From surfing and lobsters to provocative films, international culture and old-fashioned reminiscing — a fascinating weekend is on the way.
Thought-provoking films about family, prejudice, gender refugees and humanity run during Cinema Diverse: the Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival. The films come from India, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Germany, Iran, Syria, Netherlands, France and Canada. These films can be intense, which makes for engaging afterward.
When: Sept. 21-24
Cost, info: Single-film tickets $13.25. Most independent films are unrated so adults should read about the films before bringing children. Only service animals permitted. Cinema Diverse, (760) 325-6565.
The seaside town brings in Maine lobsters for its Lobster Festival, but non-seafood fans can order steak. A dozen bands favor nostalgia with English Beat and others playing hits from the '80s and '90s as well as funk, rhythm 'n' blues, pop punk, grunge, and rock 'n' roll with Graceband, a 12-piece Elvis tribute band.
Don't miss the stand-up-paddle-board demonstrations with giant (costumed) lobsters.
When: Sept. 22-24
Cost, info: General admission adult $20, seniors, 65 and older, and military $10 (ID required); youth, 6-12, $5; children younger than 6, free; food tickets additional ($25-$45). No dogs. Lobster Festival, (310) 376-6911, Ext.127.
Los Alamos Valley
The 71st Los Alamos Valley Old Days, an old-fashioned celebration of a small Western town 45 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, features a parade with horses and gleaming cars, pancake breakfast, chili cook-off, live music, cow-pie bingo and a kids zone. The car show's swarming with hot rods, race cars, custom vehicles and vintage bikes.
When: Sept. 22-24
Cost, info: Free, but food is extra ($6-$10). Children welcome. Dogs on leash OK. Los Alamos Valley Old Days, (805) 344-3500
Travel around the planet at the Global Village Festival with more than 100 cultural performances and international foods from more than 40 local restaurants and gourmet food trucks. Traditional specialties include falafels, boba smoothies (bubble tea), Hawaiian shave ice, German pretzels, Mexican fusion tacos, Japanese dumplings, and the all-American bacon-wrapped hot dog.
When: Sept. 23
Cost, info: Free but sample-size food is $2-$5 (cash only). Family-friendly. Well-behaved dogs controlled on a leash welcome Global Village Festival, (949) 724-6606.
The community-run Westchester Arts & Music Block Party features live music from nearly a dozen bands, art displays and food trucks. Kids can make chalk drawings, decorate funny hats, climb hay piles, listen to stories, set lady bugs free and play at a giant bubble station.
When: Sept. 23
Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. Dogs are welcome on the street but not in the community garden. Westchester Arts & Music Block Party, (310) 641-8556.
Surfers, heads up! The Still Frothy Surf Festival is a pro-am surf competition with a nonprofit challenge team heat. Hodads can watch the jet-ski-assisted surfing demonstration heat. And it's a nice excuse to hang at the beach.
When: Sept. 23 and 24
Cost, info: Free to watch; adult (18 and older) $30 to enter surf event. Family-friendly. Dogs on leash OK. Email email@example.com. Still Frothy Surf Festival
Note: Always check before you go because weather or other factors can affect events. Children should always be accompanied by an adult. Assume dogs must be on a leash. To suggest an event that's cool and close to home, email firstname.lastname@example.org.