(credit: nixonfoundation.org)

The second week of January is a time to breathe a sigh of relief that all the kids are finally back in school, and perhaps a sigh of aggravation that election politics are once again dominating the media. This week’s list of events and activities reflects all that is happening this week (and even offers you a chance to escape):

(credit: nixonfoundation.org)

Monday, January 9

If you were ever thinking of paying a visit to the Richard Nixon Library, this is the day to do it, as admission will be free in honor of the 37th President, on what would have been his 99th birthday. Other activities and events include an 11:30 wreath laying and a live broadcast of political pundit Hugh Hewitt’s radio show.

(credit: thecomedystore.com)

Tuesday, January 10

Election 2012 is already in full swing, and this night of urban comedy is the perfect remedy for headaches caused by all that coverage of the New Hampshire primary. Comedian Chris Spencer hosts a slate of stand-ups, who have been known to include luminaries like Katt Williams, Tony Rock and Cedric the Entertainer. 8:30 PM

(credit: meltingpottours.com)

Wednesday, January 11

Eat your way down one of the region’s most walkable streets, starting from the Original Farmer’s Market toward the Beverly Center. You’ll encounter bookstores, specialty shops, a diverse range of ethnic restaurants, and celebrity hangouts. Plus, calories burned from all that walking may relieve you of any guilt you incur by breaking your resolutions so early in the year.

(credit: irvinefilmfest.com)

Thursday, January 12 (through Monday the 16th)

The city of Irvine celebrates the 40th anniversary of its incorporation with its first-ever International Film Festival, which will give Orange County cinema lovers the chance to view a slate of over 100 entries from around the world. The Festival kicks off Thursday with “West is West,” the sequel to the 1999 award-winning UK comedy, “East is East,” about an immigrant family’s life in Britain. In the new film, the Khan family travels from Salford, England to their hometown in rural Pakistan.

(credit: malibucity.org)

Friday, January 13

Teenagers are invited to Malibu’s city-hosted Haunted Maze and screening of “The Ring,” from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Students 18 and under can enjoy free milkshakes, popcorn, cotton candy and nachos at this free event. Parents of teens can use this time to enjoy a leisurely meal at one of the city’s fine dining establishments, which turns this date into a lucky one for the whole family. (Link to Malibu neighborhood post?)

(credit: adventureexpo.com)

Saturday, January 14 (through Sunday the 15th)

The year may be young, but that’s no reason not to start planning your next holiday getaway. Explore the possibilities, discover travel deals and possibly win a dream vacation at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show. Highlights include travel tips from the likes of Andrew Zimmern, Samantha Brown, and Pauline Frommer, and hands-on experiences like ziplining and free scuba lessons in the show’s heated 18,000 gallon pool.

Admission: Adults: $9 Online or $12 at the Show Box Office
Children under 16*: Free

(credit: pepperdine.edu)

Sunday, January 15

Singing legend Dionne Warwick performs some of her classic hits at Pepperdine’s Smothers Theater. With 55 hit singles under her belt, she has a lot of material to choose from. This is one you won’t want to “Walk on By.”

Time: 7:00 PM
Tickets: $40.00-$70.00

Donna Schwartz Mills kicks it old school at SoCal Mom.