Earth Day—April 22—is our yearly reminder to care for and protect the environment the 364 other days of the year. Many communities have planned eco-themed celebrations, festivals and activities next week. Here are five of our favorite family-friendly Earth Day happenings in Southern California.
- Earth Day LA at Grand Park. Grand Park, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and The Music Center celebrate Earth Day on Thursday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., showing Downtown LA’s residents, workers and visitors ways to go clean and green in their daily lives. In addition to healthy lifestyle vendors, the activities planned include tours of Grand Park’s sustainable landscaping, composting workshops, tree giveaways for city of LA residents and Fish Eyes educational workshops—which teach kids to explore themes of water conservation, climate change and the environment through site-specific dance—by Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre. Free admission.
- Earth Day LA 2018. LA Sanitation hosts its third annual Earth Day LA event at Highland Park Recreation Center in Northeast Los Angeles on Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event features more than 75 exhibits which promote conservation and sustainability, as well as local entertainment from DJ Jorge Nesta, Renaissance Academy Musicians, the Salserinas dance troupe, the band Alarma and others. An educational Kid’s Zone is planned, but it’s a safe bet that the city trucks and vehicles that’ll be onsite for exploration will be a hit with the young ones, too. LA City Sanitation staff will be grilling up free hot dogs and chicken sandwich lunches, as well as offering other treats while supplies last. Free admission.
- Los Angeles Zoo’s Wild for the Planet. The Los Angeles Zoo launches its annual Wild for the Planet celebration on Earth Day weekend (Saturday, April 21). It runs through Endangered Species Day (Friday, May 18). On weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wild for the Planet features animal feedings, zoo keeper talks and demonstrations, a conservation-themed aerialist show, puppet shows and other activities that focus on the importance of protecting the environment and its creatures. Since this is the international Year of the Bird, many activities focus on plant species that support local birds and the zoo’s bird conservation efforts. Wild for the Planet activities are included in zoo admission: $21 for general admission (ages 13 to 61); $18 for seniors (ages 62+) and $16 for children (ages 2 to 12).
- Earth Day Celebration – Aquarium of the Pacific. The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach holds its 18th annual Earth Day Celebration on April 21 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days. Visitors can learn simple tips to help protect the environment, watch demos, and meet reps from various Earth-friendly organizations. The Aquarium will debut new climate change programming and exhibits that weekend. Also, if you bring e-waste to recycle to the Aquarium, you’ll receive a coupon for $10 off one adult admission valid that weekend. $29.95 (ages 12 and older); $17.95 (ages 3-11) and $26.95 (seniors ages 62+).
- California State Parks Foundation: Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup Turn Earth Day into a day of service by volunteering at one of California’s state parks on April 21. The California State Parks Foundation holds its 20th annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup of 40 locations. RSVP to take part in activities that include: native habitat restoration, weed removal and planting at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook; a beach cleanup in Huntington Beach; a Doheny State Beach campground improvements and many others. Most activities begin at 9 a.m. Free.
Christine N. Ziemba is a Los Angeles-based arts and culture writer who loves to tell people what to do (and where to go). Check out her events columns and other musings on PopRadarLA.com, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.