Nisei Week Japanese Festival: Where to look first, dance first, eat first when it comes to this beautiful, multi-day Little Tokyo celebration? The days brim with martial arts demonstrations, Ondo street dancing, the Rubik's Cube open, a grand coronation, flower arranging, Taiko drumming, and the Gyoza-eating competition on the final Saturday of the party. It's the 75th year of Nisei Week, by the by, so join in the Ondo street dance -- everyone is welcome -- and lift your hands and heart in homage, respect, and joy. Aug. 15-23
Heat Wave Cool-Downs: Okay, summer, we get it. You heard all of us talking about El Niño, and the chilly winter storms we're hoping for, what with the moisture they'll bring, and then you thought "hey, maybe it is time to show my hot stuff." True, it is still August, and temperatures will top out, in the way they do, 90s and triple-digit-style. That's way a dip in a pool, a pirouette at an indoor ice-skating rink, or a trip deep into the cold cosmos is in order. Summer, we hear you. Welcome back. Now can you crank down the mercury just a pinch?
Great Sand Sculpture Contest: Talk about timing. What with the toasty thermometer readings and such, everyone but everyone will be thinking about the beach over the coming weekend, and many people will pack up the umbrellas and hats and go. If you're going Granada Beach, well, lucky you: This 82nd annual competition will be in full flower, and castle turrets made of small particles of beach grit are just the start of the wonder. Magical creatures? Strange buildings? The sky, or rather the shoreline, is the limit. Aug. 15 and 16
D23 Expo: Disneyland is open every day of the year, but the "largest fan event" in the Disney universe only comes around every other year, and just for three days. That makes it extra special, and Big D devotees travel from all over for the movie clips, star sightings, product booths, creative panels, and everything else under the Disney sun. "Star Wars" and "Marvel" make strong showings, too, in addition to the classic characters. Don your mouse ears and head for the Anaheim Convention Center from Aug. 14 through 16.
Tillamook Food Foraging Workshop: When you think of Tillamook, you probably think of Oregon, the dairy titan's home state. But the Tillamookians just launched a co-op downthisaway, and a food foraging workshop in the hills of Malibu, near One Gun Ranch, is an activity free to co-op members (you'll be learning about food pairings and munching granola yogurt parfaits and sipping fresh herb-nice sodas). If you've been looking for the get-up-and-go to connect to the land more, or even your own garden, starting here could be step one.