Top 10 Los Angeles Attractions to Check Out During the Spring

Go now before the summer crowds arrive!

Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign | Instagram by @dronepals
enlarge photo [+]

Los Angeles is famous for being the home of the "Endless Summer," but there's plenty to do across the city during the spring. Read on for ten of L.A.'s best attractions to check out before school's out and the summer tourist season shifts into high gear.

California Science Center - King Tut

Getty Center & Getty Villa

Bougainvillea in the Central Garden at the Getty Center
Bougainvillea at the Getty Center | Photo courtesy of taviivat, Flickr

Spanning two world-class locations - the Getty Center in Brentwood and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades - the J. Paul Getty Museum collects, presents, conserves, and interprets great works of art. The Getty Villa emerged from a yearlong renovation and reinstallation on April 18, 2018. Spring highlights at both museums include:

  • April 21-22: Odd-yssey - theatrical group The Troubies pay homage to Homer's The Odyssey by condensing the 12,110-line epic poem into a 12-minute opera buffa (comic opera) performed at the Outer Peristyle. (Getty Villa)
  • April 27-29: The Madness of Love Mixtape - a remix of Plato's Phaedrus, The Madness of Love Mixtape explores themes of madness, the soul, love, and the art of discourse itself in the form of a hip-hop mixtape. (Getty Villa)
  • May 5-26: Play-doh Play - create play-doh sculptures inspired by art at the Getty Villa in this free, drop-in family workshop. Add to a communal sculpture and make your own play-doh to take home. (Getty Villa)
  • May 12: Midori Takada - Experience a mesmerizing blend of rhythms from around the world in this rare U.S. performance by the acclaimed Japanese composer, multi-percussionist, and theater artist. (Getty Center)
  • May 12-13: Artist at Work | Origami - former NASA laser physicist and one of the world's foremost origami artists/theorists, Robert J. Lang creates a large-scale origami work starting with a six-foot square sheet of paper. (Getty Center)
  • May 23: India & the World | A History in Nine Stories - Naman Ahuja, curator of Indian art at Jawaharlal Nehru University, discusses his recent exhibition India and the World, which presented extraordinary masterpieces to place Indian history in a global context. (Getty Center)
  • Now through Sept. 9: Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World - This major exhibition explores the artistic interplay between the three great cultures of Egypt, Greece, and Rome from about 2000 BC to AD 300.

Griffith Observatory

Zeiss Telescope at the Griffith Observatory
Zeiss Telescope | Photo by Griffith Observatory Astronomical Observer Anthony Cook, © Griffith Observatory

One of L.A.'s most popular and iconic cultural destinations, the Griffith Observatory offers numerous free public programs this spring, including:

  • April 21: Public Star Party - the whole family is invited to look at the Sun, Moon, visible planets and other objects; to try out a variety of telescopes; and to talk to knowledgeable amateur astronomers about the sky and their equipment
  • April 25: Sunset Walk & Talk - led by a Park Ranger and a Museum Guide, the hour-long sunset hike covers about a half-mile with stops along the way to discuss the highlights and history of Griffith Park and objects visible in the evening sky.
  • May 4: All Space Considered - the Observatory's curatorial staff examines and explains the most-talked-about subjects in astronomy and space science.
  • May 19: Public Star Party

Los Angeles Dodgers 60th Anniversary Season

Hello Kitty Night at Dodger Stadium
Hello Kitty Night at Dodger Stadium | Photo courtesy of L.A. Dodgers

It's time for Dodger Baseball! The Boys in Blue are celebrating their 60th season in L.A. with a full calendar of special events and promo nights at Dodger Stadium, including these springtime highlights:

  • April 20: Hello Kitty Night - special event package includes ticket to the game and an exclusive Hello Kitty x Dodgers T-shirt
  • May 8: Teacher Appreciation Night - special event package includes game ticket and exclusive Dodgers' Teacher Appreciation Night mug. Schools or organizations that purchase 40 or more tickets can nominate a teacher to be recognized on the field before the game.
  • May 12: 60th Anniversary Baseball Cap promo
  • May 23: Military Appreciation Night - special event package includes game ticket and exclusive Military Appreciation Night baseball cap.

