This is, of course, Mother’s Day weekend…and if you’re looking for more than just the usual brunch and flowers, we’ve got a lot of great suggestions for getting out and about with mom — and the rest of the family, too.
One thing that would be guaranteed to thrill your mother is to pitch in with some spring cleanup, and the LA Department of Sanitation can help on Saturday, with a free bulky item drop-off event for city residents, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at five locations around the city. 2027 Stoner Avenue and 2201 E. Washington Boulevard are probably closest to us, but see the flier for others. Furniture, carpet, yard trimmings, shelving, and wood will all be accepted. Please note that electronics and hazardous household waste like paint, oil, chemicals, batteries, lightbulbs, etc. can NOT be accepted…but you can take them to a SAFE Center. (See the flier for longer lists of accepted/prohibited items, as well as other restrictions and proof of residency requirements.)
For a very different kind of house cleaning, the LAPD will be holding an Anonymous Gun Buyback on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Frank Hotchkin Training Center, 1700 Stadium Way, 90012. Turn in your guns and receive a Target gift card in exchange. For more information contact 1-877-LAPD-247.
Also in that area on Saturday, starting at 9:30 a.m., you can kick off the weekend with a 5K Mother’s Day trail run/walk to raise awareness about mesothelioma and benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating this deadly cancer. Starting point is in Griffith Park at 4730 Crystal Springs Road, 90027.
Saturday is also a big day for the Los Angeles Fire Department, which is celebrating its annual Fire Service Day with tours, events and open houses at many of its local fire stations. In our area, Fire Station 29, 4029 W. Wilshire Blvd., will hold a special groundbreaking celebration for its new Firehouse Centennial Garden at 9:30 a.m. Not too far away, Fire Station 27, which is also the LAFD Museum, 1355 N. Cahuenga Blvd., will hold its annual pancake breakfast and open house from 8:30 a.m. to noon. A great opportunity for the kids (and kids at heart) to get an up-close-and-personal look at all the big firefighting equipment, and to chat with – and thank! – some of our wonderful first responders.
Volunteering together can also be a great way to spend some family time, and this second weekend in Big Sunday’s Month of Big Sundays has a couple of great local opportunities: a beautification and cleanup day at Selma Avenue Elementary School…and a big gardening day at Melrose Elementary. All ages are welcome…and official community service hours are earned for middle and high schoolers who need them to fulfill school requirements.
Meanwhile, Carthay School of Environmental Science Magnet, 6351 W. Olympic Blvd., will hold its 5th Annual Science Fair and Environmental Exposition, which draws up to 500 visitors each year with its great blend of student science projects (with a celebrity guest judge), fun and educational booths on all sorts of science and environmental topics, and lots of family-friendly food, crafts and entertainment. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and everyone is welcome.
And if you still haven’t got around to ordering flowers for your mom, Floret Floral Designs, 654 N. Larchmont Blvd., will be offering a unique opportunity – both Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. – to create custom bouquets for the special women in your life. Shop from an array of gifts, grab a card, and you’ll have all you need to celebrate the occasion in style. You can also bring friends and/or the entire family — kids of all ages are welcome.
For another kind of educational experience, the Guibord Center, a non-profit organization promoting education and understanding of cultural, spiritual and religious diversity, will a present “The Real Story – The Holy Quran on Women, Violence and Peace,” described as “a fascinating and revealing journey into the Holy Quran with three women who approach this topic not only as nationally recognized Muslim leaders, but as mothers themselves.” Participants will learn what the Holy Quran actually says, and doesn’t say, about the vitally important topic of women, violence and peace. Panelists include Edina Lekovic, host of the Meet the Moment podcast and a former consultant at the Muslim Public Affairs Council who frequently serves as a national spokesperson for the American Muslim community…Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, a Palestinian-American physician, Islamic activist, and former appointee by President Bill Clinton to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom…and Dr. Sophia Pandya, an associate professor in religious studies at California State University at Long Beach. The event is free, and starts at 2:00 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 540 Commonwealth Ave. Live streaming will also be available.
Later, from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, you and mom can grab a yummy dinner at Sweetfin Poke, 135 N. Larchmont Blvd., and help raise funds for Van Ness Elementary school at the same time. From 5-8 p.m., just mention the school and a portion of the proceeds from your purchase (and yes, vegetarian bowls are included) goes directly to fund Van Ness’ edible garden program.
After the Van Ness fundraiser on Saturday, yet another local school is in the spotlight, as L.A. High School, 4650 W. Olympic Blvd., presents a Performing Art Showcase from 6 to 8 p.m. The performance features the LA High concert and jazz bands, and the color guard and drumline…with special guests the Outkast Dance Group and the Fernando Pullum Community Art Center Band. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students with ID.
And finally on Saturday, a big fundraising event to help support, educate and celebrate the children of Haiti. Pou Timoun, “a community of friends and family committed to creating a better future for the 125+ children living at Foyer de Sion orphanage as well as children and families living in the nearby community Croix des Bouquets, Haiti,” will bring celebrity chefs from all over the country together for “Food for Thought,” an event to help support, educate, encourage and celebrate the children of Haiti. The evening will include food, craft cocktails, music and a live auction. Guests will get to mix and mingle with the chefs and share in a celebration of Haiti’s culture and natural beauty. Tickets are $200 and are available at http://poutimoun.org/food-for-thought/
Sunday morning will probably involve breakfast or brunch with mom, but there are some fun options for the afternoon.
First up on Sunday is Block Printing Cards with Mimi Haddon, a special Mother’s Day CraftLab Family Workshop at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, at 1:30 p.m. Participants will learn about block printing with foam stamps, and experiment with printing techniques and colorful patterns to make a handmade block printed card for mom or a loved one. Tickets are $10 adults and $7 children, or free for CAFAM members. And space is limited, so please RSVP at http://www.cafamlabmay2018.eventbrite.com
And finally, taking mom to the movies can also be a great option…and the American Cinematheque has both sunny and much darker views of motherhood on the screen this weekend. First, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, the Egyptian Theater will be alive with “The Sound of Music.” You can bring the whole family to meet the Von Trapp Family Singers, and hum along as nun-turned-nanny Maria (Julie Andrews) brings music to back to their lives while much more malevolent forces encroach on their beloved Austrian homeland at the brink of WWII.
And later, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, two very different pictures of family life will be on display with a double feature of “Grey Gardens” and “Mommie Dearest.” The former is the Maysles Brothers’ film based on the true story of Jackie Onassis’ eccentric mother and daughter cousins who dropped out of New York high society and ultimately ended up living in their decaying mansion together…and the latter is the iconic story of Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) and her daughter Christina, based on Christina Crawford’s tell-all memoir. (We’d advise not bringing any wire hangers.)
Have a great weekend!