Hear that? It’s March roaring into Los Angeles! And while temperatures may be on the cool side, there are plenty of fun things to tame your little cubs. Lighten things up by heading to Chinatown for the 10th Annual Lantern Festival or tear the kids away from their tech toys and hit the Autry Museum’s Hook and Hoop Race. Plus, there are magic shows to wow you, puppetry to peep at and plenty of Mardi Gras good times happening from Pasadena to the Beach. Looking for some sweet deals? Make sure to hit up LA’s largest kids’ consignment sale this weekend.

Los Angeles

10th Annual Lantern Festival
Head to Chinese American Museum for a traditional street fair featuring lanterns galore, music, acrobatic, and lion dance performances. Kids will love the arts and crafts station featuring everything from origami to kite making. The day winds up with a parade around the park and everyone is invited to join in. Sat., noon to 7:00 pm, Downtown Los Angeles, Free. Event Details.

Hook and Hoop Race
Show your kids how Native American tykes played—long before there were Ipads, flat screens and Leap Frogs! They’ll pick up a few new tricks with this game based on a foot race at the Autry Museum. Plus, join  story telling, museum tours, and some interactive learning stations.  Sun., 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Los Angeles, Free with admission, adults $10, children 3-12, $4, Under 3 free. Event Details.


Tony Daniels Magic Show
No need to pull a rabbit out of your hat, leave that to the pro, Tony Daniels. The Westwood Public Library hosts this abracadabra man who is sure to wow watchful little ones. Fri., 3:00 pm, Westwood, Free. Event Details.

How Raven Stole Fire
This creative puppet and animated show weaves Native American tales of how the world was created. Join Raven and Coyote as they share the folklore of the earth’s origins, how the sun got in the sky and more. Sign up for the puppet-led workshop beforehand for even more fun. Sat., workshop 10:00 am, show 11:00 am, Westwood, $15 adults, $10 children. Event Details.

Santa Monica

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band
McCabe’s Guitar Shop hooks you up with the plucky sounds of this Silver Lake-based musical group. Come out and hear kicky versions of “This Old Man” and more. Sat., 11:00 am, Santa Monica, $8, Kids under 2 Free. Event Details.

Opening Day for Malibu Little League
Whether you have a ball player in your midst or not, nothing says family like a day at the ball park. Grab a dog and take in the festivities as the players hit the field. Sat., 8:00 am to 3:30 pm, Malibu, Free. Event Details.


Kidspace Mardi Gras
Dress up in your kiddos in their best Mardi Gras-inspired attire (think purple, green and gold) and head to the Kidspace Museum for the costume parade and craft stations. Also note that at author Oliver Chin will be on hand to read from his book Tales from the Chinese Zodiac in honor of the Year of the Rabbit at 1 p.m. Sun., 10 am to 5:00 pm, Reading 1:00 pm, Pasadena, Free with $10 admission. Event Details.

Toddler Totes: The Nose Knows
This fun 45-minute class aimed for little animal lovers explores the differences and similarities between our sniffers and those on animals. The class includes circle time, story telling and a guided tour of the Zoo. Sat., 9:15 am and 10:30 am, Los Angeles Zoo, $13 per child/adult pair. Event Details.

Fairy House Workshop at Fairies and Dragons
Following the morning’s daddy-daughter tea party and sing-along, all the fairy visitors will be decorating fairy houses and reading fairy stories. Face painting and dress up is also included in this afternoon of fun. Drop off optional. $25/child, additional sibling $15. Please call to reserve. 818-783-8488. Event details.

Beach Cities

Long Beach Mardi Gras 2011
Make Mardi Gras a family outing this year by heading to Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor. The Kids Zone promises to be a real hit with an entertainment stage filled with musicians, magicians and dancing plus rides, games, arts and crafts booths and more. Get down at the Bubba Gump Pre-Parade party complete with dancing and a shrimp eating contest and don’t miss the spectacular parade at 3 p.m. Sat. noon to 6:00 pm, Long Beach, Free. Event Details.

Festival of Whales
It’s whale season in So Cal as the great creatures make their way south. In honor, the Ocean Institute is celebrating with a bunch of different whale-inspired activities, from exploring how they eat and communicate to creating art. Plus, kids can join animal feedings, touch tanks and more. Cruises and a tour of the brig Pilgrim are also on tap. Sat. and Sun., 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Dana Point, Adults $6.50, Children under 3-12 $4.50. Event Details.

—Lara Burnap