Weekend: ScotsFestival Is Baaa-ck at Queen Mary

Sheep herding is just the start at the Scottish celebration, which includes Highland Games, bagpipes, and whisky tasting, too.

Queen Mary

ScotsFestival and International Highland Games XXVII: If you know your Queen Mary stuff, then you know that the ocean-liner's story started in Scotland. To honor her heritage, there is this plaid-tastic party, a two-day affair that features a multitude of traditional Highland Games (aye, that means caber tossing), sheep sightings, drams of fine whisky, and all sorts of bagpipery. And should you wear your kilt, if your kilt is freshly dry-cleaned? Again we say it: aye. Jigs shall be danced on Feb. 15 and 16.

Valentine's Day: Maybe you're doing dinner out, and presenting a bouquet of fancy flowers, and doing chocolates, too. Or maybe you'll be riding the Pacific Wheel in Santa Monica, while listening to live viola, or watching "Bride of Frankenstein" at a horror gallery in South Pasadena, or learning about "Bawdy Botany" at LA Arboretum. Find some fanciful and not-too-serious ways to enjoy the occasion d'amour now, which, yes, happens to fall on Friday, Feb. 14.

LA Chinatown Firecracker: If the meaning of life is the number 42, as "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" suggests, then what does it mean when one of the most festive parts of the Lunar New Year marks 42 years? It means there'll again be a mondo run, and a run for the youngsters, and big bicycle ride, and the Paw'er Dog walk, too. Plus? Thousands of firecrackers all pop-pop-popping. The schedule is packed, and if you want to be there for the firecrackeriest moment, plan your visit during the Feb. 15-16 festivity pronto.

Travel & Adventure Show: How much room does your suitcase take up in the front closet, anyhow? Time to put it to work. But first? A stop downtown is in order, at this sprawler of a see-the-world celebration. Oodles of hotels and airlines and spas and destinations call upon this annual happening, which introduces adventurers to potential trips and must-see spots. A dive pool, a soundscape summoning the quiet of the national parks, and several travel-big pros'll be in the house. Oh yes, there's a virtual reality pavilion, too. Head to the LA Convention Center on Feb. 15 and 16.

Great Backyard Bird Count: You're absolutely captivated by the Big Bear eagle webcam, and the eagles' eggs, and when those eggs might hatch. What can you do when you're not glued to the nearest screen? Join this nationwide avian event, an annual four-day happening which invites citizen scientists to look up, down, and around and record the feathery visitors they see in their environs. Might you come across a crow, a wild parrot, or an owl during the Feb. 14-17 count, or all of the above? Take note of what you see and play an important role on behalf of nature.

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