(credit: raspoutim/sxc.hu)

The Spring break season is officially over. Family getaways have concluded. The wacky shenanigans of out-of-town youthful exuberance are a memory blurred by a haze of highly affordable beer. The cruel reality of the cube farm or the classroom has smacked you in the face like a wet newspaper.If we didn’t live in Southern California, this would be enough cause us to sigh and say, “bummer.” However, take a couple seconds to walk outside when you get a moment. Observe the bright skies, the mild temperature, and the warmth of the sun gently stroking your face. Now, go back inside with the realization that even though we’re stuck in our office or school, we can’t complain all that much.

Naturally, such good weather spawns a full slate of things to do during the week. Even if the activities end up taking place indoors, as some of the following items do, you can still enjoy the SoCal sunshine on the way to whatever venue you’re visiting. (Hopefully, it’s not pouring down rain as you read this – if it is, just re-read the section tomorrow or something).

(credit: cabrillomarineaquarium.org)

Monday, April 23

Grunions are cool little fish. When it’s time for them to spawn, they hop out of the watery confines of the ocean and land on the beach in a fit of passion. It’s kind of like Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr at the end of “From Here to Eternity,” except there are much more scales and fins involved. This event’s guided beach tour will allow you to have an up-close look at one of Southern California’s most curiously fascinating natural rituals. Access to the waterfront aquarium and a pre-tour auditorium presentation will allow you to get in the mood, as it were. No word if you will get glowered upon if you start humming a funky bass line, though.

TIME: 8:00 PM
COST: $5 Adults, $1 Seniors, Students and Children (people over 16 must have a valid California fishing license).

(credit: petersen.org)

Tuesday, April 24

Let’s face it: Cars are mobile sculptures. If you don’t agree, this special exhibition featuring eight decades of Italian vehicular visual bliss will convince you otherwise. From streamlined mid-century luxury gems fit for a tycoon to sleek futuristic concept rides that would make Doc Brown trade in his DeLorean in a heartbeat, museum curator Leslie Kendall will give you the in-depth scoop on the profound influence these special cars have had on the modern automobile.

TIME: 7:30 PM
COST: Adults $10; Seniors $8; Students and Active Military $5; Children 5-12 $3; Children under 5 Free (Reservations recommended)

(credit: scfta.org)

Wednesday, April 25

The date is December 4, 1956. The location is the famed Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Both time and space conspire to bring four incomparable musicians named Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins – you may have heard of them – together for the only time in history. The result? One of the most kick-butt jam sessions of all time, that’s all. This incredible show weaves a bunch of historical and mythical anecdotes through an evening of some of early rock ‘n’ roll’s most important songs, including “Hound Dog,” “I Walk The Line,” “Great Balls of Fire,” Blue Suede Shoes,” and oh so much more.

TIME: 7:30 PM
COST: $20.00 – $77.50

(credit: sanmarinopl.org)

Thursday, April 26

Don’t let the title of this event fool you; this isn’t an introductory college course on the capital of Taiwan. Rather, the moniker refers to the screening of a fascinating documentary regarding the world’s second tallest building; a certifiable icon that sits at the heart of an emerging city whose global influence is still being shaped. Come and watch the process behind the construction of a massive, post-9/11 structure sturdy enough to withstand Taiwan’s earthquakes and green enough to safeguard the environment. There’s free popcorn in the deal, in case you need any additional incentive.

TIME: 6:30 PM
COST: Free

(credit: panoramaonview.org)

Friday, April 27

Besides being an excellent name for a thrash metal band, phantasmagoria is the antiquated theatrical practice of using a “magic lantern” to project a series of eerie images onto a wall. Kind of like the old shadow puppets that we used to do as kids, but far more sinister. This special show gives you a fascinating glimpse into this world of old-timey entertainment, as a soul who goes by the name of Dr. Goriot will use a beacon to create a host of breathtaking and possibly bone-chilling visuals, including a possible visit from the axolotl (which is a weird-looking lizard from Mexico, don’t you know).

TIME: 8:00 PM
COST: $10 for Velaslavasay members, $12 for non-members

(credit: wikipedia.org)

Saturday, April 28

Did you know that Los Angeles has a team defending an actual, real-live sports championship? If you didn’t, you really should. That kind of knowledge can come in quite handy during a cocktail party. Anyway, come on down to see the L.A. Galaxy in action and witness the awesome creativity and skill of Landon Donovan, David Beckham, and the rest of the guys that only hardcore soccer fans know by name as they continue the defense of the MLS Cup. We promise it will be more exciting than that AYSO game you had to sit through this past weekend.

TIME: 7:30 PM
COST: $30 – $200

(credit: tastehb.com)

Sunday, April 29

How do you make hanging out in Huntington Beach on a Sunday even more awesome? Add a food event into the mix, that’s how. Over 30 of HB’s finest eateries will be on hand to offer samples of their cuisine, and several wineries and local artisan breweries will also be around to make sure you don’t get too thirsty in the gentle springtime sun. Plus, VIP types will be granted access to special areas, a commemorative wine glass, and other faboo giveaways. All proceeds for the event will benefit the Children’s Department of the Huntington Beach Public Library, which means that as you overindulge, you’re doing it for the children, so it’s all good.

TIME: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM (VIP Entrance at 11:00 AM)
COST: $65 for General Admission ($60 for Designated Drivers); $85 for VIP Admission ($80 for VIP Designated Drivers)

Rich Manning is a blogger in Orange County.