Awesome Spring Festivals to Celebrate the Season

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The flowers are blooming and kids across the city are wondering what that weird wet stuff is dripping from the sky. Yes, that’s right it’s almost spring and along with the double rainbows taking over your Facebook feed, there are festivals popping up all over town to mark the season. We’ve rounded up more than a few of the best spring festivals in Los Angeles for families so you’ll and the family will be entertained all the way to summer.

photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

Springtime Easter Festival
Everyone knows Underwood Farms is the place to be for festive fall fun but did you know they also have an annual spring festival? Complete with egg hunts, watermelon bowling, egg decorating, and pictures with the Easter bunny, this festival runs for a week at the end of Mar., just in time for LAUSD’s spring break in case you need a fun excuse to get out. All the usual Underwood fun, like pick-your-own fruits and veggies and feeding the animals is also available throughout the week. The festival runs from Mar. 24 – Apr. 8. General admission tickets are $6 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. Kids under 2 are free.

Quick Tip: Overall this festival is much more low-key than the Harvest Festival, but go midweek and get there early in the day to beat the crowds.

Underwood Farms
3370 Sunset Valley Rd.

photo: Jenn G. via Yelp

Torrance Cherry Blossom Festival
Couldn’t score tickets to the uber-popular Descanso Gardens Cherry Blossom Fest? Don’t fret. Just head to the South Bay where you can celebrate these pink blooming beauties with a day-long festival. Organized by the city, this festival is free and features performances by musical artists representing Asian countries, like Japanese Taiko drummers. Local artisans are also on hand with wares to shop and there are plenty of kid-friendly activities like origami making and face painting. The festival takes place Mar. 25, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Quick Tip: Bring a blanket or folding chairs and grab a spot on the grass where you can relax and gaze at the Cherry Blossoms.

Columbia Park
4045 190th St.

photo: Scandinavian Festival of Southern California

Scandinavian Festival
Nordic countries are rated as some of the happiest in the world, so if you’re looking for some merriment, then this is the festival to put a smile on your face. You’ll welcome spring Scandinavian style, with a dance around the maypole and other festivities like live folk music. Make floral head wreaths or learn an ancient game once played by the Vikings. Everyone will love exploring the Viking Encampment and Sami Village and pretend like they’ve transported through time. It wouldn’t be a Scandinavian celebration without meatballs and other tasty, traditional eats, like Swedish pancakes and Danish pastries. There are also handmade crafts to buy and performances throughout the day. The festival takes place on Apr. 21-22, 10 a.m.– 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for teens, and free for kids.

60 West Olsen Rd.
Thousand Oaks

photo: Venice Spring Fling

Venice Spring Fling 8
Celebrate spring Venice-style with this free, eclectic music and arts festival. A trek to the Venice Boardwalk always ensures some colorful entertainment, but this annual festival kicks things up a notch. Bust out your hula hoops and dancing shoes for a day filled with live music performances, art, dance, book signings and more. While you’re having fun you can also help a good cause by bringing along canned food which will be collected at the festival and donated to the Westside Food Bank. The Spring Fling is on May 19, 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Quick Tip: Parking is never easy in Venice but with a big event like this it’s near impossible. Unless you want to break the bank on parking fees, find street parking and stroller it to the event.

Windward Plaza Park
Between the bike path and boardwalk off of Windward Ave.

photo: Meghan Rose

Festival of Books
Dust off your bookshelves for spring cleaning and make room for some new favorites that you can discover at the LA Times Festival of Books. Your little bookworms will love meeting the authors behind some of their favorite stories. Past guests have included Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters, David Shannon, Jeff Kinney and Levar Burton; this year’s authors and performers are still being determined. Check the website in early March for updates.

Hit the Children’s Stage for storytelling performances and some of LA’s favorite kid’s indie music bands throughout the day. Your older readers will definitely want to check out the more mature panels at the YA stage. After you’ve worked up an appetite scouring the sea of book-filled booths, you can enjoy some yummy food truck eats.  The festival takes place Apr. 21-22 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. General admission is free though you need tickets to certain author conversations.

