CHINESE NEW YEAR: Thousands of revelers eager to bid hello to the Year of the Horse will make for the oh-so-venerable 115th Golden Dragon Parade. The Chinatown parade indeed boasts those famous lion dancers, and lots of other festive touches, but the weekend will be full of food and ceremony, whether you find a bit of curb for the Saturday. Feb. 1 parade or not. Head to Broadway or Hill on Sunday for cultural workshops, food trucks, and music and shopping happenings, courtesy of local vendors and Downtown Flea. It's big and full of cheer and hope for the year to come. Also? Go Metro. We said "thousands" show, but make that thousands x many.
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY: If there's a square box with a screen and broadcast capabilities in your vicinity on Sunday, Feb. 2, bet it'll be tuned to Super Bowl XLVIII. While your neighborhood bar'll likely have the pigskin-style action, you might go Viceroy Santa Monica, which is doing a plush, pool-close cabana deal for Bowl buffs, while Wirtshaus is going with an open beer bar for twenty five bucks (so line up that cab home). And if you want over a dozen big screen TVs -- make that 15 -- Rush Street has 'em.
PUPPY BOWL PARTY: Aaaaand if the Super Bowl isn't your jam, but you've got to watch something with "Bowl" in the name on Sunday, Feb. 2, and it preferably should involve small furry animals, make for the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA, which will screen the Puppy Bowl. And check it: They've dubbed it the Rosie Bowl, as a dog from the Pasadena center was picked as a back-up for this year's cute fest. Will Rosie take the field? Best be with her supporters if she does.
ART LOS ANGELES CONTEMPORARY: LA Art Month -- also known as January -- ends in a big way in a big space with a big theme: the LA art scene and what it is doing now. Barker Hangar in Santa Monica is the capacious spot and the dates? Jan. 31 through Feb. 2. Film screenings and performances and gallery-gabbing and more brain-expanding merriments fill the weekend, if simply looking/enjoying isn't enough for you.
SIGN OF SPRING: When you're ending a month that saw a number of days top out in the 80s, it can be difficult to distinguish what the true signs of springtime just might be. Here's a classic Californian one that's colorful and fragrant and tasty, too: The historic Friend's Ranch of Ojai is opening up for orchard tours on Saturday, Feb. 1. We're not sure what is more quintessentially Golden State than eating a tangerine under the sun in a bursting orchard in February, but, you know, we're open to other suggestions. Wait, nope. There's nothing more quintessential.