This week's activities offer a chance to bid adieu to summer and embrace fall, all at once. Kids can begin a lifelong obsession with the taste of lobster at the Redondo Beach Lobster Festival, beginning Friday evening. Oh sure, there will be bands, and carnival games, and stand-up paddle board lessons, but let’s face it: the tasty crustaceans are the stars of this show.
And while the weather is still nice enough for such coastal festivals, the changing of the seasons also brings out a bumper crop of fall activities, with pumpkin patches leading the way. The Pumpkin Patch at Irvine Park Railroad is among the first to open, while others get underway in the next week or two.
Our 10 picks for the week follow. For more activities, go to our Event Calendar and our monthly GoList. And stay in the know by signing up for our free weekly newsletter.
Monday, Sept. 19
Talk Like a Pirate Day at Krispy Kreme - various locations
Go straight from “Ahoy, matey,” to “MMMMM, doughnuts, as anyone who goes into a participating Krispy Kreme talking like a pirate gets one free Original Glazed doughnut. If your swashbuckling lad or lassie has a piratical costume, they can get an even bigger treasure: visitors dressed as pirates get a dozen free doughnuts.
Pumpkin Patch at Irvine Park Railroad - Irvine
This is the first weekday the patch is open for the 2016 season—a good, quieter time to take smaller kids, and organizers suggest on the website to go earlier in the season to avoid the crowds. Other activities for Pumpkin Patch visitors include a “non-spooky” haunted house and hay maze. The patch is free, but there is a gate entrance fee for each vehicle to Irvine Regional Park.
See all Monday events
Tuesday, Sept. 20
Free day at South Coast Botanic Garden - Palos Verdes Estates
Visitors get the added bonus of Walker and Bowes Presents Art in the Garden, an exhibit of more than 30 colorful, twisting glass art installations that definitely will catch the eyes of children.
Broad Museum Anniversary Celebration - Downtown LA
The museum marks its one year anniversary with free Sprinkles Cupcakes and other festivities. Advance free general admission tickets for the day are fully booked, but there will be an onsite standby line until 3:30 pm; check @TheBroadStandby on Twitter for wait times.
See all Tuesday events
Wednesday, Sept. 21
Tongva After Dark - Santa Monica
Artists from throughout the Southland converge to create a multi-performance event in the “rooms” at Tongva Park. This is the second-to-last of the events for the year; the last is Wednesday, Oct. 19.
World Gratitude Day at Pretend City Children’s Museum - Irvine
The museum plans a full day of activities focused on teaching kids how to be thankful for the people and things in their lives as well as how to express it.
See all Wednesday events
Thursday, Sept. 22
Free Evening at MOCA - Downtown LA
A little culture on a school night is always a good thing, as MOCA's Grand Avenue and Geffen Contemporary locations offer free admission on Thursdays for those ages 8 and up. A free exhibition highlight tour is offered from 6pm to 7pm.
LA County Fair - Pomona
Teach your kids to give back: It’s free admission day for anyone who brings in five new, packaged school supplies. The donations go to a variety of organizations, including the LA Unified School District. Suggestions include boxes of crayons, pencils and pens, notebooks, glue sticks, and highlighters. The fair ends its annual run in Pomona on Sunday, Sept. 25.
See all Thursday events
Friday, Sept. 23
Redondo Beach Lobster Festival - Redondo Beach
This year’s event promises “more food, more music, more fun, and more sun.” The kids' section doesn't open until Saturday, but Friday evening's entertainment includes concerts by Beatles, Stones, and Elvis cover bands.
Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Park - Anaheim
This special evening event featuring trick-or-treating (tip: bring a big extra bag and/or rent a locker!) and various Halloween-themed related activities continues. It’s a less spooky alternative to other holiday happenings, and the special event tickets, which cost less than one-day park tickets, allow you to enter the park three hours before the event starts.
See all Friday events
Photo courtesy of Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce