What's up for MLK Day weekend: three days of California events

What's up for MLK Day weekend: three days of California events
Kids and teens can learn about more than 200 bird species at the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival. (Shane Walter)

You can honor Martin Luther King Jr. by volunteering, or you can kick back and immerse yourself in music or bird-watching or culinary escapades. Or all of these.

Morro Bay

Head north where more than 200 bird species usually can be seen at the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival, which takes place along the winged critters’ important Pacific Flyway. Saturday is family day at the Museum of Natural History at Morro Bay State Park where teens and children can learn about birds — and reptiles.


When: Jan. 12-15

Cost, info: From $20 with extra fees for some activities. Family day at museum: adult $3. No dogs. (805) 234-1170


The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service offers opportunities to volunteer on 18 projects at 15 locations. The theme is “Make it a day on, not a day off.”

When: Jan. 13

Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. No dogs. (661) 723-6077

Rancho Mirage

Yoga, fitness, fashion, food, wine and massage are featured at the Desert Woman’s Show. Visitors can get free health screenings, take classes on Hawaiian-fusion cooking and experience virtual reality from a menu of real-world situations. Fifty exhibits cover weight-loss, beauty, clothing and jewelry.

When: Jan. 13 and 14

Cost, info: Adults $10 in advance (online) and $15 at the door, children 12 and younger admitted free. Service animals only. (800) 673-0273

Redondo Beach

The 11th Southern California Slack Key Festival claims to be the biggest Hawaiian acoustic music concert on the U.S. mainland. Grammy-winning slack-key guitarists and hula dancers will perform. The Island Marketplace sells ukuleles, tropical-themed jewelry, shave ice and aloha shirts.

When: 2 p.m. Jan. 14

Cost, info: From $20, small child sitting on parent’s lap free. No dogs indoors. (800) 595-4849

Los Angeles

You can be a Park Champion by volunteering at Los Angeles State Historic Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Volunteers will work with native plants and habitat in the 32-acre park. When work is done at 1 p.m., enjoy the park on your own with a picnic, walk, run or bike ride.

When: 9 a.m. Jan. 15

Cost, info: Free but registration is required. Children 8 years and older with legal guardian are welcome. No dogs. (415) 262-4400



For the record: The date of the Downtown Ventura Tasting Tour was incorrectly reported in this calendar of events. It is Jan. 13, not Jan. 15.



The four-hour Downtown Ventura Tasting Tour heads to six eateries for samples and chats with chefs and restaurateurs. IDs required for wine-tasting. Tour is not suited for those who are vegan, lactose-intolerant or on a gluten-free diet.

When: 10:30 a.m. Jan. 13

Cost, info: From $54 plus fees, free for toddlers and babies who are not tasting. Reservations required. Well-behaved children welcome in most locations but ask in advance. No dogs. (805) 295-8687