Free weekend? Eat ramen, honor Huell Howser and get lost in literature

81143 full
81143 full

Ahhhh. The weekend. Sit back, relax and let the clouds and cooler temps lead you to leisure. This time around, we're getting lost in La La Land with an abundance of food and culture. Head out to Santa Anita Park Saturday for endless ramen before an afternoon of books at Grand Park. On Sunday, enjoy free yoga in the Valley after a family-friendly party at the Echo. 

Here's everything you need to know: 


1. EAT BOWLS ON BOWLS OF RAMEN

Here's a preview

Brace yourself for a serious food coma. Ramen Fest is back with a bigger appetite. After a showing of 20,000 people last time around, it's moving to Santa Anita Park in hopes of pleasing even more palettes. The two-day event will feature ramen restaurants from around the world — plus local favorites like L.A.'s very own Daikokuya. 

When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Santa Anita Park | MAP

Price: Free for age 17 and under; $5 entrance fee; $8 per bowl


2. 30 YEARS OF HUELL HOWSER AND 'CALIFORNIA'S GOLD'

Honor the late California history expert and one of America's favorite television hosts Huell Howser during an exhibition at Chapman University on Saturday. It includes guests who were interviewed on Huell's shows, as well as an impressive array of food vendors. Be sure to watch Chapman professor Jeff Swimmer's new film, "A Golden State of Mind: The Storytelling Genius of Huell Howser" for a look back at some of the most memorable moments in the "California Gold" series. 

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Chapman University | MAP

Price: Exhibit is free; movie screenings are $12 in advance, $15 at the door; AAA members receive a discount on movie screenings. 


3. DOWNTOWN BOOKFEST IN GRAND PARK 

(Calvin Fleming/Flickr Creative Commons)

Spend a beautiful spring day with bookworms at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles. Expect bilingual performances for children by Jose Luis Orozco, followed by music, food trucks and more. Meet and greet your favorite L.A. writers, as well as librarians from the L.A. Public Library; take part in writing demonstrations and bring an extra tote bag for those Saturday splurges. Pro tip: Find a comfy seat on the green lawn during a 1 p.m. screening of "Story Pirates," a sketch comedy written by Grand Park kids and performed by a talented group of actors.

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Grand Park | MAP

Price: Free


4. THE FRIDAY FORTY AT MELTDOWN COMICS

(Sam Howzit/flickr Creative Commons)

You may not know your pop culture and current events history as well as you think you do. Prepare for a night of laughs as Dave Holmes and Scott Gimple take the stage at the Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics. They'll challenge the audience with 40 grueling questions during this lively sketch comedy performance. Don't miss out!

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Nerdist Showroom, Meltdown Comics | MAP

Price: $8 in advance; $10 at the door


5. FAMILY DANCE PARTY WITH ECHO PARENTING 

(two-wrongs/Flickr Creative Commons)

There's nothing like spending a lazy Sunday afternoon hula hooping, blowing bubbles and making art with the family — especially when you can do it somewhere as cool as the Echo. Enjoy adrenaline-pumping dance moves and other kid-friendly activities like face painting and crafts. Ditch the cotton candy and caffeinated drinks and give your child a plate full of healthy snacks from Echo Parenting.

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: The Echo | MAP

Price: $40 per family; $25 for each person


6. ZUMBA AND YOGA AT SAN GABRIEL DANCE STUDIO 

(Edson Hong/Flickr Creative Commons)

Learn the latest Zumba moves and meditate with pro instructors at the San Gabriel Dance Studio this weekend. Grab your yoga mat and get ready to stretch into downward dog. When you're done breaking a sweat, enjoy a dose of healthy snacks and drinks courtesy of Kind Snacks and Joia Life. 

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: San Gabriel Dance Studio | MAP

Price: Free 


7. PLAN AHEAD: THIS DRIVE-IN SELLS OUT FAST

"The Big Lebowski"

So the '90s cult comedy "The Big Lebowski"starring Jeff Bridges — aka "the Dude" — is almost sold out for this weekend. In order to get tickets, you'll have to show up before the gates open to hopefully get a spot. That's why we suggest planning ahead and buying tickets now for Electric Dusk Drive-In's showing of "Clueless" next month (8 p.m. April 12). 

When: 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday

Where: Electric Dusk Drive-In | MAP

Price: Tickets sold out; limited number of car and AstroTurf tickets will be sold before the screening.


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With contributions by Kristen Lepore

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