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26 Awesome Events Happening in Southern California This Weekend

Bring your sleeping bag and pillow to NHM for a family sleepover event. (Photo: Courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles)
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If your invites to all those Oscar parties and gifting suites got lost in the mail (ours did), we offer alternatives: a Burt Reynolds double feature, a Dark Crystal matinee, DocuDay LA and a motion design fest. Family options include a sleepover night at a museum, an Afro-Latinx festival and Bob Baker Day. You've also got your pick of BBQ, beer, chili and cocktail events.

FRIDAY, FEB. 22; 6:30 p.m. - SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 9 a.m.
Family Sleepovers
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County -- 900 Exhibition Blvd., Exposition Park
Spend a night inside the museum's North American and African mammal halls as you access the exhibits after hours. The theme for the family-friendly sleepover is dinosaurs, and it includes 3D movies, crafts, scavenger hunts, performances, an evening snack and a continental breakfast. The overnight stay is geared for children ages 5 to 12 and their adult chaperones (one chaperone is required for every four children).
COST: $75 - $85 per person, parking is $12 per car; MORE INFO

Abilities Expo
Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A -- 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown L.A.
The convention aims to tear down physical and emotional barriers for people with disabilities or limited mobility. The weekend brings products and services directly to the community, as well as their families, caregivers and healthcare professionals. Check out product demos, workshops, dance performances, adaptive sports, a climbing wall and service animals.
COST: FREE registration; MORE INFO

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FRIDAY, FEB. 22 - SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 7 p.m.
Smokey & The Bandit
New Beverly -- 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax
The 1977 Hal Needham film stars the late Burt Reynolds as a bootlegger helping bring Coors beer to dry Atlanta. Sally Field co-stars as a runaway bride and Jerry Reed plays Bandit's partner in crime. Jackie Gleason plays the sheriff trying to stop them. Stick around for a second Reynolds feature as part of the double bill when Semi-tough, a 1977 love and football flick with, starts atat 9:05 p.m.

FRIDAY, FEB. 22; 9 p.m.
the LAnd Release Party & Fundraiser
Echoplex -- 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echopark
L.A.'s newest magazine, started by several veteran journos and former L.A. Weekly staffers, holds a party with live performances by Open Mike Eagle, Brandon Coleman, Baths, Nocando, Pistol McFly, Los Retros, Los Muchachos de Dena and spoken word by Amde Hamilton of the Watts Prophets. You can also catch deejay sets by Exile and DJ Rhettmatic x Melo-D of the Beat Junkies. This event is 21+.
COST: $18 - $22; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, FEB. 22 - SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 7 p.m. - 2 a.m. both nights
Chocolate and Art Show Los Angeles
The Vortex -- 2341 E Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A.
Check out the works of some of L.A.'s finest up-and-coming artists, photographers and creators, while enjoying live music, performances, body painting and, yes, free chocolate. The night raises awareness and support for Artists for Trauma, an organization that pairs trauma survivors with creative types.

The international motion design festival makes its North American debut in L.A. this weekend. (Image: Joyce N. Ho)

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 10 a.m.
Motion Plus Design
The Montalbán -- 1615 Vine St., Hollywood
The international motion design festival has its North American debut this weekend, featuring a full day of presentations from designers such as Beeple, Jr.canest, Kyle Cooper, Karin Fong, Joyce N. Ho, Andrew Kramer, Marti Romances and Min Shi. Check out UI graphics, title sequences and motion design projects and hear from their creators. There's a rooftop cocktail reception to follow for VIP ticket holders.
COST: $25 (student tickets) - $75, additional $25 for party; MORE INFO

Archaeology Weekend
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center -- 200 Palm Canyon Dr., Borrego Springs
The state park's archeology celebration is now in its 15th year. For this edition -- Celebrating the Cultural Heritage of the Colorado Desert -- the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society will present info about the prehistoric and Native American cultures of the area. There are plenty of activities and field trips for both kids and adults.
COST: FREE admission to event (but day use fee at the Visitor Center is $10); MORE INFO

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 8 a.m.
DocuDay LA
Writers Guild Theater -- 135 South Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills
The day before the Oscars, the International Documentary Association presents back-to-back screenings of the most-recognized and nominated documentaries of the year. The feature films include Hale County This Morning, This Evening; RBG; Free Solo; Minding the Gap; Of Fathers and Sons and two programs of short films. Filmmaker Q&As follow each screening, depending on availability.
COST: $17 per film or $75 for all-day pass; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 7 - 10 p.m.
Brilliance: A Night of Music and Light
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Julianne and George Argyros Plaza -- 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa
Enjoy a night under the winter sky by dancing at a silent disco, choosing from one of three channels spun by DJs. Step into a light painting photo booth, enjoy the changing fountain lights or check out the interactive projects developed by UC Irvine's new Emergent Media + Design program. Snacks will be offered at George's Café, including "Glow Bar" specialty drinks.

