If the idea of joining the exodus that happens every long weekend (and the terrible traffic jams that inevitably ensue) makes you cringe, we have some great staycation options for your Memorial Day Weekend. Festivals of all sorts abound. If you feel like hitting the beach, Fiesta Hermosa takes place right on the pier and is loaded with entertainment. If you’re in the valley and feeling Hellenic, stop by the Valley Greek Festival for some cultural galavanting and homemade Mediterranean cuisine. Topanga Days is perfect for some off-beat and relaxing family fun, and Fiesta Days in La Cañada Flintridge, strikes the right chord in paying tribute to our nation’s fallen heroes.
Ayayay! There are so many great events crammed into this Fiesta that we will simply highlight a few. Start Saturday with the Community Breakfast at Memorial Park ($7 adults / $4 kids) and stay for the Vintage Car Show. Cross the street to the Farmer’s Market to pick up some goodies for your evening picnic at the Free Family Flick at the park – Despicable Me will start when it gets dark. On Sunday, a fireworks show will erupt around 8:45 pm to live Jazz. Monday will kick off with a 5 & 10K run at Descanso Gardens, followed by a Memorial Service at Memorial Park at 9:00 am, a parade down Foothill Boulevard at 10:30 am, and then the culmination of events (again at Memorial Park) with music, food, and games goes into the evening. Now, that’s a party! Sat., Sun. and Mon., La Cañada Flintridge, free-$15. Event details.
Wok N’ Roll
When dinnertime rolls around, L.A. kids are just as likely to ask for sushi, as a hot dog. Learn how to make easy and healthy stir-fry and sushi recipes at the Japanese American Museum with Lisa Fontanesi, of Kidding Around in the Kitchen. She’ll have you slicin’ and dicin’ (safely) with the help of your own little sous-chef. Time to roll up your sleeves and get cookin’ with your kids – you’ll have a rockin’ good time. Reservations required. Sat., 11:00 am, Los Angeles, $35 per adult/child pair. Event details.
Free Concert at Dragonfly Dulou
We adore the store and it is only a hop, skip, and a jump away from nearly everything, so have a Sunday family breakfast and then head on over for a free concert at Dragonfly Dulou. Alina Celeste will have your kids groovin’ and dancin’ so you can shop and relax. Sun., 11:00 am, Los Angeles, free. Event details.
CleanBeeBaby at the Pump Station
Out, damned spot. Out, I say! Lady Macbeth could very well have used the expert team at CleanBeeBaby. Thirty minutes is all it takes for these mobile magicians to clean and sanitize your stroller or car seat. The whole process is extremely safe, as they use non-toxic, eco-friendly products, and certified technicians will reinstall your seat when it’s done. Flu-virus, throw-up, mud, and milk…be gone! Reserve your spot early, this event fills up fast. Fri., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Santa Monica, $19 and up. Event details.
There is plenty of folksy family fun to be had at this jamboree, with a schedule of activities that includes a sack race, egg toss, watermelon-seed spitting, bat spinning, pie-eating, and a horse shoe tournament. Is your little one crawling? The Baby Derby always takes the cake, as they “race” across the grass on precious all-fours. Three stages will provide live tunes, you can bring your own picnic or buy from the various food vendors, many of them vegetarian, peruse the local artwork, or check out the Healing Arts booths. A very wacky parade begins at 9:00 am on Monday morning. Sat., Sun. and Mon., 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, Topanga, $20 for adults, $10 for kids 6-12, kids under 5 are free. Event details.
Valley Greek Festival (pictured)
Opa! Not only did they invent the Olympics, they very may well have invented the festival. Your family will surely be entertained by the traditional dancing, costumes, and music, children’s activities, and vendors hawking their regional wares. Yet it is the food that will really carry the day, with a veritable bounty of Mediterranean cuisine to be had, including 48,000 homemade pastries, cooking demonstrations, and a Greek market. It’s a feast fit for the Gods. Sat., Sun. and Mon., 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Northridge, free. Event details.
Brunch With A Princess
Lollipop Dream is the valley’s go-to place for whimsical fun and this event is testament to that. A fairytale princess will guide your children through a magical morning resplendent in costumes from the vanity closet, sing-alongs and dancing, crafts, and brunch. Reserve your places early, as the princess is quite popular with her pint-sized subjects! Sat., 10:30 am, Sherman Oaks, $30 per adult/child pair. Event details.
Hop on your beach cruisers and head down to the pier (there will be a free bike valet) for the largest arts and crafts festival in Southern California. Over 270 artists are showcased within a multitude of mediums. Live music on the main stage is dedicated to tribute bands, while country music, zydeco, rock, and the blues will play on the second stage at the popular Charity Beer & Wine Garden. The Kiddie Carnival features a 30-foot slide, rides, a rock climbing wall and bungee jump, games, pony rides, a petting zoo, and face-painting. You are steps from the sand so you may want to grab some festival fare, spread out a blanket on the beach, and catch the sunset, away from the crowds. Sat., Sun. and Mon., 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Hermosa Beach, free. Event details.