March Madness is upon us. Get in the game and explore what LA has to offer this weekend with a few of our top contenders. Take a page out of history and see the Vintage Fashion Show and Tea at Heritage Square or visit Trainfest 2011 in Filmore (pictured). If your little animal wants to take a walk on the wild side, head to Moorpark for the Spring Spectacular at the teaching zoo, sing along to a barnyard musical matinee in Santa Monica, or find out what you didn’t know about the ocean’s most misunderstood predator at Shark Sleuth School in Long Beach. From gourmet food trucks at a street fair to a guided nature hike, the options are fit for champions.

Los Angeles

Toot Your Own Horn
Let your kids march to the beat of their own drums! Children will construct instruments, create music, and dance in this two-hour workshop of exploration and learning, which is conducted by ethnomusicologist, Craig Woodson. Sun., 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Los Angeles, adults $15, children 2-12, $10. Event Details.

Vintage Fashion Show and Tea
Could anything beckon the sweet buds of spring like tea, fashion, and literature? Let a sense of romance be your guide to Heritage Square Museum for a day of fun with the classics. Sat., 11:00 am, Los Angeles, adults $20, children 6-12, $10. Advance reservations required. Event Details.

Noho Rockin’ Food Truck Fest and Flea Market for Canine Rescue
Start your engines and cruise to North Hollywood for some good eats and good times. Gourmet food trucks will provide the grub, so enjoy an afternoon off from your kitchen and spend it rockin’ out to live music and shopping with your family. The kids will be entertained with face painting and henna tattoos, and you might just go home with a new member of the family! Sat., 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, North Hollywood, $5. Event Details.


Family Tree Hike
Smell that, Angelenos? It’s fresh spring air and oxygen! March your family out of the house and into the great outdoors of Temescal Gateway Park for this guided tour that celebrates trees. Stroll through the canyon beneath a canopy of leaves and learn about our ecosystem. Sat., 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Pacific Palisades, free. Event Details.

Santa Monica

Barnyard Madness With the Three Little Piggies
Yee-haw! Mosey on down to the Santa Monica Playhouse for some boot-stompin’, rib-ticklin’ children’s theater that will have your little ones dancing and singing ‘till the cows come home. Sat. and Sun., 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm, Santa Monica, adults $12.50, Kids under 12 $10.50. Event Details.


Railfest 2011
All aboard! It’s worth the trip all the way down the line to Santa Clara for those who want to feel the spirit of adventure of ridin’ the rails. See model train exhibits and the real thing! There will be a fully restored steam locomotive, plus diesel engines pulling passengers on scenic excursions to nearby Santa Paula. With performances by Frontier Gunfighters, crafts, and a Spike Driving Contest, the abundance of old-fashioned fun will really be something to whistle about. Sat. and Sun., 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Santa Clara, free admission. Event Details.

Spring Spectacular at the Zoo
Animals are the star actors in a compilation of classic fairytales called, “Once Upon a Twisted Tail.” Games, food, crafts, and behind-the-scenes VIP tours of the zoo round out this wild time with the animal kingdom. Sat. and Sun., 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Moorpark, adults $10, kids $5. Event Details.

Beach Cities

Shark Sleuths
Bring your pint-sized Nancy Drew or Hardy Boy to the Aquarium of the Pacific for some real gumshoe work about the ocean’s most misunderstood predator. Submerge your little ones in an environment of hands-on learning in a private classroom that has its own touch-pool and take a guided tour of Shark Lagoon. Afterwards, take time to stroll through your favorite exhibits, as the price of class includes admission. Sat. 10:00 am to 11:30 am, Long Beach, $36 per adult / child pair. Event Details.

—Kameron DeWulf

(photo by Rick Swanson)