This is one of those weekends when there are plenty of fun things to do near home, but also some big things going on elsewhere that might just draw you out to places further afield. Here’s a taste of what’s available:
If you’d like to start the weekend a day ahead of everyone else, you could get an early look at the L.A. Zoo’s new Dinosaurs Unextinct exhibit, which opens today and runs through October 31. “65 million years in the making,” the exhibit presents the “magnificent creatures of the mighty Mesozoic era,” which will be “unextinct” (brought back to life) in a previously off-limits corner of the L.A. Zoo. It includes 17 life-size, lifelike animatronic dinosaurs, along with #selfiesauraus opportunities, a fossil dig, 3D “augmented reality” content that can be unlocked on your smartphone, and lots of dinosaur facts.
On Friday night, the American Cinematheque launches its Noir City: Film Noir Festival 2016, the “longest-running film noir festival in Los Angeles,” co-presented with the Film Noir Foundation at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. The organizers promise “a sizzling slate of sinister cinema – all in glorious 35mm, with many prints struck expressly for this series.” And 11 of the 20 films have never been released on DVD, so are rarely seen. Tonight’s offerings are “The Bitter Stems” and “Riffraff.” The full schedule is available on the Cinematheque website.
Tomorrow is a good day to start with a bit of spring cleaning, since the City of Los Angeles is offering a special bulky item drop-off event from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at several local sanitation stations, including the West Los Angeles District Yard (2027 Stoner Ave., 90025) and the Central Los Angeles Recycling and Transfer Station (2201 E. Washington Blvd.,90021). Accepted items include: mattresses, box springs, other assorted furniture, drywall, large toys and swing/play sets, sofas/couches, tires, wood and yard trimmings. (Note that they are NOT accepting appliances, asphalt, concrete, batteries, construction waste, dead animals, demolition waste, dirt and soil, electronic waste (anything with a plug), hazardous waste (solvents, automotive, flammable, electronics), incinerator residue, industrial waste, infectious waste, medical waste, scrap metal, or sewage sludge.) One visit per person. Two-ton vehicle limit (no larger than flat/stake bed trucks). Proof of L.A. residency required (most recent LADWP and state-issued drivers license or ID). For more information call 311 or use the MyLA311 app for smart phones or call LA Sanitation Customer Care Center at 1-800-773-2489.
Later, enjoy the LAUSD Grand Arts Festival at downtown’s Grand Park, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The celebration of Los Angeles’ unique and diverse artistic culture, expressed through the talents of our city’s public school students, features more than 2,000 student artists and performers, with music, dance, and theater performances (on four different stages), as well as student film screenings and a visual arts gallery. There will also be food trucks, family art activities and performances by professional artists. The event is free and open to the public, with as many as 15,000 people expected to attend.
Finally, Thai Restaurant Week can help end your day with a an indulgence in the celebrated cuisine of Thailand. Several local and local(ish) restaurants are participating, with special dishes and deals just for the event. Choices include Isaan Station, Hae Ha Heng, Kruang Tedd, Hollywood Thai Restaurant, Jitlada, Darabar Secret Thai Cuisine, Wat Dong Moon Lek Noodle, The Original Hoy Ka Hollywood, Chao Krung, Lacha Som Tum, Rodded and more.
Sunday might be a nice day for a walk in the park…and perhaps specifically Barnsdall Art Park, where you could take a self-guided “Walk Wright In” tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s recently restored Hollyhock House. Tour hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays, and admission is $7 for adults, $3 for students and seniors (with ID), and free for kids under 12, when accompanied by a paying adult.
On Sunday afternoon, turn from architecture to literature, and join in the Craft and Folk Art Museum’s celebration of this year’s nationwide “Big Read” – Fahrenheit 451 – with Type Writer: An Afternoon of L.A. Stories Typed Before Your Eyes. From 2-5 p.m., in the CAFAM courtyard, bring your favorite Los Angeles stories to share with favorite local writers Lynell George, Sesshu Foster, and Marisela Norte, who will transcribe your words into poetry and prose using a special typewriting station. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own typewriters to join in this special type-in event…and while you’re there, you can also view Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury’s original typewriter, now on display at the museum.
Finally, if you’re more in the mood for a road trip, the weekend offers two great opportunities: the huge annual Poppy Festival in Antelope Valley (this weekend only, both Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)…or the annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire, now underway every weekend through May 22 at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area.
Whichever you choose…we’re sure you’ll have a great weekend.