Kick the weekend off with a family read aloud, in honor of Read Across America, which takes place on Friday. It’s the National Education Association’s 13th year of the program that is working to create a nation of readers. And if you’re looking for reading events and ideas for the coming year, they’ve created a Seuss-themed calendar full of reading fun. Then you can get out and about in our fair city and explore some magic! Get behind the magic with the Science of Magic and find out why and how our brain allows us to be tricked by illusions. Or simply enjoy the wonder of these illusions at Cirque: Illusions of Grandeur, or participate in a circus extravaganza yourself with the Funky Punks show at the Geffen.  For PBS Kids fans there is a performance by Mr. Steve himself at the Skirball in an intimate performance. If a grand spectacle is more to your liking, then you won’t want to miss Disney’s Beauty and the Beast live on stage. Feeling celebratory? Head to the Chinese American Museum for the family-friendly Lantern Festival. And in honor of International Womens Day (next week on March 8th) you can take your daughters and sons to a special screening of how California women helped win the vote!

Los Angeles

California Women Win the Vote!
Introduce your daughters (and sons!) to the part that California played in winning women the right to vote by bringing them to this special screening of a documentary regarding the inspiring story of California women’s heartfelt struggle. Sat., 2:00 pm. Downtown. $10. Ages 7+. Event details.

11th Annual Lantern Festival
Catch lantern fever at the 11th Annual Lantern Festival. This free festival brings to life a traditional village street fair featuring exciting stage performances, a variety of interactive workshops showcasing Chinese arts and crafts, and other special activities. Sat., 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Downtown. Free. All ages. Event details.


Funky Punks
Get ready for nonstop, knee-slapping, belly-laughing fun as the Troubador Theater Company’s ‘Punks’ share their delightful world of wonder and whimsy. The silly and the spectacular join forces for this high-energy, interactive circus extravaganza which includes everything from puppets, stilt-walkers and jugglers to trampoline tricksters, super slippery table sliders and even a plunger! Sat., 11:00 am.  Westwood. $10-$15. Ages 5-11. Event details.

PBS KIDS’ “Mr. Steve” (a.k.a. singer and songwriter Steve Roslonek of SteveSongs) takes the stage at the Skirball to perform some of his signature award-winning songs for young listeners and their families. Enjoy Steve’s participatory songs and clever stories that will have the whole family dancing in the aisles! Sun., 10:30 am. West Los Angeles. $10. All ages. Event details.


The Science of Magic and Illusion
Art and science come together before your eyes as you watch a magic show that illustrates that our senses can truly be fooled. Then find out just how people are fooled by magic. Is it principles of physics, chemistry or biology? Or is it the science of our mind, psychology and neurology? Catch the show and find out! Fri., 7:00 pm. Pasadena. $10-$15. Ages 5+. Event details.


Cirque: Illusions of Grandeur
The power and majesty of cirque meets the awe-inspiring thrill of stage magic and illusion in this dazzling presentation combining death-defying aerialists, acrobats and fire dancers! Sat., 7:30 pm. Thousand Oaks. $49-$79. Ages 5+. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Beauty and the Beast on Stage
You saw it on DVD at home. You saw it in 3D in the theater. Now see it live! Seeing Belle sing and dance in person will thrill your little one and become a treasured memory. The classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers, including Be Our Guest and the beloved title song. Sat. & Sun., 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm. Cerritos. $45-$75. All Ages. Event details.

–Meghan Rose