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 11 a.m.
Aaron Nigel Smith's Family Reggae Bash
The Broad Stage -- 1310 11th St., Santa Monica
Smith, a reggae artist and educator, performs his best-known children's songs. His reggae tunes encourage families to sing, dance and play together. He's also co-creator of the nonprofit One World Chorus, which bridges cultures through choral singing. Note that this event takes place in Santa Monica, not in DTLA.

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MOAH in Lancaster presents a solo art show by Leonard Greco. (Image: Courtesy of Leonard Greco)

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 4 - 8 p.m.
MOAH Cedar -- 44857 Cedar Ave., Lancaster
The Museum of Art and History opens a solo show from L.A.-based artist Leonard Greco. The artist channels the hatred he experienced as a gay man (from both external and internal forces) and marries it to his "deep respect for the stories from his Catholic upbringing." The resultant works explore the artist's fabulist tendencies. The exhibition runs until March 31.

SATURDAY, FEB. 23 - SUNDAY, FEB. 24; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
African-American Festival
Aquarium of the Pacific -- 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach
Celebrate various African and African-American cultures at the 17th annual festival. The weekend features vendors, musicians, dancers and storytellers. There's an interactive drum circle by the Ambianz Muzic Experienz, West African dance by Dembrebrah, a New Orleans-style throdown from the La La Mardi Gras Second Liners and breakdancing and popping from the Homeland Crew. All activities are included with Aquarium admission.
COST: $17.95 - $29.95; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 7:30 p.m.
The Lucas Brothers
Dynasty Typewriter -- 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
The twin brothers use their hour of comedy to explore a variety of topics, such as Will Smith, William James, religion and/or politics. Special guests include Vapes, Sasheer Zamata, Byron Bowers, Brandon Wardell, Heather Pasternak, Mookie Thompson, Rosebud Baker, Quinta and a few surprises. The show is 18+.
COST: $15 - $20; MORE INFO

Corey Helford Gallery presents a number of exhibitions this weekend, including the group show, 'Psychedelia.' (Image: 'Always Connected' by Nicole Gordon, courtesy gallery and the artist)

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 7 - 11 p.m.
Various Art Exhibitions
Corey Helford Gallery -- 571 S. Anderson St., Boyle Heights
The gallery opens several new shows this weekend. The major group show, Psychedelia, is in the main room with trippy artworks inspired by innocence. In Gallery 2, there are new works by Japanese manga artist Junko Mizuno, painter Mayuka Yamamoto and illustrator and toy maker Travis Lampe. Gallery 3 features works by Camille Rose Garcia. The shows remain on view through March 30.

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 7 - 11 p.m.
February Solo Shows: Opening Reception
Gabba Gallery -- 3126 Beverly Blvd., Rampart
The gallery presents four solo shows by local artists Anyes Galleani, Kate Carvellas, Patrick Haemmerlein and Henry Niller. They include mixed media works, assemblage and pen and ink drawings. The opening party features tunes by DJ Jonathan Williams and a bar sponsored by Humboldt Distillery and Auspicion Wine. Tacos by Norma. The shows will remain on view through March 9.
COST: FREE with registration; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 5 - 7:30 p.m.
A Night in Focus: Titian, Tapestries and the Italian Renaissance
The Norton Simon Museum -- 411 West Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
The museum promises a lively night of art-making, weaving demos and music for a program focused on the exhibitions of Titian's Portrait of a Lady in White and Once Upon a Tapestry: Woven Tales of Helen and Dido. Italian-themed food and wine will be on sale in the café.
COST: Free with museum admission $12 - $15; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 11 a.m.
The Dark Crystal
The Vista -- 4473 Sunset Dr., Los Feliz
The Secret Movie Club presents a 35mm matinee screening of the Jim Henson/Frank Oz classic. Follow the adventures of Jen, the young Gelfling who must find a lost shard to restore the magic crystal before the Mystics' world is lost forever.
COST: $12.75 - $20; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Beer and World BBQ Festival
Mandarin Plaza Courtyard in Chinatown -- 70 N. Broadway, downtown L.A.
It's a barbecue battle as grill masters bring the their best recipes from around the world. Vendors include Bartz BBQ (Central Texas Style BBQ + Sides); Mini Kabob/MidEast Tacos; Hop Woo BBQ (Chinese/Cantonese BBQ); Island Grill BBQ (Filipino Skewers + Garlic Rice); Ombu Grill (Korean/Argentinian BBQ); Ray's Texas BBQ; Guerilla Tacos and Lately Kitchen (Vegan BBQ). GA tickets include one drink ticket and three food tickets. VIP includes two drink tickets and eight food tickets. This event is 21+ (but pet-friendly).
COST: Tickets start at $42; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 12 - 4:30 p.m.
4th Annual Santa Anita Chili Cook Off
Santa Anita Park -- 285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia
Beat the chilly SoCal weather with a little heat in a bowl. Various teams will try to win audience votes to earn the chili champ crown. The package deal includes 10 (2 oz.) chili tastings (with one ballot for best chili); one craft beer or wine; $5 betting voucher for the horse races; club house admission; trackside seating access; and a racing program and tip sheet. This event is 21+. The cook-off benefits the Foothill Unity Center.

