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What You're Doing This Week: April 8

Dream World Cirque header
(credit: Dream World Cirque)

From food and culture to science and nature discovery, there are a number of family-friendly activities across the Southland. Here is what's hot and happening this week!

April 8

huntington library
(credit: Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens)

When They Were Wild - Recapturing California's Wildflower Heritage

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108

Explore California's natural and cultural history through this beautiful, colorful exhibition, featuring wildflowers. More than 300 drawings, paintings, photographs, and other objects will trace the journey of California's plants from the flowers fields into the home garden. Some of the topics that will be showcased include how people have used, categorized and depicted these flowers and how they came to represent the state of California. Be sure to download their guide before your visit to enhance your experience.

April 9

Petersen Automotive Museum
(credit: Petersen Automotive Museum)

Discovery Hour: Googie Buildings

Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Families with children under 6 can join this weekly, interactive hour at the museum which is included in the price of admission. Activities include games, storytelling, scavenger hunts, and crafts. Children can also pose in real cars, race a friend with a Hot Wheels or Pinewood Derby car and more at the Discovery Center.

April 10

(credit: PBS SoCal)

Recycling with Curious George - PBS SoCal Ready to Learn Parent Workshop

National University, Room 240 - 243
3390 Harbor Boulevard
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Every month, PBS SoCal Education offers free interactive workshops designed to help parents and caregivers engage with children ages 2 to 8, by fostering the connection between school and home. Each workshop includes an introduction to their interactive PBS KIDS Lab and their Ready to Learn Resources. In honor of Earth Month, families will have an opportunity to get hands on with these resources which include lessons, games, and activities to help children learn about recycling and Earth Science. Each family will also take home a STEM kit (including manipulatives, books, lessons,and a science journal) to investigate Science and Math with their children.

April 11

Tourific Escapes
(credit: Tourific Escapes)

Hollywood Sights and Bites Food Tour

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Eat your way through Hollywood on one of the best Hollywood tours in Los Angeles. Presented by TOURific Escapes, this four-hour tour will show you Hollywood and the surrounding areas, stopping and dining at some of the city's most popular eateries. You'll also discover some hidden establishments. The tour includes six food tastings plus the option of wine tasting. Tours are limited to 12 guests for an intimate experience.

April 12

Dream World Cirque
(credit: Dream World Cirque)

Shine: An Evening of Cirque Entertainment

James Armstrong Theatre at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center
3330 Civic Center Drive
Torrance, CA 90503

Performed by the talented Dream World Cirque, this family evening of entertainment will include a variety of circus acts including aerial silks, hoops, Chinese poles, the cyr wheel, tight-wire, contortion, acrobatics, and hip hop dancing. As the show unfolds, a slumped marionette is brought to life by a ringmaster on stilts. His discovery of a magic chest reveals surprises and his journey begins. The show is filled with colorful characters who laugh, dance, flip, fly, play, and love. Watch as ordinary life is transformed into revelation and pure joy. During this magical evening, there will be a silent auction with items donated by Betty White, Tony Bennett, One Direction, Bette Midler, Taylor Swift, Disneyland, and more.

shark lagoon
(credit: Aquarium Of The Pacific)

Shark Lagoon Nights

Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802

Get up close to some of the ocean's notable predators including bamboo sharks, sandtigers, and rays in the Aquarium's Shark Lagoon during this free three-hour event. Guests will have an opportunity to get pet some of these spectacular aquatic animals. Refreshments and snacks will be available for purchase.

April 13

LA Puppet Fest
(credit: LA Puppet Fest)

LA Puppet Fest 2013

Pulling Strings & Funny Things
Bob Baker Marionette Theater
1345 West First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Celebrate the art and creativity of puppetry during the 2nd annual L.A. Puppet Fest. Puppetry organizations throughout Los Angeles will present a variety of shows, exhibitions and classes for adults and children of all ages throughout the festival, which runs through April 28. On April 13, The Bob Baker Marionette Theater will present a night of puppets, comedy, music, dance, and magic, hosted by Bill Parker and Lloyd the Tap Dancing Toad. Musicians, comedians, puppeteers, and entertainers will come together to present the best variety show you've ever seen, as a celebration of the art of puppetry! As an added bonus, the show will benefit the historic Bob Baker Marionette Theater.

Seussical Jr
(credit: Premier Musicals)

Seussical Jr!

John Muir Middle School Performing Arts Theatre
1111 N. Kenneth Road
Burbank, CA 91504

Young performers bring Dr. Seuss' stories to life in a magical, musical production that is fun for the whole family. The show includes beloved characters including Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Iazy Mazie, and Jojo, a little boy with a big imagination who transport audiences from the Jungle of Nool to the invisible world of the Whos.

April 14

From Israel To LA

2nd Annual Yom Ha'atzmaut Festival: From Israel to LA

15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90077

Celebrate the culture of Israel with a free family festival. Kid-friendly activities include face painting, a petting zoo, an interactive Kibbutz, and Pre-K Cycles for Smiles. Additionally, families will enjoy music and dancing featuring an Israeli DJ, Gaga pits, Israeli cuisine, Krav Maga, an art show, giveaways and more. One of the highlights of this festival is a three-on-three basketball tournament. To sign up, simply visit

Kite Festival
(credit: Otis College of Art And Design)

Annual Kite Festival

Otis College of Art and Design
Adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier
321 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401

During this free festival, families can fly a kite with Otis students and alumni, build sand castles, participate in face painting and caricatures. During the event, world-renowned kite makers Tom Van Sant, Melanie Walker, and George Peters will make special appearances. Parking at the pier is $8.

Caryn Bailey is a Southern California-based writer and LA native who can be found writing daily on her lifestyle blog Rockin' Mama or on Twitter @RockinMama.

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