Close-to-home events: Ring in the Year of the Pig, sip wine, sample Shakespeare

Next weekend’s Tet Festival includes Vietnamese cultural performances, a traditional marketplace and a pho-eating contest.
(Mimi Pham)

Fill up a February weekend with a film festival, wine tastings, rooftop Shakespeare and more.

Los Angeles

Choose from 170 new black films at the 27th Pan African Film and Arts Festival at the Baldwin Hills Cinemark. The festival screens films from documentary shorts to feature-length narratives and hosts some free community events, such as a Saturday children’s festival, screenings for seniors and a fashion show. After your movie, head to the ArtFest to browse African-inspired arts and crafts from around the world.

When: Feb. 7-18, showtimes vary

Cost, info: Adult general admission is $14. Some films may require parental guidance. No dogs. (310) 337-4737,


Costa Mesa

Pho eating, traditional dancing and a scavenger hunt are just a few of the contests at the Tet Festival, a Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration at the OC Fair and Event Center. You can spend all day at the Cultural Village (a replica of a traditional Vietnamese village) checking out bonsai and photography, watching cultural performances and sampling coffee and food at the marketplace.

When: 4 p.m. Feb, 8, 11 a.m. Feb, 9 and 10

Cost, info: $6. Family-friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (714) 388-6711,

Los Angeles

More than 110,000 people flock to Chinatown each year for the Golden Dragon Parade, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles’ Chinese New Year event. This year’s parade promises 120 colorful floats and cars in celebration of the parade’s 120th year.


When: 1 p.m. Feb. 9

Cost, info: Free to watch along North Broadway. Family-friendly. Dogs OK.

Los Angeles

Want to brush up on your wine knowledge? Sign up for one of wineLA’s weekly workshops at the company’s downtown studio. The upcoming two-hour classes include Wine, Cheese and Chocolate — a lesson in tasting and pairing both foods with wine — and the Top Wines of 2018, which examines 20 of last year’s tastiest wines. Classes are capped at 24, so sign up in advance.

When: Wine, Cheese and Chocolate at 3:30 p.m., Top Wines of 2018 at 7 p.m. Feb. 9

Cost, info: $69 to $85. Adults 21 and older only. No dogs. (310) 451-7600,

Palm Desert

Meet a zebra, giraffe, cheetah and reptiles up close at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ annual Brew at the Zoo. On tap are local beers, wines and spirits, plus four live entertainment stages and tethered balloon rides for $15. Tickets include beverage tastings, and food is available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the zoo’s conservation and education programs.

When: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9

Cost, info: $65. Adults 21 and older only. No dogs. (760) 346-5694,


Los Angeles

Kick back at the Kimpton Everly Hotel’s rooftop bar for an all-female performance of “Romeo and Juliet,” set to a live guitarist and drummer. Enjoy the show with a Thus With a Kiss I Die vodka cocktail, served with a vial of butterfly pea water “poison.” A part of proceeds benefit A Place Called Home, which provides a safe environment for youth in South-Central L.A.

When: 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 and 17

Cost, info: $10. Some themes may not be suitable for children. No dogs. (708) 601-3469,

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 at least four weeks before the event.


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