In the Loop

By DONNA MCCROHAN ROSENTHAL

Whether you want to kick up your heels for National Travel & Tourism Week (May 4-12), Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 12), Teacher Appreciation Week (starting May 6), National Bike Month or any other reason, May offers plenty to educate, entertain and relax you, and we pass along some ideas for indulging your wanderlust in this monthly roundup of tips for short hops to nearby events and longer trips around California.

To the northwest in Oakland, Jack’s Night Market on the Waterfront at Jack London Square rolls out crafts, artisans, designers, local producers of vegetables and fruits, a shopping bazaar and quirky performers from 6-10 p.m. on first Fridays through the summer — June 7, July 5, Aug. 2 and Sept. 6 (www.jacklondon square.com; 510-645-9292). Across the Bay, Treasure Island Flea features hundreds of antique, vintage, indie, retro and up-cycled goods, do-it-yourself workshops, scavenger hunts, food trucks, wine and live entertainment on the last weekends of every month, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (TreasureIslandFlea.com; 415-898-0245).

In Sacramento on Saturday, May 11, an open-air painting “Plein Air Day” unfolds on the grounds of Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. The first 25 artists-in-action to register receive a special gift (www.parks.ca.gov/indianmuseum; 916-324-0971).

Down below in Los Angeles, tickets go on sale on Saturday, May 4, for the Hollywood Bowl. Choose five or more concerts to get a sixth for free for a season that includes Willie Nelson & Family, “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II,” a “Grease” sing-along, Steve Martin, Josh Groban, Tony Bennett, John Williams and a stellar lineup (HollywoodBowl.com; 323-850-2000). Get ready, too, for the Ahmanson season (“The Sunshine Boys,” “Peter and the Star Catcher,” “Harmony,” “Porgy and Bess” and “We Will Rock You”). Five-show tickets start at $129 (CenterTheatreGroup. org/Ahmanson; 213-972-4444). The comedy “Yes, Prime Minister” opens at the Geffen Playhouse on Tuesday, June 4; June 18 adds “Talk Back Tuesdays,” a post-performance opportunity to talk with the artists (Geffenplayhouse.com; 310-208-5454).

At El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, see “Iron Man 3 in 3-D” May 3-Jun.19 accompanied by a display of collectibles and comic books from Stan Lee’s private collection (elcapitan.go.com; 818-845-3110). At South Coast Repertory, Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, enjoy beautiful ballads, surprising illusions and a timeless tale with “The Fantasticks,” May 10-June 9 (scr.org; 714-708-5555).

To the southwest in Los Padres National Forest, Pine Mountain Scrappers Quilt Guild observes 20 Years of Friendship with a Quilt Show and Lilac Festival on Saturday, May 18 (310-562-5844), and in Oxnard, the May 18-19 California Strawberry Festival celebrates all things strawberry, even pie-eating and Berry Best Dressed Baby contests (strawberry-fest.org).

For the youngsters: Pasadena’s Kidspace Flea Market over the May 4-5 weekend distinguishes itself as a selling and swapping shindig run by kids for kids at the magnificently interactive Kidspace Museum (kidspacemuseum.org; 626- 449-9144).

Ridgecrest resident Donna McCrohan Rosenthal covers travel stories for AAA, Bakersfield Magazine and several West Coast publications. The author of 14 books, she has appeared on Oprah and A&E Biography and lectured at the Smithsonian.

Story First Published: 2013-05-01