Oshogatsu Family Festival: Finding ways to greet the still-dawning year with glee, gladness, and a heap of hope? You only need to find your way to the Japanese American National Museum, which will welcome this new run of days, and the Year of the Rat, with a slate of tot-pleasing, culturally awesome activities. Visit a Mouse House and color cute critters or learn how to make an origami rat. It's free, and happening throughout the day at the Little Tokyo destination on Sunday, Jan. 5.
Discounted Late Night: The holiday vacation week is stretching through the weekend for some Southern Californians. If you're among those people, and you're still looking for lively outings, but adventures that don't cost a bundle, consider paddling by one of the splashliest spaces in all of SoCaland. For the Aquarium of the Pacific has a special, money-saving evening planned for Jan. 3, one that means later hours at the fish-porium and the chance to see it for less. Details? Splish-splash.
Lights on at LACMA: The idea of a "holiday lounge," a stylish hangouterie that's probably art-adjacent, seems like it belongs to the pre-Christmas stretch of December. But oh, ho, and alas: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has just such a lounge, complete with art-making for the kids, DJs spinning haute tunes, and a place to buy warming cocoa and churros. Museum entry? That is ticketed, but spending time at this season-fun spot is free. Head to wintry Wilshire Boulevard from Jan. 2-5.
Local news from across Southern California
First Friday Campfire of 2020: Savoring a state park is something we can do at any point in the calendar, but visiting a favorite place as the new year starts? There's something special in the idea. And that beloved, DTLA-close park, Los Angeles State Historic Park, is inviting fans and friends by for a year-starting campfire on Friday, Jan. 3 from 4:30 to 6 o'clock. You're welcome to show with a blanked or camping chair. On the menu? "Unlimited s'mores," oh yum.
OC Vegan Fest: You're still in a supping mood from the holidays, but it is a mood that involves all manner of asparagus and citrus and legumes and hearty proteins and leafy greens. You adore finding new vegan discoveries in short, and there'll be plenty to make at this multi-vendor gathering in Downtown Santa Ana on Sunday, Jan. 5. It's free to attend, though you'll want to register and show with money for cookies, and wraps, and sushi, and so many delicious meals.