Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Weekend Buzz: Events for January 4-5, 2020

The Natural History Museum offers a sensory-friendly, up-close-and-personal dinosaur meet-and-greet on Saturday.

As we wind down our relaxing post-holiday week, we have another nicely low-key weekend for local events, this time focusing largely on family and art activities.

First, though, since January is always the peak time of year for interest in fitness activities, here’s a good one for you – the monthly (first Saturdays) Everwalk walking event at Pan Pacific Park, starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday.  Everwalk is a free fitness group started by famed long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad and Bonnie Stoll, intended to provide fitness and community through walking.  The group meets first for juice and stretches, and then does five one-mile loops around the park.  Do as many or as few as you like, and meet some great new people while you’re walking.  Enter the park from the parking lot behind the Fairfax Library, 161 N. Gardner St.

Do you have young kids who love dinosaurs, but who can also get overwhelmed by the sensory experience in large-group activities?  If so, check out the Dinosaur Encounters Sensory Friendly Show at the Natural History Museum, starting at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.  In this fun, educational and interactive program, kids can “get close to a living, breathing dinosaur” through the NHM’s life-size dinosaur puppets (“very large, realistic interpretations of wild animals”).  According to the museum’s description, “Each presenter focuses on a different topic, including theories on dinosaur behavior, extinction, adaptation, and the relationship between birds and dinosaurs.”   The sensory-friendly part is a special performance that “provides a warm welcome to guests who need a little less stimulating environment and the opportunity to move around during the show.”  That means house lights will remain brighter, and sound levels will be lower, than at other performances, and audience members  are free to come and go throughout the performance. There will also be a “relaxation zone in the back of the hall if you need a break.”  Please note also that “the theater is “shush-free” and there may be a certain amount of sound and movement in the audience.”  Everyone is welcome to attend (recommended ages are 5-10), and it’s free with museum admission.

Meanwhile, LACMA will be holding the last two nights of its holiday Lights on at LACMA events, from 3 p.m. until closing on Saturday and Sunday.  It’s billed as “a holiday lounge with lights, music, art-making activities and more,” held in a heated and covered outdoor lounge overlooking the iconic Urban Light installation. The family-friendly event includes a special light display designed by PHNTM Labs, guided tours, and a seasonal menu of hot cocoas, ciders, and churros at the C+M coffee bar.  DJs will be spinning from 3 p.m. until the museum closes, Urban Light turns on at 5 p.m., and Metropolis II will be in operation as well.  From 3-7 p.m. on Saturday, the band Babilonia will play “a warming mix of Boogaloo, Cumbia, African Disco, Brazilian Groovers and other tropical sounds.”  It’s all free and open to the public during museum hours.

Just up the street, the TAG Gallery will hold an opening reception from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday for its 2020 LA Open installation.  For this 3rd annual event, the gallery’s juror, Juri Koll, chose 96 works from more than 750 submissions from artists in the Greater Los Angeles area.   The group includes “students as well as seasoned artists, and those who may be new to gallery exhibitions,” and the goal is “to illustrate that artists are strong and impactful when they come together to facilitate dialogue amongst varied styles of works.”

Moving on to Sunday, it’s time for the monthly Magic Show with Mark the Magician at the Miracle Mile Toy Hall, 5464 Wilshire Blvd.  Starting at 11 a.m., come and be dazzled by Mark, who began learning magic at the age of 7, turned professional at 15, and began performing in Las Vegas at 20.  Since then, he has toured the world, worked with the renowned David Copperfield, and entertained private and corporate clients of all kinds. This is a brand new show, and it’s appropriate for kids of all ages.

Finally this week, and moving back into the art world, the Craft Contemporary will offer Ceramic Beads – A CraftLab Family Workshop, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Participants will “play with clay and learn how to create ceramic beads through a series of basic forming and shaping techniques,” and can contribute to an ongoing community bead project by artist Cannupa Hanska Luger, to be featured in the museum’s exhibition, The Body, The Object, The Other. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for children and free for members (including materials and clay firing), and are available at the event link above.

Have a great weekend!

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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