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17 Ways To Explore SoCal's Hidden Treasures On Obscura Day

Peregrine falcon in flight (Photo by Anita Ritenour via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The thing about living in Los Angeles is that you can never really be bored because there's always something new to explore—from the macabre to the eye-opening and bizarre. Atlas Obscura, a website that devotes itself to guiding folks to the most interesting places in the world, is hosting a worldwide Obsura Day on May 30. On this one day, you can put your explorer cap on and go on some cool adventures throughout SoCal. They've got some interesting events on their radar—from going on a bike ride through the L.A. River to seeing falcons take flight in the desert and exploring abandoned complexes with fascinating histories.

Here's the schedule and details:

Falconry in the High Desert: Check out a falcon flight demonstration out in the Palmdale desert and learn the history of these fascinating birds. Event runs from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased here.

L.A. County Poor Farm: Go on a tour in Downey exploring the abandoned L.A. County Poor Farm, which later became known as Rancho Los Amigos. The tour guide will explain the history of the over-century-old complex that was built as a humanitarian effort, serving as a place for the homeless, the elderly, and people with disabilities, illnesses and addiction. But since the 1980s, it's become a ghost town. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

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The International Printing Museum: Out in Carson, you can go on a guided tour through the International Printing Museum. You'll get to see vintage printing machines, learn about different printing methods and get to watch a demonstration of paper-making. Event takes place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

Retreat to Rockhaven Sanitarium: Explore Montrose's old Rockhaven Sanitarium, a three-acre facility with lush gardens that was once a place for those with mental illnesses. The facility was built in 1923 and shuttered in 2006. The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.


Artwork at Randyland in Echo Park (Photo via Facebook)
Bottle Art of Phantasma Gloria: Tour a special Echo Park home called Randyland. It has a gorgeous and colorful glass art installation dubbed "Phantasma Gloria," and you can get to learn about the history of the artwork and its significance. Tour runs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.

Mojo Maps' Pop-Up Adventure Tour in the L.A. Arts District: From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Mojo Maps is hosting a four-hour tour where you get on a bicycle and explore the Arts District. That includes cycling through the L.A. River, learning about local street art, bouldering without a harness, beer-tasting at Angel City Brewery, and getting the chance to design your own American Apparel t-shirt. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased here.

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Rediscovering Griffith Park Part ONE: Over in Los Feliz, you can go on a guided tour up to Griffith Observatory where you'll get to learn a great deal about the quirky history of Griffith Park, the park's strange founder, special filming sites, and the plants of the area. The tour runs from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

Curiosity Crawl at Dapper Cadaver: Out in Sun Valley, check out creepy and scary Hollywood props—from realistic-looking corpses to skeletons—from Dapper Cadaver's prop house collection. The event runs from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased here.

Open House at HexLab Makerspace: From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Tarzana, tour the workshop at HexLab and learn about things like 3D printing and laser cutting. It's free if you RSVP here.

Bhagavad-gita Museum: Explore the Culver City museum that's dedicated to Bhagavad-gita, "the Indian literary classic that remains sacred to over six million people," according to Atlas Obscura. There are three tours that take place at 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased here.

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Valley Relics Museum (Photo via Facebook)
Valley Relics Museum: Go back in time at Chatworth's Valley Relics Museum. It's a place where you can check out retro neon signs, cars, a Big Boy statue and more vintage items from the Valley. There's a chance to hear stories about these relics as well. The tour runs from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased here.

Jeepney Tour of Historic Filipinotown: Sit on a Jeepney vehicle and get a tour of the historic Filipinotown while you learn about the history of the area and its people. There are three tours taking place at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. that day. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.

Rediscovering Griffith Park Part TWO: There's a second chance to explore Griffith Park on Obscura Day, but a different area of the park. People will learn the history of the area by exploring landmarks like the Griffith J. Griffith Statue, Mulholland Fountain, the carousel and the old zoo. The tour runs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Los Feliz. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.


Outside of the hoppy Bunny Museum (Photo by Benjamin Page via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
The Bunny Museum: From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Pasadena's Bunny Museum, a quirky collection of all things bunny-related, will have an open house. The couple who runs the museum out of their own home has the world's largest collection of bunny memorabilia. RSVP here to attend, and pay $5 cash at the door for admission.

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Backstage at Bob Baker Marionette Theater: Over at Westlake's Bob Baker Marionette Theater, you can get an exclusive marionette performance and a behind-the-scenes tour of the beloved theater that has been in operation for the past 40 years. The event runs from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.

Private Pinball Party: From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Pasadena, there will be a private pinball machine party with a huge collection of vintage games. The owner who helms Thumperdome normally keeps these pinball parties on the down-low, but for this Obscura Day event, it'll be open to the public. It even has an air of mystery surrounding it as you won't get the address of the location until it gets closer to the date. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

Free Obscura Day Celebration: Atlas Obscura's head honchos and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority will be hosting a free celebration at Vista Hermosa Park in Historic Filipinotown from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to end the day of exploration. Mingle with fellow explorers and Atlas Obscura guides while you roast marshmallows. RSVP here to attend.