HELLO, TONGVA PARK: Nearly seven acres of Civic Center-snug land has been transformed into a hilly, plant-dotted green space, complete with ocean-viewing platforms. Want to eye Tongva Park's official debut and the new Ken Genser Square? Make for Santa Monica on Saturday, Oct. 19 for a free day of tours, tunes, history, and reveling in some Pacific breezes. And if you think that just because the Big Water is a short walk away there won't be any water in the park, that's a huge au contraire: Tongva boasts several "water elements." Feeling cooler already.
KITES OVER THE BEACH: This is assuredly one of the prettiest of the look-up-and-admire parties of the year. It's the Japan America Kite Festival, which sends up both traditional Japanese kites and beautiful fliers from around the planet into the airstreams above Seal Beach. One fun bonus? Ramen burgers will be sold, and if you remember, the buzzy foodstuff has been summoning big word of mouth. The kite-watching, though, is completely free. Sunday, Oct. 20
DIANA NYAD IN PERSON: She famously walked onto the beach at Key West last Labor Day weekend, something that many swimmers do after a dip. But this long-distance superstar did so after swimming for nearly 53 hours from Cuba. Ms. Nyad is stopping by the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center to talk about her epic swims, determination, persistence, and, yes, maybe even jellyfish, too, on Saturday, Oct. 19.
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FILM FESTIVALS GALORE: Galore, we say! Indeed. LA Femme Film Festival heads for the LA Live Regal Theaters through Sunday, Oct. 20. The Noor Iranian Film Festival celebrates the best of Iranian cinema through Oct. 24, while the Hollywood Film Festival wraps up its run in, you guessed it, Hollywood, California.
SWEET FAMILY FESTS: The Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax has always kept close to its country-rustic roots, but, come it annual Fall Festival, those truly take center stage. Petting zoos, pies, fiddling, and other seasonal to-dos fill out the Oct. 19-20 weekend. Looking for something that's more straight-up pumpkin-oriented? Both Calabasas and Pomona will spotlight the big orange squash over the weekend.