Los Angeles Zoo - Wild for the Planet (April 21 - May 18, 2018)

Conservation Carousel the L.A. Zoo
Conservation Carousel | Photo courtesy of L.A. Zoo, Facebook

During the month-long Wild for the Planet, the Los Angeles Zoo spotlights a key aspect of daily animal care: enrichment. Designed to encourage natural behaviors, enrichment activities are offered throughout the year and promote the physical and mental well-being of the zoo's animal residents.

DAILY:

  • Wildlife Conservation - Get new insight into the Zoo’s efforts to protect endangered and threatened species with the Wild Activity Guide that's distributed daily, and special animal enrichment and keeper presentations on weekends.

WEEKENDS:

  • Animal Care - Twice daily on weekends, presentations feature special feedings and enrichment demonstrations.
  • Green Inspiration - Learn how to defend natural resources and promote biodiversity at the Earth Expo. Visit the Succulent Station for fascinating facts on these water-conserving beauties and take a succulent cutting home to start your own low-maintenance garden. Find out what you can do to protect and support local birds, then picture yourself gliding among them at the California condor photo op.
  • Nature Journaling Stations - Discover a new way to explore your world, including tips on observing nature and how to capture information like a real field biologist. Sessions at 10 a.m. – noon and 2–4 p.m.
  • Puppets for the Planet - Swazzle’s interactive puppet show is inspired by the Zoo's work with California condors and other local birds. Kids will be called up to help “Conrad the Condor” in this fascinating and funny adventure. Performances in the Adventure Theater at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Amazing Avian Aerialists - The spectacular, high-flying aerialist show commemorates the Year of the Bird and the Zoo's work with fabulous feathered species. Performances in the Eucalyptus Grove at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Universal Studios Hollywood - California Discount (through May 24, 2018)

Universal Studios Hollywood is world-famous for incredible rides and attractions like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, Fast & Furious: Supercharged, Transformers™: The Ride-3D, Jurassic Park®: The Ride, the legendary Studio Tour, and much more. During the spring, California residents can take advantage of online discounts for 1-Day General Admission on select dates through May 24, 2018.

The Huntington Library

Pavilion at the Garden of Flowing Fragrance
Pavilion at the Garden of Flowing Fragrance | Photo courtesy of The Huntington Library, Facebook

There's always something blooming at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens - especially in the spring! Besides the colorful flora and native fauna, The Huntington is also hosting numerous springtime events, including:

  • April 21: Earth Day Saturday - an afternoon of art and science activities for the whole family.
  • April 29: Annual Spring Plant Sale - Find water-wise options for your garden at The Huntington’s popular annual spring sale.
  • May 6: Kun Opera - an informal performance in the Chinese Garden as it was enjoyed in centuries past.
  • May 13: Mother's Day Brunch - an elegant brunch buffet served in the beautiful, al fresco setting of the Rose Hills Foundation Garden Court.

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest (April 21, 2018)

Renowned as the world record holder for most roller coasters in an amusement park (19 and counting!), Six Flags Magic Mountain is hosting a sanctioned Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on April 21 to qualify two talented eaters (one woman and one man) to complete in the 2018 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The contest will begin at 1:30pm at the Full Throttle Stage inside the park. The top male and top female finishers from this qualifier will be invited to compete in the ESPN-televised finals at the original Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island on the Fourth of July. For more info and to apply for the contest, visit sixflags.com/magicmountain/webform/nathans.

Renaissance Pleasure Faire (April 7 - May 20, 2018)

The Jousters at Renaissance Pleasure Faire
The Jousters | Photo by Ian Henry - courtesy of Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Facebook

Since its inception in 1963, more than 5 million people from around the world have visited Southern California’s Renaissance Pleasure Faire, averaging 20,000 guests each weekend. Located at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, the Renaissance Pleasure Faire spans 20 acres, with 13 stages offering a variety of entertainment along with the Queen and her Court, arts & crafts, delicious food, fine spirits, rides and games.

The Faire is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission price includes all entertainment: the Joust, four parades, over 2,000 performers, music, dance, interactive living history exhibits, craft demonstrations and the battle pageant. Select lessons, activities and pageants for children are also included. Online tickets are now on sale and priced at $29.95 for Adult Single Day, $28.95 for Seniors & Military, $15 for Child Single Day (ages 5-12), free for kids 4 and younger. Season Passes are $155 for Adults and $70 for Children. For group discounts, call 714-773-9800.