SATURDAY, FEB. 23; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Bob Baker Day 2019
Los Angeles State Historic Park -- 1245 N. Spring St., downtown L.A.
On what would have been puppeteer Bob Baker's 95th birthday, the theater, which just announced it's moving to Highland Park, hosts an all-day carnival. The Marionette Theater entertains children of all ages with live music, performances, puppet-making workshops, carnival midway games, exhibition booths and food trucks. OK Go's Timothy Nordwind spins a live set that features curated classics from the BBMT's library and archives.

SUNDAY, FEB. 24; 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Topanga Vintage Market
Pierce College (Mason entrance) -- Victory Blvd. at Mason Ave, Woodland Hills
The fourth Sunday flea market brings together more than 180 vintage vendors and artisans while providing live music and food trucks on site.
COST: $4, free for veterans and kids 12 and younger; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, FEB. 24; 1 - 5:30 p.m.
Wikipedia Day LA: Consider the Source
Ace Hotel (2nd floor) -- 929 South Broadway, downtown L.A.
In honor of Wikipedia's 18th birthday, Wikimedians of Los Angeles present an afternoon of panels, presentations and conversations on the subject of sources. Speakers include Jane Park, director of product and research at Creative Commons; Brooke Binkowski, managing editor of and a panel exploring local journalism, trust, and corporate influence. Locally sourced cake will be served, too.

SUNDAY, FEB. 24; 7 p.m. - close
The Varnish Celebrates 10 Years
The Varnish -- 118 E 6th St., downtown L.A.
The cocktail bar celebrates 10 years with a formal party (yes, formal attire is required). They're bringing in guest bartenders, live music and offering sponsored cocktails, champagne and daiquiri toasts all night long. Half the night's proceeds will benefit Spirited Coalition for Change, the nonprofit organization started by the partners of 213 Hospitality and The Spirited Group to aid the homeless population in LA. This party is 21+.

Dine Out Long Beach
Various locations throughout Long Beach
Participating chefs and restaurateurs throughout the LBC are offering special menus that reflect their culinary styles. Choose from two-course brunch and lunch menus and three-course dinners. Taste dishes from dozens of restaurants, from Aji Peruvian Cuisine and James Republic to The Queen Mary and The Red Leprechaun.
COST: $10 - $50; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, FEB. 24; 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Afro-Latinx Festival
Museum of Latin American Art -- 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach
MOLAA celebrates the cultural diversity of the Americas and the African influence in Latin America. The day features art workshops, storytelling, craft vendors, community organizations and performances by the Lidereibugu Garifuna Ensemble, ABADA Capoeira and Quitapenas. Food vendors include The Tropic Truck, Sweets by Leilani, Mikhuna Peruvian Truck and Tender Grill Gourmet Brazilian.
COST: FREE admission ($10 parking); MORE INFO

Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken offers a CBD doughnut on Sunday in DTLA. (Image: Courtesy of Astro Doughnuts and Chicken)

SUNDAY, FEB. 24; 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
CBD Donuts
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken -- 516 W 6th St., downtown L.A.
Do Sundays give you the blues? Here's one way to face the workweek ahead: In anticipation of debuting the city's first CBD donut at its Santa Monica location (coming in March), the DTLA store offers this new take on comfort food on Sundays. The February doughnut features Chocolate Birthday Cake, spread with a CBD-infused chocolate mint buttercream frosting and topped with sprinkles.

How are you spending your weekend? Let us know on Twitter @christineziemba and @LeoHasACat.

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