is taking place.  Now the group has a brand new indoor show at the Whitfire Theatre.  Watch as Auntie Angelica’s fairy garden comes to life with favorite characters, enchanted puppets and even the fairy king’s unicorn straight from Fairyland. Sun., 10:30 am. Sherman Oaks. $12.50-$15.  All ages. Event details.

Winter Acorn Bear
Where is Acorn Bear? He is asleep for the winter, but his forest friends are keeping busy. For the next four Fridays toddlers and parents can enjoy story time, crafts, and a savory treat together.  Fri., 10:30 am. La Canada Flintridge. $35-$45. Ages 2-4. Event details.

Pasadena

Pasadena Symphony Musical Circus
Musical Circus begins with an instrument petting zoo where youngsters can toot flutes, blow trumpets, pluck violins and cellos and bang on percussion instruments. Then there’s a family concert, where everyone can discover the joy of making music together. Sun., 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Glendale. Free. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Aqua Tots: Slippery to Prickly
Toddlers already want to touch everything, so the Aquarium of the Pacific has created a program where that’s not only allowed, it’s encouraged. The theme of this introduction to marine life is “Slippery to Prickly” and kids focus on their sense of touch while exploring slippery slugs, prickly sea urchins, and more. Sat., 10:00 am – 11:30 am. Long Beach. $30 per adult/child pair. Ages 2-3. Event details.

— Meghan Rose