CicLAvia South LA: How to start 2020 off right, if you're a bike buff who loves getting acquainted with different Los Angeles neighborhoods? By calling upon South Central, Florence-Firestone, and Watts on Sunday, Feb. 23. It's a free event, built around open streets (meaning no motorized vehicles), and you're welcome to roam along a six-mile stretch. Don't want to cycle? Walking, skating, or jogging are fab, too.
Free Mardi Gras Celebration: No worries if you can't go NOLA in 2020. We know, your heart is in the French Quarter, and your plans for dancing to some excellent accordion music, along Bourbon Street, haven't quite come together. You can call upon the Original Farmers Market, on Feb. 22 and 23, and the evening of Feb. 25, for live zydeco, Mardi Gras crafts, gumbo for purchase, and the awww-some Mutti Gras Parade. Oh yes, there shall be balcony-fun bead-tossing, too.
Riverside Dickens Festival: You never know where a queen may turn up, and there will be plenty of queenly doings parading through the Inland Empire city on Feb. 22 and 23. For fans of Charles Dickens will call upon the area, to indulge in a vintage tea, a rollicking pub night, an authors' picnic, and a host of other happenings. No, you don't need to don your crinoline or your cravat, but many people will sport full and fabulous hoop skirts, waistcoats, and such. The street festival? Oh, huzzah: It won't cost even a shilling to join.
Fantastic Fruit Trees: You've likely noticed that some of the trees around the city are starting to go, well, pink, or at least pinkish, as small blossoms peek out. We're not in peak fruit blossom time, but the cherry trees in the Japanese Garden at Descanso Gardens are starting to look mighty frilly and photogenic. We're still a few weeks out from the big tulip bloom at the historic spread (some 40,000 flowers are set to show off), making this a prime time to stroll among the burgeoning Okame cherry blossoms.
Haunt X: We'll be walking by skeleton masks and bat-shaped candles in about six months from now, which means that the talented home haunters of Southern California have already begun to plot, devise, and dream up their dastardly designs. If you've been thinking of turning your garage into a haunted house this year, or upping your eeky porch game, float like a ghost by the Fairplex in Pomona, where a ghost, er, host of exhibitors will be on hand to help haunt fans get in the right headspace for Halloween planning. The dates? Scream big on Feb. 22 and 23.