Your first October weekend can include obligatory beer and brats plus author readings, Lithuanian traditions and music on the beach, thanks to these Southern California events.
The 47th Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair is a community fundraiser and celebration with carnival games and contests; arts and crafts booths; and beer and wine gardens along Valley Drive between 15th and 21st streets. Three stages spotlight music, dance and theater performances by local professionals and amateurs. Fun for kids includes a Velcro wall, a petting zoo and magic shows.
When: 10 a.m. Oct. 5 and 6
Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. No dogs. mbfair.org
Soak up Lithuanian music, folk dancing and potato pudding at the 33rd annual Lithuanian Days at St. Casimir Catholic Church. An artisan fair with traditional clothing, amber jewelry and krupnikas, a honey-based liqueur, lets you bring home a piece of the country.
When: 11 a.m. Oct. 5 and 6
Cost, info: $15 for adults; $10 for teens and seniors; free for children 12 and younger. Family friendly. No dogs. (805) 744-7324, ltdays.com
Big Bear Lake
The 49th Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest at the Big Bear Lake Convention Center means log-sawing contests, 22 types of beer, and performances by German bands and dancers in an alpine setting. Head to the Budenstrasse for gifts and collectibles, food stands for sausage and strudel, or the Kinder Garten for carnival games, a mechanical bull and a bounce house.
When: Noon. Weekends through Nov. 2
Cost, info: Saturday: $24.99 for adults, $11 for children 12 and younger. Sunday: $12 for adults, free for children 12 and younger. Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (909) 585-3000, bigbearevents.com/oktoberfest
Shop, eat and listen to live music with a view at Art in the Park at Dinosaur Caves Park, an 11-acre bluff-top green space overlooking the ocean. While you shop for paintings, herbal remedies and other gifts from 60 craftspeople, kids can hang with dinosaurs and dolphins on the playground.
When: 10 a.m. Oct. 6 (and Nov. 3 and Dec. 1)
Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs OK. (805) 704-7083, artintheparkshellbeach.com
Walkers, bikers and bookworms can hear from dozens of writers and artists at Lit Crawl L.A., an afternoon of readings, performances and author meet-and-greets in downtown L.A. The crawl, which follows the CicLAvia Heart of L.A. route, starts at the Last Bookstore and ends at Los Angeles Central Library.
When: 11 a.m. Oct. 6
Cost, info: Free. Some readings not recommended for children. Only service dogs permitted. litcrawlla.org
Composer Murray Hidary plays the piano on the sand of Santa Monica State Beach at MindTravel’s Live-to-Headphones “Silent” Piano Experience. You’ll hear his improvisational music through wireless headphones as you take in the view of the waves and the sunset. Look for the group in front of Hotel Casa del Mar.
When: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6
Cost, info: $25 when booked in advance (free for children 12 and younger). Family friendly. No dogs. bit.ly/mindtravelsantamonica