From bears playing in snow to a book about cupcakes to Thanksgiving crafts with a Princess – this weekend’s events positively sparkle with seasonal charm. Your own little wild ones will howl with glee at the L.A. Zoo’s Snow Days, or head to the Zimmer Museum for even more up-close animal encounters. For a bit of adventure, join the Arboretum’s hiking class for families – or should rain threaten – get bookish with Ruby in Santa Monica or the Cupcake Queen in Pasadena. Read on for the delectable details…

Los Angeles

Children’s Nature Institute at the Zimmer Museum
Ever seen a bearded dragon or a Madagascar hissing cockroach? Head to L.A.‘s excellent Zimmer Children’s Museum for a special chance to observe, touch, and interact with a few of the Children’s Nature Institute’s favorite live animals. Stick around to explore the myriad interactive exhibits aimed at engaging little minds and their imaginations. Sun., 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Free with Museum Admission ($8 for Adults, $5 for ages 2-17, and under 2 are Free). All. Event details.

Snow Days at the LA Zoo
Let it snow!
This weekend, the zoo’s tigers, bears, snow leopards, and more will receive a sparkling sprinkling of snow to transform their habitats into winter wonderlands.This two-day event offers an educational and unique opportunity for guests to learn about animal adaptations to different environments and climate change – and to maybe even witness a polar bear throw a snow ball or two. Sat. and Sun., 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Free with Zoo Admission ($14 for Adults, $9 for ages 2-12). All. Event details.

West Side

Ruby’s Book Release Party
Known as a creative haven where kids (and adults!) can create their own books and doodle with wild abandon, Scribble Press is hosting a party to celebrate the release of Ruby’s two new books about feelings. Ruby is the celebrated art teacher from the Ruby’s Studio DVD series, described as “a whimsical Mary Poppins with a touch of Amélie and a bit of the grounded Mister Rogers.” Interact with Ruby, hear the stories, and create some art – it’s free! Sat., 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Santa Monica. Free. Ages 0-7. Event details.


Cupcake Queen
Pop into charming children’s retail boutique and crafting studio, Little Junebugs, for an equally sweet and bookish affair – author Audrey Davidow will be reading her darling book, Coco Levine, Cupcake Queen. Stick around to create headbands and sparkling jewelry to wear while decorating cupcakes and sipping tea. Life is sweet, indeed! Sat., 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. $10. Ages 4-10. Event details.

Hiking at the Arboretum
Take a hike! The Arboretum is joining First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move national effort with this program that showcases the glorious outdoors and adventures of hiking with your family. Learn about essential gear and safety, all the while exploring the verdant nooks and trails of the beautiful Arboretum. Sat., 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Arcadia. $14 per family. All. Event details.


Holiday in Magnolia Park
If you live in Burbank, be of good (neighborly) cheer Friday night and head to Magnolia Park for a bit of free family fun aimed at ushering in the holiday season. Roving choirs, food trucks with treats, kids’ activities, and even Santa will be on deck to get you in the spirit to deck the halls…fa la la! Fri., 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm. Burbank. Free. All. Event details.

Princess Tiana’s Thanksgiving Basket
Here’s a little something for parents to be thankful for – a charming place (Lollipop Dream) to take your little ones for a couple hours of enchanting entertainment, while you relax. Kiddos will make turkey-themed breadbaskets to take home for your Thanksgiving table, while chatting about what they are thankful for with Princess Tiana. Sat., 10:30 am – 11:30 am. $30. All. Event details.

— Kameron DeWulf

Photo credit: Children’s Nature Institute website