February starts to sparkle

In the Loop

By DONNA MCCROHAN ROSENTHAL

February starts to sparkle like spring with parades, festivals, and plenty of fun as you will see in this month’s roundup of tips for short hops and longer trips around California.

To the northwest in San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences meet African penguins and nearly 40,000 other creatures at the only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest living museum and then stay on Friday, Feb. 14, for the “Valentine’s Sleepover for Adults,” a one-of-a-kind escape featuring buffet dinner, champagne toast, next-morning breakfast, demos and screenings (calacademy.org; 415-379-8000).

Down below in Beverly Hills, Theatre 40 brings back “The Manor – Murder & Madness at Greystone,” 13 matinee and evening performances between Thursday, Feb. 6, and Sunday, March 1, that take place in the actual “scene of the crime,” the historic Greystone Mansion (www.theatre40.org; 310-364-3606).

In L.A., from Thursday, Feb. 6, to Sunday, Feb. 29, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the L.A. Phil explore a particularly turbulent era with the Weimar Republic festival of visual art, poetry, cinema and concerts (laphil.com/weimar; 323-850-2000) and from Wednesday, Feb. 12, to Sunday, March 1, The Wallis presents the world premiere of “Frankenstein” spectacularly realized through theatrical performance, live music and experimental design (TheWallis.org/Frankenstein; 310-746-4000).

In Pasadena, the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 7-9, offers rare books, maps, manuscripts, exhibits and panel discussions, a celebration of Ray Bradbury and a retrospective of 100 years of women’s suffrage in the U.S. (www.cabookfair.com; 415-919-9220).

To the southwest on the coast, Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific rolls out the African American Festival Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 22-23, and Shark Lagoon Nights on Free Friday Evenings Feb. 7, 21, and 28 when Shark Lagoon remains open until 9 p.m. and visitors can touch bamboo sharks (aquariumofpacific.org; 562-590-3100).

Head to Anaheim and the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Friday, Feb. 28, to Tuesday, April 21, for cuisine, beverages, and events focused on the beauty and bounty of California with culinary demonstrations, marketplace kiosks, family time, winemaker dinner and the behind-the-scenes Disney Culinary Adventure Tour (disneyland.disney.go.com; 714-781-INFO).

Closer to home to the west, Kernville’s 63rd annual Whiskey Flats Days over Presidents Day Weekend, Feb. 14-17, relives the rough-and-tumble bygone age when gold miners, trappers and cattle ranchers settled the area. Look for the Wild West Daze Rodeo, Wild West encampments, carnival rides, frog jumping contest, food and craft booths, vendors, live entertainment, line dancing, pet parade, gunfighter skits, activities for kids and the big parade on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. (gotokernville.com/ whiskeyflatsdays; 760-376-2629).

To the east in Death Valley’s unique and enchanting Amargosa Opera House, Saturday, Feb. 15, pays tribute to the late founder Marta Becket’s love for vaudeville and on Friday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 22, debuts the fiendishly entertaining “The Phantom of Amargosa Opera House” (amargosaoperahouse.org; 760-852-4441).

Story First Published: 2020-02-07