A weekend of technology, tamales, dance and chalk, all close to home

See Diavolo | Architecture in Motion and many other local dance companies April 12-14 at the Los Angeles Dance Festival.
(Sharen Bradford)

You can eat tamales, see intricate chalk art and be a cowboy for a day at this weekend’s close-to-home events.

Costa Mesa

Learn by doing at Imaginology, a three-day celebration of all things STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) at the OC Fair and Event Center. Take coding workshops, play with robotics, check out an augmented-reality sandbox and more at dozens of interactive exhibitor areas.

When: 9 a.m. April 12, 10 a.m. April 13 and 14

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (714) 708-1500,


Los Angeles

Kybele Dance Theater, Backhausdance and more than a dozen other local contemporary dance companies will perform at the Los Angeles Dance Festival at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex. Arrive early to browse a dance photography exhibition.

When: 8:30 p.m. April 12 and 13, 6:30 p.m. April 14

Cost, info: $15-$55. Recommended for 6 and older. No dogs. (323) 343-6600,


Watch artists turn the plain cement at Heritage Plaza Park into a colorful outdoor museum at the City of Covina Chalk Festival. Artists will work on their creations all day, so you can shop from crafts vendors, grab a bite to eat and hang out at the park while their pieces come to life.


When: 9 a.m. April 13

Cost, info: Free to watch. Family friendly. No dogs. (626) 384-5340,


Tour a water reclamation plant and material recovery facility, create eco-friendly crafts and learn about composting and drought-tolerant gardening at the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County’s annual Earth Day event, held at the Sanitation Districts’ joint administration office. Bring old shoes to donate to Soles4Souls.

When: 10 a.m. April 13

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. No dogs. (562) 908-4288 ext. 2300,


The Riverside Tamale Festival at White Park, presented by the Spanish Town Heritage Foundation, is a chance to brush up on Riverside’s Hispanic history as you watch mariachi bands, folklórico dancers and lucha libre shows. Sweet and savory tamales are available to buy for regular ticket holders, while VIP ticket holders get free tamales and drinks in a separate tasting room. The kids’ zone includes crafts and storytelling.

When: 11 a.m. April 13

Cost, info: $10 to $50. Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (951) 235-3586,


Santa Clarita

Catch the best trick ropers in town — and much more western-themed entertainment — April 13 and 14 at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.
(Tom Cruze)

Journey to the Wild West at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival at William S. Hart Regional Park. Practice archery and knife throwing, ride a mechanical bull and shop for western wear. When you need a break, eat barbecue while trick ropers, gun spinners and country musicians entertain.

When: 10 a.m. April 13 and 14

Cost, info: Free admission, but some events incur fees. Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (661) 250-3735,

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 at least four weeks before the event.


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