Travel & Adventure Show: If you vowed to pull the suitcase or duffel bag out of the closet in 2016, and finally make the trip to Thailand or Alaska or Finland or all of those amazing destinations, this colossal collection of companies is a fine place to jumpstart that plan. Notice we said "plan" there and not "dream"? You did? Good. Because some time spent at the Long Beach Convention Center on Feb. 27 and 28, among the airlines and hotels and tour companies, can help you put things in motion. Pie-in-the-sky-ing is fun and all, but this mega go-and-do gathering is all about getting there, wherever "there" might be.
The Academy Awards: Heading to Hollywood? You might have noted that a great swath of the boulevard has been given the red carpet treatment in advance of the Sunday, Feb. 28 show. If you want to see some the action, at least from a distance, check it out: Loew's Hollywood, the busy, buzzy hotel next door, has a menu of Oscar-themed cocktails, from one for "The Martian" (it's dubbed "Life on Mars" and includes tequila, Aperol, agave syrup, and grapefruit juice) to a gin-strong sip for "Bridge of Spies. For sure, though, leave time to work around the awards traffic, or go Metro.
Vegan Chili Cook Off: So you like a rich, ingredient-packed stew, the kind of eating made for February (or at least February in a snowy clime). But you aren't into the whole meat aspect. What to do? On Sunday, Feb. 28 you can head for Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, which is hosting a number of vegan-tastic chefs who'll be going ladle-to-ladle for top honors on the vegan chili-making front. Can you taste? Oh yeah -- for ten bucks you'll get five tastes, the better to make your own choice. It all starts at noon, chili lovers.
"A Manhattan Beach Memoir: 1945-2015": If you've heard about the ocean-close casa slated for demolition, the one that's covered with large-scale family snapshots, but you haven't swung by to see it yet, the moment is night. Artist Gary Sweeney is the person behind the pictures, pictures snapped by his father over several family-sweet decades in the cottage. The cottage will make way for a development, but you can see the house covered in photos through the end of February.
The Nap Tour: Lots of quirky happenings roll into Southern California, like the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, but the Casper Nap Tour, from the NYC-based maker of mattresses, may be the first one that encourages visitors to grab a little shuteye. There's a special open-sided trailer in which to do so, and to try out the company's mattresses, too. Where's it going? Downtown on Feb. 25 and 26 and Pink Taco on Sunset Boulevard on Feb. 27 and 28.