When it comes to spending recreational time wisely, being involved in a new experience always makes for a memorable weekend. It’s particularly cool when whatever it is you are doing is among a bunch of other people that are excited to be involved. That kind of enthusiasm is contagious and can make killing some time something much better than just that. Whether you know what you are passionate about or you are still looking, we decided to find a few places that are ran by folks that obviously love what they do. If you are looking to surround yourself with good people during your time away from the office, here is what is on tap.

Friday, April 28

(Credit: Long Beach Museum of Art)

Free Fridays
Long Beach Museum of Art
2300 E Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 439-2119

The historic 1911 Elizabeth Milbank Anderson house has been a cultural beacon in Long Beach since the 1950’s. Positioned on the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and recognized by the American Association of Museums, Long Beach has amassed a permanent collection of various American and European media. There are some 3,200 pieces of art on-hand, not to mention the rotation of traveling exhibitions that settle in at the Long Beach Museum of art for a few months at a time. Offering community initiatives like family art making workshops and even a museum studies program that gives area students the ability to curate and install their own art exhibitions, LBMoA is an important part of the city. Every Friday guests can experience the venue for free. Visitors can access the permanent collection as well as check in on whatever exhibition is currently on display.

Saturday, April 29

(Credit: Street Food Cinema)

Street Food Cinema
Los Angeles Historic Park
1245 N Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

It’s the opening weekend for L.A.’s famed outdoor movie-going experience, Street Food Cinema. Setting up shop at the newly christened Historic Park, the giant inflatable screen will be showing this Awards’ season sensation, “La La Land.” Pulling out all the stops for opening weekend, the film’s composer Justin Hurwitz will be on hand as a special guest. Live music from the Urban Renewal Project will be blanketing the lawn and there will be dozens of the city’s best food trucks ready to serve up some proper munchies. Being able to spread out a blanket, bring a picnic basket, and enjoy some great food and drink during a movie under the stars is a fundamentally California experience. Here is your chance to see why Street Food Cinema continues to be such a hot ticket.

(Credit: Joe Foley)

The Renaissance Pleasure Faire
Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area
15501 Arrow Hwy
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
(626) 969-4750

Since its inception in 1963, the Renaissance Pleasure Faire has grown into an annual tradition that spans some 20-acres and welcomes over 200,000 people each season. An immersion experience of the Renaissance era, guests can roam the grounds and get some semblance of what live was like during that time. From the entertainment to the food, from the craftsmen to the Jousters, the name of the game here is authenticity. For those that are involved in creating the experience, the ethos of the faire being a living classroom is taken to heart as everyone looks, acts, and lives the part. The Renaissance Faire has not only birthed an industry, it has created a subculture of enthusiasts that help complete the experience.

Sunday, April 30

(Credit: Katie Gibbs)

Visit The Museum of Ice Cream
2018 E 7th Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(310) 825-4401

This pop-up museum is dedicated entirely to the magic of ice cream. Among the signature attractions of the museum includes a gigantic pool of sprinkles that guests get to jump into. Debuting in New York, the concept was naturally an instant hit. Having just opened in LA, the initial run of tickets quickly sold out. Organizers have already promised the release of more tickets to help accommodate the demand. Less of a museum and more of an artistic homage to ice cream with some interactive components, your ticket into the event does actually come with two ice creams. From life-sized neon gummi bears to popsicles of the same size sticking out of the wall, the photo ops will be aplenty and so will the samples.

(credit: Ray J./yelp)

Visit Storrier-Sterns Japanese Gardens
270 Arlington Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 399-1721

There is a unique tranquility that comes standard with a visit to the historic Storrier-Sterns Japanese Gardens. Restored to it’s original design and luster, the grounds are a testament to human ingenuity and Japanese tradition. Charles and Ellamae Storrier Stearns originally enlisted Japanese landscape designer, Kinzuchi Fujii to create the space back in 1935. The original teahouse that burned to the ground has been restored and functions as the focus of the garden. In fact, the destination has been listed in the National Registry of Historic Places since 2005. The gardens are open to the public on Thursdays and the last Sunday of every month only to limit the wear and tear of too may guests at once. A small corner of peace in the middle of Pasadena, Storrier-Sterns is nothing short of incredible.

Article by Ramon Gonzales.

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