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Arts and Entertainment

Atlas Obscura Day Is Back With 15 Fun, Weird, Educational Events In L.A.

The Gabba Arts District. Artwork by Jennifer Korsen. (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
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Atlas Obscura Day is upon us once again, offering more than a dozen fun and unique adventures to be had all around L.A. Atlas Obscura Day takes place on April 16 throughout the world. On that day, the off-beat travel site will be hosting numerous tours and lectures for the curious, including 15 in Los Angeles. Here's a look at what you can get into:

The Ruins of the White City and Inspiration Point

Modern Hiker’s Casey Schriener will lead a hike up to the ruins of the 'White City' on Echo Mountain. The White City was once an alpine resort, operating from 1893 to 1938. The foundation of the hotel and dance hall remain left behind, as well pieces of an old funicular railway. The hike is described as "moderately strenuous." $20.

Pioneer Dynasty—Rancho La Puente & the Conquest of California

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KCET's Hadley Meares leads a tour of the Workman-Temple Homestead Museum in the City of Industry, once home to William Workman, businessman and Mayor of L.A. from 1886 to 1888. The tour will explore the Workman family's beautiful Rancho La Puente and the La Casa Nueva. The tour is followed by a lecture from the Homestead Museum's new series, Curious Cases. This talk will delve into the Jenkins/Ruiz incident of 1856. $25.


Painting in the black light room of the Velveteria (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)

Behold the Art of Black Velvet PaintingsOne of our personal favorite small museums, Chinatown's Velveteria boasts over 3,000 velvet paintings. $20.

Retreat to Rockhaven Sanitarium

Atlas Obscura Field Agent Sandi Hemmerlein explores the abandoned Rockhaven Sanitarium in Montrose. The Rockhaven opened in 1923, but hasn't been operational since 2006. $25

Space Rocks—UCLA Meteorite Collection

Check out UCLA's large collection of space rocks—one of the biggest collections of its kind in the world—with Cosmochemist Alan Rubin. $20.

Hunting Bollards in the Wild

This one is interesting. Bollards are short, typically concrete posts that protect buildings and people from traffic. Poet Andrew Choate will lead a two-mile walking tour of bollards around L.A., explaining their history, variety and context. $20.

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Church of Type

Artist and printmaker Kevin Bradley will show off a huge collection of letterpress and provide a printmaking demo on a tour led by Field Agent Benjamin Harmon. Tickets $20-25.

Murals of the Gabba Arts District

Check out dozens of murals in the alleys near Gabba Gallery with Alley Project founder Jason Ostro. Plus, get a sneak peek at the Gabba's new show, \Brit-fluence(d)\. Tickets $35.

Birds of Prey at Prey Taxidermy

Allis Markham of DTLA's Prey will offer a look at the taxidermy work they're doing on birds of prey from the Moore Lab of Zoology at Occidental University. Rest assured, none of the birds were killed for the purpose of taxidermy, but died natural deaths. The demos will show how creatures are prepared for taxidermy. $25.


The Tom of Finland Foundation (Photo by Juliet Bennett Ryan/LAist)

Seduced by the Tom HouseAnother one of our favorite small museums, the Tom House in Echo Park is where iconic gay artist Tom of Finland used to call home when he was in L.A. The 1906 craftsman is full of NSFW works from Tom of Finland and other artists. Guests may also enjoy the scenic garden and the home's "dungeon." $20.

The Wende Museum—Hot Topics on the Cold War

The Wende Museum in Culver City is home to about 75,000 items related to the Cold War, including paintings, surveillance equipment, films, books and more. The Museum also acquired a portion of the Berlin Wall, which one can find on Wilshire Blvd. across from LACMA. $20.

Jeepney Tour of Historic Filipinotown

Hop on a vintage Filipino Jeepney for an hour-long tour of the HiFi district. $40.

Backstage at Bob Baker Marionette Theater

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater is always a good time, though lately, it's unclear what will happen to it as plans to build an apartment building around it have emerged. This Obscura Day event will feature a live performance of 'Hooray L.A.' followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of the theater and its marionettes. $35.

Abandoned Zoo Ruins

Hike Griffith Park's abandoned zoo and learn about the zoo's history with KCET's Hadley Meares. $20.

After-Party at Valley Relics w/ DJ Mukta Mohan & Magician Siegfried Tieber
The day will end with an after-party at the Valley Relics Museum. Music comes courtesy of DJ Mukta Mohan, and Magic Castle regular Siegfried Tiber will provide close-up magical trips. The Bison Burger Truck will be offering bison, elk, wild boar and mushroom burgers, and craft brews will be flowing. $25.