Cool and close to home: Did someone say free museum admission across SoCal this weekend?

Enjoy Korean fan dancing, traditional dough art and kid-friendly crafts at Santa Monica Place’s free Lunar New Year celebration.
(Santa Monica Place)

Book your calendar for the weekend with rare books, baked goods and free admission to dozens of SoCal museums.

Santa Monica

See Tony Vaccaro’s photographs from World War II, works from the award-winning film “Roma” and more than 10 exhibitors from China at Photo L.A. The show at the Barker Hangar, aims to connect photo dealers, collectors, artists and the public. Besides more than 65 galleries, visitors can also check out docent tours, panel discussions and film screenings.

When: 11 a.m. Feb. 1-3

Cost, info: $20 to $30. Family friendly. No dogs. (323) 965-1000,


Santa Monica

Take a break from shopping at Santa Monica Place with the shopping center’s annual Lunar New Year celebration. The four-hour event, hosted by comedian Paul “PK” Kim, promises dough artists, kid-friendly crafts, stilt walkers and wishing trees. Performances include Chinese lion dancing and folk music, Korean fan dancing and K-pop dance group First Bite.

When: 2 p.m. Feb. 16 (postponed from Feb. 2 because of weather)

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs OK. (310) 260-8300,


Round up your book club for a field trip to the first-ever Rare Books LA, which calls itself “a rare book fair for the modern age.” On display at the Pasadena Convention Center will be uncommon literature, photography, fine prints, maps and ephemera from around the world.


When: 2 p.m. Feb. 1, 10 a.m. Feb. 2

Cost, info: $10 to $20. Family friendly. Only service dogs allowed. (626) 634-0075,


Pastry chef and Food Network personality Duff Goldman, left, at last year's L.A. Cookie Convention and Sweets Show. Guests this year include Ron Ben-Israel and Adriano Zumbo.
(L.A. Cookie Con)

Snack on sweets from morning to evening at the L.A. Cookie Convention and Sweets Show at the Anaheim Convention Center. Those passionate about making (or eating) baked goods can sample treats from 80 local and national brands; watch demonstrations about fondant cakes, gelatin art and more; and meet pastry chefs Ron Ben-Israel and Adriano Zumbo. The kids’ zone will be equipped with cookie decorating, pancake art and slime.

When: 10 a.m. Feb. 2 and 3

Cost, info: $12 to $25. Family friendly. Only service dogs allowed. (909) 910-3379,


Visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and other museums — free — during SoCal Museums’ 14th Free-For-All weekend. Some museums participate for one day only; check individual websites for details.

When: Feb. 2 and 3


Cost, info: Consult museum websites for hours and other information.

Always check before you go to an event 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 at least four weeks before the event.


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