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What To Do Close To Home On Carmageddon Weekend

July 13, 2011 3:04 PM

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(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

mulholland bridge 405 118441442 What To Do Close To Home On Carmageddon Weekend

(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

By Darleene Powells
Carmageddon is upon us! There are those stocking up on supplies in preparation for the weekend when a critical stretch of the 405 Freeway is shut down, but there are those determined not to let a little freeway closure cramp their style. Don’t want a July weekend to go to waste? Then here are a few suggestions, conveniently located in your region, on what to do, while avoiding diverted 405 traffic.

San Fernando Valley

Castle Park Mini Golf Sherman Oaks
4989 Sepulveda Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
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Castle Park in Sherman Oaks, which is operated year-round by LA Parks & Rec, offers a variety of activities for bargain-hunter prices. Parents and kids will all enjoy the miniature golf course, an arcade with new games and plenty of classics and batting cages.

Cruise Night
Brand Boulevard between Doran and Broadway, Glendale
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Hundreds of classic cars, live music and free admission – that would all apply to Glendale’s annual Cruise Night on Saturday, July 16, the city’s yearly street party shutting down its main drag, Brand Boulevard. About 450 gorgeously restored pre-1979 cars are expected to show off, while several tribute bands play live music from the party’s main stage. Cruise Night is open to people of all ages, and did we mention admission is free?

Concerts on the Green
Warner Center Park
5800 Topanga Canyon Boulevard
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
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Break out the picnic basket – Warner Center Park beckons on Sunday, July 17. Sunday’s concert features The Music of ABBA with ARRIVAL from Sweden, along with a few of ABBA’s original musicians. Also playing Sunday night is Russian-born singer and songwriter Marina V. The concerts are free and begin at 6 p.m.

South Bay / West LA / Malibu

Eat Real Festival
Helms Bakery
8800 Venice Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90034
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For two days, the Eat Real Festival will be serving up good food that’s sustainable through food trucks, farmers and food demonstrations. Some of the food trucks expected include Flying Pig, Nom Nom, Komodo and Slap Fish. Be ready to drink, too – at least 10 local breweries will be serving up suds. The event is free and the festival’s hours will be from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Shakespeare By The Sea
Polliwog Park
1601 Manhattan Beach Boulevard
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Unfortunately, the 405 Freeway is not as constant as the northern star, so if you’re in the South Bay or thereabouts, why not take in a live performance of Shakespeare as the sea breeze cools you? (In fact, you might even want to bring a light sweater!) On Saturday, July 16, the audience will be treated to “Much Ado About Nothing.” The performance is free and the audience is welcome to bring chairs – although, low beach chairs are recommended. The performance begins at 7 p.m.

Getty Villa
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
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The Getty Center, along the Carmageddon closure of the 405, will be closed this weekend, but museum’s original and beautifully restored seaside location, the Getty Villa, will be open. If you’ve never been, you’ll be floored by the Getty Villa’s beautiful architecture, faithfully recreating a Roman villa, its lush gardens and graceful fountains, along with the amazing works of art from Greece and Rome. Just like the Getty Center, admission to the Getty Villa is free, but timed tickets are required for all adults accompanied by up to three children. Parking is $15 per person.

Downtown LA

Dinosaur Hall Opening
Natural History Museum
900 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90037
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Dinosaur enthusiasts, rejoice – the Natural History Museum’s new Dinosaur Hall opens to the public Saturday, July 16, when a good chunk of Los Angeles won’t be able to make it over the Sepulveda Pass to check it out. The new Dinosaur Hall is 14,000 square feet of tyrannosaurus rex, triceratops, stegosaurus and other dinosaur goodness. Dinosaur Hall access is included in general admission to the Natural History Museum, but tickets are timed and must be reserved in advance.

Outdoor Cinema Food Fest
Grand Hope Park | FIDM
W 9th Street and Hope
Los Angeles, CA 90017
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How does taking in a cult classic like “Office Space” on an outdoor screen in a park in the middle of downtown LA sound? Add some live music and a few of LA’s favorite food trucks, and you’ve got the roaming Outdoor Cinema Food Fest. This weekend’s movie, “Office Space,” will be shown at Grand Hope Park at 8:30 p.m., after a few sensational shorts from FunnyorDie.com and the band Other Mountains plays at 6:30 p.m. Tickets, which can be bought in advance or at the door, are $10 per adult, $5 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and under. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

San Gabriel Valley

L.A. Street Food Fest
Brookside Park
360 N Arroyo Boulevard
Pasadena, CA
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LA’s largest food event isn’t even happening in LA – its at Pasadena’s Brookside Park, next to the Rose Bowl, this Saturday. Organizers of LA Street Food Fest say the event, which features dozens of gourmet food trucks, restaurants, ice creams and tequilas, sells out every year. Tickets aren’t cheap at $60 per person, but they include everything – the food, drinks, tastings, giveaways, chef demos, kids activities – even the parking! A portion of the proceeds will go to the Downtown Women’s Center, supporting homeless women.

L.A. County Arboretum
301 N. Baldwin Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91007
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L.A. County’s most peaceful gardens are hidden in plain sight, alongside the Santa Anita Racetrack and Santa Anita Shopping Mall. The LA County Arboretum is 127 acres of rare and endangered flowers, trees and plants and also includes the historic structures like the Queen Anne cottage and Hugo Reid Adobe. The arboretum is also home to several species of birds, aquatic creatures and reptiles, so don’t be surprised to see peacocks roaming the grounds as if they own the place – they kinda do. Adult admission is $8, students and seniors are $6 and children ages 5-12 are $3. Members and children under 5 are free. Credit cards are not accepted at the arboretum.

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