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Arbor Day Festival Canceled + Weekend Fun Guide

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The 10th Annual Los Angeles Arbor Day Festival is the latest casualty of the Griffith Park Fire. In a tragic irony, California Wildfire Awareness week will not be ending with a celebration of LA's 4,000-acre urban forest as originally planned. The fest was scheduled as part of the Million Trees LA initiative.

Saturday IS Fire Service Recognition Day. Tons of options for family fun on what's forecast to be a beautiful spring weekend after the jump.

photo by corinne via flickr.

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Schedule via GoCityKids.org:

FRIDAY

5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Friday Night Lights
The Skate Park hosts skateboard videos shown on a big projection screen along with pizza and drinks. There are weekly raffles and one grand prize given away monthly; pizza is free with a raffle ticket purchase. Dates and times are subject to change; call in advance. [818.548.2786]

6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Dance Downtown
Put on your dancing shoes and dance the evening away under the stars on the Music Center Plaza. Dance Downtown is a free evening of dance, and dancers of all levels are encouraged to attend. Beginner dance lessons are available at 6:30 pm, with live music and dance floor provided. Drivers can park underneath the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for $8 or at the Department of Water and Power and the Cathedral for $5. [213.972.3660; http://www.musiccenter.org]

7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Campfire Program - Life in the Chaparral
Sitting around an evening campfire under the stars in Temescal Gateway Park is the best way to learn about the environment. Be sure to bring a blanket and a jacket. [310.454.1395 ext. 106; http://LAMountains.com]

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Dress and Talk like a Pirate
Three Cheeky Monkeys invites everyone to dress and talk like a pirate; all pirates and pirate parents receive 10% off. [310.470.7060; http://www.threecheekymonkeys.com]

SATURDAY

9 a.m. - noon: Great LA River Cleanup
FOLAR (Friends of LA River) hosts an annual event where thousands help clean up the LA River. The event is one of the largest urban river cleanups in the country and the largest multi-cultural, multi-ethnic volunteer effort in California. Friday is "River School Day" - when school groups can sign up for cleanup and environmental education (Limited to a few hundred students). Saturday is the public cleanup at many sites along the river. See the website for additional info and a complete list of sites. If it's raining on Saturday morning, the CleanUp is postponed until Saturday May 19 from 9am to 12n. [323.223.0585; http://www.folar.org/programs.html]

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Carnival in the Park (Sierra Madre)
Kids can enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, digging for buried treasure, and carnival games at Sierra Madre Community Nursery School's annual Carnival in the Park. Goodies for grown-ups include a live plant booth, a handmade goods shop, and a dessert booth. Sierra Madre Community Nursery School is a nonprofit, parent participation preschool. [626.355.1655]

11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Topanga Children's Festival
Topanga Co-op Preschool's fundraiser is a large-scale festival, with two stages featuring musicians, dancers, drummers, and circus performers from nearby and across the globe. Craft activities include an interactive group sculpture made from recycled materials. Other fun activities planned are jugglers, face painting, temporary tattoos, food, and local vendors. Being Topanga, this is a totally green event: all waste must be recycled or composted, and drink discounts are offered to those who bring cups from home. Tickets are available online or at the gate. [310.455.3155; http://www.topangachildrensfestival.com]

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11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Asian Pacific American Book Festival
Organized and presented by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the book festival features a variety of authors and literary luminaries. Special children's programming is available from 11am to 1pm. [213.625.0414; apabookfest@apalc.org ; http://www.janm.org]

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Free Broadway Kids Dance Class
Every Saturday the Ballet Barre Dance Academy offers a free, all ages dance class set to music from Broadway and popular hits like High School Musical, Grease, and The Little Mermaid. Advance registration is required. [818.344.5437]

1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Jump into Spring
The Garden Cooperative Nursery School hosts a fundraising concert and spring fair open to all. Enticements include face-painting, a treasure hunt, yummy treats and an old-fashioned cake walk. Some of the performers appearing are Lori Zondag from Lori Lori What's the Story, Melissa Szilagyi of Melissa's Music for Children, and Balloon Artist Ryan Majestic. [323.258.4525; http://www.thegarden.la]

1 p.m. - 7 p.m. Spring Craftaganza (Eagle Rock)
Over 15 vendors selling hand-made items, from candles and soaps to drawings and jams, make up a unique Mother's Day event at That Yarn Store. In addition to shopping, families can enjoy entertainment with live music, craft demonstrations, and kids' crafts. That Yarn Store is in Eagle Rock, at 5028 Eagle Rock Boulevard. [323.256.9276; http://www.thatyarnstore.com]

SUNDAY (Mother's Day!)

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Fiesta de las Madres
Olvera Street hosts a celebration for Mother's Day, paying tribute to mothers with scheduled entertainment, an awards program (i.e., oldest mother, mother with most children, etc.), a parade, and various sponsor booths. All activities are free to the public. [213.625.7074; 626.893.4583; http://www.calleolvera.com]

Mothers' Day Comedy & Arts Festival
Families are invited to enjoy comedy and live music at a Mother's Day Festival sponsored by Levantine Cultural Center. Everything except the food is provided - including charcoal, bbq grills, tables, chairs, and free parking. Donations are suggested to support the center's educational programming. [310.657.5511; http://www.levantinecenter.org/pages/ mothersday2007.html]

Art Odyssey for Families
The one-hour tour of the Getty Villa's galleries is designed specifically for children, featuring an art project and a game. Registration for the tour begins at 1:30pm at the museum's main entrance. [310.440.7300; http://www.getty.edu]