In the Loop

(by) Donna McCrohan Rosenthal

Spring has certainly arrived, welcomed by plenty of spirited delights as you’ll see in this month’s roundup of ideas for short hops and trips in the Golden State and beyond.

To the northwest and opening on Saturday, April 9, the Monterey Bay Aquarium delves deep into the mysteries of the largest habitat on our ocean planet. Visit unique and rarely seen sea animals from football-sized giant isopods to transparent jellies that glow in the dark (; 831-648-4800).

Down below, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books returns to the USC campus over the April 23-24 weekend, featuring indoor and outdoor events, hundreds of exhibitor booths, author signings, performances, and free activities (

From Wednesday, April 6 through Monday, August 8, Getty Villa Museum presents “Persia: Ancient Iran and the Classical World.” Ancient Iran, historically known as Persia, dominated western Asia for over a millennium (about 550 BC–AD 650), with three native dynasties controlling an empire of unprecedented size and complexity. This exhibition explores the artistic and cultural connections between the rival powers of Iran, Greece, and Rome. Works on view include royal sculpture, spectacular luxury objects, religious images, and historical documents assembled from major museums in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East (; 310-440-7300).

In Buena Park, the Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival continues through Sunday, April 24. The annual food-inspired super-picnic celebrates the park’s historic roots by highlighting the berry that started it all: “Indulge in a tantalizing lineup of dishes ranging from savory foods with a boysenberry twist to one-of-a-kind specialty desserts and drinks that you can only find at Knott’s Berry Farm during this limited-time food festival. In addition to the numerous food and drink offerings, the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival offers a wide selection of local crafters, live music, musical stage shows, and fun activities for guests of all ages to enjoy. This year’s event will introduce entirely new food offerings” (; 714-220-5200).

To the south in Hemet over the April 23-24 and April 30-May 1 weekends, the Ramona Pageant enters its 99th season with the quintessential classic love story of life in early California during the 1850s (; 951-658-3111).

Through parts south, Shen Yun performs between April 28-May 29 in Palm Desert, Northridge, Long Beach, San Luis Obispo, Costa Mesa, Thousand Oaks, and Santa Barbara. Check the website for dates and venues (; 800-880-0188).

Out of state and worth the ride: March 1 marked the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park. Follow the website for ongoing programs and particularly for Saturday, April 23, note the open-to-the-public Earth Day Cleanup. The Yellowstone Environmental Coordinating Committee will provide trash bags and gloves to participants for a town cleanup in Yellowstone’s gateway community of Gardiner, Montana. After the cleanup, participants will have complimentary lunch and refreshments while speakers highlight current park sustainability efforts (

Story First Published: 2022-04-01