Quick Tip: Parking for the festival is available at USC and the Coliseum but this is also a golden opportunity to take a family ride on the Metro Expo Line, which stops right at the campus.

USC’s University Park Campus
Jefferson Blvd. and Figueroa St.

photo: Lisa C. via Yelp

Strawberry Festival
If your tot gobbles up berries, then the Strawberry Festival is definitely a must-do for every LA bucket list. Plan to spend the entire day at this ever-growing event that feels more like a trip to the county fair than just a simple springtime celebration.

This festival has grown so large it just added more grounds and a third performance stage. Start off in Strawberryland For Kids, which is filled with carnival rides, and the Kids Theater with performances like puppet and magic shows all day long. Plan ahead and dress your little ones up in their finest berry-wear for the Berry Best Dressed Baby Contest, open to kids 4 and under.

And no strawberry festival would be complete without plenty o’ berry treats. Dare your little risk takers to try some deep-fried strawberries or strawberry nachos, go for the more traditional build-your-own strawberry shortcake, or simply buy a basket of fresh strawberries to snack on while you catch some live music on the festival stages. (And you sip a strawberry ‘rita or strawberry beer.) The festival takes place May 19-20 from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5-$12, and kids 4 and under are free.

Quick Tip: Keep your eyes peeled for the best berry-themed character of all time: Strawberry Shortcake, who will be around to give hugs and fun photo-ops to her berry-loving fans.

Strawberry Meadows at College Park
3250 South Rose Ave.

photo: Jack H. via Yelp

The Renaissance Pleasure Faire
Celebrate spring the way they used to in the 15th century with a visit to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. A good joust, a magic show and, of course, a giant turkey leg is a perfect recipe for a successful trip to the original Ren Faire. Your little lords and ladies will love the Kids’ Kingdom of the festival, where they can watch staged performances of unique and classic fairy tales. They can also check out some Renaissance-era games and crafts, like weaving wool and making their own dolls. They’ll learn a few tricks at Merlin’s School of Magic and even have a chance to be knighted at the daily ceremony.

Last, but definitely not least, you will all love eating like Renaissance royalty at the endless buffet of food stands serving up everything from steak on a stick to bacon mac n’ cheese. Check out our tips on how to make the most of your visit. The festival runs Saturdays and Sundays from Apr. 7-May 20 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for kids 5 and up, $29.95 for adults. Kids 4 and under are free.

Quick Tip: If you happen to have a little princess or prince who loves a tea party, be sure to make reservations in advance online to have tea with the Queen at the Unruly Foolie Tea.

Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area
15501 E. Arrow Hwy.

photo: California Poppy Festival

Poppy Festival
Nothing says springtime like flowers and at this festival dedicated entirely to the bright orange poppies, you’ll discover exactly why this beautiful bloom is the California State Flower. With 55 acres of fun, there’s plenty to do at this annual event that welcomes the blooming poppies and celebrates nature just in time for Earth Day.

In addition to rides, games, and delicious eats, you’ll also find live music performances, a healthy living pavilion, and farmers market. We’re so enamored, we found out all about it, and you can too if you read our handy guide. The festival takes place April 21 – 22 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission tickets are cash only, $5-10, and free for kids 5 and under.

Quick Tip: Be sure to call before you go; the festival is loads of fun no matter the state of the blooms, but flower power can be fickle and conditions are never certain until the last minute, so if you really want to see that field of flowers in full force, call to check before hopping in the car and driving to the desert.

Lancaster City Park
43011 N. 10th St. West

photo: Otis Kite Festival

Otis Kite Festival
Let’s go fly a kite at this festival that incorporates art with science for a family experience unlike any other. For the 7th year, Otis College hosts local artists as they raise their kits to create an airborne Gallery In the Sky. Every kid in attendance gets a free DIY kite kit to get in on the STEAM action. Besides kite-flying and making the festival also features sand sculptures, painting workshops, and solar DJs. The festival takes place on April 14, 11am – 4pm. Admission is free for all.

Santa Monica Pier
Just north on the beach
Santa Monica

What are some of your favorite spring festivals around LA? Share any we missed in the comments!

—Shahrzad Warkentin


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