Weekend: Free Lunar New Year Festivities

Several spots around town, including the Citadel Outlets, will present lion dances, music, and more, with more to come in the coming days.

Nora Carol Photography

What to Know

  • Lunar New Year is on Tuesday, Feb. 1
  • A number of shopping centers will celebrate over the final weekend of January
  • Look for lion dances, music, decorations, and red envelopes at the Citadel Outlets

Lunar New Year: Welcoming The Year of the Tiger will be done at several celebration-minded spots in the days to come, with public gardens, restaurants, and malls displaying decorations, spotlighting music, and looking ahead with hope. If you'd like to call upon an outdoor event as January concludes, look to the Citadel Outlets, which will feature lion dancers, music, decorations, and red envelopes (there may be discounts or gift cards inside). Other Southern California shopping centers will also host Lunar New Year happenings, with more as February begins.

Festival of Human Abilities: This popular annual happening, which is celebrating its 19th year at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, is a music-filled, movement-marvelous "... celebration highlighting the creative talents and abilities of people with disabilities." Live tunes, energetic dance performances, and other great goings-on are on the schedule, all weekend long, at the water-close aquatic institution. The visual arts, too, play a role in the event. The cost to attend the festival? It's included with admission to the aquarium.

LBC Black Restaurant Week: We're almost done with January, which is officially and deliciously California Restaurant Month. Of course, deals and delights pop up throughout the calendar, but there is still time to support a great eatery during Long Beach Black Restaurant Week, which continues through Jan. 30 and features deals, special dishes, and more. Participating restaurants include Devis Donuts & Sweets, Gone Loco Spicy Food Truck, and several more spots, from dessert-centered shops to marvelous main meals.

Winter Flowers and Pink Trees: The deserts aren't in full-on wildflower mode just yet, and the cultivated bloom spots, like The Flower Fields, are about a month or so from opening. But our local public gardens are full of flowery wonder, with the pink trees of wintertime offering oohs/ahhs (the magnolias are reaching peak, says the Descanso Gardens team), and camellias bringing the color, majesty, and beauty. If you'd like to see some truly winning camellias, make for the Los Angeles County Arboretum, where the Southern California Camellia Show will open its petals on Jan. 29 and 30.

"Live Large" Dog Adoption Drive: Bigger bowwows? They're so huggable, so scritchable, and they'll still want to get on your lap for cuddles, each and every day. But larger dogs often linger in shelters, while smaller pups more easily find forever homes. To spotlight the sizable sweethearts out there, Best Friends Animal Society, and several rescue groups, are holding an adoption drive that encourages prospective pet parents to "Live Large." It's happening through Jan. 31, and organizers are hoping to see 500+ dogs adopted. Can you help? Meet a new best friend now.

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