Happy Mother's Day: A flower in a vase on a tray, some handmade gifts, brunch at a neighborhood spot... The traditions of the May holiday are plentiful and sweet, but there are ways to celebrate your #1 lady that go beyond the omelet. Momentum Place leaps into Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon on Mother's Day -- think aerialists and dancers performing, all in a rustic outdoor setting (plus brunch) -- or catch the Phylicia Rashad-directed comedy "Immediate Family" at the Mark Taper Forum (the accolade-winning play has two performances on Mother's Day, early afternoon and evening). And at the Irvine Park Railroad in Orange? Moms ride free in honor of their special day.
Queen Mary West Coast BBQ Classic: We're tra-la-la-ing into the season of al fresco food enjoyment, and our larger, cook-outside cuisine events are starting up in earnest as well. Look to this rib-tastic annual party next to the Big Boat, the one in Long Beach, for all of your summer savory needs. The tastings are two bucks a pop and you'll chow down on a gamut of styles (rubs, sauces, Kansas City, Memphis...). Is your mom a barbecue buff? Call this May 9 outing her Mother's Day Eve party.
Santa Monica Festival: It's a culture-awesome, dance-delightful, Westside-wonderful tradition that's landed in Clover Park year after year with a flourish, a swirl and a hearty "everyone join in"! Sustainability and a focus on being kind to the earth is at the 24th annual fest's happy heart as are arts, crafts, bikes, local communities and a general vibe of being-with-neighbors-ness. The cost to get into the Saturday, May 9 shindig? It's totally free.
Eat|See|Hear: Beyond the bites-oriented bashes opening for the summer season, there are more signs afoot. Look to our region's well-attended outdoor movie screenings, the kind that draw live tunes and occasional theme nights and food trucks, too. And look to Eat|See|Hear, which debuts in Santa Monica with "Pitch Perfect" -- the first one, just to clarify -- on Saturday, May 9. One fun bonus? Fidos are invited to these screenings (just make sure he's on a leash).
Bottle Rocket Launch: As far as educational, "wow"-inducing, laughter-garnering traditions go, the 22-year-long match-up between Boeing and the Discovery Cube is a truly choice one. Lots of people come out to see two-liter plastic bottles take to the skies, and that it all happens at the Boeing Huntington Beach location is pretty cool. Want to see imaginative science at work? Get to Boeing and look up on Saturday, May 9.